Handsomeaudio Zulu

To change the subject slightly, has anyone heard of the Handsomeaudio Zulu tape simulator coming out within the month? I think it will pair perfectly with the AH; it’s passive, and can process the signal before hitting the AH to add some transformer mojo and compression. This is what I plan on using in my mastering chain (or to process my master bus if that is the more proper way of describing it). If you preorder now, it’ll be $400. Otherwise, it’ll cost $750 once released.



This looks interesting, thanks for heads up. Will keep an eye on it…


That handsome audio product looks interesting! Bit puzzled by the fascia, perhaps it’s cos I’m viewing on my phone, but i don’t see any knobs

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Bro we should start another thread on this tape simulator. I’m going to put money on a preorder today. This will be cool for all of my liver recordings through the XDesk and then before it gets captured on the field recorder it will go through this tape simulation.


Not a bad idea. I’ll post some of my thoughts on it once it arrives, and create a new thread if there isn’t one yet. I’ve owned an Sound Skulptor STS before, and have always wanted to try the Neve 5042, but the Zulu seems much better to me.

The only plugin I’ll be able to compare it to is Reason’s Scream because I’m not really into using software lately. But I can compare it to my Nakamichi BX-300 and Sony WM-6DC.


FYI you don’t even have to put money down. There will be 250 preorder spots; you only have to pay once they send an email letting you know it’s ready to ship.


Just put myself down for a preorder spot. I can’t wait to try the amped 456 emulation

Can’t find the pre-order spots page on my phone? Can you drop link if you get a sec? Thanks man

It will show on the iPad but not the iPhone. How rude. Try it on the iPad or computer at least


Yeah, I had to use my laptop.


Greetings, this is Langston Masingale from Handsome Audio USA. Glad to see you all chatting about Zulu.

Regarding the mobile phone issue and the pre-order page, the security certificate is not fully compatible with all smart phones and mobile devices. I myself am an Android user and was not thrilled that it didn’t work for my phone. However, I also didn’t want to ]risk folk’s personal information getting into the interwebs, even though there’s no money up front for this pre order form. It’s still your personal information, home address and paypal information. I would rather somebody take the time and hit the site up directly via an actual computer and join the fun that way.

The knobs are not present in the renders on our site because we were still designing them at the time. We have custom old school knobs that are 1.25" in length, so easy to grab whether or not you have big or little hands!!
Our cases are manufactured at an ISO 9001 Rev C facility here in the United States out of 18 Gauge steel. The finish is powder coat with hard epoxy ink for the screen printing.

Our input and output jacks are genuine Neutrik, we use made in the USA transformers, along with our special tape opamp circuit. Zulu offers full recall because we use stepped controls for the entire device.
There is a choice of 3 different tape machines (Cassette Portastudio aka LOFI, Japanese Multitrack aka PROFI and Swiss Multitrack aka HIFI). The professional machines were emulated and modeled using Ampex 456.
Zulu also features a switch called Calibration on the rear that allows you to select from 4 preset schemes of configuration that vastly impact your compression, frequency interaction, saturation character and overall sweetspot (based on your source material) for the entire tape machine. This really transforms the 3 machines into more like 12 machines. We also have a really cool tape bypass mode that allows you to use the machine electronics without the tape itself. Very similar to using the input only section on a professional deck.

Zulu is a very deep but very easy platform to use. It is also exceptionally robust. I invented and designed this device to handle extremely high levels of signal without suffering from the effects of high gain. This is why it makes for an excellent tracking solution as well as mixing. Parked on the output of your Neve 1073 or Isa One for that matter and you can hit it hotter than you could your interface inputs. During mixing I send signal to a pair of my console channels and then shoot signals sometimes close to +15db to Zulu’s inputs. The sound is delicious.

Zulu also features 2 very important controls called Bias and Enhance. Bias is a form of tilt shift equalization, it impacts the saturation behavior along with the compression behavior via frequency response. Think of it like a sidechain with a soul. But remember this isn’t a compressor so the saturation and frequency modification are far more complex like a delicious red.

Enhance is a blend control that takes sweetened dry signal (top end slightly enhanced) and blends it with the post tape circuit signal. This allows the engineer to return some transient response to the final output and high end detail if necessary. Because Bias and Enhance are in parallel, you can cut your top end and boost it at the same time. It offers some pretty intriguing effects, one of which is that you can sit with most common professional tape machines and tweak Zulu into something extremely similar despite it being modeled after only 3 machines.

Zulu is manufactured and made here in the USA. Zulu requires no electricity to run, hence no power supply. It can actually work with the output of a microphone preamp, the output of a DAC and it can actually feed signal INTO a mic preamp as well and the results will be impacted by the preamps circuit but the results are amazing.

Thank you so much for your interest in our device, Zulu will find its way onto many productions without a doubt. Next year we are releasing an 8 channel version!



Awesome. I’m really excited for this unit, and have been trying to share it where I can. Eagerly awaiting the follow-up email to my preorder.

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Pretty crazy how this can all be done passively.
Would love to hear it


We will be sending out invoices soon enough so people can receive their units. When you pre-ordered there was a confirmation screen that appears with a white background. On some browsers the text for this screen is at the very top of the page and people miss it. But it contained my phone number, email and full name in case you needed to reach me.
You can email me langston(at)handsomeaudio(dot)com

I can confirm your pre-order from our spreadsheet of pre-orders.


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Surprisingly, a lot can be done passively. And with low noise to boot.

The word passive gets a bad rap, primarily from the summing mixer wars. These units all needed healthy amounts of makeup gain and without a low noise preamp, you would gain some self noise from the mic pres.

Zulu is nothing of the sort. Outside the 18 gauge case, the self noise of Zulu is ~ -93db. Outside the case without any shielding save for the insulation a PCB offers and the shielding on the cables.

We are already developing our 8 channel version and another game changing piece of hardware that we will announce soon enough.

Please be sure to add us on Facebook, we have a whole slew of product demos and videos for you to check out.

We will be doing a new video demonstration shortly that showcases how printing digital reverbs and delays through Zulu breathes new life into your digital FX collection.



Interested to see/hear more. Intriguing how something passive without any tape deck mechanics or actual tape can potentially mimic that sound in a realistic way that rivals traditional tape sims etc.


I plan on strapping the Zulu across the mains of my Nord A1R. I predict great things.

I’m kinda sceptical on it sounding any better than a Deco tbh but would love to be proved wrong. Wish someone would perfectly model the sound of tascam 388 + 488 (including driving the pres etc) in a pedal/plugin… Can get super close to it ITB but I’m doing it by ear and from memory, sold my 388 and my 488 is broken, would love a ‘set and forget’ box/vst for that sound…

The Zulu certainly appears to be more tweakable. I’m eager to hear more samples; I like what I’ve heard so far. But I’d definitely like to hear it getting slammed with some analog drum sounds and all types of synth sounds.

Also, it has transformers. That can’t really be digitally emulated well imo.

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