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Elysia Xpressor vs SH dual Vandergraph on drums Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 24th December 2010
  #1
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Elysia Xpressor vs SH dual Vandergraph on drums

The Vandergraph is almost twice as much than the Xpressor.

What is the real difference between these two on a drum buss - especially with toms, hand percussion, etc.

Note- part of my answer can be found on a prior thread, but some time has passed and maybe there is more to comment about.

Prior thread: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...r-500-a-9.html

Thanks!
Old 25th December 2010
  #2
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ionian's Avatar
Bump for anyone who can contribute to this! No one out there has both?


Frank
Old 26th December 2010
  #3
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I've got both and they are very different beasts. The SH Dual Vandergraph is what I use on my drum bus almost all the time. It has a large, punchy signature to it with some nice vintage color. The sidechain filters are awesome and allow you to tailor your compression characteristics and make sure you aren't squashing too much. If you like heavy bass in your mix, the side chain filters are the ticket. The Vandergraph also makes your source sound bigger in my opinoion and all the ratios are very useful from a gentle 1.2:1 to limiting. There is no attack and release on this compressor and that is my only gripe if I had to find one, but I still absolutely love it. I must admit that I use it so much for drums that I haven't really tried it on many other sources.

The Elysia on the other hand is more of a clean sounding comp and an exteremely tweakable one. It's relatively new in my arsenal but I've used it on jembe/congas, acoustic guitars, clean electric guitars, and backing vocals. It worked very nicely on all sources IMO. The warmth button can give some nice but subtle coloration, the gain reduction limiter is very useful for setting the range you want your compression to exist within, the sidechain filters are more adjustable than the Vandergraph, and the auto fast feature can be just the ticket. You are really going to have to demo both to get a feel for what you like because they are pretty different, but they both are very well made and sound great. They are both really easy to recall as well. The SH unit has a less diverse tool set to it, but what it does, it does really well. A big, punchy, nicely colored comp. The Elysia is cleaner and is very diverse with some cool tricks up it's sleeve (negative ratios, gain reduction limiter, auto fast, logarithmic release). It's also cheaper. If you want vibe and bigness go with the Vandergraph. It's also very easy to set. If you are looking for a more transparent comp that is very adjustable go for the Elysia. Oh I forgot the Mix button on the Elysia. That is also a wonderful addition that really helps dial in your compression to taste. So, it depends on what you need. They are both great comps. - paul

p.s. - if you want that pumping effect go for the Elysia. You can dial in the compression so that it's subtle and smooth or very aggressive. The mix knob can really help you dial in the right amount. I think that with the set attack/release of the Vandergraph it's harder to get that pumping effect. I must admit I haven't really tried to do that much with the Vandergraph, but I haven't heard it really pump in my experience.
Old 27th December 2010
  #4
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ionian's Avatar
Phil - thanks again for stopping by and giving your experience. Your studio is astounding and I have no idea how you get any work done with all those toys!

It is true - that they both need to be demoed. I haven't demoed the Vander but I did own an Xpressor for a minute and had mixed experiences with it. It is a very tweaky comp with awesome features and to be honest I loved the GRL function of the Xpressor on the drum bus because it allowed me to really compress the drum bus but not suck the life out of the snare.

I definitely plan on demoing the Vandergraph. It might be a one trick pony and a pricey one at that, but sometimes the reason you pay so much is because it does that one trick better then anything else out there and from what I heard this is the case with the Vandergraph.

Thanks for taking the time to give your comments!
Regards,
Frank
Old 27th December 2010
  #5
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Don't forget this guy!

- c
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Phil - thanks again for stopping by and giving your experience. Your studio is astounding and I have no idea how you get any work done with all those toys!

It is true - that they both need to be demoed. I haven't demoed the Vander but I did own an Xpressor for a minute and had mixed experiences with it. It is a very tweaky comp with awesome features and to be honest I loved the GRL function of the Xpressor on the drum bus because it allowed me to really compress the drum bus but not suck the life out of the snare.

I definitely plan on demoing the Vandergraph. It might be a one trick pony and a pricey one at that, but sometimes the reason you pay so much is because it does that one trick better then anything else out there and from what I heard this is the case with the Vandergraph.

