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Al Smart or XLOGIC? Help me out guys!!
Old 26th June 2005
  #1
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

Al Smart or XLOGIC? Help me out guys!!

Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum. I wouldn't normally bother you guys, however, I need to make a purchase this next week, and I'm unable to decide between SSL's X series stereo channel comp or Alan Smart's C2.

I'm not entirely familiar with the Smart boxes, I've used one only once in the past, on a vocal of all things. But from what most have implied, it mimics the SSL piece with several additional features that would make it well worth the purchase (crush mode, dual mono, additional ratios, etc). On the other hand, I'm sure the easiest way to get the sound of a G series 2bus compressor is to actually buy the real deal.

What do you guys think?

Also, is anyone familiar with the API 2500? They claim it does a "chest-thumping" thrusty compression thing (in addition to everything else). I assume they've designed this feature to replicate something similar to that of an SSL-type compressor. Is it worth a look?

Thanks.
Old 26th June 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I posed this question a couple weeks back some positive things about the smart, others wern't into it all.. Some folks said neither and the only thing to get was the FX 384 and claim the new SSL is not as good..although not to many folks seemed to have a specific opinion on that one......and other folks tell me its exactly the same....Theres's lots of opinions on this subject but no definitive answers....If possible I would get both on loan.... and see which box rocks... Its a tough quandry cause I am sure they are all quite good.
Old 27th June 2005
  #3
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heathen's Avatar
 

Alan smart

I bought an Al Smart c2 recently and have to honestly say it is without doubt one of the best comps I've used,it's level control is exceptional,it is not totally transparent but adds a character which you miss if you take it out of the chain.It adds excellent punch to drums,and the crush function is great on certain instruments making them cut straight through a mix,nicely though.I mainly use mine on my stereo mixes (no crush)and it is superb. Being in Melbourne OZ (Smart Australia),me in Sydney I had the pleasure to chat to Al Smart on the phone about my order,he is the nicest bloke and his customer service is as exceptional as his comps. By the way I am not affiliated with thier company,Im just a happy customer . I'd also say that when I first used it in my studio I was not 100% sure I was happy and it took a bit of playing to get used to.Now I'm 100% sure I can't do without it.I posted a mix in the mp3 work under progress column,post titled "any comments" song is hurt me,it's a rough mix but I ran it through the c2 if your interested in a listen,you may not like the song but it may give you a rough idea,as the drums in the song were a little mushy before the c2 was added.
Old 27th June 2005
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier777c

What do you guys think?



Thanks.

If you want the SSL buss compressor sound in order of preference:

1)original SSL FX 384 thumbsup

2)Alan Smart C1

3)Smart C2

4)New SSL logic comp

I haven't tried any of the do it yourself jobs out there.

Just one person's opinion.
Old 27th June 2005
  #5
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

The FX G384's that I've seen are being sold for about twice the price as the other two. I'm sure they're the best, nonetheless, I'm trying to keep my purchase to around $3k.

Also, is there a reason the C1 sounds better than the C2? You're not the first person who's told me that . . . which now births a concern. I'd imagine the C2 would merely be an expanded version of the C1, nonetheless, it appears that something may have been lost in the translation.

Thank you guys for your replies.
Old 27th June 2005
  #6
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clip6's Avatar
 

Not all 384's use the same VCA. Early models used a dbx unit, later units used a "THAT 2002" VCA. You will have to decide. Mike at Vintage King has 2 384's in stock with the THAT 2002 if you would like that vintage. I would assume that early Smart c1's used the DBX but I'm not sure. I just emailed smart to find out. In fact in the early days when the smart c1 came out it caused a little fuss at SSL.
Old 27th June 2005
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier777c
The FX G384's that I've seen are being sold for about twice the price as the other two. I'm sure they're the best, nonetheless, I'm trying to keep my purchase to around $3k.

Also, is there a reason the C1 sounds better than the C2? You're not the first person who's told me that . . . which now births a concern. I'd imagine the C2 would merely be an expanded version of the C1, nonetheless, it appears that something may have been lost in the translation.

