knee sound - With modern noise specs and improved performance.
analog distortion/warmth - helpful in the pristine but
unforgiving digital world. Three audio modes providing user
programmable, warm harmonic distortion. Emphasized tube-like,
2nd harmonic in clean and Distort 2 mode. In Distort 3 mode,
the distortion becomes dominated by 3rd harmonic, more similar
indicator lights - A 1% LED and a "Redline" (3%) LED.
No hard clipping until a few dB past "Redline".
built-in sidechain EQ - High mid band emphasis prevents
harsh, edgy guitars or vocals from hurting innocent ears.
Low cut keeps the low "sum & difference" frequencies
from pumping the upper frequencies of source material.
proof operation - Even though there are 384 possible
settings (not counting knob settings), it's almost
impossible to get a bad sound. Keep all knobs on 5 or 6
(around middle) with ratio at 6:1 and you won't go wrong.
unique curves - From the 1:1 mode that simply warms
up signal with low order harmonics without intentional compression,
to the "Nuke" setting - a brick wall limiting curve that
shines on live drum room mics. Each curve has its own personality,
and release shape. Most exceptional is the 10:1 "Opto" ratio
which uses separate circuitry to emulate the oldest (and
valued) "light controlled" devices, such as the LA2A etc.
See manual to emulate other compressors of old.
and integrated combination - the best of speed/linearity
with repeatability. Hand tested & selected components.
knobs with high resolution numbering - For easy readability
and repeatable settings. They also go to 10 1/2
calibrated, output level - Allows speed in setting tape
and live mix levels.
110/220 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside
design power supplies - Runs cool, allowing cabinet
to be sealed - without heat vents. Long life components.
height and light weight - Classic sound in a small,
extremely reliable package.
bypass - Know what it's really doing. All contacts doubled
up for maximum reliability. No internal audio connectors.
and 1/4" phone ins and outs - XLR fully balanced, transformerless
design, pin 2 hot. Changeable by user to pin 3 hot!
metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path
- top quality components. Many mil spec. parts.
and features found nowhere else.
wired, calibrated in USA. Shipping weight 11.25Lbs.
response is 2 Hz to 160 kHz in clean audio mode (+0,
-3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2,
range 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1
mode. Greater than 100 dB signal to noise in distort 3 mode.
ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode
and release times set on front panel.
coupled output - High quality input caps.
constants - Attack range 50uS - 30mS. Release range
.05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal mode and up to 20 seconds
in 10:1 opto mode.
Labs - Something old, Something new
THE DISTRESSOR FOR THE FIRST TIME
is straightforward. Either the XLR's or phone plugs can
be used. In relation to the phone jack tips, pin 2 is wired
"hot" on the XLR's. But if you're using the XLR's in and
out, it doesn't matter which pin is hot, as long as you're
cabling is in phase. If
you use a single ended XLR output, leave unused pin floating!
The ground pin (pin 1 on XLR) should, of course, always
be connected. Connecting all input pins is preferred, but
the unit will operate fine if unused pins aren't tied to
ground. Hookup directions are also located on the rear panel
of unit, near the connectors. See wiring section on p7
for greater details.
to start - 5 5 5 5
with 6:1 ratio and set all four knobs to 5, the midway position.
This is a great starting place for anything. Push the ratio
button until the LED's cycle to the 6:1 ratio (Yellow LED).
Adjust input to drive into more compression. The harder
you drive, the more knee you'll hit, and the greater the
ratio will be. Only 1 LED should be lit - the 6:1 LED (not
counting any bargraph LED's). If you need more obvious compression,
push ratio button to progress to higher ratios. If you would
like lower ratios, the very long knees of 2:1, 3:1, 4:1
are silky smooth. The 2:1 ratio has a +15 dB knee, where
the ratio gradually increases! Unit will scroll around "Nuke"
back to these lower ratios, but if you must cycle through
1:1 while unit is in use, do it quickly since compression
will be turned "off" and the signal will swell to its peak
input levels, possibly becoming dangerously loud. Waiting
for a pause in the input before changing ratio is a safe
thing to do. For a quick +4 tape levels, try setting output
knob to 8. For more, see p5.
