First thing’s first, the Origin Effects Cali76 Limiting Amplifier is an in- vestment. This isn’t one of your “ooh I have a few spare bucks, I’ll hit the stores” purchases. This is one of those “I’m a serious musician, and making music means more to me than anything else in the world” purchases. If you’ve ever opened a thread on a guitar forum using the words “What’s the cheapest ______?” then this isn’t for you. Ok? We cool? Cool.
TAKE IT SQUEEZY
Okay so here’s what this is: it’s a premium-quality, 60s-style FET compressor inspired by the Urei 1176. Y’know all those plug-ins that slyly hint at their 1176 inspirations? Imagine being able to plug in to a physical unit that does that. Then imagine it being made in pedal form for use as a guitar stompbox, but big enough to go on the desktop for studio applications as well. It has a 100 percent Class A discrete signal path, low-noise electronics, and topology that stays true to the original, while carefully condens- ing the circuitry. There are con- trols for Ratio (from 4 to 20), At- tack and Release (with ‘Snappy’ and ‘Lively’ helpfully printed on these knobs’ left and right, respectively), Output, and Input/ Comp. There’s also an LED-based VU-style meter to keep you visu- ally informed of what’s going on with your signal. There are also dedicated Amplifier and Line/DI outputs so you can integrate it in a guitar or studio rig.
COMPRESSIVE. MOST COMPRESSIVE.
The real magic of this unit is that it gives you true studio- quality compression right there across your guitar rig, and it’s difficult to overstate just how much fun this is, and how it makes you play better. When you plug in and hear your music coming right out of the amp with that warm, responsive, intuitive compression that you’re used to hearing on an album, it’ll give you chills. It’s especially fun when you’re using P90s, single coils or lower-output humbuckers because it gives you a little more body. Do you play soul/R&B? Then imagine getting those classic warmly compressed tones right out of your amp. Blues? Ditto. Country? You can dial this thing in to the most ‘spanky’ country twang you ever heard. Of course, you can also use it to simply round off the edges of your dynamic range as well to help things sit more comfortably in a mix, and it’ll do it beautifully.
Whether you want to use this for practical sonic management pur- poses or for all-out ‘pinchy’ com- pression effects in your guitar rig or in the studio (and hey, try it on a drum or vocal track - it’s amazing!), this is a high quality pedal for serious players.
Hits and Misses
Tank-like construction quality
Expensive (but worth it!)