Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Chop Shop won't land you in jail.

 The 500 series market is literally exploding with new offerings from both well known companies and new arrivals. The Chop Shop by the California based manufacturer Louder Than Liftoff is a 500 series tone shaper with an unusual name and vivid faceplate. The Chop Shop comes in white ($349) and Limited Edition Black ($369). I like this company's attitude and I'm sure there will be other products from them. I look forward to trying the Chop Shop in the studio. If the sound is as bold as the looks they've got a winner.

From the website:

"The Louder Than Liftoff is proud to present the Chop Shop 500 Series EQ available with a white or black aesthetic (limited Void Corp Edition). Offering a unique and intuitive set of features for quickly shaping tones with minimal fuss, the Chop Shop empowers you to achieve focus and separation in your mix. It's almost like cheating:"

The Chop Shop enables you to: 
  • Balance the size and presence of a vocal to fit perfectly in a busy mix
  • Tighten up and increase low end punch of kick, snare, toms, bass, and guitar
  • Create effortless separation between kick and bass
  • Reduce hi-hat bleed in snare mics while retaining brightness of attack
  • Reduce boominess of acoustic guitars while adding shimmer
  • Smooth out digital fizziness of distorted electric guitars while shaping weight and bite
  • Quickly add brilliance to sources recorded with dark sounding ribbon mics


Intuitive filter that focuses the energy in a source on the bass or treble ranges of the sound. Apparent loudness of source is maintained constant for meaningful A/B comparisons. SHIFT switch decreases turnover frequency for a different midrange response.

12 dB/oct filter that rolls off low frequencies, variable 20 to 530 Hz. Jumper selectable "Lo-Rider" mode transforms LO-CUT section into a low-frequency hi-cut section with variable resonance (hint: try this on a front of kick or Subkick mic and blend back in for incredibly deep and massive low end).

Variable resonance control for LO-CUT that adds a resonant "bump" at the corner frequency. Response from Bessel (full CCW), to Butterworth (12 noon), to slightly resonant (0.5 dB full CW). MORE switch increases resonance dramatically... sometimes MORE is more.

6 dB/oct filter that rolls off high frequencies, variable 500 Hz to 25 kHz. 0.5X switch shifts frequency range one octave lower, while simultaneously increasing slope to 12 dB/oct and adding slight resonance at corner frequency to retain apparent brightness (defeatable by jumper on PCB).


  • DC coupled signal path with DC servo at input stage (no electrolytic caps in audio path)
  • Audiophile grade op amps (LME49720), class A biased
  • Alps pushbutton switches
  • Wima polypropylene film capacitors
  • Panasonic FM series power supply decoupling capacitors
  • Custom 41 detent potentiometers
  • Custom molded knobs
  • Aluminum faceplate with anti-glare satin finish and "stealth" LED indicators

*+/- 16V power provided by API 500 series compatible rack, not included (We recommend API, Purple Audio and Radial racks)