Thanks for taking the time to give your comments!
Regards,
Frank
No problem Frank. I saw that no one had responded so I figured I'd give it a go. I think you are right about the Vandergraph doing what it does very, very well. It's a cool comp, and it has that instant "oooohhhh" quality when you run drums through it. Or atleast, that's how I feel about it. Anyway, cheers. - paul
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Don't forget this guy!

- c
Agreed, good suggestion Silver Sonya. Another contender for drum bus with a another delicious flavor. Depends on what you are looking for I guess. I've gotten some really tight and spanky drum sounds out of this unit. It also has a nice set of features which makes it pretty diverse and tweakable. Great on the 2Bus as well. - paul
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffmachine View Post
Agreed, good suggestion Silver Sonya. Another contender for drum bus with a another delicious flavor. Depends on what you are looking for I guess. I've gotten some really tight and spanky drum sounds out of this unit. It also has a nice set of features which makes it pretty diverse and tweakable. Great on the 2Bus as well. - paul
I have an Obsidian and for the most part I leave it on the 2 bus. It does spank the drums pretty hard but for me, if I'm using it on the two bus, I don't like to use it on the drum bus because it starts to feel like too much SSL to me. It's got a great "scooped" 3-D quality to me and I love it on 2 bus and especially stereo Piano. It sounds fantastic on Piano. I don't like to use it on much else because I feel like the scooped sound thins stuff too much. Especially vocals. Not thin as in thinning when compressing heavily because this comp doesn't do that - no matter how hard you hit it, it stays fat but the overall 3-D sound to me sounds too thin on anything but 2bus and piano. Fantastic comp, though and worth every penny. Might also be good on a background vox stereo bus but I haven't tried it for that yet.

Regards,
Frank

EDIT:
In another thread someone was asking about high end drum bus compressor suggestions and he posted a loop. I ran his loop through different settings on my Obsidian and posted them. Here's some for a sample of what the Obsidian sounds like on drum bus:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6128481-post27.html

Frank
Old 17th January 2011
  #9
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

all i can say is that the elysia xpressor is well worth the price of admission in my humble view.
Old 11th December 2011
  #10
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jacko's Avatar
I have Elysia xPressor and tomorrow Vandergraph arrives! I'll post my impressions.
Old 18th December 2011
  #11
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KennyS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacko View Post
I have Elysia xPressor and tomorrow Vandergraph arrives! I'll post my impressions.
Hey man just curious what your impressions were!! Your probably to busy mixing at the moment.

Cheers,
KennyS
Old 18th December 2011
  #12
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I've had both for quite a while now. The Xpressor is great bang for the buck, it's very tweakable, and it sounds really good. However, the Vandergraph has some magic to it IMO. I think you would be best off with both, because they fill different uses in my studio, but if I had to pick one of them for drum bus or 2bus it would go to the Vandergraph. Of the two of them the xpressor is capable of more diverse applications, but like I said the Vandergraph has got a certain something. You should try both and weigh the pros and cons. - paul
Old 18th December 2011
  #13
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KennyS's Avatar
 

Well thanks for the reply! The Vandergraph is what I was leaning towards to began with. I was searching around for some nice quality audio demos of the unit on here but there hard to come by.

Thanks,
KennyS
Old 18th December 2011
  #14
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jacko's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyS View Post
Hey man just curious what your impressions were!! Your probably to busy mixing at the moment.

Cheers,
KennyS
I would say they are both good although they are very different. They both narrow stereo field but Vandergraph does it slightly more. For mix bus work they work really nice together in series at low ratios taking around 1dB each. Elysia Xpressor is cleaner and that is why I would choose it if I had to choose only one. Vandergraph does something to the low end that might not always be desirable. They would be amazing compressors if they had unlinked gain detection circuits, like API 2500 does. I have never used API but I saw in the manual that it has stereo link control and being operated from a single set of controls it can be set to 0% stereo link working effectively like a dual mono compressor with equal settings on both channels. That is something that I miss in both Xpressor and Vandergraph.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #15
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Magucci's Avatar
 

I love my Xpressor. It's definitely worth the money. Amazing piece of gear. It sounds even better since i modified the cables inside my BAE rack to Vovox Sonorus direct. A win win situation for sure. What I do not like on the Vandergraph are the fixed ratio settings. Therefore the Xpressor is more flexible comp and twice as cheap as the Vandergraph.
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