This new device from Suncoast is a RMS compressor/limiter design with variable threshold control of the range -9db to +8db. It is best to think of it not so much as a compressor as a device to limit signal peaks. It works best in an application where it is receiving a strong signal and would be excellent in an amplifier effects loop to limit signal peaks between the preamp and power amp. Connecting a bass or guitar directly doesn't seem to be the sweet spot.
There are only two controls: The Threshold dial and attack switch for fast (500uS) or slow attack time (5mS). Simple as that.
The Threshold dial allows you to dial in the point at which your signal triggers the limiting effect and then the Attack switch gives you some control over how fast the limiting effect latches on. There is a yellow LED that illuminates with varying intensity when there is any amount of limiting happening.
There is a green LED that illuminates when the pedal is activated via the True Bypass foot switch.
The Suncoast LM-1 is extremely transparent. I noticed no difference in tone at all with the pedal engaged. To my ear there was no loss of highs or lows (other than if the limiter is clamping down). It is truly one of the most transparent limiters I've every used.
The LM-1 is there to do one job and that is to limit signal peaks.
Don't expect anything else from it. In fact, unless you have a high output instrument you will need to turn the threshold control far counterclockwise to even get any limiting effect at all. That said, it is excellent for slap style bass playing. It really seems catered to being downline from effects that will be driving the LM-1. In such a scenario it will do a stellar job eliminating unnecessary audio spikes. It is very quiet.
The Suncoast LM-1 was modeled after vintage compressor/limiter in Pearce units and Suncoast documentation says the LM-1 even uses a vintage NOS Harris CA3080 compressor IC from Pearce's original inventory. Jim at Suncoast said the inspiration for the LM-1 originated from a request from Billy Sheehan who wanted the compressor/limiter circuit from his old Pearce BC1 and G1 preamp. Billy wanted to put the LM-1 in the effects loop of his Helix.
The LM-1 input is Line Level with 1 Meg ohm impedance.
I suspect those that are looking for a limiter of this type will be pleased Those looking for a more versatile compressor device should look elsewhere.
It's one of those devices that is out of the way until it is needed and that's exactly what those who buy the LM-1 will want it for.
The enclosure is a Hammond 1590B type and is aluminum with black powder coating finish. Input and output jacks are side mounted as is the 9VDC center negative power input. It can also run off a 9-volt battery.
The footswitch is the soft press "clickless" type which I personally like. The top graphic and text identifiers are applied to plastic affixed to the enclosure.
Pro's • Transparent
• Good for an effects loop application
• Not all that versatile (but it wasn't designed for versatility)
Retail price: $199