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Symetrix  525
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Symetrix is an American company producing high-end Pro Audio gear. Not well known in the UK, but they have a strong reputation in the USA for cost-effective & well-engineered equipment

The 525 is a stereo / dual-channel VCA compressor / Limiter / Gate in a neat 1U package. Each channel has a dedicated Control Loop with a Send / Return jack, allowing external control of dynamics. The Return jack can be used as a key input for ducking, pumping & etc, or the loop can be used to eq the sidechain

Each channel has controls for Expander/Gate Threshold, Compressor/Limiter Threshold, Ratio and Output Gain plus an in/out pushbutton. There’s a separate Stereo switch to link the two channels for stereo tracking. Gain Reduction is shown via an LED meter

On test the Symetrix 525 sounds punchy & clean. Attack & release times are program-dependent and are well-chosen. The controls are all well-judged, which makes setting-up easy & accurate.

These models use the Valley People TA-101 VCA chips designed by Paul Buff, a man responsible for some of the juiciest compressors ever built. The TA-101 is responsible for part of the sound of the 525, but the rest is down to the design team at Symetrix. It’s the sidechain that really determines the sound of a compressor and Symetrix have done a great job here


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