IGS AUDIO Volfram Limiter by poika
First of all, I have zero experience with other 1176 -type limiters, so you might want to take that into consideration. I have also only recently begun to invest in quality hardware, so my opinions and thoughts here reflect the fact that I am still pretty much a novice when it comes to hardware.
In addition to the Volfram, I have in my rack a DBX 166XL, an SSL Stereo Bus Compressor clone and a Klark Teknik KT-2A, so I do have some basic understanding of different types of comps/limiters.
The Volfram Limiter is a 2-channel, dual mono unit that has all the basic features that you would find in a 1176, no need going through them here. The pots are all stepped, so it’s convenient in getting the settings exactly the same - either for the left and right channels, or for re-visiting old settings.
What’s really nice about this unit is that there are a couple of extra features: a high pass filter sidechain for filtering out low frequencies (60, 90, 120, 180 and 240hz) and a dry/wet switch. both of these are very handy indeed! All gear should have them,as far as I’m concerned.. It’s super convenient having the option to dial in the amount of parallel compression on the unit itself, and not having the lower frequencies dictate the compression. Especially when using it on bass heavy music, as I am.
I’ve been using this thing on vocals, bass, drums, synths - well basically anything really. Haven’t gotten anything to sound worse coming out than going in, so finding use has not been a problem.
For tracking vocals it’s a breeze, I find people sing (at least I do) with more confidence when the Volfram is working since it makes the vocals sound so ”ready”, resulting in a more relaxed and better sounding performance. It’s not doing the work for you, but it’s giving you a big hand in getting there, definitely.
It can be quite subtle when needed, but you can really go to town and smash things with this. It’s fun, I found myself just playing with the settings for hours when I first got it in the rack.
Obviously, it’s great for drum bus purposes. Smashing a room mic with this works wonders also. Haven’t really used it on the main stereo bus, as i like to use the SSL clone for that.
The only minor gripe that I have with the unit is that the stepped switches or pots - or whatever you wish to call them - are quite sharp on the edges. I have big hands, and as there is not too much room to operate, sometimes you wish they had more of a round profile.
Still, it’s a very minor thing and it’s something that I got used to pretty quickly, but I gave it a 4 out of 5 for ease of use because of that.
I really like the look of the unit, the colors are really pleasing and down to earth, very classy look. Great looking meters also. Looking good is a big plus in my book, I appreciate it when a piece of gear looks as good as it sounds.
Since there was no distributer in my country I ordered the unit straight from mr Igor himself, via email. He replied back to me on the same day and answered my questions thoroughly and was very helpful. Top notch customer service all the way.
Very solid build, nothing shakes or rattles, everything feels sturdy and reliable. I’ve been super happy with it. Most importantly, it has the quality of making takes sound better. And that’s all that matters.
Very nice piece of gear.