all the LED's are off in the "Audio" area, your Distressor
is operating in its cleanest mode.
settings should be used when subtle analog distortion is
desired. Dist 2 mode produces "Class A" type warmth, producing
mostly 2nd harmonic when compressing (tube distortion is
known for its 2nd harmonic) and Dist 3 adds 3rd along with
2nd harmonic. Dist 3 can look and sound very similar to
tape distortion - it gradually flattens out the top and
bottom of the waveform. If you want a digital signal to
sound like an analog tape signal, try 2:1 mode with Dist
3 engaged, and compress 1 - 3 dB (as displayed on bargraph).
Tape goes in and out of saturation quickly, so fast attacks
and decays are appropriate. If you want to make it sound
like over-saturated tape, you could try one of the higher
ratios and drive the input to produce 1 - 5 dB of compression.
With the quick release, 2nd harmonic will still be strong
in Dist 3 mode. More than 3 to 5 dB of reduction will sound
less like tape, more like compression.
new user may want to stick with a basic setup until he feels
comfortable, but with the push of a button he can enable
some advanced sidechain functions. While tracking vocals
for instance, sometimes "p's" and "b's" can hit the mic
with an air blast that shows up as a high amplitude, low
frequency signal, causing the compressor to "kick in". The
result may be a brief, unnatural drop in the apparent vocal
level. By pushing the detector button once, you engage a
high-pass (abbreviated with HP) filter in the detector (the
part of the circuit that figures out how much to turn down
the signal). This high-pass, or low cut, will not allow
low, low frequencies to trigger compression, and in this
case, prevent the unnatural drop in vocal level from a "p"
or "b" blasting the mic with wind. It may also help to HP
(high-pass) the audio in this case.
detector sidechain filter can be engaged with a second push
of the button. This is the "band emphasis function" that
inserts an Eq into the detector circuitry that makes the
circuit much more sensitive to harsh, mid band frequencies.
This is useful on vocals (for those singers with a nasty
edge to their voice when they go up high), guitars, synths,
and many other solo instruments that may become harsh and
too loud in the mix. See "Detector Modes" for more info.
it is difficult to make the unit sound unnatural due to
its vintage topology. The ratio and release times are the
most critical settings. Again, around 5 on the release knob
is a good starting spot. The attack is variable from 50uS
to 30mS. The release is variable from 50mS to 3 seconds.
For percussive material, if you need to add attack, add
attack. That is, slow the attack by turning the knob clockwise
towards 10. Conversely, if you need to get rid of some pick
noise, or over transient sounds, the fast attack and release
is the way to go. With these tools, an engineer can mold
the envelope of sounds in a very controlled manner, adding
or softening attack, sustaining, smoothing and evening until
the sounds fit into the mix as desired.
Turn off all distort modes if you're going to tape,
however the High-pass (HP) in both the detector and audio
paths may be useful. Set ratio to 6:1 or less, attack 5,
release 4. Adjust input to produce anywhere from 3 to 17
dB of compression. Sometimes the band emphasis setting is
effective for those dynamic, "piercing" vocal passages.
On mixdowns Dist 2 can add a warm edge to vocals. The "Opto"
mode in 10:1 is guaranteed to give you a classic compression
curve. Try 10:1, with attack on 10, release on 0. Separate
detector circuitry will be enabled.
4:1, 6:1 turn attack on 5, release 4. The distortion
audio modes sound great on bass, but caution should be observed
if you are going to tape. You cannot un-distort. If you
have a very "clacky" bass player, sometimes the band emphasis
in the detector just flattens that stuff out. Use fast attack
and release times to keep "clacks" from pumping. Also, try
A wide range of settings can be used. To get rid of
edgy attacks, use quick attack, medium release. To smooth
out solos, try the band emphasis in the detector to pull
up the lower, softer notes and push back and sustain the
higher, and often, thinner notes. Try "Opto".
