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Audio Scape SSL4000 Buss Compressor Clone.. Woah!
Old 6th June 2016
  #1
Audio Scape SSL4000 Buss Compressor Clone.. Woah!

I was browsing eBay like the slut I am last week and came across a gentleman selling SSL 4000 2 buss compressor clones for $650.00 that looked great. I emailed and asked about the VCA and it uses a THAT 2180 VCA. I made a deal and got one for $625 shipped. I got it in the other day and Woah... This thing rocks! I have an A-Designs Nail all ready as well as a pile of other compressors but this lil unit was just the ticket for 2 buss on my drums. Just like the real deal its smooth and really glues the drums in the mix, and for the price for a hand built unit made in USA I was very very impressed. If your in the market for a cool 2 buss compressor and dont want to spend $1000+ check out Audio Scape. And no, Im not that"guy"... Just really excited about a great compressor and wanted to share the news.
Old 6th June 2016
  #2
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I've had one for close to a year, it kicks ass. Well made, very nice build. Everything works as expected +, and the guy is also helpful. Way better than some other clones available around the similar(or greater) price point.
Old 6th June 2016
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I've had one for close to a year, it kicks ass. Well made, very nice build. Everything works as expected +, and the guy is also helpful. Way better than some other clones available around the similar(or greater) price point.
Agreed! Ive built several 1176 kits and the parts alone are $600. I admit I was skeptical because of the price point but after listening to it first hand I was VERY Impressed.
Old 6th June 2016
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymetalguy View Post
Agreed! Ive built several 1176 kits and the parts alone are $600. I admit I was skeptical because of the price point but after listening to it first hand I was VERY Impressed.
I see the audio scape guy demonstrating a "stereo" mode on his youtube video for this piece... is that unlinking the L&R channels, or does it have something to do with the sidechain?
Old 6th June 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drywsef View Post
I see the audio scape guy demonstrating a "stereo" mode on his youtube video for this piece... is that unlinking the L&R channels, or does it have something to do with the sidechain?
I believe it has to do with the side chain. I just got mine in yesterday and ran it though its paces, I did notice some sonic difference when I flip the SC switch back and forth.
Old 7th June 2016
  #6
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The audioscape is true independent compressor action on both channels, not triggered by a summed mono like some clones.

The "side chain" switch just highpasses internal audio signal that triggers the compressor action, can't remember the high pass point that was chosen - I think 180hz?... the stereo reference is probably because that tends to make the overall stereo output seem wider, usually.

It doesn't have what I would think of as a side chain input - aka an input that would trigger the compressor independent of the source program material.
Old 7th June 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
The audioscape is true independent compressor action on both channels, not triggered by a summed mono like some clones.

The "side chain" switch just highpasses internal audio signal that triggers the compressor action, can't remember the high pass point that was chosen - I think 180hz?... the stereo reference is probably because that tends to make the overall stereo output seem wider, usually.

It doesn't have what I would think of as a side chain input - aka an input that would trigger the compressor independent of the source program material.
You are correct. I went back to the listing and read it. The high pass point is 160hz though. Here is a description on the listing:

Many of the clones and DIY circuit boards for these have a summed mono design instead of true stereo in the side-chain section like the original desks have. This has a noticeable impact on the final sound. With summed mono the low end content can become woofy and uncontrollable which can be hard to tame and lead to a frustrating experience... The custom circuit board i have in this compressor stays with the true stereo design in the side chain section which requires additional components but has a much more pleasant natural sound when pushed like the original desks. No need for additional mod boards etc. It negates the need for a side chain high pass filter in most cases. There is still a 160hz side chain high pass filter if still needed of course. Although gentle compression is usually best with these beasts it allows the compressor to be pushed harder with better results. I hand build these one at a time so get it while you can. If its listed, it's built and ready to ship. I have built many custom preamps, compressors, etc and had nothing but great results from those who have purchased form me. Please feel free to ask any questions. You can read my feedback here on ebay for reviews on these lovely compressors. Insured free shipping to the lower 48 U.S.A only. Thanks for looking!

Update: I've received a few questions about whether this unit has the 'turbo mod' as it's known in the diy world. The turbo mod uses an external side chain board to make a gssl build true stereo. This compressor has what would be considered the 'turbo mod' integrated into my custom circuit board design. This is a much more solid solution than fussing with extra mod boards, wires, etc...


