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Need 2 bus comp advice please: Nail or 33609 clone or Drawmer 1968 or?
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Paul D
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#1
14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Need 2 bus comp advice please: Nail or 33609 clone or Drawmer 1968 or?

OK so I'd love to get some advice here...

I'm a guitarist/songwriter and I've got a very small (4 channel) but high quality recording chain (Royer > Great River pre & EQ > Mytek ADC) for recording my own stuff. I'm looking for the best 2 bus compressor to complement my style and the rest of my gear for hybrid mixing and maybe eventually analog summing.

I've already got Overstayer FET and VCA half rack stereo comps, a pair of FMR PBC6As and an ART Pro VLAII. I like them OK but I'm looking for something really incredible on the 2 bus that will give my mixes a more "vintage" vibe and a more finished sound. I'm into 'classic rock', funk, 60s and 70s mostly not really looking for a 'modern' sound but more old school vibe.

I've read great things about both the Nail and the 33609, and actually I'm looking at some improved 33609 clones like the Vintech and Vintage Designs which have variable HPFs and a wider range of attack times. I'm going to be using the Great River EQ2-NV on the 2 bus as well as for tracking and mixing, and maybe adding a stereo Pultec style EQ on the 2 bus at some point down the line but not for sure.

Seems like the Neve-style bus comp would be a great choice considering my Great River gear, or would that be too much of a good thing? Also, I know the 33609 came out in the 80s, but the technology is alot older right, from the 2254? Not looking for an "80s-90s" sound at all....I admit I am intrigued by the 'diode bridge' compression b/c I've never used one before and the descriptions sound amazing...

The Nail seems like a great choice but I'm not sure I want a tube unit for a 2 bus comp since I'd basically have it running all the time....then again another contender for alot less money is the Drawmer 1968 ME, how would that compare to the Nail and/or the 33609 clones in terms of sonic quality and "vintage vibe"?

Thanks for any advice!
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Don't know your mon chain because you only described front end but dbox has sweet da and would give you 8 channels of analog summing.

Not qualified to speak to comp. Good luck.

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Paul D
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Thanks, monitors are JBL 4328s w sub in a small but heavily treated room.

Didnt realize the D box had DA I was thinking of a Lynx Aurora 16 and a Rolls Folcrum so I can use my GR or other preamps for makeup gain....but that's down the road if at all.....
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14th March 2013
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If you have a 500 lunchbox the Serpent 4001 is fantastic on the 2 buss.
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14th March 2013
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Yeah...check out other functionality of the dbox as well...multiple skrs at a switch....anologue and dig input in addition to spdif from daw and sum inputs, talk back, two good headphones....great da =huge bang for buck...especially if you don't need more than 8 channels of summing.

No I don't own the joint....just happy new owner of one.
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14th March 2013
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the nail Ive heard is quite clean...I have a drawmer and its a nice compressor but that offers just a hint of warmth to a signal also...

If you want to add some colour you could consider a pair of GAP COmp 54 because they have 2 transformers in the signal path per channel - and sound pretty good to me...but might be too 'low end'...you can upgrade the transfo to carhill tho...

Otherwise you could go for some more expensive neve clones but Im not too well versed on that expensive stuff...

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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJohnGalt View Post
Don't know your mon chain because you only described front end but dbox has sweet da and would give you 8 channels of analog summing.

Not qualified to speak to comp. Good luck.

Sent from my SCH-I535
I recently switched to a dbox and the quality blew me away. Monitoring is fantastic, the dac is even better! Blows my Rosetta + bigben dac out the water

To the OP ... I don't have experience with the nail or 33609 flavors, but I dig the xpressor on the 2 buss. Sometimes I'll try my buzz Essenes or tonelux comps on the two buss if I want more color than the xpressor.
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14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
the nail Ive heard is quite clean...I have a drawmer and its a nice compressor but that offers just a hint of warmth to a signal also...

If you want to add some colour you could consider a pair of GAP COmp 54 because they have 2 transformers in the signal path per channel - and sound pretty good to me...but might be too 'low end'...you can upgrade the transfo to carhill tho...

Otherwise you could go for some more expensive neve clones but Im not too well versed on that expensive stuff...
definitely looking for some color from either I/O transformers or tubes or both, but controllable and versatile as I do some acoustic stuff too. the 33609 clones I'm looking at have tranformers I/O....
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14th March 2013
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1968ME on the 2 buss is always a nice touch. Have one here, use it lots.
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15th March 2013
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We have a 1968 and Vintagedesign CL1 here. Never used a Nail, though. While I could easily find use for three or even four CL1 the 1968 barely impresses me. It´s been great on very few occations only, mostly ok but not stellar so that I grab other comps before using the 1968.
What I often use on the 2bus besides the CL1 is a TK audio BC1 which does the SSL Buscompressor thing with additional features or a Gyraf GX or a Cranesong STC8.
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15th March 2013
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We own the nail as well as a shep 33609.

