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Could I really be this happy with my GSSL clone Comp? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
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Could I really be this happy with my GSSL clone Comp?

Or am I just fooling myself?

Man! I swear that strapping this thing across my 2 buss via my Hedd 192 and using just the slightest bit (2db max) of compression makes everything sound Frickin FANTASTIC! Maybe just the newness of it all but I don't think so because even in bypass ( threshold all the way off ) things seem to sparkle and jell a bit more. Damn, Wish I had done this years ago.

Chris
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
Or am I just fooling myself?

Man! I swear that strapping this thing across my 2 buss via my Hedd 192 and using just the slightest bit (2db max) of compression makes everything sound Frickin FANTASTIC! Maybe just the newness of it all but I don't think so because even in bypass ( threshold all the way off ) things seem to sparkle and jell a bit more. Damn, Wish I had done this years ago.

Chris
Agreed. I built two of these compressors and I couldn't be more pleased with them. Using one across the two buss seems to make everything stick together while still retaining the individual voices of each instrument and the vocalist.

I especially appreciate the selectable frequencies in the sidechain and the ability to bypass those and put an external source into it.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
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Yeah, totally awesome. I love mine too (even in bypass). The only thing is it does seem to shrink the stereo image a bit on the bus (more than others), because its basically a mono compressor I guess. One of these days I'm gonna buy another board and put it in.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
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[QUOTE=thermos;1452830 because its basically a mono compressor I guess. [/QUOTE]

I dont understand that part? Could you elaborate?

Gustav
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
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I think a real ssl comp or any stereo comp has 2 boards in it basically (so they could actually do dual mono if you wanted them to a la the Smart stuff), but this design is like a simplified design that kind of sums the 2 channels in a way. So for instance, if the left channel spikes real hard, it will clamp down the right side differently than a true stereo design. At least this is the way I understand it, I could be phrasing it wrong.

So I usually keep it off the 2 bus, (I really prefer dual mono for the width factor), but for drum bus its totally insane.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
Yeah, totally awesome. I love mine too (even in bypass). The only thing is it does seem to shrink the stereo image a bit on the bus (more than others), because its basically a mono compressor I guess. One of these days I'm gonna buy another board and put it in.
From Gyraf's site (boldface added by me):

The compressor is cloned from our good old SSL4044E desk, dating back from '85. The SSL mixbus compressor is an integral part of the mixer's main quad fader and autofade system - cards 82E26 and 82E27, and as you can see if you compare these to my schematic, a series of changes have been made for rehousing the circuit. The main changes concerns the electronically balanced input and output and the removal of unneeded components regarding the autofade and main fader circuits. Another change is that the sidechain is common to both VCA's, making better tracking abilities - your mix wont' "tilt" so easy when you're compressing heavily. We did things like that to the SSL in the old days. This might seem like a big change, but actually the sonics are preserved very close to the original, and tracking errors are canceled.

I can't say that I've ever heard mine "shrink the stereo image" at all, but I don't hit it hard so perhaps that's the reason. I agree, though, that it's killer on the drum buss.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 22nd August 2007
  #7
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That is merely for the detector. If anything, the GSSL is awesome at getting width from a mix as it really evenly levels things on the sides of a mix. This is actually what I like BEST about it. I mix a lot of rock where I have multiple sets of guitars panned out towards the edges of the mix and the GSSL is really my "go to" 2 mix compressor for this stuff. Its also really great on drum subs for the same reason or for bussing effects returns to it.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
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Huh, maybe I misunderstood it. I know that the "oxford" variation that people talk about has 2 boards in it, and I heard/thought it was mainly for the stereo image. For me a dual mono situation still wins for the width factor.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
I think a real ssl comp or any stereo comp has 2 boards in it basically (so they could actually do dual mono if you wanted them to a la the Smart stuff), but this design is like a simplified design that kind of sums the 2 channels in a way. So for instance, if the left channel spikes real hard, it will clamp down the right side differently than a true stereo design. At least this is the way I understand it, I could be phrasing it wrong.
I dont understand how you could do a stereo compressor without summing the sidechain, so I dont understand this. What makes stereo different from dual mono is exactly that the comps reaction is the same for both channels, no matter which side triggers it. If it isnt, your center image might travel left and right, as in dual mono. Doesnt neccesarily have to be a bad thing, but - I just dont understand why you wouldnt call the GssL true stereo. I must be missing something.



Gustav
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
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Couldn't be much happier with my GSSL, gets used nearly every session.

I've never had the problem of the stereo image shrinking.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
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Anyone wants something similar PM me.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
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How much are all the parts, roughly?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTed View Post
Couldn't be much happier with my GSSL, gets used nearly every session.

I've never had the problem of the stereo image shrinking.
No complaints about the stereo image here either and I am a hard core panner. Tons of acoustic sessions here as well.

LOVE THIS THING! I Want 4 more of these for my rack!!

