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A modern compressor with a vintage soul! The Highland Dynamics BG1 Stereo Compressor nods to classic tube designs of the 50s and 60s without being a clone stuck in the past.
Like the BG2, the Highland Dynamics BG1 is a marriage of classic tube compressor topologies. The vintage Altec 436 serves as the starting point for its design but an array of tone tweaks, control modifications and noise improvements elevate that circuit to “very-mu” status, including the legendary British mods.
While the Highland Dynamics BG1 Stereo omits the heavy-duty, twin 6V6 output stage of the BG2, it gains some very useful features not found in the BG2. The twin compressor channels can be stereo linked via a front panel switch and 9-position Attack and Release controls allow the BG1 Stereo to be used in very fast to incredibly slow settings for anything from drums, to stereo bus or special effects.
Perhaps its most unique feature is the ability to change feedback modes between British(B) and American(A) styles. Essentially giving you two completely different compressor sounds to choose from.
British mode utilizes a modified Altec 436 plate-to-plate style feedback. With less gain, a cleaner, more hi-fi sound and smoother operation. British mode is the big smooth tube compressor voicing.
American mode lets more harmonics and color come through, instantly changing your BG1 to a different animal altogether. The sound is rich, lively and robust.
The three-way Threshold switch determine how much signal can pass before the circuit begins to compress. The Low setting is the classic/stock threshold level. Medium raises the threshold and High raises it even further and can enable soft, transient distortion.
When engaged the Hold switch allows gain reduction but does not allow the compression to release until the switch is placed in Operate mode.
There is a compression on/off switch that removes the side-chain tube, turning the compressor into a tube line amp. With the compression turned off, you can drive it into distortion. You can achieve different colors of distortion with both the feedback and input selection switches.
The BG1 has standard 600 Ohm input, or 150 ohm for more gain and transformer color. It’s also useful when running a microphone directly in with no preamp.
The twin channels can be linked with the link switch on the front panel.
The BG1 build quality is impressive with a rugged chassis, custom transformers, NOS tubes, US and European capacitors, and military-style, US-made Hoyt panel meters. It’s built by hand, for people that truly appreciate thoughtful design and construction.
• Transformer-balanced I/O
• Input and output level controls
• Switchable feedback settings
• 9 attack and release positions
• Link switch for stereo use
• Compression HOLD function
• 600 and 150 ohm input impedance taps