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Greatest Stereo Compressors Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th November 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Greatest Stereo Compressors

What stereo compressors are most versatile? Is it a must to have parallel compression? Tube-based, solid-state, doesn't matter?
Old 27th November 2009
  #2
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The Safe Sound Audio Dynamics Toolbox is just that...a toolbox...!

-= Safe Sound Audio =-

Amazing box in my (biased) opinion.

War
Old 27th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
I've just seen an ad that Thermionic will release soon an anniversary limited version of their Phoenix Master Compressor. Maybe this will be the holy grail for some lucky folks.... What do you think, slutz?
Old 27th November 2009
  #4
Two of my favorites are the DBX 160SL and the soon to be released A Designs Nail. Can't go wrong with either of those.
Old 28th November 2009
  #5
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

the A-Designs NAIL,,,, DROOOOOOOOL!
Old 29th November 2009
  #6
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
If you're a low end pimp you'd say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
The Safe Sound Audio Dynamics Toolbox is just that...a toolbox...!

-= Safe Sound Audio =-

Amazing box in my (biased) opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Two of my favorites are the DBX 160SL and the soon to be released A Designs Nail. Can't go wrong with either of those.
If you read the original post

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooveMerchant View Post
What stereo compressors are most versatile? Is it a must to have parallel compression? Tube-based, solid-state, doesn't matter?
You'd be thinking Dual Atomic Squeezebox, Neve 33609 [no suffix], Fairchild 670 [99% impossible to have in great condition unless you're John McBride], Thermionic Culture "Phoenix", STC-8, VT-7, or something in that range.

DBX? "Safe Sound"?... why not FMR while you're at it?
Old 29th November 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
tapehiss's Avatar
i'll throw in:

drawmer 1968, nice price and nice piece

SE C2

pendulum OCL-2
Old 29th November 2009
  #8
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
The 1968 is a fine tool... but I don't think I would put it among the "great" stereo compressors of this world [even though it was designed to my sense of aesthetic] though the Pendulum OCL-2 might qualify
Old 29th November 2009
  #9
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macr0w's Avatar
 

Old 29th November 2009
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
malgfunk's Avatar
 

API 2500.
Old 29th November 2009
  #11
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JSt0rm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
If you're a low end pimp you'd say:
DBX? "Safe Sound"?... why not FMR while you're at it?
lol. This place is funny.

3630
Old 29th November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
voidtunes's Avatar
 

Api 2500 for versitility!

SSL bus comp for all time!

I use a roll music systems super stereo comp, not an all time best ut it does exactly as I want. I als think its cool how I have to flick th meter to make it work. Prob faulty and should go back but it makes it fell more analouge.
Old 29th November 2009
  #13
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Most of the SSL clones are better than the Smart/ API stuff.
Old 29th November 2009
  #14
Shy
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
Most of the SSL clones are better than the Smart/ API stuff.
Heh, really?.. And funny that you mention API, because none of their hardware is an "SSL clone" in any way.
Old 29th November 2009
  #15
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shy View Post
Heh, really?.. And funny that you mention API, because none of their hardware is an "SSL clone" in any way.
He mentioned API because the 2500 has a "feed forward" feature [labeled "New" on the facepanel] which when coupled with "Hard Knee" and "Loud" from the "Thrust" section makes it as good an SSL-esque compressor as an SSL compressor... which in my world isn't as good an SSL compressor as a Dramastic Audio "Obsidian"... but the 2500 does a **** load more than the "SSL-esque" thing [as does the "Obsidian"] which would make either or both a great addition to damn near any recording studio.



Peace.
Old 29th November 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
tamasdragon's Avatar
 

Buzz audio.
Old 29th November 2009
  #17
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[QUOTE=GrooveMerchant;4829045] Is it a must to have parallel compression? QUOTE]

if you ask me, no. parallel compression is way overrated.
Old 29th November 2009
  #18
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shy View Post
Heh, really?.. And funny that you mention API, because none of their hardware is an "SSL clone" in any way.
All I was saying is out of the 3 even the Clones of SSL beat out the Smart / API stuff, 2500 is great but a little to colored at times for me. The Smart C1 is great and has sweet width, SSL and SSL clones have a much better grab, also sounds more like a record sould sound.
Old 29th November 2009
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Elevteros's Avatar
 

API 2500
BuzzAudio SOC1
and
Fatso occasionally
Old 29th November 2009
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Interesting posts

I didn't mention API 2500 in the original post, but that unit is very interesting. I like the options it has, it's in a 1U rack space which is nice, and the flexibility is there but it doesn't seem to have TOO many options. Some units have so many options, it can seem like too many - or it may be tough to dial in what you're looking for. API doesn't have the parallel compression, but I guess if parallel was desired, one compressor could feed another. How about tube compression vs. API solid state? It definitely makes sense that, over time, even a simple project studio will want a couple of stereo compressors.
Old 29th November 2009
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooveMerchant View Post
API doesn't have the parallel compression, but I guess if parallel was desired, one compressor could feed another.
Wouldn't that be "serial" compression?

