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JLM Audio Mac Opto Comp

JLM Audio Equipment MAC Stereo Opto Compressor Rack

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

The JLM opto compressor is available as kit, both for lunchbox and 19" as well as built and ready. Inside they are pretty much the same.

19th March 2014

JLM Audio Equipment MAC Stereo Opto Compressor Rack by frans

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
JLM Audio Mac Opto Comp

I DIY'ed my unit as a mono 19" box. So what does it do? Fixed attack and release, with the usual slope of opto elements on the tails of compression. Gentle, goodnatured and easy to use. Which makes it good for tracking while you got to watch ten other things at the same time. You can cut some lowend from the sidechain (@100 or 200 Hz) so the signal doesn't get pummeled if you do drums or bass, for example. If you don't slam it too much on the wrong sourcematerial it helps the tracks to be mix-ready. What doesn't it do? Anything you'd use to completely warp the envelope of the dynamics. Also not a thing that fits 100 different tasks for compression, just doing one thing oh so right.
Sound quality? First class. I have seen the inside of a few other opto comps that use about the same topology and at least some of the same parts and they cost more, so don't be fooled by the low price. By the way I nicked the photo off the JLM site.
As a DIY build it's not too complicated, but that depends on how many things your soldering iron already did. The build thread is very clear, step-by-step and Joe is a saint concerning help with his builds. Also the community on the JLM forum is very helpful. Bang for buck is 10 out of 5.

  • 1
27th June 2018

JLM Audio Equipment MAC Stereo Opto Compressor Rack by organicsounds

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
JLM Audio Mac Opto Comp

Already having in my possession an 1176, LA-2A, DBX 160X, G bus Comp and an EMI TG12314 I found myself looking for something for acoustic and electric guitars. I was eyeing the JLM Mac Opto for a while and having done several DIY project in the past it seemed to fit my needs and so I took the dive.

I couldn't be happier! This comp has a fast and slow attack along with a HPF sidechain at 100hz and 200hz. When using on acoustic guitars I use the slow attack with the 200z HPF sidechain and something magical happens. There is no pumping artifacts or any unnatural signs of compression whatsoever. Even at -10 to 15db of reduction it still sounds right and allows me to sit both strummed and picked acoustic tracks in to a mix and still hear their presence and energy.

Bass, vocals and drum overheads (on mellower performances) are smooth, warm and beautiful. I have even used this on the stereo buss with excellent results which makes me think of tape. I have put this through it's paces and it always delights.

As the previous reviewer said, this is not a smash and squish compressor but I would say it is definitely a must have tool which I find myself going to over and over again. It makes almost everything sound better and found myself saying to a client the other day," this would be one the last compressors I would sell or trade".

In the end I would say this "is" a character compressor that imparts smooth, warm and natural sounding compression that is a must in any studio. It makes things sound better just passing signal.

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