MXR M-136 Dual Limiter (Refurbished & Recapped)


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SKU: mxr-dual-limiter-136 Categories: , Tags: , , , , , ,


This MXR Limiter has been refurbished with high-value Panasonic bipolar capacitors replacing the original caps in the audio path. The remaining electrolytics have also been replaced with Panasonics. The power supply has been completely recapped with higher-value reservoir capacitors and additional decoupling caps. The switches & pots have been cleaned & lubricated. This MXR limiter sounds great!

The MXR Model 136 Dual Limiter is a hard to find in the UK – this is only the second I’ve seen in the last five years. I bought the first one, and it’s a “keeper”, so this is the first I’ve had for sale

Most compressors use a VCA, FET, LDR or valve as the gain reduction element. The MXR is unusual in that it uses Pulse Width Modulation. PWM is still a fairly esoteric way to build a compressor. PWM was used in high-end devices such as the legendary EMT limiters – as seen in every cutting room in the 80s & 90s for mastering vinyl – and also in some some Pye and Neumann compressors. PWM chops audio into hundreds of thousands of slices per second and gain reduction is achieved by controlling the width of the slices. It’s a curious hybrid of radio-frequency and digital-like techniques

Does PWM automatically make a better compressor? No – it’s a difficult technology to master and most designers opt for the VCA option. PWM is a more complex approach with a different sonic footprint. EMT limiters were famously smooth & unobtrusive but the MXR has a rather more aggressive sound

A favourite MXR Limiter trick is to cascade the two channels, feeding the output of one to the input of the other. It’s not an approach you’d think of immediately but it’s an interesting one. The two channels have separate controls so it’s possible to follow a punchy, 4:1 slow attack / fast release compressor with with a slower limiter to pin the signal in place

The MXR Model 136 is rare, brutal & characterful and I love it. Mine lives in my “Colour Compressor” rack along with a Valley People Dynamite, two dbx 160XTs and a pair of dbx 163Xs

“These are really cool comps for drums. I just sold mine on here and I am definitely wondering why”

“The MXR has a lot of punch & grit.. it adds a lot of “character” to your sound”

“I love the 136. Very musical sounding compressor, highly underrated”

“Dang! You guys are letting the Cat out of the Bag. The MXR 136 has been my Drum Buss Secret weapon for many years.”

“The MXR 136 is a fantastic comp for all kinds of things. I use it for for the mix bus as well as drums, vocals, bass. I’ll never part with mine”

“Yes… It’s known for distorting nicely when slammed. But when used in a more subtle fashion it can sound quite elegant”

“One of my favourite uses is cascading one channel into another when dealing with aggressive vocals”

“Yeah! Just got my third one – I love this thing”

“I’ve used a lot of compressors and this one has to be my all time favorite. It sounds amazing on drums and bass”

“It works great on individual drums, as a parallel compressor on the drum bus or for any sound source that you want an effect compressor on it. It is full of character”

“Fairly flexible stereo or dual-mono limiter that works great for destroying drums”

“I find them to be very musical, like all the MXR processors I’ve owned”