SLAM! Your Masters with This New Manley!
From their beginning, Manley Labs have been closely involved with numerous mastering facilities around the world. For these, the most demanding engineers in the industry, Manley have created specialized products such as the all-tube tape repro head amps, digital converters, high-powered vacuum tube monitor amplifiers and custom monitoring consoles, all the way up to complete facility design and installation. Now they introduce the SLAM! Mastering Version.Manley SLAM! Mastering Version at a Glance:
- All detented 1/2dB adjustments with sealed gold-contact switches
- Enhancements of original SLAM! technology, with more ratios, new FET modes, and mastering-level controls
- Slots for optional 24-bit A/D and D/A converters
All detented 1/2dB adjustments with sealed gold-contact switches
The Mastering Version of the SLAM! incorporates detented and loggable 1/2dB steps built with 1% metal film resistors on sealed gold-contact Grayhill switches.
You can read on the regular SLAM! page all the particulars about the limiters and the general gist of the SLAM! Here is specific information about the Mastering Version of the SLAM!
Enhancements of original SLAM! technology, with more ratios, new FET modes, and mastering-level controls
The SLAM! Mastering Version offers a step beyond the original SLAM!, with no mic preamps, dedicated mode switches for the ELOP and FET limiters and additional ELOP limiting ratios and FET limiter modes.
- The mic pre and input select switch are removed and the switches become dedicated "mode" switches one each for the ELOP and the FET limiters.
- The ELOP limiter gets more Ratios - 10:1, 5:1, 3:1, 2:1 and something new called AutoHF which starts off as a 1.5:1 ratio and increases gradually to 10:1 for highs. This is something like a de-esser, and of course can work with the ELOP SC toggle at 200Hz for even more effect.
- The FET limiters get new modes that are 50%, Norm, LP Lim, Both, Clip. The "50%" setting mixes in the straight signal to the limited signal which is often difficult to do in a mastering environment and because the FET sidechain "reads" off the output, the amount of gain reduction doubles. It resembles halving the FET ratio but is cleaner due to the mix. The "LP Lim" setting only comes into play for hot signals and reduces the depth of gain reduction for high frequencies. This translates to: hot signals + moderate gain reduction = brighter, more present signal, less distortion and more guts. The "Clip" setting introduces a fixed threshold clipper circuit set up about -1 dB DFS or +19 dBm at the XLR.
- The LEFT blue "limit" button becomes a master stereo LIMIT bypass switch. When it is not engaged, it becomes a true hard-wire bypass (this was not possible on the mic preamp regular version obviously).
- The Right blue button becomes the DAC select switch (stereo).
- The what-was-the-Phantom toggle on the back of the unit becomes the Unbalanced 1/4" jack input select in this new mastering version.
- No pots. All knobs in the Mastering Version are detented in mostly 1 dB steps, with some appropriate 1/2 dB and 2 dB steps, right where they should be.
There is a lot less fiddling involved to maintain L/R balances and the new modes are subtle but fun. It's easy to make just about anything sound better.
Slots for optional 24-bit A/D and D/A converters
Got some Digital to deal with? No problem. There is a slot in the back for Manley's optional 24 Bit/96KHz Analog to Digital converter and 24 Bit/192KHz Digital to Analog converter card. This allows you to record directly to your computer or workstation and provides a convenient way to use a digital insert to jump into the analog realm and back. AES and SPDIF digital inputs receive your stereo digital signal to convert to analog for processing by the SLAM! when the DAC input is selected. Or just take advantage of this killer DAC and use the DAC Output for monitoring, listening, or to go out to some other analog processors or tape machines.
- No mic preamps or instrument inputs. Instead the tube sections are paralleled for lower noise and distortion
- All pots are replaced with rotary switches for detented resettability and easier calibration
- The mastering version has a true hard-wire bypass function, which is not possible on the regular version with mic preamps, etc. What was the Left Bypass, becomes the full Bypass (in stereo and hardwired). No separate L & R bypass buttons
- There are dedicated unbalanced transformerless inputs on the mastering version. What was the Phantom Power switch on the back now selects XLR or 1/4" inputs
- The ELOP limiter now has 5 ratios, which may put it into the compressor/limiter category. The lower ratios may be better suited for complex mixes
- The FET limiter has 5 modes (these last two features replace the INPUT selector)