Empirical Labs Distressor EL8
Empirical Labs Distressor EL8

Distressor EL8, Studio compressor from Empirical Labs.

JimboSpins 10/26/2012

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 : JimboSpins's user review

« Great on electric guitars »

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The Empirical Labs EL8 is a single channel analog compressor that can give you that classic sound of the tube compressors from many years ago. The Empirical Labs EL8 has turned out to be one of the best purchases that I have made in the last 12 months. The price tag seems high at first but if you want that classed tube sound then this is the way to get it. All of the distortion that you can get with the Empirical Labs EL8 is great. There Empirical Labs EL8 has 1 XLR input and 1 ¼ input, and 1 XLR output with 1 ¼ stereo output. The unit can be racked and it only takes up one rack space. All of the controls like input, output, release and attack are great.


If you are an engineer I highly suggest getting the Empirical Labs EL8, it can take your sound to new heights. Any time you are working with the recording of a band and you want to surprise them with some new distortion all you have to do is start messing with the Empirical Labs EL8 and you can probably accidently come up with a sound that you fall in love with. That is how easy it is to work with.


I love hearing electric guitars ran through this compressor, I have heard vocals and acoustic guitars run through the Empirical Labs EL8 but none of them sound as good as electric guitars when used with it. I have used plenty of similar units that are “old school” tube compressors and distortion plug ins and a ton VST plug ins that are suppose to give you that 70’s compression sound but the Empirical Labs EL8 is the only unit that has gave me that sound that I have been happy with. It is a true tube compression/distortion sound and it comes with no effort.


The Empirical Labs EL8 cost just less than 1400 USD now and that is about 100 dollars cheaper than what it was when it first came out. It could be the best 1400 dollars that you will ever spend.