We've been told by a couple of engineers that the Distressor
is one of the best sounding units for acoustic they've ever
heard. Use 6:1, [ 7, 2, 5, 7] settings (i.e. Input 7, Attack
2, Release 5, Output 7). High-pass (HP) is often useful
in both detector and audio modes. The fast attack will get
you a "glassy" full sound since the pick noise will be attenuated
and the sustain lengthened.
Start with quick attack (0-4) and medium release (4-6).
Acoustic pianos often need less attack to fit into a mix,
but there are millions of exceptions. Bruce Hornsbyish pianos
are often real or samples of real pianos with medium attack
and medium release, getting that "bite" followed by sustained
body. Try attack 5, rel 5. Opto mode is very nice here,
brittle high notes can be extra compressed by using the
"band emphasis" detector mode.
Start by keeping the attack over 3 to keep transients. Play
with decay to get more or less "in your face" sounds. Because
of the wide range of attack, the Distressor puts the drum
"percusiveness" much more into the engineer's control than
the older, classic units.
- Try [3:1 6,5,5,6].
Shorten decay if you need to bring up "after ring". If a
tom has too much attack , turn attack down between 0 - 4.
If crackling from L.F., modulation occurs, play with longer
attack or release times, or Det HP. Since you can load compression
on without sounding funny, watch "mic leakage" which can
become a problem. Kick drums sound great using Opto mode
(10:1, attack on 10, release 0) and Det HP on.
For radical treatment, try 20:1 or "Nuke", [10, 6, 2.5,
6]. The "Nuke" ratio was originally developed for room mics,
but we have since found it useful in many areas. "Nuke"
and 20:1 are pretty much brick wall limiting, keeping any
normal signal within 1 dB or so. Just patch in a room mic
that is 10 - 25 feet from drums (or other instruments) and
slam the meters. Try attack on 5 and release on 3. Fifteen
to twenty dB of compression is starting to sound about right
for the John Bonham thing, but don't be afraid to run the
gain reduction meters right off scale. You will find the
output a little lower than the other ratios in "Nuke". Better
have quiet mic preamps too - as 20 dB of compression can
bring the noise floor up by 20 dB. The release should be
quick (< 3) for the largest sound, but slower releases
can often be effective when mixed in with the rest of the
kit. Room ambience can be made to "swell up" on the tom
and snare rings later, filling in behind the close mics.
If you want to add "grunge", experiment with Dist 2 and
RATIOS AND THEIR CURVES
"ratio mode" of the Distressor sets both the threshold and
the ratio, in the standard sense of the word. This was done
to provide an easy to set, yet versatile group of curves.
The 1:1 mode provides no compression, but allows the audio
to pass through the "warming" circuits of the unit (we'll
get to the distortion modes in a moment). Ratio's 2 through
6 are general purpose curves great for tracking. The 2:1
and 3:1 ratios are "parabolic" knees - very gentle curves
that won't typically go into hard limiting and therefore,
also won't provide absolute overload protection. Ratios
4:1 and 6:1 have steeper knees and are good general purpose
curves that gradually move towards hard limiting, "nailing"
the signal in its place. The ratio of 6:1 is very useful
for vocals, bass, and acoustic instruments. It has an easy
slope at first until after the knee, where an increasing
ratio "musically" limits the peaks of the signal before
damage is done. The 6:1 and 10:1 Opto ratios employ shorter
knee limiting, reminiscent of some old classics from the
60's and 70's (see Classic Emulation).
is a different story. The "Nuke" ratio was developed for
room mics, but we have since found it useful in many areas.
"Nuke" has a medium threshold but when the signal hits it,
a nuclear blast won't budge the output level. It is brick
wall limiting, keeping any normal signal within 1 dB or
so. Just patch in a room mic while recording drums (or other
instruments) and slam the meters. Try attack on 4 and release
on 2. The release curve of "Nuke" is logarithmic, meaning
it lets off quickly at first and then slows. This release
curve is a big part of the Distressor's sound. Experiment
with the release times - this guy can release really fast
without too much crackling, even on bass. 20:1 can be used
similarly to "Nuke". Each of these curves again has their
own feel to them, with the release slopes slightly altered,
and the knees falling in slightly different places. Most
exceptional are the 2:1, 10:1 and Nuke ratios, which employ
special detector circuitry.
what is a soft knee?
