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XLogic X-Rack Stereo Bus Compressor Module - any users?
Old 1st April 2008
  #1
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Squawk's Avatar
XLogic X-Rack Stereo Bus Compressor Module - any users?

I'm thinking of purchasing the SSL X-Rack Stereo comp and am just looking for opinions and feedback on it. Any X-Rack users out there who own or have used this module and can comment?
Old 1st April 2008
  #2
I have used it. It's 90%-95% of what the G Compressor rack unit is. It does not offer Auto-Fade but features pretty much every other feature of the rack unit. The big difference is that the rack unit is a VCA based design whereas the X-Rack module is a SuperAnalogue design. They are both very close in sound to each other with the X-Rack module being slightly cleaner.

I had a Norah Jones mix running through it at the AES convention and people were very impressed with the sound. It's basically the same center section compressor from the Duality console.
Old 1st April 2008
  #3
AFAIK both rack AND x-rack are so called "SuperAnalogue design" (whatever that means...). They're both VCA'compressors, actually I think they're both exactly the same only in a different housing...

What would ssl have thought....hm we have a great VCA compressor that everybody loves. Well let's make a non VCA one that sounds very close and put it in a different housing. Yes, that sounds brilliant and this way we can spent some more developement money...yeah right ;-)
Old 1st April 2008
  #4
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old ssl bus compressor was not superanalog design i dont think. maybe the rack version out now but not the old G series ( I dont think )
Old 1st April 2008
  #5
yes, new rack and x- rack.

Can someone elaborate what this "superanalog" actualy means in technical terms?
Sounds a bit like marketing BS to me, but I might be wrong...
I mean, you have an analog design...then what would need to be done to make it superanalog?
Old 1st April 2008
  #6
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Squawk's Avatar
Thanks very much for the responses so far.

Basically I'm looking for a nice 2 buss comp. I already have an X-rack, so that is an option. A good friend of mine has used the Rolls music stereo comp on recent mixes and really liked it,
so I may try to check that one out as well.

The X-rack stereo comp is around $2500, so I'm hoping to find something in that price range.

Here is my list of possibles:

X-rack stereo comp
RMS755 Super Stereo comp
Portico 5043

I'm open to opinions on any of these. I should be able to demo all but the x-rack, although I can get that from VK and demo it.
Old 1st April 2008
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiance View Post
AFAIK both rack AND x-rack are so called "SuperAnalogue design" (whatever that means...). They're both VCA'compressors, actually I think they're both exactly the same only in a different housing...

What would ssl have thought....hm we have a great VCA compressor that everybody loves. Well let's make a non VCA one that sounds very close and put it in a different housing. Yes, that sounds brilliant and this way we can spent some more developement money...yeah right ;-)
They are both part of the XLogic line of products but the G Compressor is a VCA design whereas the X-Rack module is not VCA.
Old 1st April 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
G Compressor is a VCA design whereas the X-Rack module is not VCA.
Wanna bet?
Old 1st April 2008
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
They are both part of the XLogic line of products but the G Compressor is a VCA design whereas the X-Rack module is not VCA.
Ok, what is it then? Fet? Opto? Just tell me what part takes care of the compression in the X-rack. I bet you don't have a clue ...

And don't come with something like..."it's a superanalogue circuit" or so... LOL
Old 1st April 2008
  #10
Here for the gear
 

The XLogic G Series Compressor 1U rack mounting stereo compressor utilises the classic SSL G Series centre compressor design elements within a SuperAnalogue design topology.

The Xrack module version is the same circuit design, put into a different physical design, they are both the same as the buss comp in the duality console.

They are all based on the compressor found in the SL 4000 console and use the same classic twin VCA design as the console counterpart.

Combined with improved input and output circuitry, these new units provide improved audio performance, while retaining the dynamics characteristics that have provided numerous hit mixes for the world's best audio engineers.

I hope this clears this up.

Kind regards

Nathan
Old 1st April 2008
  #11
Ok, did some research...

Part of the superanalogue idea was to use two sets of VCA's for 1 channel (so 4 set's for stereo). The signal gets split and one part's polarity is reversed. Both the normal and the "reversed" part of the signal go to a set of VCA's after which the "reversed" part gets "reversed" to normal polarity and then both parts get summed. This way the distortion of both VCA's cancels out.

So in this case superanalogue not only uses VCA's, no it actually uses twice the amount of VCA's.
Old 1st April 2008
  #12
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SSL SuperAnalogue designs are capacitorless, while 'normal' audio designs use capacitors (which age and get bad over time).

X-Rack buscomp is pretty much the same as the currently produced XLogic SuperAnalogue G-Series buscomp.
Old 1st April 2008
  #13
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiance View Post
Part of the superanalogue idea was to use two sets of VCA's for 1 channel (so 4 set's for stereo).
The 'old' original G-series buscompessor also contains 2 sets of VCA's per channel, this is not related to a design being SuperAnalogue or not.
Old 1st April 2008
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
Wanna bet?
Sean, you visited me at the AES show when I was there with SSL. I think you'll agree that I have a little bit of experience with this stuff.

Here's some info straight from the SSL website:

The XLogic G Series Compressor is the latest version of the compressor and it uses the same classic twin VCA design as its console counterpart.

(this is referring to the VCA design of the SSL 4000 console's center section compressor)

------------

The XLogic Master Bus Compressor module is a true SuperAnalogue design and even though it has a main VCA, it is not the twin VCA design of the 4000 series. This module is basically the same thing that is present on the Duality and AWS900+ consoles and is based off of the SSL 9000K series console.

