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Serpent Audio SB4001 - Stereo Buss Compressor (500 Series)
Old 1st August 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

Hardware Serpent Audio SB4001 - Stereo Buss Compressor (500 Series)

Serpent Audio is proud to announce the SB4001 Stereo Buss Compressor. Building off of the very popular SB4000 DIY Compressor, the SB4001 pushes the limits and sets new standards for the 500 Series Format. Boasting Quad VCA's, 6 ratio's, 10 Attack Times, High Pass/Boost/Slope Sidechain Filters, Wet/Dry Blend Control, External (Key) Input, Classic Stepped Release Settings, Classic And Alternate Auto Release, Variable Release Control, as well as "Grind" Mode (a proprietary valve style harmonic drive adding vintage color), the SB4001 is capable of delivering whatever sound you need. Whether Clean, Dirty, Vintage, Subtle, or Crushed, the SB4001 is sure to be one of the most flexible compressors in your arsenal.

All units are made in the USA to an exceptional level of craft and workmanship.

Promotional Launch Price: $1099USD

Please mention "Gearslutz" if you email, Thanks.



Highlights:
Total Current Consumption - 160mA per rail (80mA per rail per channel)
Protection from 48V Phantom Power
True Bypass (Relay Controlled)
Electronically Balanced (THAT1243/1646 receivers/drivers)
Quad VCA's (For Superior Dynamic Range)
Hand Made Thru Hole Audio Path
Ratios - 1.5,2,4,6,8,10
Attack Times (Stepped) - .1,.3,1,3,5,10,15,20,25,30,40,50
Release Times (Stepped) - .3,.6,1.2, Classic Auto release (A1), Alternate Auto Release (A2)
Release Times (Variable - Engaged By Last Position On Stepped Switch) - any time from .1 Sec to 1.2 Sec
Sidechain filters - 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, Boost Mode, Slope Mode
Wet/Dry Blend (For Parallel Processing)
"Grind" Mode - Special Valve Style Harmonic Drive Mode, adding vintage color
External/Key Input - Accepts Balanced or Unbalanced Inputs (inserted before sidechain filters)
Threshold (-15 to +15)
Gain (-6 to +18)
Sealed Grayhill Switches
Sealed Bourns 51 Series Audio Line Pots

Last edited by ruckus328; 4th January 2012 at 05:01 PM.. Reason: Pricing/Edits
Old 1st August 2011
  #2
Looks nice! Price?
Old 1st August 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Interesting, if the price is right this can be a real winner
good features and killer look.
Old 1st August 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Is there any website?
Old 1st August 2011
  #5
Gear Head
 

Right now all of our stuff is offered through the Prodigy Pro White Market

http://www.prodigy-pro.com/diy/index.php?topic=40755.0

As well as on the diyrecordingequipment.com Market

DIY Recording Market


However ShadowAudio.com will be launching in few weeks.
Old 1st August 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Is it a DIY project?
If not will there be any European dealers?
Old 1st August 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-d-S View Post
Is it a DIY project?
No, this is a Commercial Product.

At the moment, units will be offered through direct sales. We sell/ship worldwide.
Old 1st August 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Allright, please let us know in here when you are ready
Old 1st August 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
dandeurloo's Avatar
Hey guys, I have been lucky enough to hear some samples of this beast at work. And I will say as an owner of a number of high end VCA based comps this thing is top notch and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I even sent a few personal bits of program material to Mike during some of the testing stages and he treated them with a variety of different settings.

The SB4001 comp seems to cover a very large range of dynamic and tonal possibilities. It can be very transparent or very aggressive from what I have heard. I think I will be getting one of the protos at some point to really dig in with it. I can get you some more feedback then about it. But hopefully Mike will post some of the sound samples I have heard of it at work so you guys can get an idea of what all it can do.

I honestly haven't seen many comps out there with the features that this has, specially in a 500 series. That is why I think its probably even hard to really get an idea of what all it does from sound samples alone. I think it should be very handy at tailoring it for most any application.

