BAE Audio Ships 500C Lunchbox FET Compressor

BAE tells us their new 500 series FET compressor sounds good on anything. It features high pass, and 'gain reduction off' so you can get the benefits of the transformer path without any compression.  

North Hollywood, Calif. – August 17, 2017 – BAE Audio, manufacturer of best-in-class analogue gear, has announced that its 500 series format compressor, the 500c, is now shipping. The unit is also BAE Audio’s first FET compressor, faithfully capturing the mix-defining circuits of the 60s and 70s. 

This compact, yet sonically rich dynamics processor, available through BAE Audio authorized dealers for $950 was unveiled at NAMM 2017 and packs authentic, vintage tone into a small and easily transportable footprint. As the first 500 series compressor offered by BAE Audio, the 500c provides the 'glue' needed to take any recording chain to the next level, or to help instruments sit properly in the mix. It is also one more step towards achieving the 'all-BAE' 500 series channel strip.

“Our users have been very excited about the possibility of bringing BAE quality to the 500 series format, and we have a ton of requests for our first lunchbox dynamics processor, which is now a reality,” says BAE Audio President Mark Loughman. “Despite the inherently compact specifications of the format, the 500C deivers the 'big' compressor sound that has made FET circuits essential for both recording and mixing. When used in combination with our 1073MP and EQs such as the B15 or G10, users can now unlock that timeless vintage sound in a 500 series rack."

BAE 500c compressor

Main Features

  • FET gain reduction
  • Three 2520 style opamps
  • Transformer coupled output
  • Feedback style peak limiter
  • SC HPF
  • Hard bypass
  • Gain Reduction on/off
  • Comp ratios: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1, ABI
  • ABI All Buttons In
  • Fully enclosed
  • High quality components throughout

Hop on the Vintage Hit Parade

FET compressors of the '60s and '70s, which have been heard on countless hit records, inspired the design of 500C’s circuit — which features controls for input and output gain, plus the four selectable, time-honored compression rations of 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1, and the beloved “All Buttons In” setting popularized on its progenitors. A switchable high-pass filter can be engaged to protect the low-end integrity of bass-heavy input sources or busses while still achieving peak reduction. The 500C is exceedingly versatile and is particularly appropriate for drums, vocals, and bass guitar. The dynamics section is easily bypassed via a front-facing button, allowing users to A/B the signal both with and without compression.

In addition to serving as a versatile dynamics processor, the premium components used in the signal path of the 500C deliver extremely musical analog warmth. The unit’s three 2520 style opamps combine with a transformer-coupled output to bring unmatched clarity and richness to any signal. Like all BAE Audio gear, the 500C is hand-wired in California to ensure the highest possible quality control.

The 500C is priced at $950 and is available through BAE Audio's network of authorized retaillers. For more information on the 500C, please visit



Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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