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Tube-Tech CL 1B Reviews

5.0 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Tube-Tech CL 1B?

Questions about the Tube-Tech CL 1B?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

Sweetwater Advice

  • Thomas Leahy

    Back in Nashville, I used the Tube-Tech CL 1B on vocals and found it glues the top end together with a characteristic texture that's unique to even among similar compressors. In most ways, it's a classic tube-based optical compressor, but its added versatility really makes it stand out.

  • from Fort Lauderdale April 2, 2017Music Background:
    Studio / Live Engineer

    Awesome Comp With Lots of Color

    Great comp with lots of color. I love it on vocals!

  • from December 31, 2015

    Tube-Tech Reviews

    This unit is perfect for what I want. Good investment for my homestudio. Alex thanks for your support and Sweetwater. If you do not speak English well, Alex is the man in Sweetwater who can help you with your purchase.

  • from January 4, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Recording Artist, Music Producer

    CL1B Compressor

    I love this compressor. Personally I am not a fan of the stock tubes, I replaced my JJ stocks with telefunkens and spare pair just incase. This unit is great for vocals and bass GTR. I do mostly hip hop recordings so this compressor gets a workout mostly on vocals. My usual setting for this unit is set to fixed with about 10 db of gain and -15 on the threshold with about 6:1 on the ratio. It sounds smooth and silky like butter.

  • from washington, dc May 15, 2013Music Background:
    producer and engineer

    gorgeous vocal and bass compressor

    simply put, the most beautiful sounding vocal compressor ever made. any vocal you run through it comes out controlled and with a smooth sheen that cannot be found anywhere else. i also love tracking bass through it.. believe it or not, my minimoog through this thing and into an api 5500 sounds ridiculously good!

  • from Avon Park, FL December 5, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Tube-Tech CL 1B

    You can hear a major difference in this piece of equipment while using it on vocals. It's an amazing piece of equipment to have. I've been getting great results from artist coming through my studio loving the sound quality and presence that it has while recording their tracks. I'd prefer anyone to buy one.

  • from Marianna, Fl October 14, 2011Music Background:
    Engineer, musician, producer

    My favorite compressor for bass

    I usually use a Neve 1073 into a LA-2A for my bass rig. I recently flew in to play a session and didn't bring my rig. I ran through a Vintech 1272 into a CL-1B. Pure sweetness. Thick rich tone smooth compression. Will definitely be adding one to my rig and studio soon! A must have! Sounds great on vocals too

  • from Nashville, TN April 16, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Drummer

    Amazing quality!

    If you're serious about wanting to invest in a great compressor, look no further! Incredibly smooth! Wish there was a stereo version that sounded like it though.. =\

  • from Fort Collins, Colorado March 3, 2009Music Background:

    The Best Period

    I own an LA-2A, a Distressor and a 2-1176. I noticed that alot of the guys that I respect had one or two of these in their racks so I sprang for one. After tracking a couple of songs, I want to go back and re-do my entire catalog. I won't take any more of your time telling you how impressed I am with the sound, the musicality, the ease of use, the quality build, etc.,. Use the time that you would have spent reading superlatives to make the extra few bucks that this costs and buy this one first. You'll save thousands.

    Tube Tech - I would love to see a dual version.

  • from Nashville October 17, 2016Music Background:
    Agressive polka hip hop.

    Pros and Cons

    I highly recommend these but, the thing is, it sounds like a millions freaking bucks and, it should, it's priced as such but, it's not perfect. Wha? Really?
    My gripe isnt with the sound, that's perfect, it's just that the knobs bare zero relevance to the markings silk screened around them. The markings are so far off of reality you can't use them as a reference. In fact, the markings are so far off that the knobs move past the markings at least a quarter inch, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS!!!!
    On top of that, the knobs on both of my units are not tightly secured. When you've reached the end of their throw it's easy to turn the pots in their holes. I'm not a hulk and I've got hundreds of knobs in my studio and these are the only units with loose pots.
    I know I can easily pop the top and crank down the bolts around the pots but, seriously? At this price point there should be zero quality control issues and the markings should at least be somewhere close to what the knobs do.
    For the sound, absolute perfection!!!! It does what an LA-2A does just with more control options! Just like an LA-2A, you get massive gain reduction with little to no noticeable artifacts. It just smooths out everything and gives it a buttery quality that sounds like you mortgaged your house.
    The trick to a smooth perfect vocal is to go very easy on your your mic pre gain, leaving massive amounts of headroom THEN use the CL1B as the make up gain to get the volume. Buttery goodness.

  • from Tulsa, OK August 25, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer / Mixer / Musician


    This compressor is just...wow. I've got dbx 160s and Distressors and there is just something special that this thing does that the others don't do. It's the tone, and the smoothness. On a vocal or a bass guitar it's absolutely incredible. Also amazing on getting really pumpy room mics. It does take a little while to get used to, and it's a bit pricey as far as its versatility goes (my reason for 4.5 stars) but whatever you run through it generally sounds much better. Acoustic guitar is pretty good, not amazing though. But man, bass and vocals - holy cow!

    We did some A/B against the plugin, and to be honest the plugin got close as far as the "gain reduction" and "control" goes, but the tone of it was a little more harsh, especially when it was really clamping down. The hardware is nice and clear, but has a smoothness to the clarity, not a harshness. I find myself using it on bass, vocals, electric leads, synths, pianos, it really is a standout piece.

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