Manley VOXBOX

Channel Strip with Class A Microphone Preamplifier, Pultec-style Equalizer, Optical Compressor, De-esser/Limiter, and Switchable VU Meter
Manley VOXBOX image 1
Manley VOXBOX image 1
$4,140.00
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Manley VOXBOX
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A "Magic Box" for More Than Just Vocals!

Manley's all-tube VOXBOX channel strip may well be your "last stop" voice processor, but it's also set to make the most out of virtually any source you throw its way. The VOXBOX shares its fully featured microphone preamplifier design with Manley's acclaimed Mono Microphone Preamplifier, offering a whole lot of headroom and Class A vacuum tube tone. What's more, the smooth compressor section is a perfect blend of Manley's best-selling Variable MU and the opto-design of their ELOP. All of these features, in addition to a flexible Pultec-style mid frequency Equalizer, de-esser/limiter section, and Stereo Link function, make the VOXBOX a true sonic studio workhorse.

Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip at a Glance:
  • All-tube signal path
  • Fully featured microphone preamplifier section
  • Opto-compressor
  • Pultec-style Equalizer
  • De-esser and Limiter section
  • Switchable VU meter
  • Innovative "extras"
All-tube signal path

Since the late 1980s, Manley has been steadily focused on crafting premium, all-tube gear. In short, Manley really knows tubes - and the case is no different with the VOXBOX. This USA-made channel strip boasts all-tube, Class A circuitry, alongside the kind of exceptional, robust build quality you can expect from Manley.

Fully featured microphone preamplifier section

True to its name, the Manley VOXBOX is packed with a superb microphone preamplifier section. In fact, the preamplifier design arrives straight from Manley's popular Mono Microphone Preamplifier, giving you all the essentials for excellent, analog tone - whether you're going in via regular, balanced XLR, the balanced line input, or via the 1/4" front-panel direct input. You can use the variable input attenuator that's before the first tube stage to accommodate +4 line level signals or DIed instruments. Onboard, 48V phantom power is switchable from the front panel and an effective Bass Cut switch lets you pull out rumble. Finally, a clever gain switch lets you control how much feedback is introduced around the tube circuit, so you can achieve a wide variety of tones and amplification levels. Change tonal tube flavors quickly and easily as you dial in everything from the laid back and mellow to the up-front and aggressive - it's a great way to get creative and track down that "perfect" sound for each vocalist or instrument.

Opto-compressor

Manley borrowed features from both their best-selling Variable MU and the opto-isolator-based ELOP limiter to develop the VOXBOX's all-star compressor section. Manley also figured out a way to compress the signal before it hit the tubes - without adversely affecting distortion or frequency response. What this means for the VOXBOX, is that it can both prevent mic-pre clipping as well as eliminate entire stages of electronics, cutting your microphone's typical path in half - a huge advantage. Manley also pioneered a sidechain design, developing a "Parametric Compression" technique of using up to four different time constants simultaneously and controlling them with simple attack, release, and threshold controls. The VOXBOX's onboard presets are based on the Light Dependent Resistors of their fast ELOP limiter, the quick LA-2A, the slower LA-3A, and there are also various other complex and finely Manley-tuned settings. In all, you can expect fresh sounds from the VOXBOX's compressor - perfect for drums, bass, vocals, and more. In fact, it's even a great compressor to send your whole mixes through - just link up two VOXBOXes for an extremely sonically flexible stereo world.

Pultec-style Equalizer

Manley took their Pultec-style Mid Frequency Equalizer up a few notches when they added it to the VOXBOX. It's now extended to 33 frequencies in 3 bands, so it offers six new frequencies from 20-150Hz as well as six new frequencies from 6.4-20kHz. With real inductors and Class A circuitry, the VOXBOX's Equalizer is set to serve up that "magical" sound. An EQ input switch lets you patch in the line input, preamp output, or insert return. The switch also acts as a bypass switch for the preamplifier or external processors, for processing two different tracks.

De-esser and Limiter section

The VOXBOX's de-esser and limiter section gives you even more flexibility with the source. The peak limiter is based on the ELOP limiter design, and Manley added a passive LC network to take care of the de-essing. There are four carefully chosen notch frequencies - 3kHz, 6kHz, 9kHz, and 12kHz - to tame problematic frequencies. Plus, a fifth position offers up a LA-2A-style limiter - compress pre-EQ, then limit post-EQ. You can also seamlessly and smoothly insert the de-esser as the music plays, so you only use it where you need it.

Switchable VU meter

The Manley VOXBOX is packed with a full-size, illuminated Sifam VU meter. An included 5-position switch lets you switch between levels - monitor line input, preamp output, and final output audio levels as well as compressor gain reduction and the de-esser/limiter action.

Innovative "extras"

Manley gave the VOXBOX a few clever "extras," including warm-up muting circuitry that you can bypass using an internal switch, making the VOXBOX perfect for both the studio and the stage. Other welcome additions include extensive magnetic field containment, "smart grounding," and silent switching.

