Empirical Labs Distressor EL8X-S
Empirical Labs Distressor EL8X-S

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8X-S

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This is a stereo pair of the Empirical Labs EL8X compressors, matched in the factory with stereo link cables provided.

There are few studios in the world that haven't had some form of Empirical Labs' Distressor sat in their racks at some point. Miloco alone has distressors of varying generations in Livingston, The Bridge, The Square, The Engine Room and many more! The latest incarnation of EL's flagship product is the Empirical Labs EL8 X Distressor. It features the 1:1 "British Mode" compression ratio as standard.  

The Distressor was Empirical Labs' first ever product, developed over two years in the mid-1990s by founder and classic compressor obsessive Dave Derr. It was designed to incorporate the best characteristics of his three favourite compressors; the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain, as well as had a few special features of his own.

The Empirical Labs EL8 X Distressor has 8 ratio options ranging from 1:1 to Empirical Labs' "Nuke" ratio. Typical compression parameters are available, namely input gain, attack, release and output gain. There are switches for stereo link (if used in conjunction with another modern Distressor), British Mode, Dectector and "Audio", which has three different options for colouring the sound by using a different compression knee.

One of the key aims behind the design of the Empirical Labs EL8 X Distressor was to produce a warm and vintage compression sound. Empirical Labs set out to avoid the cold and clinical sound of many modern compressors, a decision validated by the huge amount of units that are being used in studios today.


The EL8 X Distressor has two added features on the original - the British Mode Switch and the stereo link. Both are available from Miloco Gear, simply get in touch for details.