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Good compressor on a budget
Old 6th January 2010
  #31
never heard anyone say anything negative about the pro vla

even the high end dudes like it

must mean something
Old 7th January 2010
  #32
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ThunderShepherd's Avatar
 

i love love love my DBX 160xt. In fact, I bought another one!

i usually turn to the 160xt first. I also have a RNC, RNLA and an ART Dual Levelar. The ART is ok, nothing amazing. I like the RNC on vocals, and i've had success with the RNLA on acoustic guitar.

would like to try the ART Pro VLA II
Old 7th January 2010
  #33
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Hammer Mark's Avatar
The dbx 160xt is good choice for <$300 used.
Old 7th January 2010
  #34
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

RNC or VLA seem like logical and obvious choices.
Old 7th January 2010
  #35
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dustyreels's Avatar
 

Just too add that I own the 160x and the RNC. I'm happy with them both. RNC when I want transparent, the 160x when I want a touch of that 70's DBX tone.
RNC: vocals, snare, acoustic guitars (only sometimes)
160x: bass, kick, vocals (sometimes)
These are my common uses for these, not limited to just that . I usually only lightly track with them when needed. When you get one, be sure to experiment a lot with it. That way you will have a better idea when, why, and how to use them. And most importantly, when not to use them.
Old 7th January 2010
  #36
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rty5150's Avatar
 

of the ones i personally own:

dbx 160x is my personal fave, but since you need 2 channels for under $350...

dbx 166 original
RNC, for $350 you can get a pair.
for around $350 used, you can get a RNC and RNLA. they are both ganged stereo, so if you are running stereo synths or OH, you'll have 4 channels. for mono, just one from each.

have not tried the VLA II, but want to get one based on the hype. lord knows that you can never have enough compressors...
Old 8th January 2010
  #37
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
never heard anyone say anything negative about the pro vla

even the high end dudes like it

must mean something

I don't disagree that lots of respectable folks love these units; I just know that I bought one, it has a noise problem in one of the channels, and I can't return it because I switched out the tubes. If it were in proper working order, I would be happy with it. This is on the heels of my having purchased and tried an MPA Gold for a few months. It worked fine, but the upper reaches of the gain were just way too noisy.

If you are a "high end dude," you probably have lots of compressors handy, and if the inexpensive one you use for vibe or character craps out on you, it isn't that big of a deal. I'm not one of those guys. I have room and budget for one or two compressors, so I need for the stuff I buy to be reliable. My RNC is reliable. My Pro VLA II is a disappointment, as was my MPA Gold.

Some people luck out in the quality control lottery; they buy low end gear that works well. I apparently am not that lucky, so, from now on, I'm going to avoid taking chances on the type of gear that puts me in that situation.
Old 8th January 2010
  #38
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

FMR RNC

I have it, I use it, and it works very well, without a lot of work

For me a quality compressor is one that you can easily set to do its job without hearing it, do it's job.
Old 8th January 2010
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CZ101 View Post
Aphex 651 (which I got turned on to by some prominent posters' postings here at gs)... You can still find these for under $200. Based on your criteria listed - clean, low noise, but with a touch of character, or shall we call it, "size??" - I think it would make you happy.
I would second that, it won't wreck your audio and is a very versatile compressor. I think Jim Williams also does a mod on these that's supposed to be very good
Old 8th January 2010
  #40
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SMX_Dizzy's Avatar
 

I recently bought an Ashly CLX-52 and absolutely love it. It is an amazing compressor for the money. I paid $175 for mine, which was barely used and looked brand new, and they go up to $330 new...and they sound like they're worth waaaay more than $330! It's interesting, depending on how you set it, you can go either clean or colored which I love. It really adds a lot of beef to kick and snare, works excellently with bass, and really well with vocals. I'm convinced it sounds incredible on any source you put into it. I just wish I had more than one unit!!
Old 9th January 2010
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
I don't disagree that lots of respectable folks love these units; I just know that I bought one, it has a noise problem in one of the channels, and I can't return it because I switched out the tubes. If it were in proper working order, I would be happy with it. This is on the heels of my having purchased and tried an MPA Gold for a few months. It worked fine, but the upper reaches of the gain were just way too noisy.

