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Neve 2254e vs API 225L/525 comps Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 17th August 2007
  #1
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Neve 2254e vs API 225L/525 comps

ok, I've been starting some threads on both subjects. I have to make a decision soon.

I am going to buy some comps for my V76 pres.
These would be my first outboard comps ever and the only ones for a loooong time, so I need them to be both good for tracking (vocals, guitars, bass, drums, horns) and mixing. mostly record one or two channels at the time, but also drum kits, horns and bands occasionally. Style of music is alternative pop, indie, old school soul stuff...
Here is my dilemma....

I have got an offer on two Neve 2254e compressors. I would have to get them racked and in the end it will be very expensive.
The other way I'm considering to go very strongly is the API 200 rack - and fill it with 12 225L comps over time (or maybe 500 rack with some 525 comps).
This would be MUCH cheaper per unit, but the sexiness......???
Maybe I get easily fooled by the size heh Both comps have same features - but the Neves are physically 6 times bigger per unit than the API's - which impresses me!
It's Neve vs API - both giants... and I have heard that these small API 225L comps are really overlooked and supposed to sound amazing (Fletcher calls them half an API 2500 comp..)

What would be YOUR choice in MY situation?!
Old 17th August 2007
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
The whole 200 series of API stuff is amazing... under promoted but amazing none the less. If I were in your shoes I'd get myself a 12 slot 200 series rack, fill it with a bunch of comrpessors and some mic pre's [to have an alternative to the V-76's] and be done with my day... but I'm not you and lord knows you're in the right place to get a plethora of varying opinions that could lead directly to even greater paralysis of analysis.

Peace.
Old 17th August 2007
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The whole 200 series of API stuff is amazing... under promoted but amazing none the less. If I were in your shoes I'd get myself a 12 slot 200 series rack, fill it with a bunch of comrpessors and some mic pre's [to have an alternative to the V-76's] and be done with my day... but I'm not you and lord knows you're in the right place to get a plethora of varying opinions that could lead directly to even greater paralysis of analysis.

Peace.
thanks Fletcher!
I know you're a fan of the 225L comp. Could you tell me if it's got a unique vibe or sound to it or "personality" in the same league as the Neve 2254e is famed for? Or if it's more like a really good and reliable workhorse for many purposes...? I mean, would you use it as your main "golden" lead vocal compressor i.e.?
I want character and the personality thing. But then, who says a tiny small module like the 225L could not have character and a nice fat coloration... (???)
Old 17th August 2007
  #4
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anyone else?
Old 18th August 2007
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
anyone else?
Its like comparing a coconut to a pineapple.

Very different compressor styles and sound.

The Neve's have a distinctive sound but aren't as versatile. The 525 even less so. I've used the 2500 and i hate to say it but i wasn't as blown away as some other people were around here. I passed on it at the time.

There is no real around best compressor that has the perfect tone plus control.

Each have their strengths and weaknesses. Through trial and error you learn what works best for your sonic style.

In the mix even more so because something that works well in the mix you in a million years would probably not track through. It either be too colored, too distorted, too mid heavy or too bright. But in the mix sometimes this is what the tracks need.

If i were starting out a mini collection of tracking comps it would probably be either a La2a or a TT CL1B(change the tubes) and a 1176 or Distressor/Trakker. You can get alot of mileage out of those and they pretty much all work on everything.

By the way if you can get a pair of 2254's for the price of a pair of 225L's than yeah i would probably do it.

You can always flip them around and get more things if you need it.
Old 18th August 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Its like comparing a coconut to a pineapple.

Very different compressor styles and sound.

The Neve's have a distinctive sound but aren't as versatile. The 525 even less so. I've used the 2500 and i hate to say it but i wasn't as blown away as some other people were around here. I passed on it at the time.

There is no real around best compressor that has the perfect tone plus control.

Each have their strengths and weaknesses. Through trial and error you learn what works best for your sonic style.

In the mix even more so because something that works well in the mix you in a million years would probably not track through. It either be too colored, too distorted, too mid heavy or too bright. But in the mix sometimes this is what the tracks need.

If i were starting out a mini collection of tracking comps it would probably be either a La2a or a TT CL1B(change the tubes) and a 1176 or Distressor/Trakker. You can get alot of mileage out of those and they pretty much all work on everything.

By the way if you can get a pair of 2254's for the price of a pair of 225L's than yeah i would probably do it.

You can always flip them around and get more things if you need it.
Thanks Thrill! I thought you were madly in love with your 2254e's on almost everything.. I guess they are more "special" than I first thought.

No, the pair of 2254e's will of course be much more money than a pair of 225L's - or even four 225L.... But still a bit cheaper than a pair of Urei 1176 or LA-2A's for what I know.
It's about $5000 for the two 2254e's - in great shape but unracked... So it's maybe around $6500 incl racking and taxes...
two 1176 would be at least $6500.
two LA-2A would be even more...
Another option I have been looking at is a pair of vintage Urei LA-3A in perfect condition that goes for $4000.
It's just a damn shame I don't have the opportunity to go check out ANY of these comps before I buy!
Which is why I am here I guess....
Love this forum!
Keep it coming!
Old 18th August 2007
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
It's about $5000 for the two 2254e's - in great shape but unracked... So it's maybe around $6500 incl racking and taxes...
Wow.