Chris
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
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I will second the "how much are the parts, roughly" question.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
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I built four myself and absolutely loved them. The unit is true stereo but the sidechains are summed to mono that's all.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Improv View Post
How much are all the parts, roughly?
Go here: Prodigy Professional :: View topic - META - SSL Clone posts

The second and third link down are listings of parts and costs. I don't think either one includes the circuit boards, but they're readily available from a couple of guys in the Black Market section of the forum. Check out the stickies at the top of that forum and look for Gustav. He's the first one and he sells the boards for 14 Euros. You'll also need a case and most folks get those from Parmetal, and they run about $50.00 shipped for a 1U enclosure. There's also a guy selling the adjustable sidechain boards, which can be seen in the photo below right next to the main PCB.

I've built two of these compressors and have under $300.00 in each one, but I used old cases that I restored and also used older vintage meters that I had in the garage.

Here's a couple of shots of my "Retro" SSL:





Since these photos were taken, I have laser engraved and painted the front panel for the controls.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 23rd August 2007
  #17
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I think what is being refered to is that using dual mono compressors on the mix bus tends to sound 'wider' than using true stereo where the dynamic differences L to R are 'managed' by the compressor. A lot of people who own compressors that allow some stereo linking choose to leave them unlinked or 'partially' linked when available eg API 2500.

J
Old 23rd August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post

Man! I swear that strapping this thing across my 2 buss via my Hedd 192 and using just the slightest bit (2db max) of compression makes everything sound Frickin FANTASTIC!

Chris
Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
Agreed. I built two of these compressors and I couldn't be more pleased with them.
--
Don
I am a little confused - is this something that you built or bought off the shelf ?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True North View Post
I am a little confused - is this something that you built or bought off the shelf ?
Built with a PCB. All other parts are then ordered/sourced. It's a DIY.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
Since these photos were taken, I have laser engraved and painted the front panel for the controls.
Well, I think it's time to take another picture and post that up there for us. We'd like to see you results.

-Jp
Old 23rd August 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peacock View Post
Well, I think it's time to take another picture and post that up there for us. We'd like to see you results.

-Jp
Yeah, I'll have to do that at some point. Basically, you cover the panel with a special tape, laser engrave the markings through the tape (which then becomes a stencil of sorts), and apply the paint color of your choosing. Let the paint dry, peel off the tape, and apply a clear top coat if you'd like. Pretty easy to do.

I just noticed that I hadn't put the ICs and VCAs in their sockets when those pics were taken. Oh, well, imagine that they're in there.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 23rd August 2007
  #22
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I bullt one of the GSSL's too. I used the cases made by Purusha on groupdiy to save myself the trouble of getting the front panel engraved and having to drill out the holes and cutouts. My unit has the sidechain board as well. I pimped mine out with Wima caps, LT1357 and National 6172 (I think that's the number) opamps, Black Gate caps, and Cinemag output transformers. I used the THAT 2180A VCA's too. I think mine totalled about $550 or so. But it's definitely possible to build one for around $350-$400.

Brad
Old 23rd August 2007
  #23
Dan
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500 form

Ok, so who can build one to go in a lunchbox now?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Ok, so who can build one to go in a lunchbox now?
It is in the works (well something similar) but a partnering company thumbsup

Matt
Old 23rd August 2007
  #25
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Oh and since we are sharing, here is my take on on the GSSL.

I used Jakob's Main and Control board with a fair few mods including a dedicated off board PSU, LED metering, ungraded signal path, 1% metal films resistors, Rubycon Long Life, Long ESR Lytic Caps and Epcos/Panasonic polyesters all star grounded for 'extra quiet' goodness







This ended up costing $600 with the custom metal work, quality parts, most of which were imported, which increased the costs a fair bit.

Cheers

Matt
Old 23rd August 2007
  #26
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Man this just looks awesome!! I want one too!



Have been thinking about one for the drumbuss.
Old 24th August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rawdigits View Post
Man this just looks awesome!! I want one too!

Have been thinking about one for the drumbuss.
It makes a great Buss Comp and Drum Buss, kinda why I built it as it fills a need in my rack, I have an LA-2A, 1176 and this guy rounds it out as far as having a slection, Valve Opto, FET and now VCA, plus being stereo helps on a stereo material like drums and busses.

Build one! You will love it thumbsup

Matt
Old 24th August 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matta View Post
It makes a great Buss Comp and Drum Buss, kinda why I built it as it fills a need in my rack, I have an LA-2A, 1176 and this guy rounds it out as far as having a slection, Valve Opto, FET and now VCA, plus being stereo helps on a stereo material like drums and busses.

Build one! You will love it thumbsup

Matt

Hi Matt


What do you think about a stereo 1176 across the drumbuss? How would you describe the characteristics of this unit against the GSSL?

My thoughts were : For the drumbuss a VCA one : GSSL or stereo 1176 and for the 2 buss maybe a Mercenary 1968 with tubes (for the tubey stuff, not lot of compression).



Im doing electronis music here. Samples and hardwaresynths here.


Greets


Christian
Old 24th August 2007
  #29
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Andy's units are the sh*t!!!

I've used it on every mix since he produced the first one.

Killer stuff.

Closest thing to the original Quad Compressor in the 4000 than even the G384.
Old 24th August 2007
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Wow, so many incquires. I'm gonna do my best to get pictures up of my collection tommorow. Lots of killer stuff coming!
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