The 6386 and ES-8 are modern two channel limiters
designed to have the compression characteristics of a vintage
unit, but with a higher level of sonic accuracy. Rather than
trying to recreate the past, we've taken an entirely different
approach. The 6386 uses the gain control tube (remote cutoff
triode) found in the vintage Fairchild limiters to provide the
classic feedback response unique to the characteristics of this
class of tubes. The ES-8 uses a different remote-cutoff triode
with the same dynamic characteristics. Subsequent amplification
is accomplished with a Class A, balanced transformerless line
amp, rather than the push-pull transformer output stage used
on vintage variable-mu units. The result is a new class of limiters
that possess the 'dynamic signature' of a classic tube compressor,
but with a more accurate, less colored signal path. The two
units are identical, except for the tube used for gain reduction.
The soft-knee design
used in the 6386 and ES-8 offer effortless dynamic control with
a smooth transition from compression to limiting. In addition,
both channels can be operated independently, or linked with the
flip of a switch. When linked, the threshold and attack/release
parameters are controlled entirely by channel 1, assuring precise
stereo balance over the entire range of gain reduction.
versatility, the 6386 and ES-8 incorporate a solid-state sidechain
to provide a wide range of control with three modes of processing:
In the FAST mode, the limiter works extremely fast (less than
0.5ms attack time), and is remarkably free of the 'pumping' artifacts
normally encountered with slow variable-mu compressors. It's
the ideal choice for invisible dynamics processing, either for
tracking or tight program compression.
mode consists of six classic attack/release time settings (identical
to the Fairchild 670) that are optimized for program compression,
including two settings with program-dependent release times.
The MANUAL mode
offers total control over the attack and release times, which
is particularly useful for creative compression effects or for
processing bass guitar.
the hard bypass switches on the front panel conveniently allow
a quick determination of exactly what the 6386 or ES-8 is, or
in most cases, isn't doing to your signal.