The Secret Compressor
In 1954, a truly unique compressor appeared on the scene: the U17. Built by Allgemeine Telefon-Fabrik in Hamburg for the NWDR broadcasting network, only a few dozen units of this exemplary analog master piece were manufactured, making this gem one of the rarest compressors ever built. Behind its ultimately minimalistic appearance, there is an arcane dynamic rabbit hole to discover…
A discrete soft clipping stage adds pleasant coloration while taming heavy transients before entering the actual compressor, which can blend from gentle and transparent to straight and aggressive operation with its powerful Torque control.
In fact, the U17 combines everything we love about the golden era of analog design with a very modern and experienced approach to dynamics processing.
The U17 combines a solid state diode bridge using Germanium crystal semiconductors with all-tube and massive transformer-coupled amplification – a most sophisticated hybrid design. Best of both worlds!
The original hardware was intended to provide gentle and unobtrusive compression, and the plugin offers just that in the most beautiful way… but it also adds a couple of serious setscrews, mutating the gentleman into a veritable two-face.