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Stam Audio - SA4000 MK2
Old 3 weeks ago
  #811
Gear Addict
 
withintheflux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul_ View Post
Its still on Reverb
You can see its the actual Version
But you cant see if its modded or unmodded on the picture
As Joshua said, the Reverb lister stole those photos from a Stam user on the Stam Facebook page. If you go there you'll see those exact photos. The real owner of the unit pictured responded to me and he is definitely not selling his unit on Reverb . Also, it's NOT a mod unit.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #812
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by withintheflux View Post
As Joshua said, the Reverb lister stole those photos from a Stam user on the Stam Facebook page. If you go there you'll see those exact photos. The real owner of the unit pictured responded to me and he is definitely not selling his unit on Reverb . Also, it's NOT a mod unit.
And looking at one other item that guy has listed reinforces suspicious activity:

https://reverb.com/item/29785083-sea...ugins-included

If it sounds too good to be true....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #813
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampsynth View Post
And looking at one other item that guy has listed reinforces suspicious activity:

https://reverb.com/item/29785083-sea...ugins-included

If it sounds too good to be true....
Totally buy that a guy listing a compressor he doesn't own, would also be selling a hard drive full of pirated plugins for a 3x mark-up. Does Reverb not have a function to report listings?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #814
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
What does a Stam Audio SA-202C VCA can look like that are supposed to be in these?
I don't see anything resembling a "can" in my unit.
It has two 2181B VCAs by THAT.
You have the MKI, I presume.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #815
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
The SA-4000 MKII that I got today doesn't have the Stam Audio SA-202C replica cans.
Mine simply has the THAT 2181B VCAs like the MK I !

What happened?
Does the exterior look like a MKII?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #816
Gear Maniac
 

Is what you're showing up close on the imagine with the THAT on the underside of those big red rectangles? I'm not as familiar with this design so I don't know if the red guys are what are supposed to be the "cans"?

Also, have you tried out your mix knob to see if you're having the same calibration issue as the previous poster?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #817
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CowSkullStudio View Post
So part of the test is, to send a sine wave tone at 1k set -12dbs to the inputs of the compressor with the mix blend knob set at 0% and compression at bypass and you should get a return signal at same level at -12dbs, and that means it's correct, and that's correct with mine.

The problem happens when I raise the level of the tone generator to 0db at those same settings. When I do that, the level returning is uneven. The left side goes to 0db as it should, but the right side only goes up to about -7dbs making it very uneven. So if you have a signal going in that's hotter then -12dbs, it's gonna be uneven at 0%, which would be a problem if you're trying to blend the 2 signals.
.
Have you tried raising the level from -12dB, going upwards, and seeing if it just stops at some point? Sounds to me like the right side in your "clean" path in the mix blend circuit has less headroom than the left one.

Assuming (assuming!) your converters are calibrated to -20, and your reference to dBs = dBFS, 0dBs will equal 24dBU. If you are -6ish on that, headroom is around 18dBU, which is on the low side, but you are going in pretty hot!

Theres no reason why the right side of the circuit would have less headroom than the left, though - If I were trouble shooting, I would also make sure and ask if you were checking the sides simultanoisly, because 6dB is a pretty magical number in terms of balancing and lack thereof. If one side is unbalanced going in, the amount you raise it to get back the same level on a DAW meter reading is, of course, higher.

Raising the level and seeing if it stops following will give you a good clue wether there is an assymetrical headroom on the clean left/right paths....

Gustav

Last edited by Labs; 3 weeks ago at 01:22 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #818
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah that almost looks like a totally different board altogether, doesn't it? Have you tried turning it on and testing how it sounds?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #819
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
It looks like Stam Audio sent me one with MKI old design THAT VCA last week instead of the MK2 with the DBX can VCA replica that I ordered. I bought it direct from Stam Audio and opened the box today.
Your close-up photo is of the sidechain VCA.

The audio path VCAs appear to be a discrete design (the two red squares), but since they are upside down, its impossible to tell whats actually there.

Looks like the design is a modification of the Gyraf GssL PCB layout

http://www.lenham.clara.net/sound/GSSL_main.jpg

You can see the two THAT VCAs in the audio path where you have a discrete and upside-down circuit.