Features:
- Stylish 1U 19" Rackmount with original looking meter and knobs
- Internal 120V Power Supply
- True stereo VCA controlled compression, not summed mono like other designs
- Compressor IN/OUT Switch -160hz side chain filter switch
- Adjustable Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio
- +20dB Make-up Gain - Analog dB Gain-Reduction Meter
- Electronically Balanced +4dBu circuitry
- Neutrik XLR Input and Output connectors
-Alpha Potentiometers and rotary switches
-Antek Power transformer
Old 7th June 2016
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymetalguy View Post
You are correct. I went back to the listing and read it. The high pass point is 160hz though. Here is a description on the listing:

Many of the clones and DIY circuit boards for these have a summed mono design instead of true stereo in the side-chain section like the original desks have. This has a noticeable impact on the final sound. With summed mono the low end content can become woofy and uncontrollable which can be hard to tame and lead to a frustrating experience... The custom circuit board i have in this compressor stays with the true stereo design in the side chain section which requires additional components but has a much more pleasant natural sound when pushed like the original desks. No need for additional mod boards etc. It negates the need for a side chain high pass filter in most cases. There is still a 160hz side chain high pass filter if still needed of course. Although gentle compression is usually best with these beasts it allows the compressor to be pushed harder with better results. I hand build these one at a time so get it while you can. If its listed, it's built and ready to ship. I have built many custom preamps, compressors, etc and had nothing but great results from those who have purchased form me. Please feel free to ask any questions. You can read my feedback here on ebay for reviews on these lovely compressors. Insured free shipping to the lower 48 U.S.A only. Thanks for looking!

Update: I've received a few questions about whether this unit has the 'turbo mod' as it's known in the diy world. The turbo mod uses an external side chain board to make a gssl build true stereo. This compressor has what would be considered the 'turbo mod' integrated into my custom circuit board design. This is a much more solid solution than fussing with extra mod boards, wires, etc...


Features:
- Stylish 1U 19" Rackmount with original looking meter and knobs
- Internal 120V Power Supply
- True stereo VCA controlled compression, not summed mono like other designs
- Compressor IN/OUT Switch -160hz side chain filter switch
- Adjustable Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio
- +20dB Make-up Gain - Analog dB Gain-Reduction Meter
- Electronically Balanced +4dBu circuitry
- Neutrik XLR Input and Output connectors
-Alpha Potentiometers and rotary switches
-Antek Power transformer
-Price ?

*Edit* - $650
Old 7th June 2016
  #9
I got mine for a lil cheaper...$625.00
Old 7th June 2016
  #10
I googled but can't find when to get these?

Any info?
Old 7th June 2016
  #11
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Audio Scape SSL4000 Buss Compressor Clone.. Woah!audio-scape on eBay
Old 23rd September 2016
  #12
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ORyan87's Avatar
I stumbled upon this as well. Definitely going to get one.
Old 26th September 2016
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ORyan87 View Post
I stumbled upon this as well. Definitely going to get one.
Been running it steady since I got it and wouldnt trade it for the world. Very happy with this unit..
Old 27th September 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymetalguy View Post
Been running it steady since I got it and wouldnt trade it for the world. Very happy with this unit..
Is that so, doesn't seem like a bad pick up at all especially with the true stereo option.
Old 27th September 2016
  #15
I used it in combination with an A_Designs nail and its a real winner. The imaging is awesome and the way it makes drums sit in the mix is perfect for the types of rock and metal that i record.
Old 5th December 2016
  #16
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anybody have a chance to compare this unit to an actual SSL Comp or the Stam Clone?
Old 13th December 2016
  #17
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I am located in Orlando and I am very tempted to try this unit out, I have been looking at the TKBC5 but would total at around $1,300 with a 500 series chassis.

Stam is also in the lineup but it seems like such a hassle right now, considering this guy is about an 1.5 hours away from me. Hmmm.
Old 15th January 2017
  #18
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I just picked up one of these - ordered off the website and a few days later I had it.

I have wanted a SSL clone for years, but every time I researched it, I would get overwhelmed with the many choices and opinions, and usually would decide to build a GSSL or something similar myself. That looks easy enough, but then I think about the time it would take (and in my case, since I wouldn't be able to complete it in one sitting, the ability to store the unfinished project several times for extended periods without messing it up).

So finally I decided to go for a prebuilt clone. I found Audioscape on ebay a then web search (I think I read this thread)

But enough about me - I'm really impressed with this "GStereo VCA Series Compressor" - it's essentially noise free, and sounds great. I have probably spent more on the set of SSL style plugins that I have, and this certainly sounds better.

I had never used an SSL style outboard compressor, so I suppose they're all like this, but it's very easy to use and find the right settings. The build quality is fantastic, including the rotary switches - feels really solid. I took the top off and everything was very clean and professionally done with high quality parts.

In retrospect, I'm sure I would have wound up spending more (I always tend to overbuy on DIY projects) and wound up with something not nearly as good had I tried it on my own. Very happy!!

Last edited by antichef; 26th January 2017 at 05:14 AM..
Old 24th January 2017
  #19
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Cgbravo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antichef View Post
I just picked up one of these - ordered off the website and a few days later I had it.

I have wanted a SSL clone for years, but every time I researched it, I would get overwhelmed with the many choices and opinions, and usually would decide to build a GSSL or something similar myself. That looks easy enough, but then I think about the time it would take (and in my case, since I wouldn't be able to complete it in one sitting, the ability to store the unfinished project several times for extended periods without messing it up).

So finally I decided to go for a prebuilt clone. I found Audioscape on ebay a then web search (I think I read this thread)

But enough about me - I'm really impressed with this "GStereo VCA Series Compressor" - it's essentially noise free, and sounds great. I have probably spent more on the set of SSL style plugins that I have, and this certainly sounds better.

