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'Cheaper' compressors you like as much as expensive compressors. Hardware only. Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 1st July 2017
  #1
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jackalope77's Avatar
 

'Cheaper' compressors you like as much as expensive compressors. Hardware only.

First, I'm posting this here because I'm looking for the opinion of those who use high end gear.

I'm definitely going for high end compressors, LA-2A, LA-3A, 1176, Smart C2, API 2500 and I don't want to compromise on quality.

I like to add some compression on everything, but I would need something like 30 channels and at $1400+ per channel for the high end stuff, I don't want to do the math. I could always render individual tracks to free some gear, but it's not exactly how I wish to mix, at least not to often.

So, are you using some 'cheaper' compressors that are actually stellar on some applications? I'm looking for suggestion like: using the CAD M179 to record toms. Cheap but no real compromise. Think about old gear too. Let's stay under $500 per channel. Thanks.
Old 1st July 2017
  #2
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FMR RNC or ART VLA II
Old 1st July 2017
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalope77 View Post
First, I'm posting this here because I'm looking for the opinion of those who use high end gear.

I'm definitely going for high end compressors, LA-2A, LA-3A, 1176, Smart C2, API 2500 and I don't want to compromise on quality.

So, are you using some 'cheaper' compressors that are actually stellar on some applications? I'm looking for suggestion like using the CAD M179 to record toms. Cheap but no real compromise. Think about old gear too. Let's stay under $500 per channel. Thanks.
I love compressor pedals. These should not be underestimated, especially if you need something cheap per channel.

The Dynacomp, Boss CS-1 or Milk Box are my faves. They are very colorful and squashy. Some people obsess over Fairchilds for the EMI sound, but sometimes squash pedals can get the sound much closer than high end hardware. I have an LA-2A, 1176 and a Pye clone. While they sound great, the expensive stuff is not necessarily eccentric. I have been running vox through the CS-1 and a Behringer chorus lately, which makes me wonder why I bother with a u87.
Old 1st July 2017
  #4
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bgood's Avatar
Warm audio...gap... Stam... Art... Dbx 160x
Old 1st July 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidland View Post
FMR RNC or ART VLA II
This. I'm in the same boat and keep coming up with the same answer, although I'd like to add the FMR RNLA.
Old 1st July 2017
  #6
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string6theory's Avatar
Still rocking the FMR PCB-6A's... I now have 3. Pretty nice for what they are.

Worth checking out.

Old 1st July 2017
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidland View Post
FMR RNC or ART VLA II
I've got 2 RNCs and an VLA that still see use. The Aphex 651 is a great mono vocal comp, doesn't impart much, but controls things nicely. MXR dual comp is cool too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
I love compressor pedals. These should not be underestimated, especially if you need something cheap per channel.

The Dynacomp, Boss CS-1 or Milk Box are my faves. They are very colorful and squashy. Some people obsess over Fairchilds for the EMI sound, but sometimes squash pedals can get the sound much closer than high end hardware. I have an LA-2A, 1176 and a Pye clone. While they sound great, the expensive stuff is not necessarily eccentric. I have been running vox through the CS-1 and a Behringer chorus lately, which makes me wonder why I bother with a u87.
Pye clone? Do tell...

Last edited by Drumsound; 3rd July 2017 at 04:35 PM..
Old 1st July 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Pye clone? Do tell...
I have the AC Sound Pi. I love it, but the company seems to be in trouble. Their website domain has expired and they have not responded to comments on Facebook from customers wondering where their pre-orders are. Unless they become more communicative and customers are happy, these guys should be avoided.

This was my demo:


There is a company in Britain making a compressor called a POM PYE. This looks great. Seems to be the real deal.
Old 1st July 2017
  #9
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Sotsirc's Avatar
DBX 160X is certainly a workhorse that can be had very cheap on eBay which means you could affor two for stereo work. As far as bus compressors go, the TK Audio one is pretty damn good.
Old 1st July 2017
  #10
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PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

If the question is for tracking, Zulu does that subtle tape compression/spread the spectrum/limiter thing that I like rather then using a sta level or 176 . Would sure be cheaper for 16 channels tracking rather then having 16 sta-levels, if mixing in the box could even be better.
Old 1st July 2017
  #11
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc View Post
DBX 160X is certainly a workhorse that can be had very cheap on eBay which means you could affor two for stereo work. As far as bus compressors go, the TK Audio one is pretty damn good.
At this point, those things are 35 years old, give or take. The caps fail, the meters get strange, and having them gone over by a good tech costs more than they're worth.

I'd get a lunchbox and a bunch of 560a's. Cheap, brand new, sound great. They won't link, though, for that you'd need a pair of 160a's.

FWIW, I think stereo dbx's work great for parallel compression but I don't like them at all on the main mix bus.
Old 1st July 2017
  #12
Are you going to be better off with a plugin or cheap hardware?

I'd argue that there are software compressors that are better than a lot of what is being suggested here. You'll also get a lot more bang for you buck.
Old 1st July 2017
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by string6theory View Post
Still rocking the FMR PCB-6A's... I now have 3. Pretty nice for what they are.

Worth checking out.

I've always been curious about these. Tons of hype when they first came out and then very little from there..

