Altec Lansing 438 A

438 A, Studio compressor from Altec Lansing.

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moosers 09/11/2009

Altec Lansing 438 A : la opinión de moosers (content in English)


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The Altec Lansing 438 A is a single channel compressor that is incredibly simple in terms of characteristics.  I'm not exactly sure what types of connections this has as the one that I have used was pre racked in a studio and I didn't have anything to do with setting up it.  The 438 A is an all analog unit that is rack mountable and will take up two rack spaces.


The make up of the Altec Lansing 438 A is as simple as any sort of outboard gear can be.  Even if you don't have any experience using any sort of compressor, being that this only has a single knob for volume level, I think that anyone should be able to figure out how to use this quite easily.  Besides the volume knob, all you've got on the front of it is an on/off switch and a space for a fuse.  The unit also has a meter to monitor the amount of compression.  A manual is definitely not needed as this is incredibly easy to follow.


While Altec is more well known for their studio monitors, they did a great job here with the 438 A.  While not versatile since it only has one knob, the sound that you can get is warm and rich sounding overall.  It is a suitable compressor for just about any type of application, but I've only used it for vocals and for guitars and I find that it works great in these situations and will probably work great beyond this.  The Altec Lansing 438 A definitely has a certain tone quality to it that is unique, but I wouldn't say that it colors the sound beyond what an analog compressor will normally offer.  Overall, this is a very good sounding compressor.


I've been using the Altec Lansing 438 A for about a year and a half and it is definitely a compressor that I would recommend.  While I don't think that you can really seek one out because they are quite rare and hard to find, if you do get a chance to use one I would definitely recommend trying it out.  While I do wish that there were more parameters to play with so I could get some varying tones, it is also nice that it is so easy to use and that you can dial in a tone within a minute or so.  I would recommend this to someone looking for a single compressor to add to their home studio, but if you have a professional studio and are looking to expand this is definitely a compressor looking into.