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The core of each Level-Or Mk2 Dual channel is a JFET transistor-based limiter, originally inspired by the Level-Loc PA limiter. In Level mode, this section acts as an extremely high ratio limiter. In Crunch mode, this section uses (and abuses) a series of Class A discrete transistor stages to provide anything from subtle harmonic enhancement to complete destruction of the audio signal.
Those familiar with the 500 series version will notice the addition of the mix knob as well as the center Link/Cascade toggle switch. The mix knob allows the engineer to blend in the dry, un-processed input signal with the processed “Level/Crunch” signal. This allows for much more control over how aggressive or subtle the effect is through the unit.
The center Link/Cascade switch has 3 positions: S/C LINK, IND, and CASCADE. When set to IND (or independent), the two channels are separate. When set to S/C LINK, the JFET limiter sidechains are linked together, vastly improving Left/Right balance on stereo sources. This only applies when both channels are in Level mode.
When set to CASCADE, the output of Channel A is fed into the input of Channel B and the unit becomes a mono processor with both channels in series. All the controls are still independent – it is just like you have patched the output of one Level-Or channel into the input of a second. Along with the mix control, this allows for a ton of flexibility: limit first/then distort, distort first/then limit, distort twice, limit twice.
The function of the speed switch depends on whether the unit is in Level or Crunch mode. In Level mode, the speed switch controls the release time of the limiter, with FAST, MEDIUM, or SLOW options. In Crunch mode, the speed switch controls a variable low pass filter in the audio path. This is useful to control harshness from high frequency harmonics that can be a side effect of harmonic distortion. The speed switch offers 3 low pass modes: OFF, 15kHz, and 8kHz.
The rear panel of the unit contains line-level XLR input and output connectors, a ground lift switch, and an IEC inlet plus fuse for power.
Features “At a Glance”
- Dual Channel, 19” 1U format
- Same features as Level-Or Mk2 plus Mix Knob
- Limiter Sidechain Link
- Serial channel CASCADE mode
- Line Level balanced input with relay bypass
- Line Level Output capable of driving balanced 600-ohm loads
- Discrete JFET Limiter with Level and Crunch operating modes
- Instrument DI on front panel
- Universal Power Supply, 90-240VAC @ 50/60Hz
- Sturdy, corrosion resistant steel chassis
- Smash drum room mics to pull out room sound and add excitement (in stereo!)
- Add grit and drive to bass guitar or synth
- Blend in crunch mode with Mix knob to add extra character to vocals
- Add weight and attitude to close drum mics and acoustic instruments
- Process stereo busses directly using mix knob to dial in just the right amount of character
- Use in cascade mode on mono sources to unlock unique serial processing