Electronaut previews the M97 Compression Amplifier at AES

At the AES this year Electronaut humbly presents the M97 Variable Mu Compression Amplifier. This project is the result of literally thousands of hours of brainstorming, experimenting, researching, prototyping, tweaking, revising, and recording. Rob Roy M. Campbell: “I couldn’t be happier with the results, and I can’t wait for you to hear it!

Electronaut M97 Story

The century-old triode vacuum tube continues to set an amazing standard of sound quality, demonstrating its continued relevance decades after being eclipsed by cheaper alternatives. The variable-Mu compression amplifier, as a single-stage, transformer-coupled triode amplifier controlled by a powerful DC amplifier, survives as a gold standard compression tool for the recording studio.  

For reasons explained here, Electronaut set out to design a new variable-mu compressor with no regard for the specific character of other historical variable-mu compressors. Interest in the potential of the technique and circuit topology, coupled with the availability of superior components and precision manufacturing capabilities, demanded an attempt at producing a superior variable-mu compressor; a compressor whose capabilities were as good or better than the state of the art, and whose features provided improved usability and a more enjoyable experience.

Extraordinary vari-mu compressors already exist, so any new design needs to clear a high bar. No obvious limitations can be allowed, and no inconveniences can be tolerated. This is not a trivial task, and upon investigation it became clear that there were many problems that would need to be addressed. A small collection of some of those problems and the solutions Electronaut worked out appears below, because their descriptions do a pretty good job conveying the merits of the M97 compressor.

The full specifications of the M97 will be released at the time of launch. (It suffices to say that they are excellent!)









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