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Neve 2254 Compressors Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 9th March 2004
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Neve 2254 Compressors

Hi,

What are Neve 2254 compressers good for? How would you rate these units overall and how would you describe there character?

Many thanks!

Everglass
Old 9th March 2004
  #2
Re: Neve 2254 Compressers

Quote:
Originally posted by everglass
Hi,

What are Neve 2254 compressers good for? How would you rate these units overall and how would you describe there character?

Many thanks!

Everglass
Character: Dark like chocolate


Good for: Anything you need to thicken up or tone down.

I love it on screechy/thin tracked vocals(its like pouring hot chocolate on a banana split).

I also love them believe it or not on strings.

It can take a string submix and make it cut through a heavy track in a cool way.

In my opinion its a must have color if you mix a lot of music.

Nothing sounds like Neve compression.

If you want one than you probably want one with the E mod.

Another must have Neve comp is the 32264a.

To my ears its a little more flexible(you can use it on just about anything). Its color is less on the heavy side, more on the variable side.

Another must have.

In other words be a true gearslut and have both.

Old 9th March 2004
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Thermionic's Avatar
 

Hi,

The 2254 was designed in the late '60s by David Rees (who currently designs for Phoenix Audio UK). It uses a diode-bridge gain-reduction element. OTOH, there are somewhere around 7 different revisions of 2254, more if you include the 3**** ranges which are descended from the 2254.

The 2254 is a classic, and deserves an audition rather than a bunch of nauseous "it's smooth and creamy" (sic) descriptions, go check it for yourself.

Find out which revision you are being offered and do a Google on that revision, maybe someone here can list the revisions, excuse me not but it'd tax my memory too much!

2254 are beloved by classical studios, check some end-users here:

http://www.abbeyroad.co.uk/microphon...-equipment.doc

Air has 6 in studio 1 if you include the 33609s:

http://www.airstudios.com/technical/lists/equiph.shtml

Much Neve info here: http://www.phoenixaudio.net/neve.htm (inc 2254 notes).

A 2254 is too special not to give a listen to, I've a terrible suspicion it could end up in your rack!

Regards,
Justin
Old 9th March 2004
  #4
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

More 2254 info:

http://www.danalexanderaudio.com/neve.html

(Scroll down to the 2254 block diagram)

Thread started by a mastering engineer at Tech Talk:

http://www.recording.org/cgi-bin/ubb...6;t=001339;p=0
Old 9th March 2004
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

I've got a 2254e (the "e" meaning it has a fast/slow switch on the limiter section).As others have said it's really nice on thin vocals (or most vocals...lol) 3:1 yummy!I've used it with much success on bass, snares, gt's etc...
It can be a little noisy at times but nothing major.
Old 9th March 2004
  #6
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XHipHop's Avatar
Does the chandler ltd2 sound similar?
Old 9th March 2004
  #7
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by XHipHop
Does the chandler ltd2 sound similar?
Yeah, in a lot of ways... the Daking seem to sound pretty similar as well.
Old 9th March 2004
  #8
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisaiken
I've got a 2254e (the "e" meaning it has a fast/slow switch on the limiter section).As others have said it's really nice on thin vocals (or most vocals...lol) 3:1 yummy!I've used it with much success on bass, snares, gt's etc...
It can be a little noisy at times but nothing major.
Hi

The noise aspect is kind of inherant with the way the 2254 (and subsequent compressors) work. The audio is attenuated down to around -40dBu before being applied to the diode bridge that acts as the level control element. The 2254 uses a BA183/283 amplifier (as fitted to the 1272) and this raises the level back up but then, at the gain make up, the 20dB gain is achieved by bypassing a 20dB pad, sequentially, until the attenuation is removed.

By dropping to those levels and then raising the level back up it's inevitable that the noise floor is raised as well... though it's pretty aceptable in a well maintained unit. Neve quoted -75dBm (20 to 20KHz) for the linear and limit modes rising to a maximum of -60dBm with gain make up and a 6:1 ratio.

In the later units, from the 2262 onwards, they used a single 440 style Class AB amplifier to make up the gain from the diode bridge and the gain make up and this continues right up to the 33609J of today.

The 33609 started out life when I, as special orders manager at Neve, fitted two motherboards from a 33314 limiter compressor into a case built like a brick s*** house, and powered by the PSU out of a 1777 module.

As we were tight on front panel space, we used a locking toggle switch for the ac because of the small body size of this switch behind the panel. The original units used the aluminium knobs from the 35 series modules and Ernest Turner gain reduction meters. Later units went over to Sifam collet knobs and D14 meters, illuminated rocker ac switches, IC regulated power supplies, and a more cost effective case (ironically, all of these points were recommendations that I made to update the unit but which Neve avoided doing until after I left in Dec 1985!).