Hope that helps!

Gustav
Old 3 weeks ago
  #820
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah, the Stam website mentions that it comes with "2 THAT 2180CL VCAs" which I assume are for the sidechain. Are these similar to the 2818B?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #821
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maldenfilms View Post
Yeah, the Stam website mentions that it comes with "2 THAT 2180CL VCAs" which I assume are for the sidechain. Are these similar to the 2818B?
The design looks a lot like Jakob's DIY design, and there is just one VCA in the sidechain on the STAM design as well, so that is just 1 THAT VCA

The 2180 is a pretrimmed VCA.
The 2181 needs some support circuit and trimming.

The letters after, A, B and C, indicates the THD (total harmonic distortion) of the VCA. 0.01% for A, 0.05% for C.

There is some hype around using older, discrete VCAs (like the 202), but the THAT VCAs are really excellent.

There is some hype around stacking the VCAs for lower distortion, but the THAT VCAs are really excellent.

Hope that helps!

Gustav
Old 3 weeks ago
  #822
Gear Maniac
 

AuldLangSine, check out this post from Stam's Facebook of the 202C. Are you able to see under the red rectangles if this is the same thing?

https://www.facebook.com/stamaudio/p...42241302566334

Would it functionally matter if there's an actual "can" around it or not?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #823
Gear Maniac
 

And Gustav, I ended up getting a refund on my Stam preorder in part because of the various issues I was seeing and personally experiencing with a few of the products and got an AudioScape and am beyond thrilled with it (it has the THAT VCAs). I'm honestly not sure how close or far it is from the original compressor but it just makes me smile every time I use it. It finally gave me that "oh, THIS is how they get that sound on records" vibe. It's very hifi and open sounding too.

Anyways, I digress.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #824
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
It's hard to see under the red triangles, but yes, it looks like those parts are there-- no cans. So the design was somewhat altered-- maybe not electronically, but cosmetically.

The description on their website still speaks of the replica cans.

Thank you for showing me that photo. I think all may be well with this unit I got.
I am getting excited again about it!
Yeah, I think it's very possible that maybe that physical "cans" don't affect the audio itself and that maybe they're more of a cosmetic thing that Stam decided wasn't necessary. In any event, I think you should definitely turn it on and give it a whirl because the most important thing is that it sounds good to you and makes you happy, which it very well should! Let us know how it goes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #825
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
I didn't take a photo of it, but there are two THAT VCAs in this SA4000MK2.
My mistake, only saw one, but that means you must be right - those are the two VCAs being referenced.

Stay safe!

Gustav
Old 3 weeks ago
  #826
Company Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labs View Post
The design looks a lot like Jakob's DIY design, and there is just one VCA in the sidechain on the STAM design as well, so that is just 1 THAT VCA

The 2180 is a pretrimmed VCA.
The 2181 needs some support circuit and trimming.

The letters after, A, B and C, indicates the THD (total harmonic distortion) of the VCA. 0.01% for A, 0.05% for C.

There is some hype around using older, discrete VCAs (like the 202), but the THAT VCAs are really excellent.

There is some hype around stacking the VCAs for lower distortion, but the THAT VCAs are really excellent.

Hope that helps!

Gustav
With all due respect, some of your post is simply untrue
I should now since I reversed engineered this unit from a vintage E series bus compressor. I have never owned or seen Jakob’s work on a bus compressor (and I truly admire him and respect him). They look nothing alike.

The hype about using DBX cans is not hyped. Everybody loves how the old SSL’s sound and dislike the new ones in comparison. I can provide you with some charts and graphs which shows how much THD they have

You have a point about Stacking THAT VCA’s as “hype”. I agree but if you want super clean it is the way to go
Old 3 weeks ago
  #827
Company Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
I first considered that Stam Audio might have sent me one with MKI old design THAT VCA last week instead of the MK2 with the DBX can VCA replica that I ordered. I bought it direct from Stam Audio and opened the box today.

... But it does have two red rectangles which are boards with electronics. There is no can soldered underneath there. Those could be the electronic equivalent of the cans, but just spread out on boards.

