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What stereo compressor to buy?
Old 13th June 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Pure Audio's Avatar
What stereo compressor to buy?

I'm looking for a stereo compressor and I would like to know what people like. I know it's subjective. I'm drawn to SSL G-Series and Pendulum ES8. Just curious what everyone likes.
Here's a partial snapshot of the gear I'm using.
Sony DMX R100
Crest VX40
3 IZ Radar 24 S Nyquist
Urei 1176 A
Urei 1176 D
Purple Audio MC76
2 EL Distressors
2 DBX 160A
Old 13th June 2014
  #2
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My personal fave is the A Designs Nail. looooove the Hard Threshold and the Mix features.
Old 14th June 2014
  #3
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Every compressor available will be loved by someone, or it would no longer sell. Having said that, I like Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Master Buss Processor (a very versatile comp with a lovely "inaudible" compression and slightly euphonic tone), the Elysia Xpressor stereo comp (very transparent, very well priced, with very flexible settings), TK Audio BC2-ME (a very nice sounding SSL style comp with great additional options for tonal shaping (class A circuitry on/off, transformer on/off)). If you want the same basic compressor the TK Audio BC-1S is the cheaper option, but without the tonal shaping extras.
Old 14th June 2014
  #4
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Dramastic obsidien
Old 14th June 2014
  #5
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

To many to name.

Crane Song STC8
Neve 33609
Rolls RMS755<<< if you are on a budget this is the best.
Smart C1, C2
Old 14th June 2014
  #6
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When come to compressor, EQ, mic preamp, and microphone it is difficult to answer, because people don't what exactly what looking for in those gear: sound, specific task, functionality, etc. I personally like A Desigs Nail as well from other has mention it and I come from Focusrite Red 3 in the past. Hope you add Nail on your list.
Old 14th June 2014
  #7
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_Mark's Avatar
What about Chandler Zener or API 2500?
Old 14th June 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Audio View Post
Urei 1176 A
Urei 1176 D
Purple Audio MC76
2 EL Distressors
2 DBX 160A
There's a lot of faster sounding compressors on your list. Perhaps you could track down a 2-LA2A? Pair of LA4's?
Old 14th June 2014
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Audio View Post
I'm looking for a stereo compressor and I would like to know what people like. I know it's subjective. I'm drawn to SSL G-Series and Pendulum ES8. Just curious what everyone likes.
Here's a partial snapshot of the gear I'm using.
Sony DMX R100
Crest VX40
3 IZ Radar 24 S Nyquist
Urei 1176 A
Urei 1176 D
Purple Audio MC76
2 EL Distressors
2 DBX 160A
I love the Pendulum ES8 that unit is great. It is amazingly high quality in transparency and fidelity/detail and will never sound like a mucky pile of snot. For mastering and Mix Bus - it can be pushed quite hard without sounding bad. When mixing into this one, it has the perfect amount of euphonious glue. But it wont ever get snappy and lose bottom end like the SSL Bus compressor.
Old 14th June 2014
  #10
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Audio View Post
I'm looking for a stereo compressor and I would like to know what people like. I know it's subjective. I'm drawn to SSL G-Series...
Why are you drawn to it, because it has likely been used on more mixes than all other buss compressors combined?



I would consider an SSL or a clone / variant for sure.

The good news is that nothing mentioned in this thread would be "bad".

War
Old 14th June 2014
  #11
Serpent 4001 does the SSL thing and a lot more very well.
Old 15th June 2014
  #12
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by climber View Post
Serpent 4001 does the SSL thing and a lot more very well.
Oh yes, Mike at Serpent wins the clone contest and by bringing a variable release he wins even more. Very crucial when you need to time the release with the song!

War
Old 15th June 2014
  #13
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emrr's Avatar
Any of the rackmount Foote Control Systems units.
Old 15th June 2014
  #14
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Summit Audio DCL 200 and/or Tube Tech SM2B
Old 15th June 2014
  #15
Elysia Xpressor.
Old 17th June 2014
  #16
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maxy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
To many to name.

Crane Song STC8
Neve 33609
Rolls RMS755<<< if you are on a budget this is the best.
Smart C1, C2
I happen to have a Rolls RMS755 I'm about to put up for sale if anyone is interested pm me
Old 17th June 2014
  #17
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TinderArts's Avatar
 

If money is available -
InnerTUBE Audio Atomic Squeeze Box Dual
Old 17th June 2014
  #18
Some kind of context would be helpful.
1. Are you using this for tracking or mixing OTB?
2. If so, which console?
3. What kind of music/audio genres are you working in?
4. What kind of results do you need to achieve?
5. Smoothing or brick-wall limiting?
6. going for maximum loudness or just more oomph?
7. What have you ruled out?
8. What kind of budget?
9. How many rackspaces can you spare?

