Heard on countless recordings, the Golden Age COMP54 is a vintage style compressor based on a classic circuit with characteristics that audio engineers still desire. The COMP54 uses a diode bridge as the gain controlling element, a method that was used by vintage products from Neve, EMI and others. The COMP54 contains no ICs in the signal path and it uses three transformers.
The controls are versatile and cover most situations.The IN/OUT switch makes it possible to switch the compression action on and off, while still having the coloring from the transformers and the discrete circuits. There is also a hard Bypass switch that just passes the signal between the input and output connectors.
You will find a 600 ohm termination switch on the back panel if you are using using modern equipment after the COMP54, as most users do most of the time. This switch affects the frequency response and the square wave response. So, if you want a slightly pronounced high end, leave the switch out. The square wave response is better when the output transformer is correctly terminated but it is perfectly ok also in the unterminated mode. The frequency response has been tailored so that there is nearly no pronounced peak above 20kHz and upwards, resulting in a smoother phase response.
A LINK connector at the back makes it possible to connect two COMP54s together to form a stereo compressor. The production model will have slightly different settings for Attack and Release and a custom meter combined scale for output level and gain reduction.