Other than fitting IDC connectors and an extra pot or two to help align the unit, the circuit is substantially unchanged with units currently manufactured by AMS-Neve.



Old 10th March 2004
  #9
Gear Head
We love our 2254's - eng's have been using them on everything from drums through a stereo buss to stereo acoustic guitars, not very often on vocals. The 33609A is used more often on the stereo buss. The aforementioned comments are all acurate but if I were to buy just one Neve comp it would be the 33609A.
Old 10th March 2004
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff_T
Later units went over to Sifam collet knobs and D14 meters, illuminated rocker ac switches, IC regulated power supplies, and a more cost effective case (ironically, all of these points were recommendations that I made to update the unit but which Neve avoided doing until after I left in Dec 1985!).
PS To give a better idea of the Neve company policies, I thought it might be a good idea to elaborate on that...

By the 1980's Neve had a great deal of paperwork involved to make even the simplest change. I believe that it had parallels with the aircraft industry and, for instance, getting certification to change something as "simple" as carpet colour... it didn't matter that it was a great idea... it had to be carefully justified by a committee.

So, for instance, replacing an expensive locking toggle switch with a neon rocker switch... that may cost a couple of dollars compared to ten... might seem a good idea but the committee had to consider the broader picture.

The new switch needed a new panel... a new drawing would be required and a part number or two changed in many parts lists. Then there was the question of the silk screen artwork for the panel which would need changing as well. It didn't matter that the neon rocker switch replaced a locking toggle switch, an indicator lamp, and the bulb for the lamp (quite a material saving) because the new metalwork, silk screens, parts list updates and circuit diagram changes would cost more to enact than the material costs savings of changing the parts.

Even obvious performance improvements would not necessarily be justified despite their obvious merit. The original 1777 power supply (which was used because we had tons of the parts in the stores and they weren't a fast moving item) was basically a pc board with a gold plated edge connector that plugged into a gold plated amphenol connector and used a simple transistor/zener regulator to drive a 2N3055 pass transistor. In terms of material costs it was expensive, even though we had plenty of the parts, but the IC regulators like 7824 and 317T were around by then and had vastly superior noise and protection features. A simple board with an IC regulator and terminal block or PCB connectors would offer many advantages over the original set up.

But that was weighed against the cost of the mod including the new PCB, and proving that the IC regulator was quieter than the original PSU.

By then, as Special Orders Manager, I could do as I pretty well pleased on my own products but not with standard production items like modules because they were administered by the change note committee. When I designed the 33615 Limiter Compressor for London Weekend Television, I used a toroidal transformer (the 33609 used an E core), a 7824 regulator and an LM3916 LED bar graph gain reduction meter instead of the Ernest Turner meter. At the time, the mono version of the 33609 was 2U high (only fitted with one pcb and row of switches) and my 33615 provided the same features in 1U and at lower costs. It was bought by several UK TV companies and I still have an advertisement for it that I'll post on the web site.

Anyway, try as hard as I might, by filling in reams of paperwork in the form of change notes, I never managed to get the 33609 updated while I was at Neve. I believe the attitude was, if it works, why change it?

More profit and better performance wrote I on many forms!

Anyway, obviously the system got rather top heavy and was changed after I left... the 33609E was kind of the culmination of my change note prompting... or so I like to think!

Memories of the 1980's!


Old 10th March 2004
  #11
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
Yeah, in a lot of ways... the Daking seem to sound pretty similar as well.
Sound similar in alot of ways huh? Does the LTD-2 sound as dark or darker than the 2254?

I can see getting hold of a 2254e is gona be a huge pita and probably gona take ages to find one. Wish i could jus walk in an buy one :-( Maybe the LTD-2 is an option....
Old 10th March 2004
  #12
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Despite Geoff's wonderful recantation of all things irrelevant to this thread... I will comment on the tone of the damn things as that was kinda the question.

The 2254 [a or e or 33264a or 2264 or 33609 ad nauseum] don't sound "dark" by any stretch of the imagination. They are indeed rather "creamy" sounding, very "round" sounding but certainly not "dark" sounding.

They, like their class A brethren, like the 1073, 1066, etc. have a rather "silky" sounding top end which is one of the many elements that make these things attractive to folks.

The Chandler product, as well as the Daking product possess many of these same attributes... making them, at least in this users opinion, very suitable alternatives to modules built in the early to mid 1970's.

As always... YMMV.
Old 10th March 2004
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Buddhaman's Avatar
 

I could sit by the fire and listen to Geoff recant (or decant) all night long!!

Fletcher--- Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game.

