Looking for (another) decent stereo(dual) compressor?

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theslumlord
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Looking for (another) decent stereo(dual) compressor?

Post by theslumlord » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:29 am

Hello everybody.

I'm in the market for a (new or used) sterer/dual compressor; under $300. Most of my gear is in the low-mid to high-mid range. I currently have a DBX 160A, RNC, ART VLA II, Drawmer MX30, & HHB Fatman.

I like my gear, but i'm always in the hunt for something else to add to the arsenal.

Any suggestions, or warnings, about what to look out for?

Thanks.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:09 pm

I can't think of allot of stereo units in that range that are going to be that much better or different than what you've got.
I'd save up a bit more or start looking at cool, fun and cheap mono units. There are lots of fun one trick ponys in the $300 range. Off the top of my head -

Altec 1612 limiter/pre - great on rooms and rock vocals

Gates Solid Statesman - a very dirty brick wall limiter. I love it on room mics, parallel on the drum bus, lead guitars and piano. It wants to make everything loud. Sometimes that's awful, other times it's awesome.

Allison Research Gain Brain - A very fast FET compressor. Great on drums. You can find the cards for $150ish but you'll need a lunch box and power supply.

DBX163X - You could do 2 for around $300 and strap them for stereo. I prefer them on bass and electric guitar.

Micro Limiter - It's stereo but only really useful for destroying sounds.

or you could get another Pro VLA. I've got one in the rack and would love a second.

Also look at Ashley comps. They're pretty clean and tidy. Not a huge amount of mojo but they do the job just fine without drawing attention to themselves.

Chris_Meck
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Post by Chris_Meck » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:08 pm

Why not get another 160A, then you could use them as a stereo comp?

How about one of the Orban units? Those are cool and have their own sort of sound going on. They usually go in that neighborhood.

chris
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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:28 pm

Junkshop pretty much layed it out there.

You kinda have the bases covered on the afforable units, so I'd save my pennies and get something like a Drawmer 1968. Something that will actually be a step up and sound good on mixes and a variety of sources.

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Ryan Silva
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Post by Ryan Silva » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:06 am

ott0bot wrote:Junkshop pretty much layed it out there.

You kinda have the bases covered on the afforable units, so I'd save my pennies and get something like a Drawmer 1968. Something that will actually be a step up and sound good on mixes and a variety of sources.
Yep a 1968 if you can afford it, but another 160a chained with your old one, also a good choice.

The DBX 166, or 266 whatever the cheep ones are, is a far cry from the usefulness I have come to love from my 160a's. However, if anyone is just learning about compression the 166/266 have far more controls (attack, release) that may be good to know how to use. The 160a is one of those comps I will never sell.*





*may actually sell in the future :wink:
"Writing good songs is hard. recording is easy. "

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theslumlord
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Post by theslumlord » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:11 am

Thanks for help. It's good to hear some thoughts and insites on brands I have little to no experience with. I try and do some research on the internet about gear, but it's hard to cover everything. But, TapeOp is great for filling in the gaps.

I keep telling myself I should keep saving up for some higher end gear, but my gear coveting takes a hold of me, and I want to buy something NOW. I need to be patient grasshopper.

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Ryan Silva
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Post by Ryan Silva » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:57 am

theslumlord wrote:Thanks for help. It's good to hear some thoughts and insites on brands I have little to no experience with. I try and do some research on the internet about gear, but it's hard to cover everything. But, TapeOp is great for filling in the gaps.

I keep telling myself I should keep saving up for some higher end gear, but my gear coveting takes a hold of me, and I want to buy something NOW. I need to be patient grasshopper.
Although it always seems better to save and get better gear. There is a lot to be said for buying cheep gear just to learn what you really want. What features you use most commonly, and learning that you like VCA compression, over Tube, over Opto, ect. That way you?re not spending a ton of cash on a comp that may not be suited to what you?re looking for.

That being said, it's really easy to pile up gear that you don't use anymore and is so cheep and common that you lose your ass on reselling it.

It can be very difficult to judge a unit in retail store environment.
"Writing good songs is hard. recording is easy. "

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Dakota
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Post by Dakota » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:14 am

Ryan Silva wrote:
ott0bot wrote:Junkshop pretty much layed it out there.

You kinda have the bases covered on the afforable units, so I'd save my pennies and get something like a Drawmer 1968. Something that will actually be a step up and sound good on mixes and a variety of sources.
Yep a 1968 if you can afford it, but another 160a chained with your old one, also a good choice.

The DBX 166, or 266 whatever the cheep ones are, is a far cry from the usefulness I have come to love from my 160a's. However, if anyone is just learning about compression the 166/266 have far more controls (attack, release) that may be good to know how to use. The 160a is one of those comps I will never sell.*





*may actually sell in the future :wink:
The dbx original 166 (no "a" or "xl"!) is the good one. Kick, snare, toms, sometimes on other things.

+1 another 160

add: symetrix, mxr dual limiter

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jgimbel
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Post by jgimbel » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:42 pm

If you happen to be looking to unload any of what you've got to fund a new compressor, I'm looking to buy an RNC! Just saying :)

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Recycled_Brains
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:35 am

cmez wrote:Why not get another 160A, then you could use them as a stereo comp?

chris

This.
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