Aphex Comps

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by asknone9, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. asknone9

    asknone9 Guest

    Recently I've been searching for a decent, but not too expensive compressor for vocals. From a bunch of research, I was able to deduce that the Aphex 651 or 661 would be better for vocals than a DBX 160a. Now, the question is which Aphex compressor should I go with? The 651 or the 661. The the only difference between them is apparently the tube output stage added in the 661, though both are extremely transparent from what I hear. The preamp that will be used is a Blue Robbie, which is also has a tube stage, but is quite transparent. Could anyone shed light on the benefit and/or lack thereof of having two pieces of gear in the same chain with tube circuits? Since both the preamp and compressor are said to be transparent, is it even an issue? Which comp would you recommend? Thanks!
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Bear in mind, the tube circuitry in the Robbie and the Aphex are wildly different. How they use the tubes is thus different. Cascading multiple tube devices isn't a bad thing as long as you're not adding too many over-saturated harmonics from starved plate architectures.

    The Aphex is a starved plate, but in my experience, it's one of the best examples of a starved plate circuitry. Thankfully, all of devices used inside the Aphex units (opamps,etc.) are pretty good. (Altough, their pots are a little dicey sometimes.)

    For my money, I'd go with teh 661. A slight change in tubes will change the character of the compressor and gives you a little more flexibility.

    Honestly, I can't say enough positive about that series of Aphex. For the money (and even for more money), they're a good buy.

  3. asknone9

    asknone9 Guest

    Thanks, Cucco! From what I've been reading/experienced, both devices have to be pushed quite hard before that "tube coloration" comes in. Would you agree that it's entirely possible to avoid tube harmonics from 661 altogether by not pushing it too far, should I find the combination of the two to be undesirable?

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