This is a great smooth compressor. Try it on a 2-bus or with a pair of drum overheads... it's not like any other compessor you own.
The Vari-Mu is a modern classic, and for good reason! I love that way it sounds on the master bus of a mix... the compression helps to glue the mix together and makes everything sound "finished." With three tubes and two transformers per channel, nothing quite sounds as good to me on a rock or pop mix like a Manley Vari-Mu.
Glue and warmth
Ed, my sales engineer, sold this unit to me, and I am grateful. This is such a beautiful piece of equipment. The dual input knob is great for dialing in the right amount of mojo on a mix. This unit can be used for heavy lifting or light compression. It can be clean or thick. It is an awesome compressor. Do not hesitate to pick one up.
Earned it's reputation
Tracking, Mixing and Mastering the Vari-Mu is all over every project I've done over the last 12 years. From music to voice-over work, it's the one piece in my rack that gets used daily. Something always needs to be compressed and for me it's the first one I grab.
Manley Vari-Mu is Awesome
It helps me take my "in-the-box" mixes out of the box!
I'm a long-time console guy and I never attempted finished, professional sounding mixes at home before, but my Vari-Mu is a big part of my ability to do so. The sonic qualities of my mixes have improved in a big way once I started using the Manley as a program compressor. I little goes a long way and I love this thing! It's a Manley... it's going to sound great!
Essential to my studio. Perfect for recording, mixing and mastering. Can't recommend it enough!
A Modern Classic!
I don`t own the Vari Mu but I have had the extreme pleasure of working with it. This is the desert island compressor we all would want. Just one listen and you`ll know why. The Vari Mu works beautifully on the overall mix but it really shines on anything. What impresses me the most about this box is how much you don`t hear it. Its so good you will swear its not working but you know it sounds better. The first time I used it I pretty much slammed the ratio as hard as I could just to hear some compression. The ratio was something like 20:1. I know its insane but thats my point!
The Manley VariMu is an American success! It's hand-built right here on U.S. soil, and sought after the world over. When handling the unit, you can immediately tell it was built and intended to last to give you years of phenomenal service, without needing to be serviced like its vintage counterparts. Simply put, it is a wildly successful and highly used magic machine. It's great for tracking and mastering because of how clean and open it can sound, but when strapped across your stereo 2 buss it gives you a unique sonic footprint, leaving your mixes tighter, more defined and polished. At higher compression it produces that loved and pleasing harmonic distortion without adding too much coloration, but still delivers the goods even when just kissed with your audio signal. Many compare it to the "holy grail" of compressors, the Fairchild 660/670, and after pushing some program through it, it's more than obvious why studios the world over want this piece in their racks!