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Retro Instruments 176 pair vs Chandler Limited RS124 Mastering pair for master buss
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Mr. Bars's Avatar
Retro Instruments 176 pair vs Chandler Limited RS124 Mastering pair for master buss

Hello friends.

I am interested in these two candidates only, no other options for now.
I like vari-mu style compression, I like color, strong attitude and a lot of character — I want to finalize my studio's compression section with one of these couples.

Unfortunately no chance for demoing.
I will appreciate any input.

Thanks,
DK
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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bzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars View Post
Hello friends.

I am interested in these two candidates only, no other options for now.
I like vari-mu style compression, I like color, strong attitude and a lot of character — I want to finalize my studio's compression section with one of these couples.

Unfortunately no chance for demoing.
I will appreciate any input.

Thanks,
DK
Well, all I can do is comment on what my final decision were. Had both the Retro’s and the 124’s. Let the 124’s go when the BG1 came to town. Kept only one Retro 176 for vocal chain and have the Unfairchild, far more functional for my needs.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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adam_f's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars View Post
Hello friends.

I am interested in these two candidates only, no other options for now.
I like vari-mu style compression, I like color, strong attitude and a lot of character — I want to finalize my studio's compression section with one of these couples.

Unfortunately no chance for demoing.
I will appreciate any input.

Thanks,
DK
We see matched RS124s going to Mastering engineers. The feedback we get from mastering engineers, is they use them on parallel master bus to bring some soul/flavor back to tracks, they also like that the RS124s don’t become dark the more you compress. Another note is their versatility in tone for vintage vs modern when engaging Superfuse. This also corresponds to mix engineers and how they employ them on parallel mix bus; essentially fidelity with color.

Hope that helps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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syra's Avatar
I personally love the 176s on the mix buss, especially with acoustic music. The RS124 sounds very good too but the 176 has a very particular kind of magic that I prefer.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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t-hiho's Avatar
Using both units at my studio, all I could tell is that it is quite impossible to get the RS in a zone of comfort where it doesn‘t compress a lot. Whereas this is quite easy with the Retro.
Soundwise they are different. Bit hard to describe in words. Retro being a little more coloured, but in a very pleasant way.
You simply should try which fits better to your working style. But if you are not so much into parallel compression, I would go with the Retro, for sure.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Of course Adam has provided a very accurate account of RS124 strengths, please note that he has specifically called out matched mastering pairs as this is the key for stereo.

I can add that I have been able to easily achieve 1-2 dB compression levels, likely even less if I wished but perhaps the reference is to another quality of the 124, it gets even sweeter beyond 5 dB and up to, just my preference, about 12 dB on female vocal.

My only wish list item is faster attack, about which, Adam has been a great partner in listening to my input and suggesting a myriad of alternate settings and techniques utilized by top tier studios including of course, Abbey Road.

I am on the hunt for complementary compressor additions with the 176 and BG1 among the options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-hiho View Post
Using both units at my studio, all I could tell is that it is quite impossible to get the RS in a zone of comfort where it doesn‘t compress a lot. Whereas this is quite easy with the Retro.
Soundwise they are different. Bit hard to describe in words. Retro being a little more coloured, but in a very pleasant way.
You simply should try which fits better to your working style. But if you are not so much into parallel compression, I would go with the Retro, for sure.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Mr. Bars's Avatar
Hey guys, thanks a lot to everyone for your answers.

The situation begins to clear up for me a bit — it seems that due to the lack of flexibility of the settings in the lower range of compression people tend to more aggressive settings of RS124 but in a parallel circuit. This is evidently in many other comments about Chandler RS124 in other Gearslutz's threads. It looks like RS124 reveals its unique character only during enough aggressive operation, which is often too much for two-buss processing in serial connection.

I'm not a big fun of parallel compression: for sure it is a useful trick, but I use it not very often and only after all the ways with classic serial chain do not give proper results. I like when the whole essence of the high end device and its electronics is obviously present in the processed sound, but not just the dynamic effect of its use.

I want to buy one of these pair to use mainly on master buss, stereo groups, sometimes on stereo instruments. My experience tells me that in case of these units if both of the compressors work well on stereo, then they will be good on mono sources too. But not necessarily the opposite. So for me it is important to well-matched work of the stereo pair.

Thanks,
DK
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Mr. Bars's Avatar
Please, more opinions...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
I can only concur that the RS124 in parallel is a thing of beauty. Tracking or mixing. Mono or Stereo.

Would love to try a 176!
..but it’s probably best if I don’t
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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Mr. Bars's Avatar
Bump!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
I know you said no more options but... I have a pair of Lisson Grove AR1s which live on my mixbus. Instant sound of a record.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Mr. Bars's Avatar
Oh, Trev... Unfortunately my dealer doesn't sell Lisson Grove gear, but for Chandler and Retro they can give a very good prices for me based on my purchased history.

Moreover, it looks like in spite of the differences RS124, AR1, Highland Dynamics — they are all united by something that is not typical for Retro 176 compressor, and it allows to contrapose 176 against this whole Altec'ish group.

Thanks,
DK

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I know you said no more options but... I have a pair of Lisson Grove AR1s which live on my mixbus. Instant sound of a record.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bars View Post
Oh, Trev... Unfortunately my dealer doesn't sell Lisson Grove gear, but for Chandler and Retro they can give a very good prices for me based on my purchased history.

Moreover, it looks like in spite of the differences RS124, AR1, Highland Dynamics — they are all united by something that is not typical for Retro 176 compressor, and it allows to contrapose 176 against this whole Altec'ish group.

Thanks,
DK
Sadly I still haven't managed to get my hands on one of the Chandlers but I do have a Hinson here which is reputed to be very close to the EMI. I really love the Lisson Groves but they don't sound like the Hinson. I would say the Lisson Grove sounds thicker and creamier than the Retro while the Hinson is more aggressive.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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XAXAU's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_f View Post
We see matched RS124s going to Mastering engineers. The feedback we get from mastering engineers, is they use them on parallel master bus to bring some soul/flavor back to tracks, they also like that the RS124s don’t become dark the more you compress. Another note is their versatility in tone for vintage vs modern when engaging Superfuse. This also corresponds to mix engineers and how they employ them on parallel mix bus; essentially fidelity with color.

Hope that helps.
Is there a possibility to have a hpf in the sidechain on these made in factory?

I feel it’s needed for bass heavy buss work

Sad what is the fastest release time in these? Looks like 500ms from schematics

Superfuse might be faster, I need at least 100ms for buss work while while having 20-30ms of attack

Cheers

Last edited by XAXAU; 3 weeks ago at 11:13 PM..
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