"soft knee" is a compression curve where the first few dB
of gain reduction occur at very low ratios, gradually increasing
as the signal increases (gets louder). This makes the onset
of compression very hard to detect. The knee usually extends
for a few dB and gradually flattens out toward a final ratio.
All curves with the exception of 20:1 and "Nuke" have dominant
knees. The 2:1 ratio has a knee that can be as long as 30
dB, depending on attack and decay settings.
the unit is based on the oldest compressor topology, the
unit can be made to sound very similar to older classics.
The nonlinear nature of the older gain control elements
of opto-couplers, FET's, pentode (or triode) tube bias or
"mu" modulation, etc., can be closely emulated if proper
settings are used. A special "Opto" mode has been provided
in the 10:1 ratio.
simulate the opto-VCA tube models of old (the LA2, LA3,
LA4, DeMaria, Meek units), try 10:1 "Opto" ratio, with attack
on 10, release on 0, Det HP on. Adjust input and outputs
to your taste. Remember our LED metering deflects much faster
than the old VU's so don't be afraid to hit the unit quite
hard (10-20 dB of compression on peaks). Try Dist 2 &
3 mode, but let your ears be your guide. Try faster attacks
(4-9) for more aggressive sounding compression.
2:1 (for over easy) on up will do, att 9, release 2, clean
6:1, Att 0 - 3.5, rel 1 - 10.5. Use ratios 3:1, 4:1, 6:1,
20:1 to emulate 4 LN1176 ratios. Clean mode is appropriate
(Dist 2 or 3 off). Remember that the LN1176 attacks extremely
fast and you must keep attack under 4 max. A familiar sound
is 6:1, att2, rel 4.
Fairchild IGFET - 6:1 att 3-5, rel 2 - 7 (start with att
4 and rel 4)
to the transformerless design, you will maintain a low transient
intermodulation distortion, but will get the warming grunge
of 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion, if distortion modes
are enabled. Also, unlike the older units, the Distressor
is uniform and predictable from one unit to the next. Precise
factory calibration assures that if you go from one Distressor
to the next, these settings will all sound the same.
switch between the "Audio" modes, press the button labeled
Audio. The LED's above the switch will cycle through 6 states.
In order of occurrence:
Norm - (No LED's lit) Low distortion and full frequency
HP - High-pass (Green LED) Smoothly cuts low "mud" audio
Dist 2 - (Yellow LED) Emphasized 2nd harmonic distortion.
Dist 2 & HP - Combination of 2 and 3 above.
Dist 3 - (Red LED) 3rd harmonic emphasized.
Dist 3 & HP - Combination of 2 and 5 above.
High-pass mode (HP)
first mode cycled to after normal is HP (or High-pass).
With the HP LED on, the unit rolls off low "sub" frequencies
below 80 Hz in the audio. It is a very smooth Bessel filter,
about 3 dB down at 60Hz and -12 @ 30Hz. Its final slope
is 18 dB per octave but is below all but the very exceptionally
low vocal tones. Rolling "subs" off of a singers mic is
an excellent use for this filter. This can also be selected
along with either Dist 2 or Dist 3 modes as explained below.
not only a compressor but a ...
Distressor is a modern digitally controlled analog device
that attempts to offer some of the "musical non-linearities"
exhibited by the older tube, class A discrete, and magnetic
old, sought after vintage gear is not anywhere near as accurate
(or linear) as devices made today, but certain "faults"
or non-linearities are exactly the reason some sell today
at 10 times their original value. They color the sound with
distortion and frequency response shaping. Getting the frequency
response flat to 20kHz and having distortion below .5% used
to be an achievement. Today, in 1996, a 35 cent op amp is
flat to 3 MHz and produces distortion below .002%. Getting
things accurate in the digital age is relatively cheap and
easy. But getting the expert user to think a piece of gear
is "musical" and fun to use is something else.
