Louder Than Liftoff Chroma by JosephC
I knew Louder Than Liftoff had the Silver Bullet, which has been praised about on here, but I wanted something in my API, not next to it. I was browsing Brad’s (LTL) site and found the Chroma, the 500 series Silver Bullet. Somehow the release slipped under my radar. I ordered pair, thinking I’d return them because it wasn’t going to be what I was looking for. How can a 500 series unit have that console sound, when it’s not a console? But having both an API and Neve transformer that are switchable with one button, along with a discrete opamp, HF and LF boosts and they have a color slot with drive/mix pots. It’s also a preamp! I ordered Chroma with Mass Drivr color (api transformer and opamp). Brad also later sent me the very first Royal Blue (Neve transformer and opamp with a 4.7k Neve 1081 shelf).
I popped them in my API and ran a stereo mix through them. Adjusted my gain structure, swapped between the A and N transformers, drove the color module and started to realize pretty quickly that hit had “that” sound. I was able to drive it harder to get that glue that happens and added more glue with the Mass Drivr. Mass Drivr has some serious weight to it. If you have used a console, you know what I’m talking about. I was able to blindly swap between A and N transformers and hear the difference, and correctly pick which one it was. “A” had that API mid punch and “N” had that low end heft that a Neve is known for. Something the VP28s couldn’t do. The cool thing is you can do A-A or N-A and if you drop in the Royal Blue (Neve style color module), you can do A-N or N-N (correct me if I’m wrong on the orders. I just know what sounds good to me). All of which have immensely different sounds but all very subtle, where you miss them if they are gone and they sound perfect with them are in.
Chroma has a LF boost either Sub or Bass via internal switch and a HF boost either presence, air or the Silver Bullet vintage filter. Sub and the Vintage filter work for everything I’ve run through it. It’s literally set and forget and always sounds good. Just adjust your gain structure going into it.
With the Royal Blue in the color slot, there is a different kind of weight than the Mass Drivr, not sure how to describe it but maybe it brought me closer the Neve I kicked to the curb. It works for me and sounds huge! And the HF shelf it has built in took the place of my Maag eq 4 on the master buss. Slayed it. Goodbye Maag.
In short, these are the missing link. They are a secret weapon that everyone can own. Plus the metering is sick sick sick!!!!