Avalon was kind enough to grace me with the presence of their solid state/tube compressor/limiter which also includes a 6 band EQ. The first thing that impressed me about the unit was the sound of the high frequency boost/cut on the EQ. Boosting the high frequency on this EQ reminded me of a sound you normally only get on EQs that are in the $10,000 range. Upon further inspection I found out that it actually was the same passive EQ circuit topology that comes in their $12,000 stereo EQ. The compressor sounds smooth and transparent and the tube circuit adds a very nice high-mid sheen that can be cool to color up a mix that seems a little sterile. The opto- compressor is not only transparent but flexible including a side chain EQ for dealing with more problematic tracks or just to make the compressor pump in a cool way. Overall the 747 is great for adding a little color to your mixes while remaining very clean. Definitely a cool piece of gear I don't want to give back.

($2495 list, www.avalondesign.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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