That's a little too much for those especially unracked.

I would pass on it if it were me starting out.
Old 18th August 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Wow.

That's a little too much for those especially unracked.

I would pass on it if it were me starting out.

yeah, maybe you're right...
but they look so hot and sweet at the same time it's insane!!! some say it's the greatest comp ever made, other say it's too colored and special sounding for most things but really great for a few tasks etc...
I just can't take my eyes off those big buttons on the photos I got of this
maybe a pair of LA3A ? - alot fewer control options compared to the Neves/API's... but also way cheaper than a pair of 1176 / LA2A / 2254e
Old 18th August 2007
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
yeah, maybe you're right...
but they look so hot and sweet at the same time it's insane!!! some say it's the greatest comp ever made, other say it's too colored and special sounding for most things but really great for a few tasks etc...
I just can't take my eyes off those big buttons on the photos I got of this
maybe a pair of LA3A ? - alot fewer control options compared to the Neves/API's... but also way cheaper than a pair of 1176 / LA2A / 2254e
How about a used TT CL1B and an 1176?

Where one doesn't work usually the other fills the gap. Also the CL1B is less colored than an La2a so you won't over do it and you can use it on more things.

Later on you can add a Sta-Level for that special colored sound you can't get on either one.
Old 18th August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Wow.

That's a little too much for those especially unracked.
Yea, I tracked the market for a year and, fact is today, if you buy from a reputable dealer (and there aren't that many of them who handle a volume of these) who will dependably test/repair/recap/calibrate, you are going to pay 5k for a nice pair, unracked. I agree, pretty crazy, but.............

That is too much for a rack, though. I believe Vintage King will rack a pair in their rack for 900.

You can occasionally find a racked pair from an individual for 4.5k, or maybe less if you are lucky. I got a nice racked pair for 4.2K earlier this year that had been recapped..........just lucky, after much looking. However, they come available only rarely now, and they will probably need testing/repair/recapping/calibration..............so you'll be up to 5k+ for a racked pair if they need much work.

They are great fun but, as Thrill said, definitely the special birthday present after you have some basic workhorse units. That will give you time to keep your eyes open for that rare opportunity to buy a racked pair at a good price.
Old 18th August 2007
  #11
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The Alamo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
I have got an offer on two Neve 2254e compressors. I would have to get them racked and in the end it will be very expensive.
The other way I'm considering to go very strongly is the API 200 rack - and fill it with 12 225L comps over time (or maybe 500 rack with some 525 comps).
This would be MUCH cheaper per unit, but the sexiness......???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
It's about $5000 for the two 2254e's - in great shape but unracked... So it's maybe around $6500 incl racking and taxes...
two 1176 would be at least $6500.
two LA-2A would be even more...
Another option I have been looking at is a pair of vintage Urei LA-3A in perfect condition that goes for $4000.
$6.5k for the 2254?? Is that to get the comp AND one of your relatives back?
That is not an offer, it's a ransom.
Old 19th August 2007
  #12
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HudHudson's Avatar
 

Whatever price you pay for a pair of 2254s, keep in mind that they are very expensive to service, for starters because of how the units are put together. It's not like popping the top off and getting to work. So if the units need recapping and calibration, count on almost a grand in labor and parts.

I agree with thrill about how special the Neves are - they don't sound good on everything, but they are fantastic for certain things. I strapped one of mine on an acoustic guitar track last week and VOILA, it was Stephen Stills circa 1970 - thick, elastic, yummy, bouncy. Also amazing on bass. It's also a great comp for my reedy voice, adds some heft to it.
Old 19th August 2007
  #13
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pulse_divider's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
two 1176 would be at least $6500.
Wow.
That is literally twice what they cost in the US.
Old 19th August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulse_divider View Post
Wow.
That is literally twice what they cost in the US.
really!?
all the 1176 I have seen on USA ebay have been around $3000-4000 for only one....
If you know somewhere I could find these cheaper please let me know
Old 19th August 2007
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HudHudson View Post
I agree with thrill about how special the Neves are - they don't sound good on everything, but they are fantastic for certain things. I strapped one of mine on an acoustic guitar track last week and VOILA, it was Stephen Stills circa 1970 - thick, elastic, yummy, bouncy. Also amazing on bass. It's also a great comp for my reedy voice, adds some heft to it.
well... that's just exactly the three things I would probably use them most on
- 70's vibe acoustic guitar, bass and vocals.
If the 2254e's are REALLY great on these particular sources, they might be just what I need.

A pair of LA-3A I have been looking at could also do the job I guess, and they would be alot cheaper! Are these less vibey, thick, warm, whatever, than the Neves??
Old 19th August 2007
  #16
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pulse_divider's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
really!?
all the 1176 I have seen on USA ebay have been around $3000-4000 for only one....
If you know somewhere I could find these cheaper please let me know
Sweetwater has them for $1799 brand new:
Universal Audio 1176LN | Sweetwater.com
I see them used on Ebay for around $1300 all the time.
Old 19th August 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulse_divider View Post
Sweetwater has them for $1799 brand new:
Universal Audio 1176LN | Sweetwater.com
I see them used on Ebay for around $1300 all the time.
A little misunderstanding here....
I was refering to the vintage Urei 1176 - not Universal Audio reisues...
sorry for the confusion
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