I would have never done such thing and I would have appreciated an email and would have been happy to clarify anything you needed answered.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #828
Company Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
The SA-4000 MKII that I got today doesn't have the Stam Audio SA-202C replica cans.
Mine has the THAT 2181B VCAs like the MK I. But it does have two red rectangles which are boards with electronics. There is no can soldered there. Those could be the electronic equivalent of the cans, but just spread out on boards.

What happened?
Your unit has the 202C 1:1 replica
I don’t make the MK1 more
I am free to pot them or not and they are not potted in your best interest. Just like any 2520 op amp.

Enjoy my work and the only replica in the world with discrete VCA’s and the highest level of engineering.

Have a good weekend.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #829
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuanaconda View Post
With all due respect, some of your post is simply untrue
I should now since I reversed engineered this unit from a vintage E series bus compressor. I have never owned or seen Jakob’s work on a bus compressor (and I truly admire him and respect him). They look nothing alike.

The hype about using DBX cans is not hyped. Everybody loves how the old SSL’s sound and dislike the new ones in comparison. I can provide you with some charts and graphs which shows how much THD they have

You have a point about Stacking THAT VCA’s as “hype”. I agree but if you want super clean it is the way to go
I tried to help him, and took offset in some of my knowledge of the Gyraf circuit, which I am familiar with.

I think the design looks very similar to the Gyraf layout, and I dont think youre in a position to tell me the truth about my subjective experience. I did not claim that you copied it, so based on your statement, it seems you arrived at something that looks very similar to me independently.

For which VCA is better, I did not make a value judgement or statement favouring one or the other. I said there is some hype around the cans, and that the THAT VCAs are really good - my feeling was that the OP should not worry too much about it either way.

Hope that helps clarify, and glad the OPs worry was solved.

Gustav
Old 3 weeks ago
  #830
Company Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
Hi Joshua:

I did email you about this, but I totally understand how busy you are.
Yes, I look forward to working with this unit ! And I appreciate the clarification.
I'm sorry if I missed your email, when did you send it?

I look forward to your thoughts on it

Thank you
Old 2 weeks ago
  #831
Here for the gear
 

[QUOTE=AuldLangSine;14495142]I sent the email when I had the question— a few days ago.

It’s better to use this compressor when you’re doing a mix down, but what I did to get started is run an old mix thru it that hadn’t been run thru a buss compressor.

I ended up with the SA4000MK2 at ratio 3, attack 3, release on Auto, hpf off, make up barely on and just had the needle running around two, and it surely was as they say gluing the mix together. “Glue” pretty much describes what I was hearing. This thing sounds really good.

I’m going to mix everything through this. And I’m looking forward to getting the SAEQP1As]

Lucky you, mine is defective.
Check yours by sending a really hot signal through it with the mix blend knob at 0% and make sure the right side doesn’t run out of headroom at about -7dbs.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #832
Old 2 weeks ago
  #833
Company Rep
[QUOTE=CowSkullStudio;14502030]
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
I sent the email when I had the question— a few days ago.

It’s better to use this compressor when you’re doing a mix down, but what I did to get started is run an old mix thru it that hadn’t been run thru a buss compressor.

I ended up with the SA4000MK2 at ratio 3, attack 3, release on Auto, hpf off, make up barely on and just had the needle running around two, and it surely was as they say gluing the mix together. “Glue” pretty much describes what I was hearing. This thing sounds really good.

I’m going to mix everything through this. And I’m looking forward to getting the SAEQP1As]

Lucky you, mine is defective.
Check yours by sending a really hot signal through it with the mix blend knob at 0% and make sure the right side doesn’t run out of headroom at about -7dbs.
Did you send it off to be fixed?
Old 1 week ago
  #834
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuanaconda View Post
Hello Everyone,

We are very happy to introduce the SA4000 MK2 to the forum, the first SSL bus compressor replica in the world to utilize an exact recreation of the original and fully discrete DBX 202XC VCA gold cans.



With a lot of companies coming out with affordable SSL stereo bus compressors clones we decided it was time to step up our game and take it to the next level. While we were proud of the first SA4000 units and still think they are great sounding machines we knew there was something missing and the best word to describe it was character.

In 2018 we set out to build the best sounding bus compressor we could achieve and the only way to do that was to get closer to the original design. However, there was one problem, we had to bring back to life the DBX 202C VCA can, an obsolete, fully discrete and extremely time consuming piece of hardware that was the heart and soul of every early SSL desk, so we did.