PS Diversify your Bonds ******!!!

Buddhaman
Old 10th March 2004
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Buddhaman
I could sit by the fire and listen to Geoff recant (or decant) all night long!!

Fletcher--- Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game.

PS Diversify your Bonds ******!!!

Buddhaman
Hi

Thanks, but it's no biggy. I suppose that post was better off on the 33611 v 33609J thread and I've put a post there that ties back to here.

There's so much urban legend about Neve gear and a little background never does any harm...

I've no intention of stopping!

Old 11th March 2004
  #15
Gear Maniac
contention contention

in the left corner we have 'the 2254 sounds dark like chocolate'

in the right corner we have ' The 2254 [a or e or 33264a or 2264 or 33609 ad nauseum] don't sound "dark" by any stretch of the imagination'

the officiator in the center offers the electrical topology info.

SO im more confused is the 2554 dark or not? How can 2 engineers have polar opposite opinions...who has the higher degree of hearing damage?

Does the Chandler LTD-2 sound the same? Lets do this another way, input the same signals into both units side by side, then output them with no reduction....do they sound similar, the same or nothing like each other? oh yea not some gayassed slap bass

3 OSC synth setup

OSC 1 Saw -7 semi ----
---- slightly detune em so they waver
OSC 2 Saw +5 semi ----

OSC 3 Sine 0 semi for the sub

Set up a 4 pole low pass but dont open filter more than 1/3, no Res-amp env fast attack, long decay no sustain less than medium release. Play real low move cutoff to open filter slightly (where the high freq comes out this is where i want things to get a tad more nasty hopefully with some dark Comp/EQ.

How does this kind of bass sound in the 2254 and the LTD-2 for that matter? Does it make it sound darker, grittier or more grimy? O none of these? Which unit has the most color on this signal?

Obviously i aint gona have any way to check out both units side by side, in fact i may never get to hear the 2554 without locating and buying one, Mercenary audio aint exactly across the road either

ez and cheers
Old 11th March 2004
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Drayon
contention contention

in the left corner we have 'the 2254 sounds dark like chocolate'

in the right corner we have ' The 2254 [a or e or 33264a or 2264 or 33609 ad nauseum] don't sound "dark" by any stretch of the imagination'

the officiator in the center offers the electrical topology info.

SO im more confused is the 2554 dark or not? How can 2 engineers have polar opposite opinions...who has the higher degree of hearing damage?
Hi

I think Fletcher will agree that you will be exceedingly lucky to get two vintage Neve modules that sound alike! Notwithstanding the fact that there were multitudinous numbers of changes to circuits/parts lists over the life of a module (meaning that only two from the same production batch will certainly sound the same)... and then you have maintainance and tired old capacitors plus, in the case of the 2254... the setting up procedure which, unless in the know, can really mess up the settings on the controls.

I'll stay in the sidelines of "what's it sound like" though we have 4 x 2254's here in the studio... plus Fairchild, distresser, Urei, etc., for flavour... but will happily dive in with "why it sounds like".



Old 14th March 2004
  #17
Gear Maniac
Geoff does your studio have a Chandler LTD-2? Have u used this unit and the 2254e for comparative purposes?

If so, how do they compare? Do they sound the very similar or not?

Cheers
Old 14th March 2004
  #18
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Drayon
Geoff does your studio have a Chandler LTD-2? Have u used this unit and the 2254e for comparative purposes?

If so, how do they compare? Do they sound the very similar or not?

Cheers
Hi

No, we have original Fairchild, LAs, Ureis, Neve 2254's, etc.

Ironically Wade Goeke was an assistant/engineer in the room between leaving Yale Electronics and working for Brent.

We don't have any of his gear here.... we have all the originals.

Sorry I can't help...

Old 15th March 2004
  #19
Quote:
Originally posted by Drayon
contention contention

in the left corner we have 'the 2254 sounds dark like chocolate'

in the right corner we have ' The 2254 [a or e or 33264a or 2264 or 33609 ad nauseum] don't sound "dark" by any stretch of the imagination'

the officiator in the center offers the electrical topology info.

SO im more confused is the 2554 dark or not? How can 2 engineers have polar opposite opinions...who has the higher degree of hearing damage?

Drayon,

It isn't as much as hearing damage.

Its just a difference in color philosophy.

Fletcher and i just have different opinions on colors(which are subjective anyway).

I lean more to the "linear" side of the color scheme and Fletch loves color.

Also i don't work on as much rock as Fletch does( I do more of the pop over produced stuff). Rock requires richer and bolder tones and pop since it more synthethic needs more space and clarity(because of the amount of tracks).

