The Retro Sta-Level is a recreation of the legendary 1956 Gates Sta-Level. The Sta-Level dominated the sound of hit radio in the 1960’s. Now these super musical sounding compressors have found their way into today’s hits. The Retro Gold Edition celebrates fifty years of the products existence. The Retro Sta-Level improves on the original with six settings of recovery (release) time and three different modes of operation. Single is super smooth for bass tracks. Double is perfect for most every source you throw at it. The Triple mode allows the Sta-Level to clamp down on fast transient waveforms while still retaining great musicality. These new adjustments give you wide flexibility to find the perfect dynamics control for your specific application.



The Sta-Level utilizes a novel program controlled release circuit. The Sta-Level implementation creates density and consistency while minimizing typical compressor side-effects at up to 40dB of gain reduction! The program path is transformer balanced throughout to cancel control-induced distortion. Push pull circuitry with 6V6 output stage provides wide voltage swing for gain control and line output. The result is that the Sta-Level brings a uniquely familiar intimacy, air and warmth to your tracks.


    Revisions to the original design include:

    Tube balance can be instantly aligned without test equipment

    Uses a pair of easily-obtainable 6BA6 gain reduction tubes. The 6386 socket is still provided..

    Two or more Sta-Levels can be coupled together for stereo, surround or sidechain operation

    XLR transformer balanced input and output

    IEC Power Connector

    Hand matched audiophile-grade coupling capacitors

    High quality, custom wound transformers used throughout

    Internal component safety cover



    Gain Reduction Threshold: Continuously adjustable from +24dBm to -20dBm

    Available Gain Reduction: 40dB

    Total System Gain: 35dB (with standard input and output pads)

    Distortion: 1 percent or less from 0-30 dB gain reduction

    Frequency Response: ± .25dB from 20-20,000 Hz

    Noise: -70dB or better referenced to gain reduction threshold

    Output Level: Continuously adjustable from -40 dBm to +18 dBm

    Input Impedance: Accepts low impedance active or transformer balanced 0-600 Ohms

    Output Impedance: 600 Ohm transformer balanced, terminated and resistive pad coupled

    Tube Complement: 2-6BA6, 1-12AT7, 2-6V6GT, 1-6AL5, 1-OB2, 1-5Y3GT

    Power Requirements: Three prong IEC - Switchable 115-230 VAC - 50/60 Hz

    Mounting Requirements: 3U metal rack 5.25" high, 19" wide, 8" deep