Thank you guys for your replies.

Wow double for the 384?

That's ridiculous.

Used they were always between $2300-2700.

New around $3200.

I believe the C1 is closer because there is less in the design.

Also the original C1 was a stereo compressor not a dual unit(C2).

He designed it as a close copy of the SSL buss compressor.

The C2 was a newer design, more flexible and designed for more sources.

Also its more transparent(specs out real well).

Don't get me wrong the C2 is a great compressor for a lot of different things(i like it on vocals,piano and individual kicks and snares).

It just lacks the mojo of the original SSL buss comp.

Now some people like the mojo and they dig the original SSL buss comp so they buy that or the C1.

While others like the mojo but in moderate amounts and buy the C2.
Old 27th June 2005
  #8
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Wow double for the 384?

That's ridiculous.

Used they were always between $2300-2700.

New around $3200.
The only two I've seen we're priced pretty high, up around 5 grand. I guess that's not technically twice as much, but close to it.

Thanks for the response.
Old 27th June 2005
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier777c
The only two I've seen we're priced pretty high, up around 5 grand. I guess that's not technically twice as much, but close to it.

Thanks for the response.
$5K?

Tell them to stick them up their...

What a freakin ripoff.

I wouldn't pay more than $2500 used.
Old 27th June 2005
  #10
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audioez's Avatar
 

another vote for a C1...it screams G to me, and I mix on a VR. With the C1 POST FADER O/P, you cannot lose.
Old 27th June 2005
  #11
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

I haven't been able to find one for that. As a matter of fact, I haven't been able to find one, period (lately) . . . except for at a couple of vintage shops here in town. I guess those places are supposed to work with you, but when the starting price is 5 large . . . . NO THANX!!!

Anyway, I'll do a little more research. Clip6 mentioned Vintage King had two of them. I just emailed them on pricing. We'll see what they say.
Old 27th June 2005
  #12
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Hey, audioez . . . is that the original C1 you're refering to, or does that go for the latest batch as well (the dual-mono version)?
Old 27th June 2005
  #13
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audioez's Avatar
 

Not too sure when the original was released...The C1 I'm used to using is located at The Manhattan Center Studios, they own two, and have one in each of their two rooms; they are believed to be at least a decade old. I have also seen engineers like neil dorfsman carry around a single channel black face that was a half rack job, it looked like someone took a hack saw to a C1 and made two units, if that makes sense, maybe someone else here can chime in.

I'd have no doubts that the one that you would get from the distributor would be just as fine to work with. Too me it's how you use it...IMO the box sounds best when it's not even in gain reduction; I just like running my mix buss through it. It's not like the original is discrete, they're IC's all over that puppy!
Old 27th June 2005
  #14
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clip6's Avatar
 

The VK unit is $2450. Also units still at PAD for $2495 from the Hit Factory. The Dorfsmen unit could be a custom one off from many possible techs in Neil's history. Next time you see him stop and ask him. I've never seen the c1 dual with one set of knobs.
Old 27th June 2005
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
another vote for a C1...it screams G to me, and I mix on a VR. With the C1 POST FADER O/P, you cannot lose.
curious why post fader

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 27th June 2005
  #16
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By the way, the C1 sounds very good, never A/B'd it with the 384. Does what I need though.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 27th June 2005
  #17
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T_R_S's Avatar
I just went through the same problem and ended up picking a Manley VariMu. (Way better)
Old 27th June 2005
  #18
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The Alamo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier777c
Also, is anyone familiar with the API 2500? They claim it does a "chest-thumping" thrusty compression thing (in addition to everything else). I assume they've designed this feature to replicate something similar to that of an SSL-type compressor. Is it worth a look?
Thanks.
I use the FX 384 as well as the API 2500: the 2500 not on the SB though.
Quite different animals; I agree on the FX 384 - if you want the SSL sound that's the one to go for.