using a design that allows pinpoint control of nonlinear
analog devices, the Distressor is trimmed to produce three
controllable distortion modes:
Normal (Clean) No induced distortion. THD hovering between
.025 and .3%
Dist 2 THD hovering between .05 and 3% Emphasized 2nd Harmonic
Dist 3 THD hovering between .1% and 20% 3rd Harmonic increased.
is well known that the triode distortion in tube circuits
produces lots of 2nd and 3rd harmonics, in somewhat varying
ratios. These lower order harmonics form "the octave" and
"the octave and a fifth" to the fundamental musical tones.
They are actually "musical" distortion. Harmonics above
the 2nd and 3rd are usually considered harsh and unmusical,
and therefore should be lower in amplitude (<-60 dB)
to keep with our line of thinking. Second harmonic is considered
to be the warmest and most "consonant" harmonic distortion.
The Dist 2 mode on the Distressor empha- sizes the 2nd harmonic
(octave), especially while compressing.
3 mode & the Distortion indicators
mode emphasizes the third harmonic. This is basically caused
by nonlinear gain that results with the top and the bottom
of waveforms being flattened out. Analog tape saturates
in this manner. The 3rd harmonic is induced in the Distressor
by increasing VCA output level. We have provided distortion
indicator lights that come on most frequently in Dist 3
mode. A yellow LED light indicates .25% THD and the red
"redline" LED indicates 3% THD or more. Though not always
an exact indication of the distortion, these LED's are an
excellent guide to where the user is in the "Grunge Department"
and can help to avoid turning the music into an "overwell"
mess. You will find that the harmonic distortion is generally
more obvious on overall mixes and complex programs. On individual
instruments, sometimes 3% distortion sounds "fat" and "analog"
and isn't heard as distortion at all. 5
are three additional modes that affect the detector part
of this unit. The detector is the part of the compressor
circuit (or software) that figures out how much and how
fast to turn down a signal. The actual audio you finally
hear is not passed through this circuitry, only adjusted
by it. In fact, you can put entirely different audio into
the Stereo Link input that will affect the main audio coming
out, but not be heard itself. See block diagram below and
stereo hookup in this manual.
Modes To switch between the "Detector" modes, press
the button labeled Detector. The LED's above the switch
will cycle through eight states. In order of occurrence:
Norm - No detector LED's lit. Standard compressor operation.
2) HP High-pass - (Green LED) cuts low frequencies in detector
to stop L.F. modulation.
3) Band Emphasis - (Yellow LED) emphasized 6kHz band makes
unit overreact to harsh mids.
4) HP and Band Emphasis - Combination of 2 and 3 above.
5) Stereo Link - (Red LED) - Puts unit in Stereo operation
mode to respond with 2nd unit.
6) Stereo Link and HP - Combination.
7) Stereo Link and Band Emphasis - Combination
8) Stereo Link with HP and Band Emphasis - Combination
is straightforward. Connect AC line cord to 3 prong jack,
plug in XLR or phone plug ins and outs, and you're wired.
Both input jacks are differential but at the output, only
the XLR is differential (balanced). The output phone jack
tip is wired to pin 2 of the XLR out, and therefore is in
phase with that pin. The only possible problem is if you
attach one of the XLR output pins 2 or 3 to ground. A separate
amplifier drives each of these pins, so grounding one of
them will short the associated amplifier out. Therefore
if you only use only pin 2 on your output cable, leave pin
3 floating (unconnected) and vice-versa. The phone jack
ins and outs will be out of phase with pin 3 since the unit
is wired pin 2 hot from the factory (see note below). Pin
1 should almost always be grounded on the XLR cables.
It is possible to change the wiring of the connectors inside
since they are hand wired. A user can therefore make XLR
pin two or three hot in relation to the phone jacks. Always
unplug unit before making any changes. Our company cannot
be responsible for damage to unit or electric shock to anyone
trying such a modification.
operation requires only two things, - 1) that two (preferably)
short 1/4" phone (guitar) cables are plugged from Stereo
Link input of one unit to Link output of second unit and
vice versa, and that 2) the unit has the Link function selected
on the front (the RED "Link "LED in the detector mode should
be on). It is usually best to match all front panel
settings on the two "left and right" units to maintain imaging.
