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Dramastic Obsidian or Shadow Hills Dual Vandergraph for 2-buss?
Old 4th October 2014
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mixerguy's Avatar
Anyone compared an obsidian 500 to the Serpent SB4000?
Old 5th October 2014
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
Anyone compared an obsidian 500 to the Serpent SB4000?
Hasn't this been answered in many threads, probably even this one... They are similar, but different. I have both. Use the 4000 on the drum buss, the Obsidian on the master.
Old 5th October 2014
Guess you said 4000, not 4001. Aren't they basically the same.
Old 12th May 2015
Gear Head

Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
Anyone compared an obsidian 500 to the Serpent SB4000?
Hi there
Ive been reading all these threads and today I got to compare a Serpent SB4001 with a 19" Obsidian.

Both sounded great.
BUT Im my opinion the Obsidian sounded better suited for the mix bus.
The Serpent was great but seemed to push the mids where the Obsidian was a lovely sheen that everyone is talking about.

Would 100% use the Serpent on a drum bus or on the mix bus every now and again but in a direct comparison (same ratios A+R etc) I though the Obsidian would be a better for my mixbus.

Old 3rd February 2016
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ARIEL's Avatar
My thoughts on this as I own the SSL Bus comp and Dual Vandergraph is that they both are excellent. The DVG is very clear and has a subtle weight to the tone, It is open and not dark as to some are saying. It doesnt darken the mix . When I patch in the SSL comp I hear that slight upper mid push/crunch So it can add a bit more upper mid snap. Seeing as I mix things with that already I find that it can be a bit dirtier than I like. The important thing is to mix into your comps, I find that more important than any particular high end comp choice. I could use either one or any other solid sounding brand and mix well with them. So to sum it up, I like both for various reasons. The DVG is great for recall mind you. I wish it had a 2-1 preset instead of the 2.5-1
Old 3rd February 2016
Gear Head

One big advantage of the Obsidian compared to an SSL Comp is the High Pass of the sidechain signal. With that, especially in electronic music it can be pushed very hard without pumping and distorting.
Old 3rd February 2016
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rectifried's Avatar
Obsidian is a thing of beauty
Don't know why
Just seems to go to 11

I'm sure UA will do it one day ⚡️
Old 3rd February 2016
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Originally Posted by owensands View Post
I've owned the Obsidian but opted for a cheaper C1LA from Smart research. Its just as good and ~$800 cheaper. Almost sounds identical but punchier. Great great SSL style buss comp. imo. And the price is superb. Obsidian is a fine piece too though. I sold it strictly for financial reasons. I would say they are tied for sound. I also tried an Xpressor, API 2500 on 2 bus. C1lA was my last choice and I've been happy with it for about 7 to 8 months now. Never tried the dual vandergraph.
After I'd been through near every SSL bus comp type on the market with the TK Audio and SB4000 happening alongside the "Boutique designers" I was in the same position and grabbed a C1-LA for the Lunchbox. IMO if I could Rack the Xlogic Smart and Obsidian in two 19" rack space it would've been perfect, though the timing options on the Smart C1-LA were just brilliant, the SSL 500 series had no sidechain then, the 500 obsidian I couldn't justify.

It really is a case of living with those 3-4 main SSL bus comps and working out which features are essential and which are not like Auto Fade on the X Logic etc. The API 2500 really takes time to live with, it's certainly a comp you grow into! The C2 and C1-LA are just great compressors I wish the obsidian had dual mono, that's what I wanted and couldn't get at the time!
Old 3rd February 2016
Gear Maniac
Originally Posted by thetalkinghead View Post
Thats exactly what i am doing. Sending the obsidian 500 back tomorrow and waiting for my 19" obsidian to arrive within a couple weeks. Getting a fresh one!

Sadly ever since i popped it in my 500 rack, my great rivers have never been the same. The meters show theyre getting full signal but its super quiet and weirdly midrangey. Gonna have to send them in for repairs. Sucks balls.

I gotta say i am loving the 2500/5500 combo on drum buss.. It sounds so amazing. And the clariphonic on mix buss i use on every track to open things up. The last thing i need to grab is that mix buss eq.. Still deciding between a Massive Passive, cheaper A Designs Hammer, much cheaper Tonelux Equalux, or 19" Electra. If any of you guys have experience with any of these on mix buss, particularly in conjunction with the Obsidian, id love some input. The Massive is sooo tempting but its so expensive even with a great price i am able to get. That Equalux really has me thinkig though.. Ive heard nothig but good things and its very affordable.. Plus i love the switchable Q feature and rotary freq control.. Very different from the 5500.
I have tonelux on the 2-bus and have used it with 2500 and BAE 10 DC. I do not have a lot of EQ to compare with. In general I find it fairly uncolored, smooth with lots of flexibility on freq/overlapping control. Does what I need without damage. in my experience the shortcoming has been boosts of high shelf. i don't usually like the resulting tone and use only bells on the top with it.
Old 9th February 2016
Gear Addict
do you think the dual vandergraph..would be a suitable replacement for a manley vary mu on a parallel bus...?
Old 13th July 2016
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JSilver's Avatar

Anybody compared the Obsidian to Foote p3s? Would love to understand where they differ.
Old 21st July 2016
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thetalkinghead's Avatar

Ended up selling my DVG. Really sweet sounding until for sure but in the end I much preferred my C2 and Red3 with trafos on the mix. It was cool on drums but I'm liking a pair of LTD2s with vintage neve cards in them for that.
Old 21st July 2016
Originally Posted by GSOUND View Post
I´ve got both the Obsidian and Dual Vandergraph. Love them equally!
Been using the Obsidian more for the mixbus, and Vandergraph more for parallel drum squashing.

Sometimes the Vandergraph has a nice color on the mixbus, sometimes a bit too much.
I find the preset attack / release times really nice and not an issue at all for most things.

I´ve also used the 2500 a lot for both drum bus and mix bus. Prefer it on the drumbus most times.
I agree with what´s been said earlier that the Obsidian has a more clean, open ( yet slightly colored ) sound, and the Vandergraph a more beefy, rounded sound. Kindof reminds me of a Neve 1073 tone in a compressor.

Of the three I´d take an Obsidian for mixbus duties most days
I agree wholeheartedly with this.
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