Some Background On The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter.

The Tube-Tech CL1B is a renowned analog compressor/limiter that has earned a stellar reputation in the world of professional audio production. Here’s a brief history of the Tube-Tech CL1B compressor:

The Formation of Tube-Tech: The story of the Tube-Tech CL1B begins with the formation of Tube-Tech, a Danish company founded by John G. Petersen in the late 1980s. The company’s mission was to create high-quality, all-tube audio processors inspired by classic designs but with modern innovations.

Introduction of the CL1B: The Tube-Tech CL1B was introduced to the market in the 1990s as part of the company’s product lineup. It was designed to provide classic tube-based compression with a modern twist. The CL1B quickly gained recognition for its ability to deliver warm and smooth compression while offering precise control.

Characteristics and Features: The Tube-Tech CL1B stands out for its dual-triode circuitry, featuring a custom optical attenuator followed by a tube gain stage. This combination offers the distinctive Tube-Tech sound that is celebrated for its warmth and musicality. Key features of the CL1B include:

  • Variable Attack and Release: The unit provides variable attack and release times, allowing engineers to tailor the compression behavior to suit various audio sources.
  • Variable Ratio Control: The ratio control allows for precise adjustment of compression intensity.
  • Sidechain High-Pass Filter: The CL1B incorporates a sidechain high-pass filter, enabling engineers to focus the compression on specific frequency ranges.
  • Stereo Linking: When used in stereo configurations, the CL1B can be linked to ensure that both channels operate in tandem for consistent stereo imaging.
  • VU Metering: The unit features a precise VU meter for monitoring gain reduction and output levels.
  • Variable Threshold Control: The variable threshold control determines the level at which compression engages.

Continued Popularity: Over the years, the Tube-Tech CL1B has remained a sought-after piece of audio equipment among recording engineers, mixers, and producers. Its ability to provide vintage tube warmth, coupled with transparent and flexible compression, has made it a valuable tool in studios worldwide.

Variations and 500 Series: Tube-Tech has introduced variations of the CL1B, including the CL2A and CL2A MKII. These models offer additional features and tonal options. Tube-Tech also offers a 500 Series module version of the CL1B, making it suitable for modular and 500 Series rack setups.

The Tube-Tech CL1B’s legacy in the professional audio industry is a testament to its ability to provide classic tube-based compression in a modern context. It continues to be a favorite choice for those seeking a warm, musical, and versatile compressor/limiter for a wide range of audio applications.

Review Of The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter.

“Warm Embrace of Analog Magic: My Experience with the Tube-Tech CL1B”

When it comes to analog gear, there’s something truly magical about the warm, classic sound it imparts on your recordings. Among the multitude of compressors, the Tube-Tech CL1B is a piece of audio equipment that stands as a shining beacon of timeless analog excellence. Let me share my personal experience and review of the Tube-Tech CL1B:

Vintage Elegance Meets Modern Control: From the moment I first patched the Tube-Tech CL1B into my signal chain, I was greeted by that unmistakable vintage tube warmth. The CL1B is an embodiment of classic elegance, but it’s not just a relic from the past. It’s a sophisticated fusion of vintage character and modern control.

Transparent yet Musical Compression: One of the CL1B’s most remarkable traits is its ability to compress audio with a musical touch. Whether I’m taming a vocal track, leveling out a dynamic bassline, or adding life to a drum bus, the CL1B consistently delivers a harmonious blend of transparent dynamics control and analog character.

Optical Attenuation Magic: The heart of the CL1B’s magic lies in its optical attenuator. The custom-built optical element imparts a smooth and velvety compression that’s simply addicting. As you push your audio through this unit, you can practically feel the music being gently embraced and molded into perfection.

Precise Control Over Every Detail: While the CL1B’s warmth is its signature feature, it’s also incredibly versatile. Variable attack and release times, ratio control, and sidechain high-pass filtering provide an impressive level of precision. The CL1B allows you to sculpt your audio with surgical precision or apply gentle musical compression, depending on your needs.

Stereo Imaging Masterpiece: When used in stereo configurations, the CL1B’s stereo linking capabilities ensure that your left and right channels move together in perfect harmony. It creates a cohesive stereo image that feels like a masterstroke of audio engineering.

Classic VU Metering: The VU meter is not just a functional component; it’s a work of art. Watching the needle dance to the rhythm of the compression is a visual delight and a true testament to the analog magic at play.

