The signal path consists of high performance input/out transformers, passive components and ten tubes (eight ECC83 and two 12BH7) configured as a fully balanced Class A design. Because the LDRs (Light Dependent Resistors) in the opto-compressors are temperature sensitive, the S3 houses an 'electronic oven' which provides and sustains the optimum LDR operating temperature, thereby maintaining calibration accuracy and improving performance. A front panel LED indicates temperature status.
Large-scale VU meters can be switched to "Peak" mode for both gain and stereo balance to compensate for source material with a left/right imbalance or disproportionate processing.
Noted Brad Lunde, president TransAudio Group, "Ten Tubes! Who in the world would ever design a compressor with ten tubes! Well, Ivor Drawmer did. And he may well be one of the last of the great pro audio designers who has a vision for a superior mastering compressor and then actually develops and manufactures product to fulfill his dream. The S3 is not for everyone. It's for the purists who consistently want to create music with the depth and scope only analog can provide. It's expensive and it should be."