Drawmer 1969 ME by muziqfreek
The original Drawmer 1960, while not exactly a complete dog - had areas that could be improved.. so according the Mercenary themselves, "all we kept from the original 1960 were the meters, connectors, and power transformer… everything else is different" - Compression wise there are threshold, attack and release controls with a tube output makeup gain - attack settings are at 6 fixed settings from 2 to 50 ms coupled with 3 Fixed and 3 Program Dependent Release settings (100ms, 500ms, 1sec - fixed & - 200ms to 2sec, 500ms to 5 sec and 1 sec to 10sec - release times! WHew!!) Fortunately all of which work really well with different material really well, and its quite hard to mess the sound up!!!
Now I've never owned an original 1960, but engineers I've worked with have always commented on my 1969 as being a much better beast all round.. smoother preamps and a more versatile compressor.. combined with the BIG switch (to HP the sidechain signal feeding the J-FET compression cell) - which was one of the first units i'd seen featuring this clever ability to stop bass heavy signals from causing the compressor to react... In use - while the mic pre's may be better than the original they're certainly in the "dark" category in my opinon.. however this isn't to damn them as useless, as on drum kits with over enthusiastic drummers or ones with bright cymbals , it can help to tame that excess zingy sound somewhat
The DI input is also really good - and if you switch both channels on, you can record a straight bass and a really compressed one at the same time, giving you parallel bass compression in one easy move!!!
However for me - where this unit really shines - (and is apparent by the launch of the 1968 ME compressor) - is on Busses while mixing, either on drum, guitar or full mix buss - this compressor is deadly and the more you crank the output, the more she sings!!! - When mixing stereo sources with the Link (and BIG switch engaged) I like to switch one meter to show output and one to show Gain reduction - as its good for balancing the settings and seeing what's going on...
All in all a great unit with some good features and definitely a keeper unit for me.. enjoy