Which of the following 2-channel compressors to buy?

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters' started by frogga, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. frogga

    frogga Guest

    Hi all,

    I think I am quite sure to buy the Gefell M930 microphone and the Great River MP-2NV Pre 2 channel. Last remaining choice will be the condensor.

    Bear in mind when responding that I will have 2 vocal mics (the Gefell above and the NT2000) and the pre and separate compressor will be used dually for vocals and guitar/bass (thanks to the hi-Z on the pre).

    So I need a good general compressor to add a bit a commercial colour and also tame the levels of the source going in.

    My options at the moment are :-

    Focusrite Red 3 - 2 channel comp
    Studio Electronics C2s Compressor (also 2 channel - neve copy).

    Would anyone suggest the best of the 2 or even one which could be the real best 2 channel comp I could get for 3000 USD (4000 at a push)?
    Best Regards
    Gary - trying to improve his tracking chain and maybe also mixing if all goes well.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Those are two units of gear that do the same basic thing but they are different. They are like screw drivers. One is standard slot and one is phillips.

    The Red-3 is a very good and popular compressor. I like it and use it a lot. I also like and use the Manley Vari-Mu a lot. The C2 has not been around very long to get much notice. From the description, it appears it would be a great tool. Someday I'd like to get a hold of one.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    If you're going to spend the amount of money you indicated, why not get an UA/UREI 1178, the best peak limiter, which can be run in split mono, as long as the ratios are the same. Or, maybe two LA 3s, the best Opto.

    Old timer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    While the legacy and obsolete 1178 is a very good limiter, it certainly is not the best. The same with LA3's or any other piece of gear. Anybody with any real experience with recording and gear knows that there is no best. What is best for one or a few applications is not always going to be the best. And what may be best for you may not even be close to being best for me.
  5. frogga

    frogga Guest

    Thanks for the Advice AudioGaff - I am swinging towards the Red 3 if I am honest (got to have at least one good 2-channel comp right?) although the C2s is alot cheaper (almost half the price of the Focusrite Red 3) . Which means I would have a 2 channel "neve-like" stereo channel comp plus I could also invest 1000USD on a second "not bad" compressor - not sure if that would make sense though... thought?

    Last thing to tap down is how to get all of this new lovely quality output into my MOTU 896HD bypassing its probably average AD/DA?
    Any ideas on a good minimum 2 channel AD/DA plus how to connect it up to the compressor (being the final point in the chain for me)?
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Dear froggy Gary,

    As Audio Gaff pointed out the Manley variable mu tube unit is quite nice and is the tube analogy to a VCA (voltage controlled amplifier that is found in many of the lower cost units but is a much different principal) and is a lot better. When you mentioned the sound of a "Neve like" compressor, that again is very similar in circuitry, to the UA/UREI 1176/1178 and utilize an FET (field effect transistor) as a variable resistor at the very front input side as the Neve compressors do. The LA 3 is an Opto unit utilizing an electroluminescent panel and not a LED as most of the other popular units have. They're not bad or obsolete! I have all three and love them all. They all have their application and particular sonic character. Audio Gaff obviously doesn't think much of the 1176/1178 and I'm not sure why?? He doesn't consider it as a " best choice" unit, but I do. He says there is no "best", so what the hell is he doing with a Manley?? I guess it's not a best choice either??

    I like a slot of Philips heads! (a non sequitur)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. stickers

    stickers Active Member


    In your Will can you leave all your gear to me.

    Your friend always and forever,
  8. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I own two 1176's and like them very much. Both the 1176 and Vari-Mu are great tools but not always the best for the job that needs to be done. I have over 30-channels of compression, most of them being real high end stuff and none of them are always the best nor do I have enough of the compressors I want or could make use of for things I need to do at times.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Hey stickers! I will consider it after I'm dead when my equipment can be extricated from my rigor mortise riddled hands.

    AudioGaff, We all like going to the smorgasbord and fill up on compression! Unfortunately, I'm already getting plenty of compaction...... In my mix, over 50.

    Heavy-duty music broad
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  10. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    remy you're never on AIM anymore.... :cry:
  11. Tim Farrant

    Tim Farrant Active Member


    Slight correction, the older Neve compressors (2254 etc) used a diode bridge, not a FET. I am not sure what is used as the gain reduction element in the current Neve compressor offerings, but what ever it is, it's darn expensive!

  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    thanks Tim
    I wanted to say that but I've been keeping clear

    I would not put the 1178 and 1176 in the same sentence
    eventhough both are from Urei and both are FET based
    eventhough I do like the 1178 and it is stereo capable ... it just doesn't do the 1176 thing
    I don't see all 1176's equal ... see the history page to get the timeline and ClassA and AB and op-amp ... and the Silver / Black front face thing

    1176's can be used in stereo BUT it's not easy and there are stereo link trim units for the job ... One is even from Urei

    continuing on the stereo comp flow

    not in the same sentence but both do use the T4B unit
    difficult to get to run in stereo but as above
    ... with some trimming and component matching it can work

    33609 from Neve will do the job

    Joe Meek C1 ( I think it is ) could be the best Green unit out there

    The SSL / Alan Smart bus comp is stereo and like the 1176 you should do some research as to versions

    Purple Audio if you have some cash


    On the Modern side of things Crane Song has an opto feel in one or two of the settings
    ... well done DH
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think this is deja vu all over again!

    Kev, the Neve compressors I have are from 1974 and don't have that diode bridge that you described. They're not the 2254s, I can't remember right off and their model number (over 50 brain cells, not the amount, the age)?? My Neves are AB output Neves that NBC-TV used. They still sound cool. I agree with you that not all 1176s are created equal! So many different flavors to choose from. I feel like a kid in the candy store.

    Ms. Yogi Ann David
    Where's my Bear? Ah, there it is!
  14. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    A Neve 1974 and for TV ... :?
    only so much info I can get from mags and the net

    this is where Geoff T is handy for a little local knowledge

    This is an original Rack unit or is it a module ... racked up ?
    very interesting

    Geoff has told stories of specific units being made for TV
    ... for effect ( a telephone effect unit )
    and for Hybrid use and other special items
  15. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Hey Kev!

    My Neve compressor/limiters are the model 3314. They are the same size as the 3115 microphone preamplifier/EQ modules (similar to the 33115 modules that were not discrete but rather 5534 IC based Op-Amp modules, with additional push pull output swing transistors for additional headroom) that also populate my consoles. I have also erroneously indicated that the Neve was from 1974. It was actually from 1976, installed in 1978 and removed from service in 1996 at which time I purchased it. My first console only had 1 3314 compressor/limiter, because all 4 were previously removed, I only got the spare for that one. The second console, had all 4 of them still intact. Their schematics appear very much the same as the 1176. I've never heard or played with the 2254 but would love to. Maybe next lifetime??

    Being in love means Neve....r having to say you're sorry, for using one.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  16. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Remy...how come you're never on AIM anymore?

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