Black Lion Audio

Seventeen 500

Modernized 500-series FET Limiting Amplifier

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Seventeen 500 line art

It’s not your grandpa’s ‘76.

Seventeen 500 is Black Lion’s 500-series spin on what the classic ’76 compressor could have been. Featuring a redesigned and improved IC-based front end, Seventeen 500 renders incredible detail and nuance normally not possible with a ‘76-style comp—while adding some features unavailable on original ‘76s. 

What makes Seventeen 500 different? 

First, Seventeen 500 features a new IC-based front-end circuit not found in classic ‘76 compressors. It provides a clean, punchy, modern sound under light compression and a more colorful vintage character when pushed. That front-end, when coupled with our custom-designed, made-in-Chicago output transformer, is why Seventeen delivers a huge bottom end that balances out its open top end very nicely. All told, Seventeen 500 is capable of delivering a broader tonal palette than original ‘76s.

Seventeen 500 features BLA’s proprietary Black Lion-style power decoupling for an incredibly low noise floor. It also uses high-grade Nichicon signal capacitors, widely considered some of the highest quality caps available, reducing the noise floor even further. 

Black Lion could have stopped there… but why? Other features and upgrades include separate selectable high- and low-pass filters and a wet/dry mix knob parallel compression straight out of the box. Beyond offering a palette of tones not available to anything else on the market, Seventeen 500 also includes the all-important stereo link function. 

Last but not least—yes, it does “all-buttons-in” mode, and we’ve made it much easier to engage multiple ratio controls simultaneously than on classic models.


  • 500-series version of Black Lion Audio’s take on the classic ’76 FET compressor/limiter
  • Improved and redesigned IC-based front end delivers:
    • Clean, punchy, modern sound under light compression
    • Colorful vintage character when pushed
  • Proprietary power decoupling for an impressively low noise floor
  • Employs high-grade Nichicon signal capacitors
  • Frequency-adjustable sidechain high-pass filter 
  • Wet/Dry mix knob allows for parallel compression not available on vintage rackmount units
  • Stereo-linkable


  • Type: 500-series FET Compressor
  • Attack: Continuously variable 20uS to 800uS
  • Release: Continuously variable 1200mS to 50mS
  • Sidechain HPF: OFF, 100Hz, 200Hz
  • Ratio: Pushbutton selected 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1 or any other combination
  • Voltage: ± 16v
  • Dimensions: Width:76 mm (3”) Height: 178 mm (5.25”) Depth: 229 mm (9”)
  • Weight: 1.47 kg (3.25 lbs)
  • Manufacturer Part Number: Seventeen 500
  • A note on the Attack control:
  • The Attack control on the Seventeen works a little differently than you may have encountered on other ‘76-style compressors. Turning the Attack knob to the left (counter-clockwise) will yield faster attack times; slower times result when turning to the right (clockwise). We’ve found this control scheme to be more intuitive; akin to a volume knob decreasing level to the left and increasing to the right.