The SA-4000 MK2 Stereo Buss Compressor is the most authentic recreation of the bus compressor found in the center section of the legendary SSL G Series Console. An overwhelming favorite among mix engineers, the SSL G Comp has very likely shaped more hit records than any other over the past three decades. Strap it across your 2-bus and hear your mix get punchier, bigger, more powerful, and glued together with unmatched cohesiveness. The SA4000 Stereo Buss Compressor gives you the same famous character, compression behavior and frequency response as the original. And it does it at a fraction of the price.

The SA-202C is an identical discrete reproduction of the original VCA used on every single SSL desk from the 80’s, it imparts a unique coloration and harmonic distortion which led these desks to be recognized for two things, glue and character. Each Stam Audio SA-202C is built in the same old fashion as the original with a complex system to hand match the very same transistors and values.

We have also upgraded the capacitors on the audio path and incorporated Ohmite carbon resistors to add more character to the unit. We auditioned 16 brands of capacitors to find the best sounding ones and Elna Silmic were by far the winners; they present a wider frequency response than any other brand. The ohmite carbon resistors were the icing on the cake, known for adding distortion and imparting coloration they were present in the early SSL construction and should not be avoided.

We also took this opportunity to perform several upgrades to the original SA4000 and added features which I will list below

True stereo side chain
Mid Blend knob
HPF (5 selecting frequencies)
New ratio configuration (1.5 and 3.0 ratios added)
Transformers switch for eventual MOD

The “NEVE” and “API” mod

The “Neve” mod adds a BV283 card (the output section of the 1073 preamp) as a Class A output buffer with 2 Carnhill transformers to the signal making it the perfect way to add low end and effortlessly warm up a mix.

The “API” mod adds two SA-2520 opamps (an exact replica of the original 2520 op amp) with 2 Cinemag CM-3301 transformers to the signal making it the perfect way to add mid-range to your drum buss giving you the famous API sound.

Due to space constraints inside only one MOD can be selected

Each MOD is only 200 USD. Includes all parts and labor.

Stock price: $699.00
Pre order price: $599.00
Previous SA4000 owners and first 100 to reserve: $499.00
NEXT BATCH: OCTOBER 2018

So it’s not an SSL replica at all, it shares nothing and I mean absolutely nothing exceptional or of historical expectations in full relevances except this damn DBX 202C VCA you say you’ve developed? Why not.... Sell the DBX 202C VCA to SSL Console Owners! As then you’re really might have a landmark product on your hands?

Ha!
Old 1 week ago
  #835
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
go to Stam website, scroll all the way down to PREORDER YOUR SA4000 STEREO BUSS COMPRESSOR NOW TO GET A SPECIAL DISCOUNT . . . and read
Awe shucks!
Special privileges in pricing for special people!
How lovely.
Old 1 week ago
  #836
Lives for gear
 
jsvalmont's Avatar
Preordered July 24th 2018; still no SA-4000 MKII
Old 1 week ago
  #837
Any updates on the modded units Josh????
Old 1 week ago
  #838
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvalmont View Post
Preordered July 24th 2018; still no SA-4000 MKII
With transformers or without? I ordered Oct 4 2018 without transformers. In an email in Dec Josh told me it would ship in Feb. I didn’t send one email throughout January, but since we are coming on halfway though Feb, I sent an email asking for an update. The response was that the civil unrest set them back a few months.... as if things were right on schedule before those events happened there this fall.
Old 1 week ago
  #839
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evoltap View Post
With transformers or without? I ordered Oct 4 2018 without transformers. In an email in Dec Josh told me it would ship in Feb. I didn’t send one email throughout January, but since we are coming on halfway though Feb, I sent an email asking for an update. The response was that the civil unrest set them back a few months.... as if things were right on schedule before those events happened there this fall.
Modded units deliveries should have started 3 weeks ago (post # 762)
but since no news from Josh...
Old 1 week ago
  #840
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvalmont View Post
Preordered July 24th 2018; still no SA-4000 MKII
Wait until you finally get it and find out there’s something wrong with it. That’s the best part!
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