I was originally going to build an Opti-Mu Prime pedal for Danny Imig (The Elektra Kings). Its been a few years since looking at the schematic, and in those years I learned/developed/evolved so very much. I decided to redesign the pedal to perform exactly the way I had originally dreamed. Yes, I fell far short from my original dream when I released the pedal. Honestly, Opti-Mu Prime was a very good pedal, but it always had me feeling like it wasn't good enough. I sort of swept it under the rug, but some moment of fate brought me to take another look.
The new pedal is very different, but is based on the original design to some extent. On the outside it looks very similar... 2 tubes, and all the same controls. The tubes function differently now, the range of compression has been expanded by 75%, the noise floor has been lowered by 50%, the output volume has been increased by 35%, and the pedal has a great deal more clarity than ever before. Its so much better and so wildly different that it really needs a new name... thus, the "Op-2 Comp." It is now a straight up vacuum tube powered optical compressor. It has an ultra fast attack time from its LED light source, but with the beautiful and legendary auto-release characteristics of the much famous LA2A studio compressor. The soft and hard knee controls are also more obvious sounding than in the original Opti-Mu Prime. You can now distinctly hear a significant tonal difference between the two different compression attack slopes.
Its a seriously badass pedal, which I promise to released in the future.
A gentleman, who's band I'll be recording soon, asked me if I would build an Opti-Mu Prime for him. I normally would decline to make any pedals, but since he's planning to recording with me I decided to make an exception. This is the first exception I've made since the end of pedal production in 2014.
I took a look at the schematic for the first time in a couple years and almost laughed when I saw it. With all the R&D that's been going on with Trinity, I've really learned/evolved a lot in the past year, let alone the past 2 years. I'm kind of surprised the pedal worked as good as it did. Let me tell you, there's a lot of room for improvement and I already did it with this new build.
I was able to expand the range of compression drastically, allowing for both less and more compression than the original had. I was also able to increase the overall output volume considerably, while simultaneously lowering the THD and noise! There's more components now and the build is more complicated, but this new version is radically superior to the original in every way.
I'm seriously considering releasing 1 pedal in the future, which will be this pedal. I will call the new version, Opti-Mu II. Its probably going to sell for about $500, so definitely not your average cheapo compressor. My goal here was to make a vacuum tube powered studio compressor in a pedal, but for less than a $3600 tube studio compressor.
Last night I finally finished the design work for Trinity. Its done! I had to sacrifice a little bit of gain to achieve the noise performance I was looking for, but that's okay since there was just over 80dB to work with. Noise is low low low, frequency response is flat, all the controls work great, super low THD, I'm so very pleased. Designing Trinity has been the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life. I'm so very proud of it and so massively relieved to finally be finished. That was a grueling 9 months of long days with no more than a rare day off. Serious stress, but now I can take a deep breath and relax for a moment before going into production. I'm planning to build a bunch of channels before the release so I can have inventory ready to ship upon order.
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.