SPL recently announced the IRON, a new mastering compressor! Only a few details are currently known about this piece of hardware. We here at Muzeek World have assembled a short blog post about this upcoming product. Read on!
The SPL Iron is a mastering compressor that combines the sound of vintage tube compressors with the advantages of high dynamic 120V operating voltage. It sets a new benchmark in tube compressor technology thanks to its implementation of a parallel dual-tube circuit. The Mu-Metal iron transformers allow each channel signal to be split across two different twin-triode tubes. The combination of the different response curves of both tubes results in transparent, musical compression. Peak control voltage signals are limited by a feed-forward resistive opto-isolator, which in turn allows the output signal to remain strong even in the face of high gain reduction. Compression is only noticeable in extreme settings. The tube bias of the SPL Iron mastering compressor has three different settings. The Bias, Input Gain (+/- 12dB) and Threshold allow compression to adapt to any material. Attack and Release parameters range from Slow to Fast and can be set at six different settings. Times aren’t constant; they change according to what Rectifier circuit is selected. Six different Rectifier settings are available with different diodes (germanium, silicon, LED, mixed).
The SPL Iron features a Sidechain EQ for additional signal processing. You can choose between either an external EQ or one of four internal EQ presets. The presets feature complex frequency responses and only affect control signal, not audio signal. Once the audio signal leaves the compression stage, it can be boosted or reduced +/- 12dB with the Output Gain. Front panel switches allow you to adjust all functions, including a detented potentiometer for the Threshold. Both the left and right channels have separate, illuminated activating switches. The SPL Iron mastering compressor has an ergonomic design. The arrangement of controls makes the compressor intuitive and user-friendly. The compact housing allows it to adapt to tabletop rack stands.