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Tube-Tech CL 1B Optical Tube Compressor

Iconic optical tube compressor known for smooth, transparent compression with an intuitive interface making it easy to dial in perfect sound - the “go-to” vocal compressor for any genre!

Product Description


The Tube-Tech CL 1B Compressor is basically an optical compressor on steroids. Its all tube design delivers smooth, musical compression without introducing harshness, even when the needle is pegged. Capable of quickly and easily producing radio-ready vocals, the CL 1B is a well-known secret in the rap community. Also revered by rockers, the CL 1B excels at smoothing out bass lines, smashing electric guitars, and getting keys to sit just right in the mix. The CL 1B has been used on countless legendary recordings and is a "go-to" vocal compressor for any genre. Within minutes of getting your hands on the CL 1B you’ll be able to hear and feel the difference. The CL 1B is incredibly easy to use and features an intuitive interface for quickly dialing in the perfect settings for any signal.


The Tube-Tech CL 1B features a gain-reduction element positioned immediately after the input transformer, which is controlled by the sidechain amplifier. The CL 1B features two time control circuits (one for fixed attack and release times, and the other for variable) which can either be used separately or combined. A dedicated bus selector with three positions (Off, Bus 1, Bus 2) can be used to link up to 10 compressors together in your signal-chain. The gain reduction element is followed by a tube-based push-pull amplifier with variable gain up to 30 dB, providing powerful yet transparent compression. Input and output transformers have a static-screen between the primary and secondary wirings, allowing for minimal distortion. Both the input and output are balanced and fully floating to offer you maximum flexibility when patching into your system.


Originally introduced in 1991, the CL 1B quickly became an industry standard compressor thanks to its one-of-a-kind sound. Known for being smooth, warm and transparent, the CL 1B can be found rack mounted in major studios all around the world. Featuring a selectable ratio from 2:1 to 10:1, attack times from .5 ms to 300 ms, and release times from .05 seconds to 10 seconds, the CL 1B is one of the most versatile optical compressors on the market.


  • Unique low distortion gain-reduction element
  • All tube-based push-pull amplifier
  • Multiple interconnection of several compressors via two busses
  • VU-meter for monitoring input, compression and output
  • Continuously variable attack and release time
  • Gain Range (off to +30 dB)
  • Variable Threshold (off to -40 dBu)
  • Frequency response @ -3 dB: 5 Hz to 25 kHz
  • Low noise: < -75 dBu @30 dB gain
  • Clickless bypass relay

Product Specifications

Tube or Solid StateTube
Chassis19-inch Rack-mount
Rack Spaces3u
Digital I/ONo

Product Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (10)

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Awesome!! Top studio/radio quality!!

By Robert A on April 22, 2021

Amazing unit. Has a magical subtle crunch and sheen, but doesn’t sound like it’s pumping. Worth it.

By John R on April 21, 2021

Works as advertised thank you!!

By Carlos M on March 16, 2021

Excellent quality!

By Daniel D on February 24, 2021

Love it

By Hodgy on January 24, 2021

Very solid vocal compressor for tracking. Adds a nice sheen.

By Tyler B on October 23, 2020

It’s everything good you hear about on forums
Love it

By Devin V on July 23, 2019

This compressor is the real deal..it works amazingly with vocals, it’s smooth ,round and punchy just gives the vocals a “finished” sound straight of the bat ... !!!

By Ben H on July 18, 2019

I loved my LA-2A, but to have more control with attack and release, I had to try it. The vocals I track with it have never sounded better!

By Craig F on June 20, 2017

Recently I made the plunge in a hardware unit after using the plug-in version for the last few years. The real thing really does step up the sound quality vs. the plug in (which is great for the money). Vocals are now larger than life sounding, exciting, have more cut and a cool distortion vibe to the top end when the compressor is driven. Makes everthing sound "polished" in a way that I couldn't squeeze out of the plug-in. If I had only one vocal compressor, this one covers all the bases, especially for modern styles.

By John on May 4, 2017

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The speed of delivery exceeded my expectations! I was VERY pleased that my shipment arrived in time for a scheduled vocal tracking session. The packing insured that my order arrived safely. And the sales staff responded quickly to questions regarding the product.
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