Alesis Micro Limiter (Modified & Recapped) #22


In stock


The Micro Limiter might seem like an odd unit to modify but, having recapped & modified quite a few compressors recently, I was pretty sure it would benefit. And so it turns out: when recapped & upgraded the Micro Limiter sounds bigger & better

The power supply has been updated with much larger reservoir caps and better decoupling. The tiny audio coupling caps have been replaced with much larger bipolar caps which really improves the bass end, making it smoother & better defined. Even with quite a lot of gain reduction you can feel the weight of the bass

Since the photos were taken we’ve come up with a modified release timing setup. This shortens the fastest release time but still allows a relatively long release when set to maximum. The values were determined by listening tests and the results are a big improvement over a stock Micro Limiter. The difference between the shortest & longest release settings is more pronounced and there is greater sonic variation

This is “the other” vintage compressor from Alesis. The Micro Limiter is a 1/3U stereo limiter which is famous for smashing drums, nuking snares, mullering cymbals and squashing bass guitar

Although Alesis call it a limiter, at low compression levels – when the green LEDs are lit – it uses a ratio between 2:1 and 8:1. With the yellow LEDs on CR is around 10:1 and, with the final red LEDs lit, 16:1. It uses a soft-knee approach, so there is always some compression going on, but higher input levels means more compression and a higher ratio

There’s no Threshold control – just Input, Release & Output controls and an In/Out switch. The back panel is equally minimal with input & output jacks and a power socket

Release time is the key here – with fast release times and lots of compression you get pumping & breathing but slowing up the release changes the character of the sound immensely. At long release times the Microlimiter is in gain reduction all the time but the depth of compression is still driven by the input signal. It’s possible to use huge amounts of gain reduction but still maintain articulation on signals like bass guitar. In this respect it’s more flexible than one of my favourites, the dbx 160X

The Micro Limiter has another big advantage over its competitors – it’s a stereo device. This means stereo drum ambience, parallel buses and backing vocals are all targets for some serious compression. It will do subtle compression as well as vicious but it excels at the nasty stuff. Use your RNC for Nice compression and the Micro Limiter for Dirty

“Well, thus far, my favourite use has been on overheads; you can squish ’em pretty hard without strange things happening to the sound”

“I still have three of them. I like them on drums, vocals and acoustic guitar”

“Really cool as a parallel comp on snare and voice”

“Squishes like there is no morning”

“What a fun little box! It sounds pretty good on everything I’ve tried it on”

“Super squasher, always good fun making the whole room come through the snare mic. Good for aggressive up front vocals too”

“I’m loving it as a parallel drum comp, really trashy but nice and thick sounding too”

Photos show a Micro Limiter sold previously

Inputs & outputs are unbalanced on jack sockets. Power is from an external 9 VAC power supply (included).

Recapped & modified with larger bipolar caps in the audio path and an upgraded power supply with larger reservoir caps & additional decoupling

1/3 rack

Owners manuals

Sound Samples - Amen to that!

Youtube demo on kit

Youtube demo "Nuking Snare" Youtube demo - MicroLimiter on bass guitar

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1/3 U
Recapped & modified with larger bipolar caps in the audio path and an upgraded power supply with larger reservoir caps & additional decoupling In very good used condition, with minimal case marks. Tested & working 100%. UK external power adaptor supplied, US or EU adaptor supplied on request. Photos show a Micro Limiter sold previously