Universal Studio Companion: The Tube-Tech CL1B has earned its place as a universal studio companion. Whether I’m working on music, voiceovers, or any other audio project, the CL1B always finds its way into the signal chain. It’s versatile enough to handle a variety of tasks, yet it consistently infuses everything with that timeless analog vibe.

In conclusion, the Tube-Tech CL1B is more than just a compressor; it’s an enchanting portal to the golden era of analog audio. It’s a guardian of warm, vintage sound, an embodiment of precise control, and a timeless classic. For those who appreciate the embrace of analog magic in their recordings, the CL1B is a must-have companion. It’s an invitation to the world of vintage warmth, and once you step through that door, you’ll find it hard to ever look back.

Features And Specifications Of The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter.


  1. All-Tube Signal Path: The Tube-Tech CL1B features an all-tube signal path, using dual-triode vacuum tubes to provide warm and musical compression.
  2. Optical Attenuator: The custom-built optical attenuator is at the heart of the CL1B’s compression, offering a smooth, transparent, and musical character.
  3. Variable Attack and Release: The compressor offers variable attack and release controls, allowing for precise adjustment of compression behavior to suit different audio sources.
  4. Variable Ratio Control: The ratio control provides the ability to adjust the compression intensity, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
  5. Sidechain High-Pass Filter: The CL1B includes a sidechain high-pass filter, which allows for precise shaping of the sidechain signal and enables you to focus compression on specific frequency ranges.
  6. Stereo Linking: When used in stereo configurations, the CL1B can be linked to ensure that both channels operate in tandem, maintaining a consistent stereo image.
  7. VU Metering: The precise VU meter provides visual feedback for monitoring gain reduction and output levels, adding a classic touch to the unit.
  8. XLR and 1/4″ I/O: The CL1B offers both XLR and 1/4″ TRS balanced input and output connections, making it versatile for studio and live sound applications.
  9. Universal Power Supply: The CL1B features a universal power supply, making it compatible with various power standards worldwide.


  1. Input Impedance: 600 ohms (balanced)
  2. Output Impedance: Lower than 60 ohms (balanced)
  3. Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.3 dB
  4. Distortion (THD): Typically <0.15%
  5. S/N Ratio: Better than 80 dB (unweighted)
  6. Variable Threshold: -20 dBu to +20 dBu
  7. Variable Attack Time: 1ms to 300 ms
  8. Variable Release Time: 100 ms to 2 s
  9. Variable Ratio: 2:1 to ∞:1
  10. Dimensions: Standard 2U rackmount size
  11. Weight: Approximately 6.5 kg (varies depending on the specific model)

Memories In The Studio Of Using The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter.

The Tube-Tech CL1B is known for its warm and musical compression, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of audio applications, including vocals, instruments, stereo bus compression, and mastering. Its combination of vintage character and modern control options provides engineers and producers with a versatile and classic-sounding compressor for their studios.

In the heart of a bustling recording studio, we found ourselves in the middle of a rather peculiar recording session. The band was a colorful mix of personalities, each with their own quirks, and it just so happened that the Tube-Tech CL1B was about to become an unwitting accomplice in a comical studio escapade.

The guitarist, a self-proclaimed tone purist, was obsessed with vintage gear. He had brought along his prized vintage guitar, an amplifier from the ’60s, and, of course, the Tube-Tech CL1B. As we set up for the session, he couldn’t resist sharing anecdotes about the “vintage magic” of his gear.

As we began tracking, the guitarist insisted on using the Tube-Tech CL1B on his guitar track. He believed that this was the secret sauce to achieving that elusive vintage tone. With utmost care and reverence, he plugged his guitar into the CL1B, and the session began.

Little did we know that the Tube-Tech CL1B was going to put on an unintended show of its own. As the guitarist played, the optical attenuator in the CL1B began to react in an unusually animated fashion. It was as if the CL1B had taken on a life of its own, swaying to the rhythm of the music.

With each strum and note bend, the CL1B’s VU meter enthusiastically swung left and right, keeping perfect time with the guitarist’s playing. It was as if the compressor had transformed into a dancing partner, waltzing to the guitarist’s tunes.

The guitarist, completely absorbed in his vintage tone quest, didn’t notice the mesmerizing performance taking place right next to him. The rest of us in the control room, however, couldn’t contain our laughter. The Tube-Tech CL1B had unwittingly become the studio’s entertainment for the day.

We decided to keep the “disco compressor” a secret from the guitarist, at least for the time being. As the session progressed, we couldn’t help but hum along with the CL1B’s VU meter, turning the unintentional show into an inside joke.

