Based in Eden, NY, Lightning Boy Audio is a small manufacturer focusing on designing hand made analog equipment – including stompboxes (but they also manufacture studio gear including an optical compressor and a plate reverb).
They currently have 4 pedals on their “roster” including 2 distortions and one EQ, and they just came out with a new optical compressor pedal called Opti-Mu Prime (MSRP $299), which sounds intriguing, since there aren’t that many optical compressors out there, and it sounds like this one’s got something even more special about it…
A true vacuum tube compressor, this box is presented as a unique circuit consisting in an optically controlled variable mu compressor – hence the “Opti-Mu” moniker.
Here’s an excerpt from the pedal description that pedal geeks might find interesting:
” One tube is responsible for driving the optically controlled vari-mu circuit, which constantly readjusts the bias of the preamp tube, based on how loud the instrument is being played. Louder notes cause the bias of the preamp tube to lower, creating a cleaner and lower volume for those moments. This is the only pedal on earth which uses actual vacuum tubes to achieve the compression effect. There are some vacuum tube powered compressor pedals out there, but they are actually optical compressors, which use vacuum tubes for makeup gain. This is not a vacuum tube powered optical compressor, it is an optically controlled vacuum tube compressor. A bit different than anything else in the world. Mastering Engineers prefer to use vari-mu compressors over all other types of compressors because of their transparent natural sounding compression characteristics. Opti-Mu Prime delivers the same stunning beauty of a serious vari-mu studio compressor in a stomp box format. ”
Check out the video below for some sound!