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Empirical Labs Distressor EL8S

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8S

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Empirical Labs Distressor EL8S

The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8S is a stereo pair of Distressors which are matched at the factory and include stereo link cables for stereo operation.


The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8S is a digitally controlled analogue compressor designed to impart the sound of classic vintage compressors such as the 1176, LA-2A or Gain Brain. With a resolutely modern look and controls contrasting with its vintage inspiration the Distressor features eight compression curves encompassing the 1:1 used simply to colour the sound without any compression to the brickwall of the Nuke mode mode. Each curve displays its own unique characteristics and can be thought of as a separate compressor altogether.


In addition to the curves, the Distressor features three different distortion modes which can be engaged even without compression. Each distortion mode has been created to replicate typical sounds associated with analogue workflow with Distortion 1 offering the distortion of classic knee compressors, Distortion 2 generating tube-like 2nd order harmonics, and Distortion 3 adding Tape-like saturation with 3rd order harmonics. In addition The Distressor features independent high-pass filters in the side-chain and audio paths to counteract the unwanted effects of bass heavy music such as pumping or choking.


The Distressor EL8S is in fact two distressors which can be used independently if required, but that are calibrated in factory to ensure precise stereo operation. Stereo Link cables are included to lock both units together.


Empirical Labs Distessor EL8S Analogue Compressor Main Features:
• Stereo Pair with with Stereo Link cables
• Frequency response: 2Hz to 160kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3)
• Dynamic range: 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1 mode.
• Distortion ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel.
• DC coupled output - High quality input caps.
• Input impedance: 20K ohms
• Output impedance: < 75 ohms
• Time constants: Attack range 50uS - 50mS
• Release range: .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode. Time constants are dependent on ratio.
• Metal chassis
• Dimensions: 1.75" H x 10" D x 19" W

Short Description Stereo pair of Distressors - two mono units factory calibrated including stereo link cables.
Demo in Store N/A
Manufacturer Empirical Labs
Old Price N/A
Dynamics Type Compressor
Valve / Solid State Solid State
Channel Count Dual Channel
Chassis Rackmount
Compression Type Hybrid
Attack 50uS to 50mS
Release .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode
Ratio 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, 10:1, 20:1 & Nuke
Threshold Variable
Digital I/O N/A
High Pass Filter No
Side Chain Input No

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Inc. VAT: £2,820.00 Ex. VAT: £2,350.00
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The most impressive and versatile compressor I have ever used Michael Brauer - 7 times Grammy winner
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