However, unlike most units, the user has the option to treat
the left and right channels differently.
example of this may be when one channel has a heavy low
frequency source (such as a tom drum) that is causing both
sides to pump. You could put the side without the L.F. source
into DET HP mode to prevent that side from excessively modulating,
allowing you to set the release a little faster on the side
with the boomy tom.
for room mics, keeping the units unlinked actually makes
them sound more stereo. This is due to unique left and right
ambient envelopes widening the stereo image.
You can elevate distortion levels by going to "link" with
stereo links unplugged (on rear). Obviously, the unit will
not work in stereo now. "Link" sums 2 inputs, and with one
missing, the distortion generator will receive a hotter
signal since the detector is seeing half of what it would
normally see in true stereo operation. Try this on bass
guitar in Dist 3 mode for extra grunge.
It is also possible to sidechain process. Take the "Link
Out" of a unit, go to an EQ (and/or preamp), then return
it to the "Link In" of the same unit. Then put the unit
into link to further affect the compression in a more frequency
dependent unit. The sidechain must not have appreciable
delay nor be out of phase since the "link" signal gets mixed
back in with the normal detector signal and the delay would
cause "combing" of the frequency response, resulting in
irrational compression behavior.
To set quick +4 tape levels, try setting output at 8 and
"drive" input knob until compression occurs. For -10 equipment,
try 6.5 on the output. For ADAT's try 6 to 7 output level.
sign of life - Check power cord for firm connection. If
still no life open top cover by removing all top screws
and check fuse toward rear next to transformer. If it is
blown, pry it out and replace it with extra fuse provided
in fuse holder toward front of chassis. If fuse is OK, make
sure your Voltage select switch is set to current wall outlet
voltage (110, 220 VAC).
keeps blowing fuses - Probably has short or power supply
problem. Try to make sure there is nothing trapped under
the PC board, shorting to the metal case. Attentive visual
inspection is still the most effective troubleshooting tool
available. Check internal voltage select switch for proper
is on but not doing anything - The unit may be bypassed
or in 1:1 mode. If bypassed, you need to press the "BY-PASS"
button so red LED goes off. The 1:1 mode may be inaudible
but the input and output levels will still affect it. Try
another ratio for compression.
shows gain reduction but very little or none is actually
occurring -The unit is probably severely out of adjustment.
We use very stable trim pots and high quality components,
but it is possible that long term component aging or failure
may require factory re-calibration. Right now you will have
to return the Distressor to factory for re-calibration.
In the future there will be local dealers and/or service
centers to help.
output - If there is severe, un-musical distortion,
chances are you're hard clipping. Check that the output
cable is properly wired and any unused output pins (2 or
3) on XLR are floating (left unconnected). Shorting an output
pin will not harm the unit but can show up as distortion
in the output driver. The distortion this unit is meant
to impart is harmonic and should not sound like crackly
distortion caused by hard clipping. Long attack times can
clip transients in lower ratios when Dist 2 or 3 are employed.
output level - Make sure there is audio getting to
unit, and that the input and output levels are turned up.
pops or unnaturally pumps with low frequencies at ultra
fast attacks when compressing 20 dB or more - Possibly
caused by the high-pass circuitry in the detector engaged,
and not controlling the low frequency amplitude in the VCA,
causing offset pumping. Turning up attack (to 5 or above)
will often eliminate the effect. Remember that this unit
has an extremely fast attack time that can show up as pumping
or crackling on low frequency laden material. You can control
this with a slower attack, or a slower decay. Also, try
enabling and disabling the "HP" in the detector.
seems noisy - The dynamic range of the Distressor is
greater than CD (16 bit) quality. However, if you are compressing
a noisy signal, the noise is pushed up along with the soft
signals. If you have 20 dB of gain reduction on a room mic
that has a 90 dB S/N, the noise floor will be raised 20
dB in quiet areas, bringing the noise floor up to 70 dB.
