A new take on vintage audio compression with a gain reduction element of silicon diodes in a transformer coupled balanced bridge arrangement. The DBC-20 audio path uses our Class A discrete amplifier design in a balanced configuration from input to output, but for extra colour in this unit, we have a radio steel laminated transformer of our own design to couple into the diode bridge element. This overall combination produces a desirable compression character that can best be described as tight, colourful and rich with harmonics. In the style of compressors from the 60's, the DBC-20 incorporates a self-adjusting ratio whereby the compression ratio is progressively increased with deepening gain reduction. This feature allows for the control of very dynamic signals (such as vocals) in a seamless fashion and is also a very desirable characteristic when used on complex percussive material. This compressor is easy to get happening with six switched attack and release times covering a wide range, including an interesting auto release mode. Big knobs are provided for the amount of compression and the output gain control. The compressor can be switched to a Soft mode whereby dynamic peaks are partially retained. Another switch introduces a high pass filter to the side chain to lower compression sensitivity at low frequencies which is useful on the mix bus. The large knobs with pointers allow for accurate resetting of the compressor and the fast response 15 LED bar graph meter accurately displays gain reduction.
Thanks, great review! I just wondered how it sounds the dbc-20. I know topologies are different, but you tested against a Elysia xpressor or FCS P3S no ME (all in the same price range). I'm looking for an alternative to my Manley Vari Mu in that price range
Given the interest in the DBC-20 from mastering circles, we are considering releasing a version with stepped compression and gain controls using Elma switches.
Vintagetools Sonic Summarizer Pro > Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet (Buzz Audio Dbc-20 on the inserts) > Handsome Audio Zulu > Qes Labs Variable Gm > Miad Audio LCPQ 4040's... The last 3 in the chain may switch order via a Dangerous Music Liaison depending on the vibe...but I find the Silver Bullet works best...