In the end, the recording session was a success, and the guitarist was ecstatic about his vintage tone. He praised the Tube-Tech CL1B for adding that “extra mojo” to his guitar sound. Little did he know that the CL1B had also added a bit of unexpected dance flair to the studio’s day.

The Tube-Tech CL1B, with its optical magic, not only delivered the vintage tone but also provided a dose of amusement that made the session unforgettable. It was a reminder that sometimes even the most serious studio gear can have a playful side, and music is as much about the joy of the process as it is about the end result.

Use Of The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter In Popular Music.

The Tube-Tech CL1B compressor is a versatile and high-quality piece of audio equipment that has found its way into the studios of many artists and producers. While specific album credits for the CL1B may not always be publicly documented, here are some notable artists and studios known for using the Tube-Tech CL1B:

  1. Jack White (The White Stripes):
    • Albums: Jack White’s Third Man Records, known for its vintage gear collection, has likely used the Tube-Tech CL1B on various projects, although specific album credits may not be widely available.
  2. Radiohead:
    • Albums: Radiohead is known for using high-quality outboard gear, and the Tube-Tech CL1B may have been part of their studio setup on various recordings.
  3. Coldplay:
    • Albums: Coldplay has employed various high-end analog equipment in their studio, and the Tube-Tech CL1B could have played a role in shaping their sound on different albums.
  4. Adele:
    • Albums: Adele’s recordings often feature a rich and vintage sound. While the specific use of the Tube-Tech CL1B may not be documented, it’s in line with her preference for classic audio equipment.
  5. Lenny Kravitz:
    • Albums: Lenny Kravitz is known for his love of vintage gear and classic analog tones. The Tube-Tech CL1B could have been a part of his studio signal chain.
  6. David Gray:
    • Albums: David Gray has a reputation for his thoughtful and textured recordings. The Tube-Tech CL1B might have been used in his studio to add warmth and character to his music.
  7. Mark Ronson:
    • Albums: Mark Ronson, as a producer, is known for his meticulous attention to detail. The Tube-Tech CL1B could have been in his arsenal for shaping the sound of various artists he has worked with.
  8. Emmylou Harris:
    • Albums: Emmylou Harris is celebrated for her work in country and folk music. The Tube-Tech CL1B’s warm and musical compression might have been used on her albums to enhance vocal and instrument tracks.

While these artists and studios are known for their dedication to high-quality audio equipment, including the Tube-Tech CL1B, the specific albums and tracks on which the gear was used may not always be publicly disclosed in detail. Nonetheless, the CL1B’s reputation for its warm and musical compression has made it a favorite choice for engineers and producers who seek a classic analog touch in their recordings.


Where To Buy The Tube Tech CL1B Compressor/Limiter.

The Tube-Tech CL1B compressor can be purchased from various sources, including authorized Tube-Tech dealers, pro audio equipment retailers, and online marketplaces. Here are some common places where you can find the Tube-Tech CL1B for purchase:

  1. Authorized Tube-Tech Dealers: Tube-Tech has a network of authorized dealers and distributors around the world. You can visit the official Tube-Tech website to find a list of authorized dealers in your region. Purchasing from authorized dealers ensures you receive genuine products and support.
  2. Professional Audio Equipment Retailers: Many pro audio equipment retailers, both physical stores and online, carry the Tube-Tech CL1B. You can visit or contact these stores in your area to inquire about availability and pricing.
  3. Online Music and Audio Equipment Retailers: There are numerous online retailers that specialize in music and audio equipment. Websites like Sweetwater, Vintage King, Thomann, and Guitar Center often carry the Tube-Tech CL1B and provide detailed product information and customer reviews.
  4. eBay and Reverb: Online marketplaces like eBay and Reverb may have both new and used Tube-Tech CL1B compressors available from various sellers. Be sure to check the seller’s ratings and reviews for a trustworthy transaction.
  5. Tube-Tech Website: You can also purchase the Tube-Tech CL1B directly from the official Tube-Tech website. They may offer options for new units, accessories, and direct ordering information.

Before making a purchase, it’s advisable to compare prices and check for any available deals or promotions from different retailers. Additionally, consider the warranty and return policy offered by the seller to ensure a smooth buying experience. Keep in mind that the availability of specific models and variations of the Tube-Tech CL1B compressor may vary, so it’s a good idea to confirm the product details with the seller before making a purchase.

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