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Acme Opticom Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 28th January 2017
I had a mk1 that I liked on vocals (as mentioned above) but found it very unflattering on all other sources, to the point that over time I began to dislike it - something about it felt unrefined to me. I had another user on here PM me with the same identical experiences, he was a lot less keen on it than me. I suspected some kind of 'flaw' with the unit and found other vocal comps I prefered so got rid of it after 6 months.

There is so much good feedback on this comp we must have both had units from a duff batch - as in this day and age more people would be complaining if there was serious build issues.

Am sure current mk2's are fine - just be careful when buying used mk1's... That's all I want to say.

I'm going to check out the plug in when I get the chance.
Old 25th February 2017
Here for the gear
Nunuchi's Avatar

Ya I can't really speak on the mk1's, nor do I know what differences were made in the mk2, or maybe you're right and perhaps it was a poor batch, my experience is with a newer mk2 and I've found no issues with it or anything about it I don't like. Could be a matter of taste as well I guess!!

But I have a similar feeling towards this comp as I do chandler's germ comps. They're great on a few things, good on everything else, and wrong on nothing. It's super natural sounding which I love. I found the VK videos on drums to be a pretty accurate representation of how they sound. But just putting in my two cents on it because I found before I bought it there was a bunch of mixed reviews and I was nervous to pull the trigger on it, but I am glad I did!

But to each their own!
Old 25th February 2017
Gear Maniac
TimFoster's Avatar
Fwiw -- I have the original version and really like it. There is something to be said about tube choice though, and the varied experience folks have had may well owe to differences on that end.

Much like I can nudge my guitar amps in one direction or another through preamp tube selection -- gainy and brighter, saggy and dark, cleaner, stiffer, etc -- same applies to the opticom, at least to some extent. Not to mention tubes which may fall out of spec after leaving the factory, changing the tonality of the unit over time. Just IMHO.

I can definitely see how the input pad on the mkii would add greater flexibility and do wish I had that feature. But even so, you can get some subtlety out of the original version if you're gentle with the gain staging. Problem is, it's one of those pieces that goads you into pushing it and hearing it work!
Old 25th February 2017
Definitely wasn't a matter of taste with the unit I had. I must have gotten unlucky with the one I had, same for the other user that contacted me with the same issues. I took my time and tested it over a period of months, tried various gain staging etc etc - thing only has 2 knobs, not much to screw up there, and yet it felt like a battle every time I used it.

I was taken in my is lovely good looks, and it was only over time it sunk in I wasn't getting great results. On vocals it had some charm but I felt like I was hunting for the sweet spot everytime I used it. Elsewhere, I found it pulled all the snap out of drums, and all the bass out of bass. Maybe the calibration was off on the unit some how - I didn't feel like spending even more time finding out. I basically didn't buy it as a vocal comp alone, if I was doing that I would have gone for a classic, there are a lot of classics to choose from!

I used the tubes that came with the unit - plus tried Telefunken and GE. The Tele and GE dropped the noise floor a bit (but didn't like what the Tele did to the mid range, preferred the mid with the original tubes), even with those it was not the quietest piece of tube gear I've owned. maybe thats why they moved to a transformer for the mk2, desire claiming the lack of transformer for mk1 was a design preference in all the marketing videos when the product launched!!

all that said - if I ever got a chance to check a MK2, or someone else's MK1 I would. I like the design ideas behind the unit.

Last edited by SEED78; 25th February 2017 at 12:36 PM..
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