ManleyNu Mu Stereo Limiter Compressor
Manley Nu Mu
Redefining a classic, modified compressor to work well with a variety of modern genres, the Manley Nu Mu is a fantastic stereo compressor/limiter designed as a spin-off from their famous Variable Mu T-Bar mod. Looking at what makes it modern, the Nu Mu replaces the amplifying and output stage's typical tube setup with a discrete, solid-state transistor design for a clean, smooth, and dynamic recording. Additionally, the balanced outputs lack any transformers for the purest rendition of the Nu Mu, while the balanced inputs feature Manley's classic IRON transformers with a little gain trim switch for a perfect starting point—add or subtract +/-3dB.
The Nu Mu features a stereo pair of mirroring controls over the threshold, attack, recovery, and output level. A variable threshold allows for fine-tuning the amount of compression while the continuous output control offers a wide range for balancing out your levels, ranging from -40dB all the way up to +10dB! The attack control similarly has a continuous control for precise placement of where it grabs the input while the recovery control features a five-way switch ranging from slow to fast for a unified release. The ranges on the time controls actually vary based on the amount of gain reduction being applied, with more gain reduction increasing the attack time and decreasing the recovery time.
Towards the center of the unit, several buttons engage global parameters to customize your Nu Mu and how it performs. Starting on the left, we can adjust whether the Nu Mu is in compression mode or limiting mode, switching the ranges from a maximum of 3:1 to a maximum of 12:1, respectively. For gain matching, you can use the true hardware bypass switch found next to the input level, and for making sure your compression is applied evenly across both channels, you can engage the link button for mimicking the left channel's threshold, attack, and recovery parameters to the right channel. On the right channel, you can select a 1-pole high pass filter set at 100Hz to the sidechain circuit, and engaging the VU meter switch will switch between the output level and the applied gain reduction.
The final button on the Nu Mu is the HIP parameter, a fantastic tool for applying extra gain lift to the softer dynamics without squashing the louder ones in the process. Typically done via parallel compression, the HIP control makes it easy to bring more detail forward without compromising the performance or mixes transient and dynamic information. With per channel balanced I/O, sidechain inserts, and a fantastically clean output with no use of chips, the Manley Nu Mu is a brilliant dynamic processor for any studio that wants to up their compression and limiting game.
Nu Mu Features
- Stereo Limiter Compressor
- "Clean" variation on their special Variable Mu T-Bar mod compressor
- Tube front end with a discrete FET solid-state amplification and output stage
- Bypass in switch for gain matching as well as a three-position input level switch per channel (-3, 0, and +3dB)
- Continuously variable threshold on both channels
- Continuously attack and five-position recovery that are tied to gain reduction:
- Attack time range: 13ms to 640ms
- Recovery time range: 100ms to 3.87s
- Continuous output control ranges -40dB to +10dB with unity being around 11 o'clock
- Compress/Limit switch changes the ratio range
- Compress: 1.2:1 to 3:1
- Limit: 1.5:1 to 12:1
- Link switch makes the left channel control both sides
- HIP button intelligently compresses the lower volumes while leaving the louder dynamics alone (not parallel compression!)
- HP SC applies a 100Hz high pass to the sidechain circuit
- Balanced I/O with Manley IRON input transformers running through four hand-matched 6BA6 vacuum tubes
- Meter switch for checking VU of output levels or gain reduction
- Maximum input level: (1 kHz Sine, <0.3% THD+N):
- -3 = +25 dBu
- 0 = +21 dBu
- +3 = +18 dBu
- Maximum GAIN: 13dB
- GAIN makeup: 10dB (gain above unity)
- Output Headroom: 23dB (referenced to +4dBu)
- Variable ATTACK control: 13msec - 130msec
- RECOVERY switch 5 steps: 0.1s, 0.16s, 0.32s, 0.64s, 1.7sec.
- Continuously variable THRESHOLD controls
- Hardwired Relay Bypass Switch
- Ratio Mode switches between LIMIT (1.5:1 to 12:1) or COMPRESS (1.2:1 to 3:1)
- HP SC: High Pass Side Chain Filter -3dB @ 100Hz @ 6dB per Octave
- Stereo Link establishes Left-Master dynamic control for THRESHOLD, ATTACK, and RECOVERY controls
- Beautiful illuminated stereo VU meters read Gain Reduction or Output Level
- Sidechain INSERT per channel via 1/4" TRS jack TIP=SEND, RING=Return, SLEEVE=Ground
- Maximum Output: +27dBu (18Vrms) into 100K Ohm load
- +24.5dBu (13Vrms) into 600 Ohm load. (1Khz Sine, < 0.3% THD+N, BW 20Hz - 20kHz).
- Frequency Response: - 0.8dB @ 20Hz, -0.5dB @ 50kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.05% THD+N (1kHz Sine, +4dBu, BW: 20Hz - 22kHz)
- Noise floor: -85dB typical (BW: 20Hz - 22kHz)
- Dynamic Range: 112dB
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 89dB (referenced to +4dBu)
- Common-Mode Rejection Ratio (CMRR): 74dB (BW: 20Hz - 22kHz, +4dBu, 1kHz Sine)
- Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
- Input Impedance: -3dB= 1 kOhms, 0dB= 2.5 kOhms, +3dB= 4.5 kOhms
- AUTOMUTE warmup delay: 30 Seconds
- Power consumption: 35 Watts
- Standby Power Consumption: 0.5 Watts
- Operating mains voltage: 90 to 254 VAC (internal universal supply)
- Mains Voltage Frequency: 50-60Hz
- Dimensions: 19" x 3 1/2" x 7" (occupies 2u)
- Unit Weight: 8.5 lbs.
- Shipping weight: 11.5 lbs.