OK, Mike lets hear some samples!
Old 1st August 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
Elysia xPressor would be the one to beat on 500 series both for sound and price point, i don't say features because the two have pretty much the same.
Old 1st August 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Kingtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
Elysia xPressor would be the one to beat on 500 series both for sound and price point, i don't say features because the two have pretty much the same.
yeah i agree. I think if they can beat the price point they will get a great groundswell going .
Old 1st August 2011
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
Elysia xPressor would be the one to beat on 500 series both for sound and price point, i don't say features because the two have pretty much the same.
Kind of comparing apples to oranges. Completely different circuits.
Old 1st August 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
abechap024's Avatar
 

Looks Awesome! Cant wait to hear it.......

I need to get me a 500 series rack....


Way to go!
Old 1st August 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruckus328 View Post
Kind of comparing apples to oranges. Completely different circuits.
Circuit? Who cares about the circuit? it's sound/features that matters.

Apple to oranges, lo sorry but

what they have in common:

Stereo non dual mono compressor in 500 series
- both VCA
- Wet/Dry Mix capability
- Internal sidechain filter
- Variable attack and release
- Switchable harmonic content, "Warm" mode for xPressor, "Grind" mode for this one

then different features but both on the release:

Shadow has two auto release modes
xPressor linear or logarithmic release

differences:
Shadow has ext sidechain input
xPressor has the negative ratio
xPressor has the autofast (good luck beating this one..)

A mic and a delay might be apple to oranges, these two in my book
fall in the same exact category.

I own the xPressor and love it, I find it one of the most versatile
stereo compressors out there, since I have it my only problem is that I have
just one, in my way of mixing compressors so versatile will always find a place, so I'm very curious to hear this one
and see what the price is gonna be, but for me it's a direct comparison
Old 1st August 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Kingtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruckus328 View Post
Kind of comparing apples to oranges. Completely different circuits.
Both fruit still... Im not gonna even consider an apple if a bag of oranges is half the price and gives me similar nutrient value... just to take your analogy further...

Those kind of responses however dont really make me want to try out the SB4001. How about a well thought out and civil discussion of why or why not they wouldnt compete on price point / features / tone etc?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
Circuit? Who cares about the circuit? it's sound/features that matters...

... in my way of mixing compressors so versatile will always find a place, so I'm very curious to hear this and see what the price is gonna be,
but for me it's a direct comparison


I own a Federal AM864... one of the simplest compression circuits ever designed, but it is the quality / tone / features or lack of that will determine what i pay for it... or sell it for etc. Or whether i keep it or not.
Old 1st August 2011
  #16
Gear Head
 

Woh, easy brothers, let's not get off on the wrong foot here. I was merely stating what's inside is completely different. And being somone who designs audio, the circuit = the sonics.

Now, never ever did I say my unit is "better" than this or "beats" that. I would never make such an arrogant claim. Just different is all. Sound is subjective. Sure both VCA comps and alot of similar features, so maybe oranges and tangerines might have been a better analogy

I'd prefer not to make this thread into a battle with other gear though, there's a place for shout outs and comparisons. The xpressor obviously has a good rep and I respect that, so not going to talk trash on it or any other design, it's not the way I operate.

All I can do is tell you what I have done here with this. My principal is simple, an amazing design at an affordable price. No corners were cut here whatsoever. In fact, quite the opposite. I opted for premium components throughout, like expensive sealed grayhill switches and bourns pots for long life, "A" grade IC's for maximum accuracy, premium capacitors, as well as a hand made thru hole audio path construction. The devil is in the details. Like output gain attenuation so you don't clip your A/D, stepped Attack/Release for easy accurate recalls in addition to a variable release control, analog metering, additional active sidechain filtering circuits, and Quad VCA's for increased signal-to-noise/dynamic range for example, in addition to all of the already mentioned features. Maybe these kinds of things matter to you, maybe they don't.

BUT, how about everyone listens to this thing and waits until I list the price before jumping to conclusions. You can decide then. Like it, hate it, that's totally up to you.

So in the meantime how about we crack open a nice cold one and all be friends ehh?

