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SSL vs Serpent vs Obsidian 2-Buss Comp Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 8th September 2015
  #61
Lives for gear
 

I would certainly say in this era that one mans SSL BUS Comp is definitely an others in 2015!
Just in the last five years the number of SSL based Bus Compressors that have come to the fore from different OEM's is indeed amazing, thus price wise, there is a Bus Compressor for near anyone seeking from SSL to RadioMan, Serpent, Smart, obsidian, TK Audio and just so many others. Where once you had literally 3 choices there are now over 20 plus viable options. To those contemplating an SSL Bus Compressor, I would suggest searching the GS form via Google as this often gives more results the the GS search engine alone!

Enjoy those Bus Comps!
Regards
TheLastByte!

Last edited by TheLastByte; 11th September 2015 at 12:44 AM.. Reason: iPad spelling naturally
Old 10th September 2015
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Do you find the Obsidian better & more detailed on the 2 buss than the Serpent? Does either of them crush the stereo image more than the other?

And are you talking about the Obsidian 500?
Sorry I didn't see this question till now...

I feel like the Obsidian has a wider field than the Serpent.

Yes, I have the 500 series.
Old 10th September 2015
  #63
Gear Maniac
 

The BC501 and the Serpent are more true SSL clones with dual sidechain, that is GSSL with turbo mod.

The Obsidian, as far as I know is more like the original GSSL design, which it copied, plus transformers.

Therefore it compresses the center more than the sides, hence the HPF kludge, and why it makes things sound wider.

In any case, it doesn't sound like an SSL.

See

Custom SSL Needs Mods - Any Ideas
Old 10th September 2015
  #64
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by climber View Post
Sorry I didn't see this question till now...

I feel like the Obsidian has a wider field than the Serpent.

Yes, I have the 500 series.
I felt the same way when I compared the Obsidian to my old Smart C1.

The Obsidian retained the width and depth of the stereo image much better.

The compression action is very similar, but the line amps in the Obsidian just seem to sound wider and bigger.

I sold the C1 and use the Obsidian on the stereo buss for most mixes these days.
Old 26th March 2017
  #65
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has anyone compared the obsidian to an actually ssl 384? if so which would you choose and why?

thanks,

ej
Old 31st March 2017
  #66
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Can anyone shed some light on what gives the Obsidian it's beloved stereo width? I'm very curious as to how this is achieved... Does it employ a mono detector, primarily causing center information to induce compression? Phase distortion? I'm very curious.
Old 1st May 2017
  #67
Gear Addict
Still feel the same way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Haven't used the obsidian, but when I was looking for an SSL style comp, I found and ended up buying the Serpent, and......my search is over.

Features are forward thinking, heritage is solid SSL, and after buying 3 different compressors designed and built my Mike Pildis @ Serpent (SA3A, Splice, and the aforementioned 4001), there is no doubt in my mind that as far as new compressors go, he is the man to beat. He focuses on the best compression he can do without compromise, has great instincts as to what is needed with modern stylings of classic designs, and IMO he is beyond meticulous in achieving his goals. Honestly, I don't know how he delivers what he does at such amazing prices.
Follow-up on an older post.... Are you still using the SB4001 as your main bus comp? Any additional thoughts since your last post on this?
Old 1st May 2017
  #68
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Yes, still using and loving the 4001. Was kind of thinking about a second one for drum bus duties,,,,,,
Old 3rd May 2017
  #69
Lives for gear
 

about to join the obsidian club

very excited!!!!!!!

ej
Old 6th May 2017
  #70
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driveby Studios View Post
Hmmmm... it seems the obsidian is based on the GSSL design with better components maybe? (Not sure but google it n make up ur own mind) And transformers? I doubt the input transformer is being driven hard, not adding much too the sound.
Obsidian > GSSL, but way too pricey!!!

The Serpent is by all means a modern GSSL with ALL the bells and whistles except transformers. Can't go wrong here.

Looking at the guts of the IGS comp, I'd say it gets you your basic SSL sound w only some of the great features. Price is spot on!!!
IGS = basic GSSL

Chameleon Labs = GSSL w Chinese components.

I don't think the Roll Music is based on the GSSL either.

A lot of the clones are based on the SSL 4000, with a few tweaks here and there.

I'd like to know if there's much sound difference at the low ratios that you would use on program material.

I Do remember the Obsidian being a Compressor/Limiter made from the GSSL series initially as well, though due to its TX input and Output and quite possibly in my experience the worst distortion Listen Mic Pre Compressor Skull and Bones Dirt emulation - As in dirty un-Usable in my case except no side chain (Years ago possibly the rack 19" version). This has most likely changed?