Basically it comes down to you checking it out for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.
Old 15th March 2004
  #20
Gear Maniac
Fletcher-so which Comp's do u consider possessing the darkest flava's?

I think ill try to check out the Chandler LTD-2 anywayz. I have a Distressor already, sounds great but i wouldn't consider it dark sounding.
Old 15th March 2004
  #21
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Dark? Fuk if I know... I reckon the question could be about "bigger" or "clearer" [see 'thrillfactor's excellent description of the difference]... I have found the LTD-2 and the Daking to have a very similar character to a well maintained Neve module... and while Geoff is more than correct in Neve modules sound different from unit to unit based on revision and condition... the fact of the matter is that they have an overall vibe to them that is pretty well maintained throughout all the revisions... maintenance variations [or lack thereof] will cause more differences than anything else [anything except a maybe a ****ty power supply which I see on so many of these things].

There are a whole bunch of compressors that will give you "big"... the Pendulum OCL-2 and ES-8 will both give you big... but the OCL runs as on an optical gain reduction cell and the ES-8 runs on a 'delta-MU' gain reduction cell which will sound and react differently than the diode bridge in the Neve and Chandler [and I think Daking but I'm not 100% positive about that].

For that matter... the Drawmer 1969 [or soon to be released 1968, which is the same dual mono/true stereo compressor found in the 1969 sans the mic amps and DI] which employs a J-Fet gain reduction cell also [IMNTLBFHO] sounds freakin' huge... but again it doesn't quite sound and act like those built with a diode bridge as the gain reduction element.

Buddhaman... I agree with you about enjoying Geoff's tales... they are indeed quite engaging [brother is a hell of a writer too... my daughters have thoroughly enjoyed his books]... however when someone asks the question about the difference between driving a BMW and a Lexus? I'm not sure I want a detailed description of the theory and company policy of how the engine was built... I want to know how they feel at 120 m.p.h. with a clear road and the CD player cranked to max... does either car shake or give the feeling that it's not 110% glued to the road? Does the audio system start to complain around 110db? Do you get more road noise in one than the other? The differences in fuel injection setup not withstanding, nor how those differences came to pass... as they aren't part of the equation... at 140, at 160, yeah, it's going to be more of an issue... but at 120 both will just be chuggin' along [from an engine perspective]

No disrespect intended.
Old 16th March 2004
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
]

No disrespect intended.
Hi Fletcher

And none taken... I do tend to ramble at times... all those memories escaping!

On the topic of writing, those books/manuscripts your daughter has will become collectors items because I have a new publisher and all three novels are going to be combined into one big one.

Plus I'm rewriting the first two to make them more scary and to integrate into one continuous story line. I'll send you a copy when it's published (later this year).

When I get that out of the way I'll write the definitive Neve book that'll be full of tales/pictures/specs.

Old 16th March 2004
  #23
Gear Head
 
Cabo Robo's Avatar
 

I love our 2254's at Rack-N-Roll. They all have the E mod. I have found them to be a little to noisy for my taste on the stereo buss but whatever. They're still amazing compressors.
Old 29th July 2008
  #24
Gear Addict
 
FredrikCarno's Avatar
 

wohoo

hestudiotechnik did a spectacular rack job with my pair

check their site for the full res *****h&e**** Studiotechnik**********
Attached Thumbnails
Neve 2254 Compressors-neve2254a.jpg  

Last edited by FredrikCarno; 29th July 2008 at 10:24 PM.. Reason: stupid pictures stupid picures :
Old 29th July 2008
  #25
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

March 2004 to July 2008

Could this be a record in resurrected threads?

heh
Old 29th July 2008
  #26
Gear Addict
 
FredrikCarno's Avatar
 

hehe

Just trying to save some server space and I hate multiple threads
Old 30th July 2008
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Looks amazing ! thumbsup
Old 30th July 2008
  #28
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
March 2004 to July 2008

Could this be a record in resurrected threads?

heh
Pretty close... heh
Old 30th July 2008
  #29
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pootkao's Avatar
Thanks for using the search function!

Good to see this thread actually... I've been considering the LTD-2 route.
Interested in more users experiences.
Old 8th September 2008
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I know this thread is old but I have something to add.

I agree with Fletcher in that the Daking and the Chandler could easily replace the Neve Compressor of that era.

But in my opinion, that compressor would be the Neve 33609 (2264). Not the 2254.

In fact, I had the Neve 2254 and the Neve 33609 in the studio when I was trying out the Daking.

I just don't think they touch what I love about the Neve 2254. The 2254 is fatter to me.

Not to say that the 2254 is always better for all applications. It's not. I love them both.

But I would consider the Daking for replacing the 33609 any day of the week.

If anyone finds a modern unit that does the 2254, let me know.
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