Last edited by ruckus328; 4th January 2012 at 05:03 PM.. Reason: Correction
Old 2nd August 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abechap024 View Post
Looks Awesome! Cant wait to hear it.......

I need to get me a 500 series rack....

Way to go!
Thanks Abe!

And thanks for the mini review Daniel Glad you liked the samples, I'll try to get a unit over to you in a couple weeks so you can dig in.

I'll be posting some clips up in the next day or 2.
Old 2nd August 2011
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Not really feeling the looks much but features wise it's damn great. And esp if the preorder price is competitive this will surely be a WIN!
Old 3rd August 2011
  #19
Gear Head
 

Hey guys, posted some samples over here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6903302-post122.html

It's just one drum loop at various settings so doesn't fully show this thing off and barely skims the surface, but should give you an idea. Will post some other drum samples and some full mixes soon.

Last edited by ruckus328; 3rd August 2011 at 03:07 PM.. Reason: Correction
Old 4th August 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
deuc647's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonnu View Post
Not really feeling the looks much but features wise it's damn great. And esp if the preorder price is competitive this will surely be a WIN!
WTF?!!!!!!!! it looks bad ass!!!!!!!
Old 4th August 2011
  #21
I'll give it a try based on the features alone... and it looks good, just a bonus... :-)
Old 5th August 2011
  #22
Gear Head
 

looks very interesting,

keep us posted Ruckus
Old 6th August 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Did i miss something as I cant see the price mentioned?

Thanks
Wiggy
Old 7th August 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Is this a discrete Class A circuit?

Can you use this for De-essing and Ducking?

What sort of unit is this similar to in sound, a GSSL, SL4000, etc.? Would you say this is another GSSL variation?

What sort of material would this suit? eg. stereo mixes, drums, bass, vocals, harmonies, tracking, mixing, etc.
Old 7th August 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

This thread needs a price, man.....
Old 7th August 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
This thread needs a price, man.....
Old 7th August 2011
  #27
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

This name may cause some confusion for you guys... people might get you mixed up with Shadow Hills.
Old 7th August 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Kingtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
This name may cause some confusion for you guys... people might get you mixed up with Shadow Hills.
I Had thought the same thing a couple of times..
Old 7th August 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingtone View Post
I Had thought the same thing a couple of times..
Same thing here
Old 8th August 2011
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
Is this a discrete Class A circuit?
No, this is not a Discrete Design, nor is the original console. Design deploys the purest possible soundpath, very low capacitor count, and utilizes THAT technology receivers/drivers, resulting in a "transformer-like" floating output, ulta-low distortion figures, and exceptional signal-to-noise / dynamic range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
What sort of unit is this similar to in sound, a GSSL, SL4000, etc.? Would you say this is another GSSL variation?
No, I would not consider this a GSSL variation, while similar, this design goes back to the roots, and has much closer ties to a famous console buss compressor, with many extra features and enhancements, and a few twists

Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
What sort of material would this suit? eg. stereo mixes, drums, bass, vocals, harmonies, tracking, mixing, etc.
Well it definately shines on the 2buss and (especially with grind mode enabled) is brutal on the drum buss, but anything you'd want to use a classic buss compressor on for that famous "glue" sound would be great here, the sky is the limit. Full Mixes, Drum Buss, Vocal Buss, Sub Groups, etc. With the addition of multiple ratios, a gratious number of attack times, and a completely variable release control, it is also very useful for individual mono sources as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puppee View Post
Can you use this for De-essing and Ducking?
Ducking - YES! Absolutely, a must have in my opinion. And this is something unique to the SB4001 that (to my knowlege) you won't find anywhere else in a 500 Series Buss Compressor.

De-essing - With Boost Sidechain Mode, unit boosts (go figure ) compression on the highend, while attenuating compression of the lows-mids and even less attenuation of the lows, making it useful for de-esser/taming high end type duties (which was the whole purpose of this mode). However, you won't be able to focus in on a particular frequency band (like 6K, 7K, etc), as you would on a traditional de-esser. If you're looking for something to use strictly as de-esser, there are better choices out there for that purpose.
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