Despite the name, there’s nothing trailer park about the Retro Doublewide tube compressor. Noted for putting a modern spin on esoteric vintage gear while retaining their coveted sonic signatures, Retro have applied their considerable expertise and understanding of the makings of great tone and come up with a design all their own: the Retro Doublewide mono tube compressor for the 500 series. Built specifically for the 500 format pioneered by API, the Retro Doublewide uses true tube compression for gain reduction. Drawing its inspiration from the legendary Sta-Level compressor, the Retro Doublewideis not a clone or emulation, rather a unique design. Delivering the sonics of a full-sized Retro compressor, the Retro Doublewide achieves gain reduction via four NOS 6BJ6 variable-mu tubes configured in a fully complementary push-pull design. While it’s hard to conceive of four tubes in a 500-series format (hence taking up two slots), the Retro Doublewide achieves it nonetheless, and with all the rich harmonics and smooth, artifact-free compression that shines on vocals, bass, and other instruments. And thanks to the affordability and portability of the 500-series format, you can have two Retro Doublewide tube compressors to or put the final sheen and glue on a stereo mix.
Retro Instruments Doublewide tube compressor in one take:
• Single channel tube compression in a two-slot 500 series module
• Continuously variable input and output levels with fixed threshold
• Continuously variable attack and recovery time
• Single and Double time-constants
• Fully complementary push-pull signal path
• Cinemag transformer balanced, fully-floating Input and Output
• Hard wire bypass switch with gold-plated contacts
• Gold-plated edge card connections
• Stainless steel chassis construction
• Side-accessible meter zero trim
• Uses new-old-stock U.S. Tubes
• Authentic U.S.-made Simpson gain reduction meter
• Hand built and tested in the U.S.
INSIDE THE BOX—Retro Doublewide Tube Compressor:
To give you the big sound you’d expect from Retro, the Doublewide’s tubes are configured in two gain stages, working in concert with two high-quality custom Cinemag transformers. For use with line level signals, the Doublewide’s input and output are fully floating and transformer balanced. A hardwired bypass switch allows for easyA/B evaluation of the compression characteristics as opposed to the dry input signal. Compression attack and recovery times are continuously variable.
The Doublewide is designed for long-term reliability, providing years ofuninterrupted service (unlike your cell phone). For example, to extend component life, the Retro Doublewide features special circuitry that eliminates excess current inrush and component stress when power is applied. The Doublewide’s power requirement is 180 milliamps (6 watts), which is well within a two-slot power allowance in accordance with VPR Alliance specs. The tubes are self-biased and balanced without the need for user adjustments.
To keep your Doublewide in the 500-series power rack where it belongs, there are no internal controls. To compensate for tube variations, a meter-zero adjustment is accessible from the side of the Doublewide. Tube replacement is straightforward and the tubes are readily available.Like the RetroSta-Level and 176, the Doublewide has two timing modes:single and double. Single mode is slower and therefore perfect for taming audio issues, such as harsh vocals and wildly fluctuating bass levels. Double mode provides a dynamic program-controlled attack and recovery time that’s decidedly better for drums and other fast-transient instruments. Between these two modes,you have everything you need to handle anything you can throw at the Retro Doublewide. Better still, it’s the apply-to-all-affected-areas analog salve to combat the frostbite of your digits.
OUTSIDE THE BOX—Retro Doublewide Tube Compressor:
Featuring the same gunmetal gray face and solid build quality inherent in all Retro products, the Doublewide front panel is simplicity itself. It has a big, friendly, and highly accurate VU meter at the top, and beneath which, there are four knobs for attack, recovery, input and output gain, two toggle switches for Single/Double mode and bypass, and red power indicator.
Who’s Using Retro Instruments?
Notable users of Retro gear including Grammy-winning and platinum-selling producers and engineers, such as Chris Lord-Alge (Retro 176), Joe Chiccarelli (Retro 2A3), Silvia Massey (Sta-Level), Ross Hogarth (Sta-Level, 2A3), Jacquire King (Retro 176), Michael Brauer (Retro 2A3), Glenn Rosenstein (Retro OP-6, Sta-Level), and many more world-class producer-engineer-mixers and artists.
Don’t let the diminutive size of the Doublewide fool you; like all Retro gear, it produces a larger-than-life sound and excels at processing all manner of sources, adding a luxurious compression signature to your audio that’s unmistakably Retro. For more information call or chat with your Westlake Pro audio representative today.