I'd be more interested if they released this one in the 500 series format like they did with he RNC and the RNLA...
Old 1st July 2017
  #14
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Earcatcher's Avatar
At 250 euros per channel the ADT-Audio TM152 is hard to beat, especially since ADT does not make any bad equipment (it's all handmade German top quality). You can fit 11 of them in a 2U rackmount. ADT TM152 - Compressor-Expander
Attached Thumbnails
'Cheaper' compressors you like as much as expensive compressors. Hardware only.-vm152_100.jpg  
Old 1st July 2017
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
I have the AC Sound Pi. I love it, but the company seems to be in trouble. Their website domain has expired and they have not responded to comments on Facebook from customers wondering where their pre-orders are. Unless they become more communicative and customers are happy, these guys should be avoided.

This was my demo:


There is a company in Britain making a compressor called a POM PYE. This looks great. Seems to be the real deal.
The Pye pcbs and case are now sold through collective cases.com. It's a build that's been on my list now for a while..:
Old 1st July 2017
  #16
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kosi's Avatar
capi gear FC526 is fantastic and cheap, if you can diy

Classic Audio Products, Inc.
Old 1st July 2017
  #17
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georgehenderson's Avatar
The FMR RNC. I love it and on acoustic instruments it does very well, imho better than much more expensive gear.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
The Pye pcbs and case are now sold through collective cases.com. It's a build that's been on my list now for a while..:
That's good. I hope that they are on top of things. Again, since the site is down and they aren't responding on FB, I wondered...
Old 2nd July 2017
  #19
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
I've always been curious about these. Tons of hype when they first came out and then very little from there..

I'd be more interested if they released this one in the 500 series format like they did with he RNC and the RNLA...
They're just very smooth and easy to use, with nice drive when desired and a wide range of very good compression. Very easy to work quickly. I'm currently setting them up in my expanded synth rig, which is why I added a 3rd (for a rack's worth). Previously used them mostly on bass which I really liked.

They pop up once in a while as (new) demo units for around $350. Nice stereo compression by linking 2 units for $700 is pretty good.

You can always turn them on their side to line up with the vertical 500 series flow, lol. Whatever works!

Old 2nd July 2017
  #20
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jackalope77's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll review all these in the days to come. It's not been suggested here, but I'm already loving the Symetrix 501. There are definitely great hardware compressors for well under $500 that do much better than any digital compressors,- there's no trade off.

What about compressors for specific applications, like for the room, the overheads or the snare?
Old 2nd July 2017
  #21
Gear Maniac
hi, been following this thread with great interest.

my suggestions would be:

DBX 160XT for bass (also looking forward to buy a bunch of 560a as soon as my $$ permits)
KlarkTeknik DN504 for snare (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear...s-cla-api.html)

also checking other people suggestions. But DBX 160xt recently became my favorite :].
Old 2nd July 2017
  #22
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The only 'high end' comp i have is the warm 76.
I found myself preferring the MXR 136 dual limiter (2 channels that can be linked) at ALL times so far. These are pretty cheap BUT rare. And old...
The mxr behaves similar to the 76, but somehow just better !
Old 2nd July 2017
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
I have the AC Sound Pi. I love it, but the company seems to be in trouble. Their website domain has expired and they have not responded to comments on Facebook from customers wondering where their pre-orders are. Unless they become more communicative and customers are happy, these guys should be avoided.

This was my demo:


There is a company in Britain making a compressor called a POM PYE. This looks great. Seems to be the real deal.
I spent 50 bucks on boards for the pye and got zero communication, so after a month or so i got paypal to get my money back. I was a little nervous ordering from them cause they had a similar issue a couple years back, but they had made new posts and seemed like they were getting back on track. I was definitely wrong.
Don't go through these guys for anything. I think their reputation is irreparable.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #24
Revive Audio Modified Drawmer DL241 - parallel on kick and snare
Old 2nd July 2017
  #25
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

I would look at the Ashly CLX-52. Very flexible and transparent.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #26
Gear Addict
Aphex Compellor and 651 are excellent by any standards but they are not colour devices. The Compellor is an excellent leveller and the 651 better serves shaping transients (e.g. snare attacks) but is also a workhorse.

Tony
Old 2nd July 2017
  #27
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About 20 years ago I owned a LA Audio 'LA Lite CX2.

It cost me about £100.

It had this funky little circuit in it that added some harmonic enhancement when the compressor circuit
kicked in to overcome any dullness caused by the compressor action.

I used it with an AKG C3000 (£300) and an ART Tube MP pre that cost me £40.

It was a great little budget vocal chain.

I was comparing recordings I made with that little set up 20 years ago with the vocal recordings I now make with a boutique vocal chain that I'm embarrassed to say how it cost me, and you know I sat there listening to these old recordings with my wife and I felt very uncomfortable with how great they sounded
Old 2nd July 2017
  #28
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
My old beat up Urei LA-22 is a real workhorse. Not a vibe comp, but it's awesome for tracking and can do cool tricks like expansion and variable bandpass/sidechain compression.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I would look at the Ashly CLX-52. Very flexible and transparent.
I was just about to mention this one. Solid stuff.
Old 4th July 2017
  #30
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mamm7215's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robby in WA View Post
Revive Audio Modified Drawmer DL241 - parallel on kick and snare
Drawmer MX30 and Klark Teknik 1176kt.
Topic:
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