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RNLA Really Nice Levelling Amp

FMR Audio

  • $ 22500

The Really Nice Levelling Amplifier (RNLA) is a compressor, of sorts, with a character that works well with vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitars and two-mix sources. A friend describes the RNLA's tone as "thick and gooey". Some very well-outfitted RNLA users report that even with a full complement of expensive, vintage levelling amps/compressors, the RNLA still fills a niche that the others don't!

The sonic performance of the RNLA harkens back to the Really Nice Compressor's (RNC's) origins. The original RNC was, in fact, based upon an optical gain element that was ultimately rejected (and tucked away) due to its imparting of a sonic signature (i.e., "color"). However, just like trying to throw away a ball of adhesive tape, this one has also stuck with (to?) us! What's the old saying? What's old, is new again? The implementation is a little different (i.e., no opto) from the 1984 version, but the final sound is eerily similar.

Size 1/3 x 1 EIA rack unit
Left/Right 1/4" unbalanced inputs (TS, or TRS for console inserts)
Left/Right 1/4" balanced, single-ended outputs
TRS sidechain
Controls and Displays
Rotary: Threshold, Ratio, Attack Time, Release Time, Output Level
Switches: Bypass, Mode Select
Meter: 8-segment LED Gain Reduction, 0-16 dB
Modes Normal: Provides fast attack/release
Log Rel: Provides release envelope acceleration to aid maintenance of transient "punch"
Operating Level 0.775 Vrms (0 dBu) nominal for +22 dB headroom
1.228 Vrms (+4 dBu) nominal for +18 dB headroom
Noise Less than -90 dBu over 20-20k Hz
Typically -95 dBu over 20-20k Hz
Frequency response 10 - 100k Hz ᄆ0.5dB @ 0 dBu
Clip point +22.5dBu @ 3% THD, 1kHz, greater than 2k Ohm load
Distortion Less than 0.1%, no gain reduction @ 1 kHz, 0 dBu;
Less than 0.5%, 6 dB G.R. @ 1 kHz, 6:1, 6.0 msec attack, 0.5 sec. release, 0 dB gain, 0 dBu
Threshold range -40dBu to +20dBu
Ratio range 1:1 to 25:1
Attack range 0.2 msec to 200msec for 100% correction with Release range .05 sec to 5.0 sec for 100% recovery with 15dB G.R.
Output trim range ᄆ15dB
AC Power Wall transformer, 9VAC @ 500mA, 2.1mm jack
Dimensions 5.5" x 5.5" x 1.6"
Weight 2 lbs

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