Manley VOXBOX Channel Strip Features:
  • Manley Transformers w/nickel laminations in mu-metal cases
  • 2K ohm MIC INPUT Z w/High current 48V Phantom power built-in
  • hi-Z (100K) Direct Instrument Input
  • LINE & INSERT INPUTS (balanced XLR & 1/4")
  • PREAMP & EQ outputs LO-Z (50 ohm)
  • Transformer balanced XLR output
  • Transformerless unbalanced 1/4"outputs
  • STEREO LINK for Compressor & De-esser/Limiter
  • SIDE CHAIN MONITOR for De-Esser
  • Large ILLUMINATED Sifam METER with FIVE readout modes
  • THD + N (1kHz @ +20 dBu): 0.3%
  • Maximum output: +31dBu
  • De-Ess Notch Frequencies: 3, 6, 9, 12KHz
  • Power Consumption: 24 watts
  • Dimensions: 19" x 5.25" x 10" (occupies 3U)
The Manley VOXBOX is a powerful channel strip that will work its magic on much more than just vocals!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Yes
Compressor Yes
Other Processing De-Esser
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x XLR (Line), 1 x 1/4" (Line)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR (Preamp), 1 x 1/4" (Preamp), 1 x XLR (EQ), 1 x 1/4" (EQ)
Other I/O 2 x RCA (De-Esser/Compressor Stereo Link), 1 x XLR (Insert Input), 1 x 1/4" (Insert Input)
Rack Spaces 3U
Height 5.25
Depth 10"
Width 19"
Weight 14 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number MVBX

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 7 reviews
Write your review
5/5

11:11 The Dream I Manifested (47)

This is My Bently I plan to have more piece's of Manley in my studio from here on out. If you're serious about following your dreams and wanting to succeed in your endeavours , Then do yourself a huge favour and make this purchase today without hesitation trust me you won't be disappointed at all. Oh, yea did I also mention that you can run everything through this box?!!!
Music background: producer, artist,song writer, Musician Mixing and Mastering Engineer
5/5

The Sound I Was Searching For

I was looking for a solid mic pre to build my studio around, and I found it in the Manley VoxBox. That day I listened to a UA 6176 with the pre and compressor engaged. It did not complement my voice as I thought the whole take I did was drowned in "tube mud." Next up was the Manley Core Channel Strip which seemed to be a little harsh in the mid range. Then I tried the VoxBox and was astonished as to how different it sounded from the two previous pre amps. With the pre and compressor engaged my vocals sounded sharp, present, and I could tell they would sit perfectly in the mix. As for the price, I would advise all people who take their recording seriously to save up for this unit. It is all the great Manley pre's, compressors, and eq's bundled into one awesome strip. This is their showpiece in my opinion.
Music background: Assistant Engineer, Vocal Engineer
5/5

Worth every penny

Since this preamp gets most of the work in my studio I'd say it has been the best value in my racks.
Music background: Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician
5/5

A Box that is Hard to Top.....

Ryan said it would be an eye-opener and it is. Just compared tracks with the "tube" feel of the Vox Box to previous efforts and a stark difference. Great front end compression, EQ, and Desser for super quality tracks every time. Especially like the multiple gain settings where you can go from light to heavy color of the tubes. Great construction and features! Thanks Sweetwater!
Music background: Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Publishing Company
5/5

SIMPLY GORGEOUS

The Manley VoxBox really is every bit as wonderful as its many, many fans testify. It has a big, rich sound with enough control that it can actually pretty much sound any way you want it to. I also own Neve 1073's and some great API 512c and 550a but I find more often than not the VoxBox will give me just the sound I am looking for. It is also built like a military machine and I have used my pair both in the studio and on the road for location recording and it takes both situations in its stride. Everything is thoughtfully laid out and makes recording a breeze and allows you to concentrate on making great music rather than fiddling around so much that you lose your inspiration. If you are looking for a top drawer front end for your recording system then you really need look no further. The VoxBox is a classic and still the King!
Music background: Engineer / Producer

Sweetwater Advice

Simon Picazo

A quality vocal mic pre, instrument DI, compressor, limiter, de-esser and 3-band parametric EQ in a minimalist purist's dream box. The Manley VoxBox will simplify your life as an engineer. The right knobs and switches are right there and the unnecessary ones aren't. Here's a no-compromise Navy Seal tough box that will not disappoint. You will enjoy making people sound good again. Don't worry, it's still legal to buy two!

Stuart Niven

The VoxBox is an unparalleled front end for your DAW, end of story. Featuring Manley Labs 100% hand-built in the U.S. craftsmanship, the VoxBox will be your "go-to" desert island channel strip. Whether you own a large commercial facility or a home studio with ambitions to make records like the big boys... It starts here. The vacuum tube preamp on the Vox Box is of the highest quality providing pristine clarity and warmth while the compressor section provides silky smooth dynamic control. You have to hear this on vocals! A basic and effective De-esser, Pultec-style EQ... magic. And before you think that it stops in the studio... some of the world's biggest touring artists use the VoxBox live! It is built like a tank!
See also: Manley, Manley Channel Strips, Manley Preamps