I had never used an SSL style outboard compressor, so I suppose they're all like this, but it's very easy to use and find the right settings. The build quality is fantastic, including the detented pots - feels really solid. I took the top off and everything was very clean and professionally done with high quality parts.

In retrospect, I'm sure I would have wound up spending more (I always tend to overbuy on DIY projects) and wound up with something not nearly as good had I tried it on my own. Very happy!!
Demos if you ever get a chance would be much appreciated!
Old 24th January 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenfields View Post
anybody have a chance to compare this unit to an actual SSL Comp or the Stam Clone?
I have a/b-ed it with others... I've tried it next to a very popular boutique SSL type comp, that I think highly of (still), and the audioscape *actually* wound up being superior when pushed hard.

I later wound up talking about it to a tech who explained to me that my observations had a basis in the way that the boutique piece handled an aspect of it's power supply... and that the audioscape had an arguably better design.

I don't want to throw that company under the bus, because it's not a huge difference.

I *have not* used it next to an actual SSL comp, though I have used the real deal many times, as well as the Smart, and a couple of other "ssl flavored comps".
Old 25th January 2017
  #21
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AJCruz's Avatar
 

Just wanted to add that this SSL 4000 compressor is great! I plan on picking up another for the drum bus. Chris is so helpful too. Highly recommend checking out his comps. He has an eq in the works as well!
Old 25th January 2017
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by countrymetalguy View Post
TheMany of the clones and DIY circuit boards for these have a summed mono design instead of true stereo in the side-chain section like the original desks have. This has a noticeable impact on the final sound. With summed mono the low end content can become woofy and uncontrollable which can be hard to tame and lead to a frustrating experience...
Features:

- True stereo VCA controlled compression, not summed mono like other designs
That's what we call being deaf to stereo,lol... They only compress on fully correlated MID signals.
Does this actually use two THAT 2252 detectors or two kludged VCAs in the place of real detectors?
Old 26th January 2017
  #23
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Website - Audio-Scape Stereo Buss Compressor
Old 26th January 2017
  #24
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Farm sounds's Avatar
 

Had my heart set on the Serpent 4001b but this looks like it might be a good option for me if anyone has any clips they could post I would appreciate it!
Old 26th January 2017
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3
The audioscape is true independent compressor action on both channels, not triggered by a summed mono like some clones.
The original SSL bus compressor linked the peak detector outputs prior to the attack/release circuitry. They are not completely independent with all channels responding to the highest peak in one channel i.e. "greater of two." (In the case of SSL 4000 > of 4.)

Many of the SSL clones detectors are indeed summed to mono prior to a single peak detector - it appears the audioscape may link two independent peak detectors as did SSL.

Pro Audio Design Forum • View topic - Why A GSSL and SSL Compressor Aren't Exactly the Same
Old 26th January 2017
  #26
Add to that the fact that the Analog Devices AD533 IC that legacy SSL units used as a peak detector has been out of production for a long time... My datasheet is from 2004 and it was obsolete at that time.

Tough to really get the SSL thing without the correct detector...

As I asked before, are they using the (also discontinued) THAT 2252 RMS detector? Have a stash of AD533? Or roll their own? If they are making them from discrete parts to truly emulate the old IC, they can get a lot closer to the old SSL behavior.
Old 26th January 2017
  #27
Gear Nut
 

The SSL 82E10 Channel Dynamics used the Analog Devices AD536. (Which is still available as the improved AD636.)

The SSL 4000 and 6000 bus compressor used VCAs in the sidechain which provide a log-scaled peak detector. Originally they were dBx 202 gold can.

SSL bus compressor clones typically use the 2180/2181 VCA to log scale the detector which are still available and functionally equivalent to the '202.
Old 26th January 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mediatechnology View Post

Many of the SSL clones detectors are indeed summed to mono prior to a single peak detector - it appears the audioscape may link two independent peak detectors as did SSL.

Pro Audio Design Forum • View topic - Why A GSSL and SSL Compressor Aren't Exactly the Same
Yes, correct, I miswrote earlier. :-)
Old 26th January 2017
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mediatechnology View Post
The SSL 82E10 Channel Dynamics used the Analog Devices AD536. (Which is still available as the improved AD636.)

The SSL 4000 and 6000 bus compressor used VCAs in the sidechain which provide a log-scaled peak detector. Originally they were dBx 202 gold can.

SSL bus compressor clones typically use the 2180/2181 VCA to log scale the detector which are still available and functionally equivalent to the '202.
Hmm, thought they all used AD53x parts, that's pretty interesting that they used VCAs as well.
Old 26th January 2017
  #30
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Awesome - I love these discussions, even though I can rarely contribute in a meaningful way (and not here )

In fairness to Audio-Scape, this unit is put forth as 'SSL inspired' and not as a clone. I have never used the real thing, so I have no idea how it would compare in sound and behavior.

But it's easy for me to believe it's better than its mono-summing brethren, and also that it's a lot better than what I would have eventually built myself.
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