Thermionic Culture The Phoenix SB by sigmatibet
The Phoenix is a stereo "Vari-Mu" Compressor, whose design is all-valve.
The look of this box is stunning. Huge, black, with two big vu meters and a large power toggle switch with a green bulb that give an old fashioned feeling.
The layout is very simple: You have 2 separate, linkable Channels with Gain, Attack, Release, Thershold. There is no Ratio control because being a Vari-Mu Compressor, the amount of compression is due to the amount of signal you feed in. Then you have a bypass switch per channel and two Output Knobs to trim the Output signal.
On the back panel you get 2 XLR in and 2 XLR out.
I also installed the sidechain mod (now it is standard) that is a must have in order to mix masters on it (it is a 2 stages hipass filter that lets you run bass frequencies free avoiding compression pumping on mixes).
Working with The Phoenix is very simple once you understand how a vari-mu behaves. It is clearly a slow compressor but I was surprisingly able to use it in extreme contexts with lots of transients with optimal results.
The Phoenix is all about the Sound: it is big, creamy and musical. I use it on everything I do. I mixdown and master with it but I also track or simply pass my stems thru it to bring my tracks back to life. I absolutely can't do without this perfect tool for my studio.
The Phoenix loves almost every musical genre. I use it in Pop, Electronic and Rock productions with always stunning results.