AnaMod AM660
While the current rage seems to be digital models of vintage gear, Dave Amels and Greg Gualtieri are making analog models.  That’s right, modeling gear with gear. The AM660 is the duo’s stab at recreating the Fairchild 660 limiter.  From the kidney bean VU meter to the retro-looking knobs, this guy looks like someone zapped a Fairchild with the shrink ray. Controls include input gain, threshold, and 8 pre-set attack/release combinations called “Time Constant.” A bypass button allows for quick before and after comparisons.
            The AM660 possesses a very hi-fi sound and we found that it gave excellent results on nearly anything we threw at it – provided you spend the time to choose an appropriate time constant.  It was also one of the only units that could tame some of the weird square wave synth patches Soy Sos brought.    It was a stand out on electric bass, especially when the player had extreme jumps in volume.  (I believe someone called it the ‘last word on bass compression.’)  Unless pushed, the AM660 didn’t sound like it was compressing, which I found most impressive.  If funds permit, a pair of these could take your career and your recordings places.

Price: $1,300
Strengths: Most audiophile sounding compressor in the group, you have to try to make it sound bad, adds a smooth, buttery layer to drums, bass, and guitars.
Limitations: Slight changes in knob rotation can lead to big changes in sound, pricey.