- Dec282020Royce RichmondRead more
We put BLA’s feature‑rich and keenly priced 1176‑style compressor to the test.
Black Lion Audio’s Seventeen clearly draws heavily on the classic 1176 FET compressor, but it’s not a straight clone. As with several FET devices we’ve reviewed in recent years, it builds upon that design, adding features that should be popular in modern studios, and taking advantage of modern devices to keep the noise floor low. BLA have managed to deliver all this at an asking price that’s within reach of mere mortals, without any obvious sacrifice in the audio quality and both ergonomic and aesthetic appeal.
The review model was tidily packaged, and I was instantly enamoured by its classy appearance which, in keeping with the unit itself, is somehwat retro but with a modern twist. The solid construction and smooth‑yet‑sturdy feel of the controls and switches also inspired confidence. It’s a 2U 19‑inch rackmount device, but it ships with screw‑on metal‑and‑rubber feet, which allows more secure positioning on a desktop when not racked.
- Nov292020Royce RichmondRead more
A classic piece of studio design is brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century. How has Black Lion Audio achieved this astonishing feat?
The Seventeen isn’t an all-out replication of the 1176, like Warm Audio’s WA76 for example, as it boasts several useful features not found on originals or clones. On its website, Black Lion Audio makes this clear with possibly the best opening gambit I’ve ever read about an audio product: “The Seventeen is not the ’76 compressor that your grandfather recorded with. It isn’t even a remake, but rather the Black Lion spin on what the ’76 should have been”. You’ve got to admire the chutzpah…
- Nov212020Black Lion AudioRead more
“No discerning studio owner should be without Black Lion Audio’s new line of pro audio tools. My external MICRO CLOCK, and SPARROW A/D stereo converter, stay on all the time in my studio rack. An upscale sound with a great price tag.”
Producer // Engineer // Mixer
(No Doubt, Jane’s Addiction, The Killers, Jon B., Chaka Khan, Jimmy Cliff, Lil’ Kim)
- Nov152020Royce RichmondRead more
A top-class analogue recording channel input makes all the difference in the digital domain. Plug-ins that emulate vintage kit and effects can go a long way to spicing up audio recorded through clinical-sounding interfaces but little beats creating the vibe at the source. It follows the trash-in, trash-out philosophy of programmers or the front-end-first mantra of audiophiles who realise that upgrading your loudspeakers is pointless if you’re pumping low-grade audio through them.
Aside from the authentic analogue sound of the Eighteen, there’s something satisfyingly tactile about adjusting the relative levels of input and output to inject the right amount of harmonics before sweetening with a touch of EQ on the way in. The Eighteen can also be used as a standalone EQ or to add colouration from the unit’s transformers.
- Mar252020Black Lion AudioRead more
“The Signature Series Mod that you guys packed into my 003R is unreal. Such a world of difference. I used to DREAD going from my HD rig to having to use the little 003 box, but now this thing gives my HD converters a run for their money. The mic pres are actually good now, as well! Good things always come out of Chicago.”
Singer // Songwriter // Producer
(Katy Perry, Weezer, Pink, Panic! At The Disco, Avril Lavigne, Dashboard Confessional)