The Opticom Model XLA-500 is a 500 Series tube-driven optical compressor. It brings a whole new palette of colors to the world of 500.
The XLA-500 is a tube optical audio limiter designed to produce a full range of non-linear, dynamic audio effects. The heart of the XLA-500 is a unique triple optoelectronic circuit that combines the best characteristics of three separate compression curves into a single unit. Combined with Cinemag input and output transformer and a Class-A gain stage, the result is a high-speed optical limiter with tones that range from 'clean' to 'harmonically rich' to 'dirty'; and compression curves that range from subtle and slow to very fast and aggressive.
The Opticom XLA-500 is the most versatile 500 series optical limiter on the market. Whether trying to gently control dynamic range on vocals, adding weight to a bass track, or even crushing a drum track - the XLA-500 can perform all of these tasks effortlessly and with great satisfaction to the user and, ultimately, the listener.
Seriously smooth compression, especially vocals. I love the bit of sheen it puts on the voice, and how easy it is to get an amazing tone almost immediately. I opted for this over the other 500 series boxes available because it has just a bit more flexibility with the 3 opto circuits (fast, normal, slow). I run it on slow for vox and the signal just drips with silky beef. Seriously, it has so much mojo, with so little noise, it always adds the right stuff to my tracks. As the title says, I'll be up for another asap. Thanks to Mario for some great advice!! A+