A little ahead of NAMM 2019, vintage revival specialists Heritage Audio introduced new hardware – a stereo diode-bridge bus compressor named Successor. Once again utilizing HA’s Carnhill transformer-based Class A ’73-style input and output stages, the Successor’s mission is combining vintage-style looks and character compression with modern functionality typically found in software plug-ins. It’s an interesting unit that’s worth a closer look.
While Heritage Audio based the diode-bridge gain reduction stage on vintage designs, it took care to modernize the unit with features such as sidechain filtering options, parallel processing, and wet/dry signal comparison. Of note are also the fast Attack and Release settings, atypical for vintage-inspired designs. They offer greater flexibility in terms of outcome, making possible FET-style precision and transparent volume maximizing, in addition to diode-style harmonics-rich character.
The sidechain filtering options are also worth a bit of examination. High pass filters aside, the unit provides mid-band peak filtering and high frequency compression on top of SEND and RETURN connections for external signal processing. Finally, Heritage Audio added stepped controls to make recalling settings easier.
Overall, the Successor is an interesting development which we are keen on learning more about during NAMM. I’m not 100% sure how much I fancy the overtly Neve-inspired front panel look, but in the end, it’s a Heritage Audio thing. Might as well go along with their vision. I believe there’s nothing else on the hardware market quite like the Successor right now, and certainly not in its price range. The MSRP for it is around USD 1500, which is reasonable for a flexible unit with a voice of its own.