Retro Instruments Retro Revolver Tube Compressor
Retro Instruments Retro Revolver Tube Compressor Retro Instruments Retro Revolver Tube Compressor Retro Instruments Retro Revolver Tube Compressor

Retro Instruments Retro Revolver Tube Compressor (Pre-Owned)


Retro Revolver: Legendary Tube Compression

For their Retro Revolver tube compressor, Retro Instruments started with the legendary British-modified Altec 436; then added the modern features you require for tracking, mixing and mastering. Boasting transformer-balanced inputs and outputs and a differential all-tube signal path, Retro Revolver delivers the vibrant, sought-after compression signature of the most revered vacuum-tube vari-mu designs. Equally adept on individual tracks as it is strapped across the stereo mix bus, the Retro Revolver is ideal for all phases of the recording process. Weighing in at a hefty 22 pounds, the 2RU Retro Revolver is a substantial piece of kit. Each of its two channels is smartly spec’d out with continuously variable input, output, attack, and release controls; plus a highpass sidechain filter and an illuminated VU meter. In the center of the front panel are a stereo link switch and a master Dual Threshold control for adjusting ratio and amplifier saturation.


Pure magic on just about any source

Engineers agree that the Retro Revolver is a fabulous stereo bus compressor. And while its magically smooth and creamy sound works wonders on mixes and masters, we have also found it to be ideal for punching up bass guitar. But the reality is, with the Retro Revolver checking so many sonic boxes, you’d be hard-pressed to find something it doesn’t sound great on. The Retro Revolver is an all-seasons compressor that seriously vies for “desert-island” status.


Sidechain highpass filter for fine-tuning your dynamics

Whether or not a compressor has a dedicated sidechain input, every dynamics processor has a “sidechain” — separate from the main signal path — that functions as an actuation trigger. Although the Retro Instruments Revolver doesn’t have a separate sidechain input, it does offer per-channel highpass filters that act on its sidechains. If you are compressing, say, your snare drum, this allows you to roll off kick drum leakage that could cause the compressor to clamp down inappropriately on your snare signal. It’s just one example, but you can see how this feature (which, as you might guess, was not present on the original Altec 436) will be invaluable in your quest for exacting dynamics processing.


Built like a tank

Most vintage-era professional audio equipment boasted weapons-grade build quality; packed smartly into a no-nonsense, all-metal battleship-gray chassis, so does the Retro Revolver. The Revolver sports a bottom-hinged front panel for easy access to internals, with the tubes and output transformer easily accessible on the back panel. Most of the unit’s substantial weight comes courtesy of that massive output transformer. Handcrafted in Retro Instruments’ Northern California factory, the Retro Revolver is designed to give you years of uninterrupted performance. Tubes and other components are meticulously selected for top performance and exacting stereo tracking, and each unit must pass a series of critical tests before it ships.


Retro Instruments Retro Revolver 2-channel Tube Compressor Features:

  • Delivers the sought-after compression signature of revered vintage tube units
  • Perfect for tracking, mixing and mastering; ideal for stereo bus compression
  • Independent per-channel controls with stereo linking
  • Continuously variable input, output, attack, release, and threshold
  • Dual Threshold control adjusts ratio and amplifier saturation
  • Ratio adjustable between 1.5:1 and 5:1
  • Highpass sidechain filter: selectable 6dB detector roll-off at 90 or 250Hz
  • Frequency Response: 20–20,000Hz, ±0.5dB
  • Usable Input level range: -20 to +20dBu
  • Output level range: -30 to +18dBu
  • Output clip level: +23dBu (@ 1% distortion)
  • Attack Time: 2 to 40 milliseconds
  • Release Time: 200 milliseconds to 2 seconds
  • Distortion: less than 0.05% below compression threshold (approximately 1% at full-scale compression)
  • Low noise and high separation
  • Differential all-tube signal path
  • Transformer-balanced inputs and outputs on XLR connectors
  • Illuminated VU meters with meter-zero controls
  • Internal tube balancing facility
  • 120/240-volt operation
  • Handcrafted in Retro Instruments’ Northern California factory

Tech Specs

  • Type:Tube
  • Number of Channels:2
  • Controls:Attack, Release, Dual Threshold, Input, Output
  • Ratio:1.5:1 to 5:1
  • Frequency Response:20Hz-20kHz (±0.5dB)
  • Inputs:2 x XLR
  • Outputs:2 x XLR
  • Sidechain I/O:Highpass Sidechain filter select
  • Tubes:2 x 6BQ7, 2 x 6CG7
  • Rack Spaces:2U
  • Power Source:Standard IEC AC cable
  • Depth:9.5"
  • Weight:22 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number:Retro Revolver