Since the Distressor is capable of lots of compression without
sounding unnatural, you can often bring hiss levels up undesirably.
Remember your current input level, and then ensure that
the noise is coming from outside the unit by turning the
input knob off (to 0). All noise should disappear. Try gating
forgets where it was when power was shut off - Gold
cap backup has become defective. Install AA cells inside
unit. See directions in this manual.
FUSES, OPERATING VOLTAGE, OR BATTERIES
Caution: Always unplug unit before removing cover!
In the case of a blown fuse, pull out the power
plug from the AC outlet, open unit, and ensure fuse closest
to rear of the Distressor is blown. Note: The fuse closer
to the front panel is a spare fuse and is not connected
to anything. A small screw driver may be helpful. Gently
pry out one end of the fuse and then the other, replacing
it with extra fuse provided near battery holder in front
of unit. Before putting cover on, plug in unit, keeping
hands out of the box, ensure that the fuse doesn't blow
again, indicating a possibly more serious problem (see troubleshooting).
If unit turns on OK, unplug unit, screw down top cover and
return the unit to normal use. For reference, any fuse from
.2 to .6A should be safe, but .3A (1/3A) is what is specified
and used at factory.
spare fuse in front if available.
the voltage for 220 or 110 operation also involves unplugging
the unit and removing top cover. Inside on the right (as
the front of the unit faces you), is a switch with 110 or
220V showing on its face. Select the desired voltage by
sliding the switch until it indicates that voltage and you're
done. Replace cover and screws.
are not required to hold settings for less than a month.
A gold capacitor inside will store front panel settings
for at least four weeks. If longer backup is required, a
place for two AA "penlight" cells can be provided inside
unit. Install two AA batteries (penlight cells) by unplugging
unit, removing the top cover screws, gently prying out the
used AA cells and putting in the new ones. As always, don't
put the batteries in backwards! Incidentally, the fuse next
to the batteries is an extra fuse with no high voltages
or signals wired to it. We estimate the battery may last
as long in the unit as it does on the shelf, which is four
to ten years. The backup is needed to retain the switch
settings on the front panel when turned off. The audio is
not affected by lack of batteries.
are several elements inside the Distressor which were designed
to be "modifiable". Although we cannot guarantee it at this
time, Empirical Labs may release information and hardware
options that will allow owners to alter the curves and other
important performance parameters of their Distressor. Most
of these modifiable elements will probably not improve the
performance, but will offer other alternative signal processing
variations. It may be possible for user to safely modify
the Distressor and create unique sets of curves and filter
options. If you have sent in a properly filled out warranty
card, we will keep you apprised of these developments.
not attempt to modify or make adjustments to your Distressor
until you have notified Empirical Labs and been sent the
necessary information. There are a number of critical adjustments
that cannot be made properly without the calibration tools
we have here at the factory. Any sign of internal adjustment
by the user will void your warranty with the exception of
changing the batteries, fuses, or line voltage selection.
Empirical Labs Inc. takes no responsibility for the safety
of anyone opening the Distressor for any reason. There are
dangerous voltages present when unit is plugged in. Refer
unit to properly qualified service center or return to factory.
and Factory Service
Empirical Labs Inc. products are covered by a limited warranty
covering full parts and labor for 1 year from the purchase
date. The warranty is only effective if the owner has returned
his or her warranty card. See warranty card for further
problems arise, call your dealer or distributor to determine
the state of your warranty and if it becomes necessary,
pack the unit up, with a note explaining the problem and
return to Empirical Labs for repair. Include your name,
address, phone, and the date of purchase. Send the unit
with freight prepaid to the address in your owners manual.
Pack the unit in original carton if possible. Otherwise,
pack with bubble pack and /or foam in a thick corrugated
box. Shipping people are absolutely brutal to large packages
and you must take every precaution against constant dropping,
throwing, and crushing. We are not liable for products damaged
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