Equally as cool sometimes, when its called for with the right box.
Old 29th November 2009
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Not sure

Using a couple of compressors, I was thinking of your recommendation of this unit:

Vintagedesign | SU1

To start, I'll go with a Folcrom to a single compressor though. Maybe off topic a little, seems like a stereo compressor is also a must to have while tracking on the headphone mix to the band.
Old 29th November 2009
  #23
Gear Addict
 

PS

Paul Wolff has two stereo compressors coming out from Tonelux soon as well so those should be two more classic stereo compressors.
Old 4th December 2009
  #24
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooveMerchant View Post
What stereo compressors are most versatile?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
If you're a low end pimp you'd say: "Safe Sound"?... why not FMR while you're at it?
With 2 internal sidechain EQ's as well as a hardware insert and the ability to SOLO the sidechain, with 2 different modes of compression for tracking / mixing, with choice of Sowter or Lundahl output transformers, with onboard parallel done with one simple knob (even linked), I'd say the Dynamics Toolbox was a well qualified response to "versatile".

Nothing against FMR, but there's a lot more to it vs an RNC etc.

And I've used both.

As always...."Peace" and "YMMV".

War
Old 4th December 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
feck's Avatar
Had the STC-8 here for about 8 months, and I am still figuring it out - so much flexibility and awesome sound. Well worth investigating.
Old 4th December 2009
  #26
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steveschizoid's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
...
You'd be thinking Dual Atomic Squeezebox, Neve 33609 [no suffix], Fairchild 670 [99% impossible to have in great condition unless you're John McBride], Thermionic Culture "Phoenix", STC-8, VT-7, or something in that range.
I wonder if there should be another forum entitled "Ultra High End" - and you forgot to mention the Shadow Hills MC!

At any rate, I felt someone should chime in for the Aurora Audio GTC2. With opto and fet (or both) circuitry to choose from, it's pretty darn versatile, and it sounds great!
Old 4th December 2009
  #27
Gear Nut
 

I think if you talk about "greatest stereo compressors" you have to have the 33609 in the top 3.
Old 6th December 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Robert McCormick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
If you're a low end pimp you'd say:



If you read the original post



You'd be thinking Dual Atomic Squeezebox, Neve 33609 [no suffix], Fairchild 670 [99% impossible to have in great condition unless you're John McBride], Thermionic Culture "Phoenix", STC-8, VT-7, or something in that range.

DBX? "Safe Sound"?... why not FMR while you're at it?
Hi Fletcher, how are you?
Love reading your posts.
It is possible to have a Fairchild in great condition.
Old 6th December 2009
  #29
Gear Addict
 

33609

Looks like that Neve 33609 is a reissue of an old classic with some updates. Top 3? That sounds great, I'm sure lots of folks would put API 2500 in the top 3 also. I want to see the Tonelux stereo compressor soon. I think Paul said there would be 2 - a 1U and 2U available. Man, I like 1U, keep it simple.
Old 6th December 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 
DrSax's Avatar
Charter Oak SCL-1 - Wow!!!

Gotta add another new compressor to the mix. I've been using the new Charter Oak SCL-1 Stereo/Dual Mono Comp. This thing is freakin' amazing! I regularly use Vac Rac TSL3, Dual Atomic Squeezebox, Daking FET II's, and I love them all - but this new offering by Charter Oak is really something new, and special. The Atomic Squeezebox and TSL3 are two pieces that I regularly use and rarely have I used other comps that fall into the category of special - but for me, the SCL-1 definitely falls into this category. And it's crazy when you consider it is less than half the price of the TSL3 and a third of the price of the Atomic Squeezebox Dual. I wrote my initial thoughts about this thing in another thread - here it is:

"I initially was skeptical because the SCL-1 is advertised as a very transparent, clean unit - so I was worried that it would be sterile - and I must say I am kind of blown away by this thing. It is not sterile at all - SO musical - and even though it is a very clear, transparent sounding compressor - it still has a open, luxurious sound. I heard a few people mention that they would have seen a mix knob on this thing - but I gotta say that with the dynamic threshold and static threshold and the way they interact - there is no need for a mix knob. This thing as absolutely stunning!

It also has gorgeous sounding input and output transformers - but without over coloring the sound - it just sounds musical and amazing. Quite possibly the most musical compressor I've ever used. I really put it through is paces this week and it surprised me several times. As I expected, on the mix buss it is stunning. But it really shocked me on Bass. I had a bass track that sounded great but jst wasn't sitting in the track liek I wanted. ANd the part had a slapping and finger technique. Normally I have to squash a track like this considerably to deal with the bass slaps - but with the SCL-1 I was able to keep the punch and purity of the track without having to kill the bass....

I feel like a kid in a candy store - this thing is SO versatile. And now I'm even rethinking my approach to colored, vibey compression. I think that now, with this unit - if I need color, I think a lot of the time I'll run a track through a colored comp but not compress it much - then use the SCL-1 to compress the track. That way I can get the color, but keep the transients and punch too.

I had thought about ordering this with stepped potentiometers - but after feeling the knobs on this, I think I prefer it without. The resistance and damping on these knobs are perfect. I have seen a few comments from people that by looking at it, it seems it would be very hard to recall. That is not the case at all. It is very easy to recall and after using for a while, I am loving the way all the controls are laid out. Very easy to get exacting results and easy to recall those results.

The Dynamic Threshold is so cool - basically adjusting between softer or harder knee - and seems very interactive with the Static Threshold - offering a ton of different ways to shape the sound via compression. Because of this - the attack and release times on this thing are more than ample. Between the Two different thresholds and the attack and release, the options seem endless.

I could go on for a while about this thing.... but I'd better get back to work.... Only problem is that now I wanna leave this thing glued to the mix buss and get a second unit to use on individual tracks! CHarter Oak really brought something new and exciting to the table here with the SCL-1. I am sold on this thing!

Oh - and by the way - I am in no way affiliated with Charter Oak - just a VERY happy customer!"
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