I'll leave it at that before I enter into this fray.
Old 17th June 2014
  #19
For mix buss work, Dramastic Obsidian 500. Hands-down, no question. Nothing better.

Also pretty awesome for tracking OHs through (just recently figured this out, after usually going 33609 for that route).
Old 17th June 2014
  #20
Foote P3S Compressor ME

Very nice peice of equip.
Old 17th June 2014
  #21
Foote P3S is a great extremely versatile contender. Even the basic least expensive non class A bus model sounds extremely transparent and can shape the audio in whichever direction you want. Other than that looking at what you have, I'd consider an opto or a Mu type of compressor - Buzz SOC20 for opto is one of the most underrated and best sounding compressors on the market. Also the Manley Vari Mu or IGS TubeCore 3ru are great.
Old 17th June 2014
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Obsidian 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
For mix buss work, Dramastic Obsidian 500. Hands-down, no question. Nothing better.

Also pretty awesome for tracking OHs through (just recently figured this out, after usually going 33609 for that route).
Hello Sir,

I'm getting a TC Phoenix mostly for mix down, but hoping to run some midi tracks through it with the " Shand By " mode, to get a bit of distortion…Do you think that I should get the Obsidian 500 instead for a lot less money ?


Thanks for any help at all.


Stephen
Old 17th June 2014
  #23
What about the TK Audio BC1 MKII?
Is it worth it?
Old 17th June 2014
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen.S.C View Post
Hello Sir,

I'm getting a TC Phoenix mostly for mix down, but hoping to run some midi tracks through it with the " Shand By " mode, to get a bit of distortion…Do you think that I should get the Obsidian 500 instead for a lot less money ?


Thanks for any help at all.


Stephen
I've never used the Phoenix, and I'm not even really sure of its feature set, so I'm not sure how they compare, but I can say that if you're looking for distortion, the Obsidian probably isn't the right compressor for your needs.

My personal favorite "character" compressor for distortion or similar mangling is the Chandler TG1. I don't know how its price compares to the Phoenix, though.
Old 17th June 2014
  #25
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Pure Audio's Avatar
First, I would like to thank everyone for their input in helping me consider which compressor to use/buy.
Ward, to answer some of your questions here goes.
1 & 2. I track on the Crest VX40 and mix on the Crest & Sony DMX R100
3. Music: Motown, Classic rock, Alternative, Zep-ish rock, Acoustic guitar/soloist
4. The sounds I like and I'm looking for: Exile on Main St., Motown, Pink Floyd Dark Side, Division Bell to name a few.
5. Smooth to saturated.
6. The Exile/Motown stuff I like the compression noticeable so I use it more as an effect to get that old school vibe.
For the newer music I use the compression to bring the mix together and polish it a bit.
7. I'm not ruling out anything. You never know.
8. Budget: I'm not sure how to put a number on something this important. That said, at the top of my budget I think the Drip Fairchild 670 from there ???
9. Racks: No worries
Once again, thanks to everyone for sharing!
Old 17th June 2014
  #26
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Sounds like an SSL is a no brainer after that post. Your music and sound discriptions are spot on for and SSL or clone. I would go for the real thing, assuming it is in your price range... Any other comp you pick will likely not quench your desire to eventually get an SSL. Might as well start there and save some hassle.

Edit: Didn't notice the top of your budget was a Fairchild 670. That takes you into a range of vintage and custom comps that I dare not go! If I were you, I would contact a vender about order / returning your top 3 comps so that you can hear them in your room, on your mixes with your other gear.
Old 17th June 2014
  #27
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
Edit: Didn't notice the top of your budget was a Fairchild 670. That takes you into a range of vintage and custom comps that I dare not go! If I were you, I would contact a vender about order / returning your top 3 comps so that you can hear them in your room, on your mixes with your other gear.
He was talking about the Drip Fairchild clone.....Not an original.
Old 17th June 2014
  #28
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archfrenemy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
He was talking about the Drip Fairchild clone.....Not an original.
Ha! Makes way more sense... The most expensive comp around would hardly be much of a budget restriction.
Old 17th June 2014
  #29
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

The Drip is still pretty pricey but very cool none the less!
Old 17th June 2014
  #30
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Doc No's Avatar
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