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1176 (varient) or Slate Pro Audio Dragon

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by lostindundee, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Hi there

    Wondering if I could get some opinions from you good folks. I've decided to get myself a FET compressor for general tracking duties. I decided I would go with either:

    - 1176LN
    - Purple Audio MC77
    - Mohog Audio MoFET76
    - Slate Pro Audio Dragon

    I'm not in a position to demo any of the units but like the sound this type of compressor gives to certain sources. I've researched and read lots about people feeling that the UA 1176LN reissue isn't the best of the bunch reported to be noisy with scratchy pots known to be an issue with them. The classic Urei 1176 is reported to sound better but far more expensive and potentially having issues due to age. The MC77 seems to attract steady criticism for being too bright and "in your face".

    Therefore, I've decided it will be either a MoFET76 or a Slate Pro Audio Dragon. Trouble is I cannot decide which.

    The MoFET76 is reported to be akin to a Revision D Urei 1176. Although it has the same controls as the 1176 and MC77, it also has a choice between two switchable transformers (one being a Carnhill). The quality of the build is reported to be very high with the guy who builds them being praised for his work. The units are reported to be quiet and good on vocals, bass and drums.

    The Slate Pro Audio Dragon is also an 1176 FET style compressor and has the same Attack and Release controls as the other units mentioned. However, the Dragon also has many other options. The Dragon has a 2:1 Ratio in addition to the 4:1, 8:1, 12:1 and 20:1 available on the other units mentioned also incorporating the "All Buttons Mode". The Dragon also has a 4 position Saturation setting and 3 Eq switches, a High Pass Filter and a Mix Dial and also has a Vintage switch which is reported to enable circuitry giving it a more vintage tone. I've read somewhere that this unit is kinda like an 1176LN and the LA3A. The unit is also being heralded as a mix bus comp, this being rare for FETs.

    By the way, I realise that all these opinions are subjective.

    I'm just thinking, is the dragon basically a compressor/limiter with Eq built in? I usually choose to Eq In The Box you see. Therefore, I'm a little hesitant to be tempted to commit to Eq tweaks during tracking. However, due to my next purchase likely being an API or SSL for Bus duties, I am tempted to get a Dragon and then perhaps make a decision to buy a second for my Mix Bus. This would give me 2 Dragons for tracking and then Bus compression.

    Any ideas? lol. 2xDragons or a MoFET76 and API 2500.

    Comp-wise, I currently have dbx 160x (x2) and FMR RNC (x2). Preamp-wise, I have two RND Porticos and a Sytek MPX-4Aii.


  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Why wouldnt you get a Distressor?
  3. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Thanks Dave

    I am actually considering a Distressor. I've been slightly nudged away from them in the past due to reports of it being a little too harsh and slightly short of the mark at doing "pure" FET and OPTO. However, conversely there have been some really positive comments about its versatility with folks recommending a pair of them. I have to say, it's bloody difficult trying to make choices based on others' opinions. I think I should just buy one of each of the considered studio staples comps and be done with it.

    I actually may shelve this decision for now and buy a Hammond XK-3c pro system. I've always liked them. Someone very close to where I live is selling their C3 just now. The only thing putting me off is its maintainence headaches, size and life expectancy. Due to this I'll go with the modern option with the slightly smaller footprint for my livingroom.

    Thanks again Dave.

  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I have a good friend with the XK-3c as well as several 'other' Hammonds....B3,cut down B3, CV L100....etc. I really like the XK a lot. I'm curious about your take on the maintainence of older Hammonds and the 'life expectancy....I know of at least 10 50's and 60's Hammonds that start every night and sound like they oughta......

    My experience as well as info from owners tells me that the Distressor will 'do' 1176 and a lot of other things whereas the reverse isnt true.
  5. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Hi Dave

    I'm still eyeing up a the Distressor (EL8X). However, I'm still considering a Mohog Audio MoFET76 and an LA2A. It's enough to drive one around the bend...lol

    I was advised by several folks on another forum to go with the XK-3c option. Although I'd be okay oiling on an annual basis, I was informed that replacing caps etc was more difficult likely requiring someone else's help (incurring costs). In relation the cost this may incur in the long run not to mention along with cost of getting around a headphone option (I live in an appartment), I was was advised to go with the Xk-3c. The users advising this own 2-3 Hammonds each and know what their upkeep entails. I was told that maintenance would likely have to be as much a hobby as playing the thing. One of the main selling point of the Xk-3c which I kind of put back to front while listing my reasons in my original post was the smaller footprint it has. The old one's are much larger and I think it would look out of place somewhat in my livingroom.

    Regarding the older organs' life expectancy, I got this info from a Hammond "product specialist". However, looking back on this, it would benefit Hammond/Suzuki to encourage the purchase of their newer products wouldn't it?

    Thanks Dave

  6. 18 North Entertainment

    18 North Entertainment Active Member

    Just my 2 cents (even though you've ruled them out), the UA 1176ln reissue and Purple MC77 sound different enough that they are not interchangeable (imo). MC77 can be too bright for some material and just right (better) for others.

  7. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Nate.

    I forgot to update this thread. I ended up going with a Mohog Audio MoFET76 and have to say I'm very happy with it. It's nice and quiet and smooth. The Carnhill/Edcor output transformer option is a great addition. The Input metering option is handy too.

    It's a Distressor EL8X next for me. I had considered an LA2A but I keep reading reports of it being a one trick pony. However, reports can be overly exagerated I guess. The reason for leaning towards the EL8X is due to its reported versatility and my limited rack space capacity. I was also thinking I could run the EL8X in Opto mode in series with the MoFET76 and also have an additional 1176-style comp (in the EL8X) to fall back on if need be.

    I'm going to be getting an API 2500 at some point this year too. An SSL G series comp and UBK Fatso were in the running for this too but the API 2500 seems to be a mainstay for Bus duties. Any opinions here?

    I think I'll be calling it a day for compressor/limiter purchases after the afore-mentioned.

  8. 18 North Entertainment

    18 North Entertainment Active Member

    Bus Comp

    Re: bus comp - good choice. I use the 2500, Smart C2, and have used the Fatso (non UBK) in the past.

    The API is the most versatile (again, ignoring UBK mods): great for bus work and mastering, works well on vocals / single sources too, tons of options...great choice.

  9. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Thanks for your info Nate. Much appreciated. Can't wait to get my API 2500.

  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I guess this is irrelevant to the OP by this time, but I thought I would throw it out. As much as I love the sound of a real Hammond I'm skeptical about the size of the difference between the real thing and the best clones like the XK-3c. My main reason is that it is clear that a real Hammond feels a lot different to the player. You can feel the vibration of the motors, the various clicks and pops of the electromechanical connections. It is well documented that players have a tendency to interpret differences in feel as differences in sound even when listeners who are not playing can't hear any difference.

    Now the thing that I believe you can't fake is a real Leslie. It's a real three dimensional sound source. I don't even believe you can really recreate the full experience of being in a 2-300 seat room with a Leslie by recording it or sending any combination of signals out over a PA. I'd love to get one, but like I said a recorded Leslie is a "fake" Leslie. Might as well start out with a sim and save the money and space.
  11. lostindundee

    lostindundee Active Member

    Totally Bob

    I agree with all you said. I have no experience of a real hammond but what you wrote makes me wish I could try one - for the feel aspect.


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