The nail is a much more versatile compressor and it is clean but can also bring color if you're not afraid to push it.
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16th March 2013
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I think you should try the different comps because they are very different from each other. The 33609 has a distinct sound and the different versions sound different from each other. Personally, I don't love the 33609 across the whole mix unless I'm just barely hitting it.
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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I'm really enjoying my original ADR Compex F760 on the 2buss just now. It's anything but clean but it does 'vintage', 'mojo' and a bunch of other tricks besides very well indeed. Manley Vari-Mu never goes wrong either.
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17th March 2013
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I have both the 1968 and a Vintech 609CA. I've tried both on the 2 bus and I'll confess I'm more partial to the 609. It's nice to have the LPF that the Drawmer has, but the ballsy tone of the Vintech really scratches that old-school Neve itch. Definitely worth a try, particularly if you're looking for a vintage vibe.
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17th March 2013
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I suggest you to find a dealer and get some of the compressors you're interested for a test in your place.. Your ears will tell you which is the one you prefer..

If you're after the 33609 I strongly suggest to check out the BAE 10DC.. It has to be heard to be believed.. And it's not too expensive considering how it's built. But you need to listen to one in person..

Another great option could indeed be a Vari-Mu like the Manley or Gyraf's.
The API 2500 might also be a great contender or eventually a fatso..

ADR Compex is another good suggestion.. Maybe it's a little less smooth than other options, but it's a great piece and definitely has balls/vibe.

All these sounds/are very different one from each other, that's why you should check 3 or 4 of these and keep the one that suits YOUR needs.

So my check out list will be:

- BAE 10DC
- Vari-Mu (Manley or Gyraf)
- API 2500

If none of these suits your sense of aesthethics go for other options like the fatso for exemple..(but I'd be surprised if one of these 3, if not at least 2 of these will stay in your studio)..

I hope this helps,



Cheu
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17th March 2013
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I had an an overstayer and a drawmer 1968.
Now use a Nail on the mix and occasionally UAD 33609.

I would say the Nail is a great unit and it has really great features for the mixbus such as low frequency filter and a wet/dry knob.

Most people love them.
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17th March 2013
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thanks for all the replies! Some great info here, going to look into all of it. I'm really getting the feeling that it's very subjective, depends on your sonic goals and also how much color you want on the 2 bus vs how much you have on your tracks.

Sounds like the Nail is a serious possibility for me and it's less than $2K used. I'm still intrigued by the 33609 but have seen alot of mixed reviews or rather mixed preferences.

Swan I have high end tastes and a low end budget, just snuck into this forum when the doorman wasn't looking The Comp54 looks like an inexpensive way to check out that 'flavor' and the SOS article was really flattering.


And Nigel I agree that a HPF and Mix knob are two really nice features to have! Just curious, which Overstayer did you have and how did it compare to the other two?

thanks again...
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul D View Post
Swan I have high end tastes and a low end budget, just snuck into this forum when the doorman wasn't looking The Comp54 looks like an inexpensive way to check out that 'flavor' and the SOS article was really flattering.
yeah me too. Dont feel obliged to spend tons of money on the high end bits because there are some good lower cost options now...
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17th March 2013
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yeah me too. Dont feel obliged to spend tons of money on the high end bits because there are some good lower cost options now...
yeah I agree! Problem is if you don't have experience with the high end stuff, there's always this nagging thought that the gear (or the plugin) is an obstacle as much as a tool...I guess I'm looking to put together a setup that is "blame-proof" so I'll know once and for all that it's not the gear but my skills that are lacking! And then when I do get it right it will sound like it....
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17th March 2013
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Get the Nail. It's amazing on the 2-Bus. Had mine before they were released to the public and from the moment I got it, it's lived on my 2-Bus.
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17th March 2013
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Rupert Neve MBP is very serious piece for 2B, almost ultimate tool with range of possibilities from ultra transparent to nicelly flavored.
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul D View Post

And Nigel I agree that a HPF and Mix knob are two really nice features to have! Just curious, which Overstayer did you have and how did it compare to the other two?

thanks again...
I had the overstayer FET but I preferred my UBK FATSO for drums and it didn't make me go wow! although I am sure it is good for the money.
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18th March 2013
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Rupert Neve MBP is very serious piece for 2B, almost ultimate tool with range of possibilities from ultra transparent to nicelly flavored.
man that looks absolutely amazing, unfortunately out of reach financially
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18th March 2013
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Originally Posted by nigel saunders View Post
I had the overstayer FET but I preferred my UBK FATSO for drums and it didn't make me go wow! although I am sure it is good for the money.
cool thanks. I've got the FET which I like on drums but not 2 bus, and the VCA Stereo Dynamics Processor that I like pretty well on the 2 bus, haven't tried it on much else yet.
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul D View Post
yeah I agree! Problem is if you don't have experience with the high end stuff, there's always this nagging thought that the gear (or the plugin) is an obstacle as much as a tool...I guess I'm looking to put together a setup that is "blame-proof" so I'll know once and for all that it's not the gear but my skills that are lacking! And then when I do get it right it will sound like it....
BLA makes a nice 33609 clone for about $1,200:

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