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Serpent SB4001 vs. TK BC501 500 Series Dynamics
Old 27th November 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Serpent SB4001 vs. TK BC501

Hello and Salutations Gearslutz,
I've been lurking around here gleening and searching info for a little while, and need some assistance with my conundrum. As one last piece of gear I can afford until the new year, I can't decide between the SB4001 and the BC501. There's also a possibility I might be looking in the wrong direction in an SSL style bus compressor. I mostly work on heavy/thrash metal, but in the vein of the oldschool 80's and 90's sounds. Has anyone tried these two compressors side-by-side? If so, what were your findings? Which one did you hang onto, and why? Is SSL compression a good thing for 2-bus on metal music?
Old 27th November 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceVandergraph View Post
Hello and Salutations Gearslutz,
I've been lurking around here gleening and searching info for a little while, and need some assistance with my conundrum. As one last piece of gear I can afford until the new year, I can't decide between the SB4001 and the BC501. There's also a possibility I might be looking in the wrong direction in an SSL style bus compressor. I mostly work on heavy/thrash metal, but in the vein of the oldschool 80's and 90's sounds. Has anyone tried these two compressors side-by-side? If so, what were your findings? Which one did you hang onto, and why? Is SSL compression a good thing for 2-bus on metal music?
Don't know about the TK unit from experience.... As for SSL on Metal, I think it is a good sound for metal... A lot of metal engineers have been users of the Alan Smart C1 and C2 both of which are SSL style compressors...

I'd say get the SB or a great plugin nowadays for that SSL sound...
Old 27th November 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Jantex's Avatar
 

Having tried many SSL style compressors IMHO the resl SSL comp wipes the floor with clones. You can get it in various formats, but probably the cheapest solution is to get a Mynx and SSL X-rack. After testing many I still preferred SSL to Smarts, Obsidian, TK BC. It simply glues better and has that iconic sound that others are missing even though they are good on their own.
Old 27th November 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
JulianFernandez's Avatar
 

I had both the TK and the SA4000. Lovely units both of them.
Old 28th November 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the replies. So, either will get the job done. What is everyone elses favorite bus compressor to use? and why? and for what style of music? (<-- is that even a legit question?) With so many great options out there, I may need to research more before I take the plunge. Bring on the headache!
Old 3rd January 2017
  #6
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceVandergraph View Post
Thanks for the replies. So, either will get the job done. What is everyone elses favorite bus compressor to use? and why? and for what style of music? (<-- is that even a legit question?) With so many great options out there, I may need to research more before I take the plunge. Bring on the headache!
I just got the BC501 and its amazing! so smooth! a work of art

I have been using this as the bus compressor, and also the drawmer 1978 which are my two current favorite compressors (and incidentally the two stereo compressors I own)

For "glue" and punch I recommen the BC501, for fast compression with many attack/release flavors, a sidechain eq, distortion, etc, I recommend the Drawmer which can do everything from subtle mixbus compression to high-ratio limiting.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #7
Gear Nut
 
iMixOTB's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceVandergraph View Post
Hello and Salutations Gearslutz,
I've been lurking around here gleening and searching info for a little while, and need some assistance with my conundrum. As one last piece of gear I can afford until the new year, I can't decide between the SB4001 and the BC501. There's also a possibility I might be looking in the wrong direction in an SSL style bus compressor. I mostly work on heavy/thrash metal, but in the vein of the oldschool 80's and 90's sounds. Has anyone tried these two compressors side-by-side? If so, what were your findings? Which one did you hang onto, and why? Is SSL compression a good thing for 2-bus on metal music?
Imho Wes Audio Dione is the best SSL type comp out there
Old 3rd January 2017
  #8
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Both are excellent, I would say in SSL AUTO mode there isn't much to really argue about! Two differences to note, depending on what features may be more important:

1) The THD circuit in the TK Audio BC501 is more noticeable, vs the Serpent Audio SB4001's more subtle GRIND circuit.

2) The SB4001 offers a completely variable RELEASE which can be very important when timing things to the rhythm of your music.

War
Old 4th January 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
I ended up with a Smart C1LA and the tk in my rack. I have owned most all of them. I've sold off 3 grey faced units. They are the only ones I occasionally miss.
I disagree with the statement that SSL beats them all. Hell, one of my greys sounded better than the other two, and the SSL 500 series I didn't like at all.
So, YMMV.

Good luck on your search.
The TK is nice kit, and of the two, that'd be my choice.
Old 7th February 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I ended up holding off for the Obsidian (500), which sounds pretty awesome. I've ran quite a few mixes through it and A/B'd with a few plugin compressors. There's just no comparison. Something about sending a mix OTB for analog compression and then back in does some magic. I'm betting the Serpent and TK units would do a similar job. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
Old 11th January 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Audio samples of TK and Serpent

Serpent SB4001 and TKBC501 2 bus examples
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