Though the Obsidian 500 series and Dual Mono Cards do seem to take it again up a step. Anyway...try everything! Certainly The Serpent and TK Audio are good Second tier units and are not so costly. Respectable SSL type VCA compression in limiting (Though so is an - Aphex Compeller for $250 bucks?)

My personal preference Smart C2 Dual Mono with Crush. Smart C1 with Mutiple timing options, new cards coming, Trafo output available and JX, packed full of features in a 500 series form factor few a few hundred bucks more here you not only get the original C1 (closest to the THAT series G-384 IME) alongside Bantam Jack to XLR or TRS Inserts. Wide stereo DC Imaging and numerous timing options getting away from this simple 2, 4, 10 Business.

Then again the GSSL was a different Summing design to say an SSL, Smart or TK or Serpent, I'd try them all out see which suits your price and working style best!

Good luck, it's. Tough Decision!
Old 9th May 2017
  #71
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i have a question for all obsidian users. I am trying one out right now and i seem to lose a bit of high end on it. As sacrilege as it may be I compared it to a few of my ssl plugins and other outboard gear and i am for sure hearing something funky happening up at the top. is this normal for the obsidian?

thanks,

ej
Old 9th May 2017
  #72
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
i have a question for all obsidian users. I am trying one out right now and i seem to lose a bit of high end on it. As sacrilege as it may be I compared it to a few of my ssl plugins and other outboard gear and i am for sure hearing something funky happening up at the top. is this normal for the obsidian?

thanks,

ej
Not that I know of. In fact, it tends to add somewhat of a slight sheen to everything and makes it sound more 3D / spacious. It has Jensens inside, which are pretty clean as far as transformers go so the transformers shouldn't be damaging the top.

If you want, post a wav or something that you're working on and tell me the settings and I'll run it through my Obsidian at those exact settings. Then I'll re-post it and you can compare it to the exact same settings on yours and see if they sound the same.
Old 10th May 2017
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Not that I know of. In fact, it tends to add somewhat of a slight sheen to everything and makes it sound more 3D / spacious. It has Jensens inside, which are pretty clean as far as transformers go so the transformers shouldn't be damaging the top.

If you want, post a wav or something that you're working on and tell me the settings and I'll run it through my Obsidian at those exact settings. Then I'll re-post it and you can compare it to the exact same settings on yours and see if they sound the same.
thank you so very much sir. will pm you.

ej
Old 10th May 2017
  #74
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Not that I know of. In fact, it tends to add somewhat of a slight sheen to everything and makes it sound more 3D / spacious. It has Jensens inside, which are pretty clean as far as transformers go so the transformers shouldn't be damaging the top.

If you want, post a wav or something that you're working on and tell me the settings and I'll run it through my Obsidian at those exact settings. Then I'll re-post it and you can compare it to the exact same settings on yours and see if they sound the same.
pm sent
Old 22nd September 2017
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Haven't used the obsidian, but when I was looking for an SSL style comp, I found and ended up buying the Serpent, and......my search is over.

Features are forward thinking, heritage is solid SSL, and after buying 3 different compressors designed and built my Mike Pildis @ Serpent (SA3A, Splice, and the aforementioned 4001), there is no doubt in my mind that as far as new compressors go, he is the man to beat. He focuses on the best compression he can do without compromise, has great instincts as to what is needed with modern stylings of classic designs, and IMO he is beyond meticulous in achieving his goals. Honestly, I don't know how he delivers what he does at such amazing prices.
Bill, do u know if the DIY 4000 is the same as the 500-series 4001?
Old 22nd September 2017
  #76
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesicily View Post
Bill, do u know if the DIY 4000 is the same as the 500-series 4001?
Hi Sal - I think they are close, but not exact. Obviously the PS is different. DanD probably knows the nitty gritty details.
Old 23rd September 2017
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
i have a question for all obsidian users. I am trying one out right now and i seem to lose a bit of high end on it. As sacrilege as it may be I compared it to a few of my ssl plugins and other outboard gear and i am for sure hearing something funky happening up at the top. is this normal for the obsidian?

thanks,

ej
Yes that sounds about right. It has a smear/sheen that messes with the clarity due to the transformer colour.
I grew to like it but it's too much in a chain with valve gear etc. so really works best on its own for buss work.
Old 23rd September 2017
  #78
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roger's Avatar
 

I had and sold the Serpent. I found it to be monumentally boring.
And I thought the "Grind" button was either an insider joke (on me!) or perhaps it hadn't been soldered into the circuit during assembly. Just wayyy too subtle for me at least.
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