Neve 33609/N Discrete Stereo Compressor/Limiter

Class-A Stereo Compressor/Limiter with Handwired Transformers, Diode-bridge Topology, Discrete Output Stage, Independent Limiter I/O and Compressor I/O Selection, and Dual-mono Mode

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AMS Neve 33609/N stereo compressor/limiter represents a pinnacle in studio outboard gear. Embraced by legions of engineers, producers, and artists, the often-imitated 33609 is renowned for its characteristic warmth and ability to add cohesion and dimension to a mix. Featuring an independently selectable limiter and compressor on each channel, with variable recovery times and slow and fast attack modes, the 33609/N shines as a stereo buss compressor; however, it’s equally capable for use during tracking, either in stereo or as two fully discrete mono units. Made with handwired Neve Marinair specification transformers in Burnley, England, the AMS Neve 33609/N is a benchmark studio tool with a storied tone that will breathe life into your recordings and mixes!

Discrete Class-A design

The AMS Neve 33609/N utilizes a Class-A design for distortion-free performance with enhanced punch and clarity. At restrained settings, the 33609/N is relatively transparent, providing the all-important glue to a stereo buss while preserving transients and dynamic relationships. Even at extreme settings, the 33609/N remains musical with a signature warmth that has made it a “desert island” compressor for many pro audio luminaries. While the 33609/N offers several advances over previous iterations, it hearkens back to the original “metal knob” 33609, with its diode-bridge topology and discrete output stage, which is brimming with a warm, inviting analog attitude.

Two stages of dynamics control

Stacking compressors and limiters is a secret weapon used by top engineers to construct larger-than-life mixes that leap out of your speakers. To that end, the AMS Neve 33609/N serves up both a compressor and limiter on each channel, which can be used independently or in series to fatten up your tracks. Use the brickwall-style limiter to wrangle rogue snare cracks and belting singers, and then massage the dynamics with the compressor to add consistency and character. Both the limiter and the compressor offer a range of recovery times, with two auto recovery modes, which adjust their behavior depending on the source audio, and fast and slow attack options for setting how quickly the limiter and compressor clamp down on a signal once it surpasses the threshold.

More than a buss compressor

While the 33609/N built its reputation as a formidable stereo buss compressor, it’s not just for mixdown. During tracking, the 33609/N excels at smoothing out vocals, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, and more. Use it for tracking in stereo or click over to dual-mono mode for two great mono compressors to use during your recording session.

General Specification

  • Legendary dual channel diode-bridge compressor/limiter
  • Discrete class-A design offers fast and slow attack times, multiple release times and threshold levels
  • Optional link to other units for multi-channel use
  • Hand-crafted by Neve in Burnley, UK

Audio Performance

  • Input: Input Impedance 10kΩ (internally switchable to 600Ω , refer to vendor)
  • Output: Maximum output >26dBu into 600Ω, balanced and earth free
  • Distortion: <0.075% at 1kHz (bypass in, compress and limit out, input level 9dBu); <0.2% at 1kHz (compress in, ratio 6:1, gain 20dB, recovery 800mS, threshold −18dBu); <0.45% at 1kHz (limit in, compress out, recovery 800mS, input level 22dBu, threshold −18dBu)
  • Frequency Response: ±0.5dB 20Hz to 20kHz rel. 1kHz
  • Noise: −75dBu, 22Hz – 22kHz, input terminated with 600Ω (bypass in, compress and limit out), −55dBu (compress in, gain 20dB)
  • Limit Threshold: 4dBu to 15dBu
  • Limit Ratio: Change in output level <0.1dB with 10dBu to 20dBu step input
  • Limit Attack Time: Fast 2ms ±1, slow 4ms ±1
  • Limit Recovery Time: 50ms to 800ms, a1 (auto): 100ms/2000ms, a2 (auto): 50ms/5000ms
  • Compress Ratio: 1.5:1 to 6:1
  • Compress Attack Time: Fast 3ms ±1, slow 6ms ±1 with 100Hz first order high-pass filter
  • Compress Recovery Time: 100ms to 1500ms, a1 (auto): 100ms/2000ms, a2 (auto): 50ms/5000ms

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