------------

Perhaps I should've been clearer in my post when I said the X-Rack module is a not a VCA design, but what I meant was it is not the "same VCA design" as the G Compressor rack unit. There is a difference in sound, and the X-Rack module is a bit cleaner sounding than the rack unit. They are based off of two separate designs. Both are great compressors, but if you are after the famous 4000 series console's center section compressor, it's the 1U rack XLogic G Compressor, not the X-Rack module. If you're just looking for a great master bus compressor to add in to your X-Rack then by all means go for the X-Rack module. It's certainly nice to have Total Recall functionality, although you don't get the Auto-Fade feature.

Hope that clears things up.
Old 1st April 2008
  #15
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So is the X-Rack buss compressor exactly the same as the Duality buss comp?
Old 1st April 2008
  #16
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Sean, you visited me at the AES show when I was there with SSL. I think you'll agree that I have a little bit of experience with this stuff.
Visited? I recall bumping into you outside as I was smoking. Very imaginative wordsmithery on your part, though (I think I see a pattern here)!

Cheers, mate.
Old 1st April 2008
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
Visited? I recall bumping into you outside as I was smoking. Very imaginative wordsmithery on your part, though (I think I see a pattern here)!

Cheers, mate.
Sean,

Remember it however you like but you came into the SSL booth to say hi and remind me that you once applied for a job with my company. You were wearing flannel pajama pants, etc. Remember?

Just because you now work for Mercenary, please don't start in with the bashing of your competitors. I don't recall ever saying anything bad about you.
Old 1st April 2008
  #18
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I'm not bashing anyone at all. I'm just saying you've presented some visiting scenario that never took place. Perhaps I have some evil twin with flannel pajamas...but I sleep in my jeans.
Old 1st April 2008
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by bforest4 View Post
So is the X-Rack buss compressor exactly the same as the Duality buss comp?
Yes, it's the same design as both the Duality and the AWS900+ center section compressor. Is it absolutely identical? Well, one fits into a console and the other fits into the X-Rack. So, they aren't absolutely 100% identical but they are all basically the same design, and the resulting sound is virtually indistinguishable.
Old 1st April 2008
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeltaM View Post
The 'old' original G-series buscompessor also contains 2 sets of VCA's per channel, this is not related to a design being SuperAnalogue or not.
Ah, I see. Well, in that case I doubt whether both rack or X-rack uses this twin VCA topology...Can someone who KNOWS shed a light on this?
Old 1st April 2008
  #21
Gear Head
 

Old 1st April 2008
  #22
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heyman's Avatar
Maybe Sean and Kittonian would like to schedule a charity boxing match..?


Winner of Raffle gets a new SSL Buss Compressor..?








...
Old 1st April 2008
  #23
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

And which comp did you guys prefer sonically at the end? It's strange that the X-Rack Comp is so much cheaper. (Ok the X-Rack itself is already expensive and looks a lot smaller than the other one.) But.....
Old 2nd April 2008
  #24
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ARIEL's Avatar
the Xrack comp is cheaper cause it has no power supply - that is why the rack is expensive
Old 2nd April 2008
  #25
jho
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The X-Rack Stereo compressor is excellent.

I have had one for some months. It sounds really great on the 2-buss. Currently using it inserted into the master channel using the X-Rack for summing...

I use the classic 2-buss settings... slow attack fast release low ratio etc. And I just like to tickle the meters a little... just a little. Great 2-buss glue. Been wanting to check it out on a drum buss but like my C2 there so... been lazy...

So my feedback is.. go for it. It has that "now it sounds like a record" flavor to me
Old 2nd April 2008
  #26
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

SSL G384 & G-series rack

Sooo... how do those two designs differ?I hear that people tend to prefer one over the other, but by the info above, they shoukd be the same.

-andrews
Old 3rd April 2008
  #27
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Squawk's Avatar
Thanks guys for the input.

I'm going to try and demo the SSL, along with the Portico and Rolls..
Old 4th April 2008
  #28
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Right - let's put an end to this silliness.

The G Series Stereo Bus compressor is a VCA design, whether it is in a 1u rack, a console, or as a module. It's an integral part of the sound.

The 9000J and 9000K are both SuperAnalogue consoles but have VCA groups on faders (although the main buses on the 9K use MDACs instead if I recall correctly). For AWS900, Duality, and Matrix we have no VCAs or linear faders - everything has MDACs which is our own patent-pending proptietary technology.

SuperAnalogue means a few things - but as a design philosophy the main ones are no transformers and no capacitors in the audio signal path. This bring considerable benefits in accurately reproducing the input signal with minimal distortion and phase shift and a wider frequency response.

In fact, the G Compressor design remains pretty much unchanged from when it was released. The newer units have a wider frequency bandwitdth due to using different VCAs - they start to roll off around 170KHz instead of around 40Khz as with the FX384.

As part of the tesing of the G Comp module I ran some double blind A/B/C/D tests with a 1991 FX384, a 2002 XLogic G Comp, the prototype module, and an AWS900. With the exception of Chris Jenkins (designer and guru at SSL who got everything bang on) nobody tested was able to accurately say which unit was which - small differences could be heard between the units but only with 60-70% accuracy, but identifying the units in question was hit-and-miss.

I hope this clears things up.

Bottom line - ignore the bullsh*t often posted about this, get a demo, and ecide if you like the sound. Everything else is hot air...
Old 4th April 2008
  #29
SSL UK
 
samw@SSL's Avatar
 

Regarding the listening tests that we carried out as Jim mentions in the previous post.

I was very jet lagged at the time and due to excessive air travel my hearing and concentration was not at 100% thus I failed to live up to the benchmark results that Chris Jenkins achieved.

However I would be happy to use any flavor of SSL Buss comp
Old 4th April 2008
  #30
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Zuewi's Avatar
 

Thanks for clearing this up Jim
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