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roots 21st November 2019 12:09 PM

Stam Audio SA4000 MK2
In a world of so many SSL 4000 clones its not an easy task to choose wich one to invest in. I chose to go with the stam audio SA 4000 MK2 VCA stereo buss compressor
I purchased the mk1 in 2017 and was very happy with it but always felt it could have been even better fitted with a HPF, Low and behold they did just that and what’s more they added a mix blend knob.

This is a very versatile VCA compressor with smooth characteristics, it can be used in all studio applications, to sweeten vocals or sit on your 2 buss and add glue on your mix wich is where the HPF kicks in to hold the high without pumping the low end. The mix blend feature serves to feed just the right amount of effect you need between wet and dry (parallel compression), it’s a good candidate to feature in any mastering chain.

This unit can be purchased with or without API or neve transformer mods, I purchased mine without but will certainly be upgrading very soon. After doing several test I conclude that this compressor is a work of art and excellent value at $790 preorder and $890 stock price $200 dollars for the mod version. Stam, your on to a winner here.;)

nuendo222 25th November 2019 12:59 PM

Josh and his team were awesome. I ordered my unit on Wednesday and it shipped the following Tuesday. They were also very kind and informative when I had questions. My SA4000 arrived and it took me a couple days before I had time to get it in my rack. But Holy Crap I used it tracking a drum room pair with it, i now see why people love these units.. Cant wait to strap it on my mix bus!!!
Great People, Great Product!!

Vasily111 12th January 2020 04:31 AM

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As a person, who mixes ITB all the time, I've always been concerned about how to deliver that magic hardware vibe of a good console and outboard gear in my records. The plugins in 2020 are very good, but something is still lacking when it comes to a good master buss compressor (I am a big fan of SSL-style comps). In the end, I came to an idea to buy a nice hardware compressor ...and in the end, it appeared to be working exactly as I hoped!

I decided to go with Stam Audio SA4000 MK2. Stam Audio is a nice company, which recreates vintage gear with a "no-compromises" approach, and at the same time maintains reasonable prices due to the fact, that the hand-made production is based in Chile. That sounded like a nice deal, and I pulled a trigger to pre-order my unit in April 2019. The production took a quite significant amount of time, over a year, till I received my unit. It's worth to mention, that they are getting much better with the build speed now, and through out the build process, they were constantly in touch regarding the status of my order.

I had some good expectations, but in reality, it appeared to be even better than I expected... what an awesome piece of gear it is! Glue and punch are two words, which would describe it the best. It also smoothes out that slightly harsh digital top end, which I always find annoying, but maintains the mix open and with great clarity. If you have a good mix, it gives you that lacking part to make it sound like a studio-produced record.

I've tried a bunch of software compressors, and the one I use quite often is bx_townhouse, which is an emulation of SSL-style master comp. While it worked okay, my Stam Audio SA4000 MK2 is of absolutely another level. Whatever plugin developers tell you on how accurate the soft is... it is simply not there yet.

Probably, close alternatives would be Smart Research C1 ($2.3), Smart Research C2 ($2.9K), and original SSL XLogic G ($3.5K). With the price below $1K, that fantastic build quality and authenticity of an original old SSL G, you can't go wrong with Stam Audio SA4000 MK2, it is simply an unbeatable option.

Mike Avenaim 5th May 2020 04:22 PM

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I’ve been using this compressor for a couple of months now and I must say, I think it’s fantastic. It does exactly what I want from an SSL compressor. Super squashy or transparent is very easy to achieve and the added HPF frequencies are wonderful. I’ve mostly been using it on the drum bus and it really makes the drums snack and Jump out of the mix. It also sounds great on the 2 Bus or acoustic guitar bus. I highly recommend this to anyone trying to achieve the SSL compression in their mixes.