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Manley ELOP® - Stereo Electro-Optical Limiter
Features & SpecificationsMSRPQ & AMastering VersionPhotosDownloads

Set it and forget it! Our ELOP® Limiters make your job easy. The principle of operation is based around using a rectified sample of the audio to shine an LED (Light Emitting Diode) onto an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor). The photo-resistor in combination with a fixed resistor simply act as a changing voltage divider to attenuate the signal-- like a smart volume control. A similar principle was found in the older **Teletronix & Urei **LA-2A, LA-3, and LA-4 units which used a slower electro-luminescent panel-light on a conventional LDR encased in a light-tight enclosure. Ours uses modern VACTROL technology (but with a trick!) for exact sample-to-sample tracking and no high frequency loss while digging deep into limiting-- problems commonly associated with older LA-series limiters and other opto-based units.

The audio signal passes only through our super-clean single-ended vacuum tube line amplifiers in the Manley unit, and through all-discrete Class A amplifiers in the Langevin version. Each channel can be run separately or switched to stereo - link . Due to their inherently quick attack, these Electro-Optical Limiters are skilled soldiers for tracking vocals or individual instruments, although now with the addition of a very useful sidechain high-pass filter that can switch between 100Hz or 200Hz (or OUT) to allow the limiter to ignore heavy bass lines, the ELOP® limiter is proving more useful for modern urban music where you dont want the limiter only responding to the loudest thing i.e., the BIG bass. If you want the bass line to leave the rest of the mix alone, then this switch is for you !

Product history versions:

The first Manley Electro-Optical Limiters were built back at the VTL factory and had green printed circuit boards and black billet chassis and faceplates. These units carried a serial number prefix of MANOPTO###. The oldest Manley Blue faced units in our standard extruded sides chassis with perforated top and bottom covers built prior to 1997 with serial codes MANELOP### were unbalanced I/O only. Serial codes MELOPB### are units with the Manley input and output transformers, although you still can use the transformerless inputs and outputs if you use the 1/4" TRS jacks.

In October 2000 after unit MELOP565 we ditched the superfluous "balance control" and put the handy side chain filter in its place. October 2004 the engraving is changing to reflect this product's official new name: MANLEY ELOP® (registered trademark).

You might also consider some of our other limiters and compressors:


Features and Specifications
  • ALL-TUBE audio path 12AU7WA + 6414 per ch.
  • Unbalanced 1/4" Inputs And Outputs and...
  • Balanced Transformer Coupled XLR Inputs And Outputs
  • Hi-current drive <50 Ohm 1/4" & XLR outputs
  • Silent conductive plastic INPUT attenuators
  • ATTACK time: 10mS for 6dB GR
  • RELEASE: 2.5 Seconds for 6dB GR
  • Maximum Input (Bypass through Line Amplifier) +30 dBv (with Limit "IN" the maximum is entirely variable)
  • Maximum Output +30 dBv
  • Headroom (referenced to +4 dBv) 26 dB
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 70 kHz ±0.5 dB
  • BYPASS switches and AUTOMUTE w/warmup delay
  • Large ILLUMINATED Sifam VU METERS (older units before serial number MELOPB716 shipped before 6/2003 use: 26V 1.2W FESTOON LAMPS; Manley's Part Number: VAR016B) Order spare bulbs using our parts order form. (newest units after serial number MELOPB716 shipped after 6/2003 use yellow LED lighting)
  • Meters switch to read OUTPUT or REDUCTION
  • Side-Chain High-Pass Filter 100Hz or 200Hz
  • THD & Noise (1kHz @ +4 dBm): .015%
  • Noise Floor (Gain set to minimum): -80 dB Wideband
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 126 dB typical
  • Maximum gain: 15 dB
  • Power consumption: 40 watts
  • Operating mains voltage: Units are purpose built for original destination country's mains voltage: 100V, 120V, or 220-240VAC as indicated on the serial number badge. Power transformer must be replaced in order to change mains operating voltage. 120VAC units may NOT be rewired to put the primaries of the power transformer in series for 220-240V operation or a large radiated field of hum will develop. If changing locations/voltages, the power transformer must be replaced with the dedicated one for the voltage at which it will operate.
  • Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~ 60Hz
  • Dimensions: 19" x 3 1/2" x 10" (occupies 2u)
  • Shipping weight: 16 lbs.


Proudly from our beginning, we at MANLEY LABS have been closely involved with numerous mastering facilities around the world. For these most demanding engineers in our industry, we have created specialised products such as our all-tube tape repro head amps, digital converters, high-powered vacuum tube monitor amplifiers, through to custom monitoring consoles, all the way up to complete facility design and installation.

Mastering versions of any of our limiters and equalizers incorporating detented and logable 1/2dB steps built with 1% metal film resistors on sealed gold-contact Grayhill switches may be custom ordered for an additional $500 NET per channel. Normal units may not be converted.

Our lead time is usually no more than two weeks on these purpose-built items.

Please inquire with EveAnna personally for detailed information.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

  • Manley Stereo ELOP® Limiter: $3,300

1. Question: My meter lamps burned out. How do I get replacements?

Older units before serial number MELOPB716 shipped before 6/2003 use: 26V 1.2W FESTOON LAMPS; Manley's Part Number: VAR016B. Order these spare bulbs using our parts order form. Newest units after serial number MELOPB716 shipped after 6/2003 use yellow LED lighting and those shouldn't burn out. You can get in touch with Paul in our service department and upgrade your older unit to yellow LED lighting for $25 bucks.

2. Question: ELOP® Limiter or Variable Mu® Limiter Compressor? Which one is for me?

You've probably heard someone say, "You've gotta get the Manley compressor." Now you've found out we make two completely different stereo units yet each unit has its own following. (And then there are the fanatics that own both of 'em...) But when you can only get one, the choice really depends on what you need a dynamics processor for. If your requirements include compressing your 2-Buss, drums, or making this your day-to-day compressor, the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor is your clear choice. Why? Because when used more than a few dB, the ELOP® Limiter's fast attack time will want to grab fast transients first (like drums) from a mix and throw them back into the next room behind the speakers. The Variable Mu Limiter Compressor has adjustable attack and release which have optimised settings for mixing and mastering but are flexible enough and also go fast enough for most tracking situations. This makes the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor one truly versatile machine.

You might think having every control in the world is what you need, but if recording vocals is your main focus or if you're doing live work, your goal is to be ready not to miss 'that moment'. The ELOP® Limiter is ideal for recording and tracking because it is incredibly easy to use, and hard to get it wrong. It seems to do the right thing at the right time-- no regrets. Peak limiting of individual instruments especially vocals, room mics on drums, and good ol' mega-squashing effects are the daily duties of the ELOP® Limiter.

The most common mistake most people make when buying a compressor is getting wrapped up in specs and theory. Remember, that the real goal is cool music and great sounds, not knobs and numbers. Time to stop thinking and start listening!

Manley or Langevin? What's the deal? Read the Langevin FAQ.

Older black-faced first version produced 1991-1993.

**LA-2A and TELETRONIX are registered trademarks belonging to William Putnam.
ELOP® is a registered trademark of Manley Laboratories, Inc.

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