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Retro Instruments Revolver Dual-Channel Tube Compressor

Dual-channel tube compressor based on the legendary British-modified Altec 436

Product Description

The Retro Instruments Revolver is a highly flexible two-channel all-tube compressor, hand built in the USA with that classic British tone. The Revolver is modeled after the legendary Altec 436 compressor but includes some expanded features to further control the compression in any stage from tracking, mixing to mastering.

Each channel has independent controls for Input, Output, Attack, Release and a Side Chain Filter with the options of 90 Hz and 250 Hz. By engaging the “Link” control, the Revolver will function as a true stereo compressor. The Dual Threshold Control is used to adjust the ratio between 1:5 and 5:1 on each channel, but can also be used to add amplifier saturation to thicken up a vocal, drum bus or the entire mix.

The Revolver is equipped with two beautifully designed and well-lit vintage-style VU meters. A “Meter Zero” control is conveniently located on the front panel to ensure the calibration is spot on every time. Tubes and other components are selected for top performance and proper stereo tracking.


  • A most desired compression signature
  • Ideal for the stereo bus and excels at tracking, mixing and mastering
  • Independent controls with stereo linking, continuously variable input, output, attack, release and threshold
  • Dual Threshold Control allows control of ratio and amplifier saturation
  • Low noise and high separation
  • Differential all-tube signal path
  • Transformer-balanced inputs and outputs on XLR connectors
  • Illuminated VU meters
  • Front panel meter zero controls
  • Internal tube balancing facility
  • 120 or 240 Volt operation

Product Specifications

Condition New
Tube or Solid State Tube
Channels Dual-Channel
Chassis 19-inch Rack-mount

Product Reviews

5 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (4)

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Beautiful build quality and sound. Imparts a distinct sound on anything you run through it. Sounds great on vocals in tandem with my 1176 or just by itself.

Drum bus gets real powdery and big. The harder you compress the more the high end is accentuated. Love the sonic foot print of the device. Doesn’t work for every song or instrument but a great addition if you already have your quicker bus compression and tracking compression covered. I have a ssl style bus comp and purple audio mc77 so this filled the gap perfectly.

By John V on December 8, 2019

Killer! Since I got the Revolver in my studio, I haven’t used any of my other compressors for weeks. Love how hard I can hit this without any negative artifacts. Truly sounds great on everything, but I especially love how drums, bass & guitar sound through it. Playing with the threshold settings can give more or less color as desired & the side chain feature is really nice to have. The price for 2 channels of high end compression is very good as well. The only minor complaint would be that you can’t adjust threshold for each individual channel - the setting is for both channels. Not a huge deal, but would be a nice feature. In summary, amazing sound w lots of features/control. Highly recommend the Revolver!

By Jamie F on June 5, 2019

Compressor's are abundant and come in many flavors these days. Rarely does an analog one come along that takes the bar and moves it up a notch. The Revolver is one of those compression units that did exactly that. And best thing is it is STEREO, saturated with tube love and comes with a slick Retro ink pen! The only thing missing is a Pin Up calendar.

By Arlo W on February 20, 2019

I can’t say enough good things about it. The sound and build quality is amazing and the compressor just seems to hold things in place with out sounding squashed unless you want it to.

By Frank D on February 6, 2019

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This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.
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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