(Remember) The Alamo
Old 27th June 2005
  #19
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audioez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
curious why post fader

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
oh, I patch it POST FADER O/P cause the box will be in gain reduction all day, even with the highest threshold setting, with the fader I can control the input, and then push it harder to achieve a certian sound, a sound that reminds me of heavey parts of stings "nothing like the sun." I call it the ghost of neil dorfsman sound, it's just the way the bass fequencies smear together, I love it, and it has become a staple when I mix.

It also helps take the sound of a VR mix buss to a whole new demension, this is just a small part of the process... but took my mixes to the next level as well.
Old 27th June 2005
  #20
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so now ive just read somewhere here on the forums that there are differences in vca's on a smart C1 pre 1995 and vca's used post 1995. damn.
someone please share how these differ sonically and as far as how they pump and smear and distort. is the newer C1 cleaner than the orig? ( i hope not ).
thanks
s
Old 27th June 2005
  #21
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clip6's Avatar
 

stealthbalance---I would think the newer ones are cleaner...

generally That co. 218X series after their introduction: so the C2 had (six of) them from the outset, and the C1 had 215X series up to around 1995.

We hand select all the 218X series now for lowest distortion.

Best Regards,

Alan Smart
Old 27th June 2005
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Local 47's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthbalance
so now ive just read somewhere here on the forums that there are differences in vca's on a smart C1 pre 1995 and vca's used post 1995. damn.
someone please share how these differ sonically and as far as how they pump and smear and distort. is the newer C1 cleaner than the orig? ( i hope not ).
thanks
s
Errr..Stealth...I'm kinda losin'it too now
All right, and just to complicate matters a little bit: are there different versions of the FX384 as well?
What about the C2? One version so far?
Old 27th June 2005
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Local 47
Errr..Stealth...I'm kinda losin'it too now
Why lose it?

Just do what i did.

Buy an SSL console and you get the whole enchilada. heh
Old 28th June 2005
  #24
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heathen's Avatar
 

Stereo link

Someone a while ago suggested to me most stereo link comps will lose a little stereo image in link mode,I agree and believe the c2 does this,also it only triggers compression from the left side,slight bummer,so for this reason I just dont use the stereo link mode,it sounds heaps better without it.I always run mine in dual mode.The L/R balance is always good no matter what,(providing you remember to set both sides the same hmmmmm ) The c2 also sounds terrific if you send its output to a nice valve comp too with little or no comp from the valves,they just seem to gel together beautifully,adjusting the threshold on the c2 accordingly so just the signal peaks making it through a slower attack just start to tickle the drive indicator an a valve comp's input into slight saturation,it works extremely well.
Old 28th June 2005
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Has anybody used the XLOGIC??? Seems like alot of folks have opinions and lots of experience on the C1 C2 and FX but not to much concrete said on the XLOGIC... i am just curious if their popularity or lack there of is due to poor performance or lack of availability due to lack of popularity.
Old 28th June 2005
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogBob
Has anybody used the XLOGIC??? Seems like alot of folks have opinions and lots of experience on the C1 C2 and FX but not to much concrete said on the XLOGIC... i am just curious if their popularity or lack there of is due to poor performance or lack of availability due to lack of popularity.

I checked it out already.

Its not the same.
Old 28th June 2005
  #27
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
Logic-384 /Smart CL-2

I've got both, an original SSL Logic 384 and the first rendition of the Smart CL-2
They are actually very different animals.
I have used the SSL on my 2 mix for the last 10-12 years or so, and I can tell you.
if you want the sound of the SSL, it's the only one to buy, PERIOD!

The Smart CL-2 is fabulous, but really a different thing with it's own personality?
But for normal mixing buss use, it's the SSL.....
Old 28th June 2005
  #28
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

What are the main differences that you notice between the G384 and the C2 when used on the mix bus?
Old 28th June 2005
  #29
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clip6's Avatar
 

nobtwiddler--if you can open your unit tell us what vca's you have.
Old 28th June 2005
  #30
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Soldier777c's Avatar
 

I assume the DBX's are the superior VCA's in those g384 units, correct?
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