If you are a "high end dude," you probably have lots of compressors handy, and if the inexpensive one you use for vibe or character craps out on you, it isn't that big of a deal. I'm not one of those guys. I have room and budget for one or two compressors, so I need for the stuff I buy to be reliable. My RNC is reliable. My Pro VLA II is a disappointment, as was my MPA Gold.

Some people luck out in the quality control lottery; they buy low end gear that works well. I apparently am not that lucky, so, from now on, I'm going to avoid taking chances on the type of gear that puts me in that situation.
well i've never used one so i can't really comment on it's sound, but if you had a bad channel why did you change the tubes? or did the channel go bad after you changed them?
Old 9th January 2010
  #42
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EricF's Avatar
 

+1...RNC
+1...VLA

Hard to do better in that price range, but they're different flavors, as has been noted before.
Old 9th January 2010
  #43
Gear Nut
 
WAVERUNNER's Avatar
 

Just get the VLA II, you won't regret it.











(I hear the NOS tubes are the best ones to get)
he he
Old 9th January 2010
  #44
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

Quote:
well i've never used one so i can't really comment on it's sound, but if you had a bad channel why did you change the tubes? or did the channel go bad after you changed them?
Most folks recommend switching out the tubes, so I did. Both channels work, but one of them has a noise problem that I didn't catch before the tube swap. And no, the noise is not being caused by the tubes. The noise is present regardless of which tubes I use.

So yes, I'm a dumbass for not checking over the thing more thoroughly before opening the case (and therefore voiding the warranty). The point of my post is that one should go into a purchase like this understanding that inexpensive but feature-full gear carries some risks, like a higher incident rate of quality control problems. That's been my experience, anyway. I've been disappointed in two out of two pieces of ART gear, so I'm not buying any more. Take that for whatever it is worth to you.
Old 11th January 2010
  #45
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Lifted's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker View Post
Most folks recommend switching out the tubes, so I did. Both channels work, but one of them has a noise problem that I didn't catch before the tube swap. And no, the noise is not being caused by the tubes. The noise is present regardless of which tubes I use.

So yes, I'm a dumbass for not checking over the thing more thoroughly before opening the case (and therefore voiding the warranty). The point of my post is that one should go into a purchase like this understanding that inexpensive but feature-full gear carries some risks, like a higher incident rate of quality control problems. That's been my experience, anyway. I've been disappointed in two out of two pieces of ART gear, so I'm not buying any more. Take that for whatever it is worth to you.
Do you get any crosstalk on the opposite channel also?

Did you try swapping the tubes from one channel to another, just to check?

I have noticed some crosstalk picked up by channel 1 from channel 2, mine was a tube issue though.

Just wondering man, because I have PRO MPA II

I'm not a huge fan of ART, their low budget headphone amps are noisy as shit, cheaper pre-amps are far from decent. Though I do enjoy PRO MPA II, it's not the best, but I really like it's character after the tube swap.

I want to buy HeadAmp6 by ART though, that shit looks nice, and I really dig the features on it.
Old 11th January 2010
  #46
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doncaparker's Avatar
 

I didn't notice a crosstalk problem. The noise was present and sounded exactly the same, in the same channel, with completely different tubes, so I'm pretty sure the tubes are not the problem.
Old 11th January 2010
  #47
Here for the gear
 

Thumbs up FMR Rocks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ears2thesky View Post
The RNC is the best sounding compressor in your price range.
There is a adapter available that makes it possible to mount two FMR units side by side in a standard rack.

+1 For FMR audio compressors. they are great and are priced well below where they should be.
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