Brian Dane Hansen’s in-depth deep review of our 500PRE 500 series tube compressor, complete with sound files examples

Based on the Sta-Level, which is an incredibly vibey compressor with a ton of tone and compression abilities (hopefully I can do a review (and own) one of those bad boys some day!) the 500PRE has a deep, rich sound with the ability to add warmth to your source, saturate and even distort your signal if you desire (and I do). With up 75db of gain on board the 500PRE is a great match for ribbons, dynamics or condenser mics. With this pre if you want warm and clean, you got it.
If you want some more saturation/color/harmonics/tube squish with the high gain toggle engaged, you’ve got it.

The output knob is your friend on this unit, think of it like a..

I think you’ll hear that the first one track has some dynamics and sounds the most open and clean and then as you move into the second and the third clip, the dynamics decrease and the sound thickens. This is the tubes giving you some sweet compression! The differences between Low Gain and High Gain 1 are subtle but I think thats the great thing about this pre amp! You can dial in exactly what you need. If the low gain file was just a little two clean and dynamic you could set it to something like the high gain 1 file and get a little warmth, thickness and transient control. Check out the screenshot below.
BDH Screenshot
You can even see how with each pass the transients gets more and more leveled out as the input gain continues to get turned up. This happened on every source that I recorded.

The high gain passes were….
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