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Daking FET II and FET 3 Compared: Clips Inside!
Old 26th November 2009
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Daking FET II and FET 3 Compared: Clips Inside!

I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of quality time with a stereo pair of FET II units and comparing them with the new FET 3.

On my product page for the Daking FET 3 I have provided clips of compressed and bypassed material in mp3 format (320k, highest quality) on individual sources and on a stereo mix here:

Daking FET 3 Compressor

(scroll down for clips, I have 24 bit files yet to be posted)

What I have concluded is:

Tone / Character:

The FET II seems ever so slightly darker and smoother, and has a bit of a low end bump from the Jensen transformers

The FET 3 seems a bit more detailed and open, and a more even response on the low end (more like what you feed it vs the FET II)

Compressor Section:

The FET 3 is capable of virtually everything the FET II is, except you can precisely dial it in with the variable pots. There is no difference in compressor action. The FET II has super long release times available with the last 2 presets it has, that is the only difference in compression available. The AUTO setting on the FET 3 is the same as the Compex release on the FET II, that's really the only difference in compression (and the ones left off the FET 3 are extremely long and more tailored for broadcast). The linking on the FET 3 is noticeably tighter.


The FET II is all switches and completely recall-able, the FET 3 is variable pots (except for the ratio select). The FET 3 features a variable high pass filter EQ on the sidechain which allows you to remove bass response from the compressor circuit and causes less pumping. The FET 3 is internally stereo linkable, and variable linking is available for interesting results (say using a kick drum to partially effect or duck a bass guitar, or just allowing a mix to spread out more). The FET II is linked with a single TRS cable between units and does not track as tightly from unit to unit (but they can be chained also for surround compression). Metering is much larger on the FET 3, both provide the same info.


The FET II offers a transformer bump in the low end, and a slight smoothing effect to my ears. The FET 3 sounds more detailed and true to the source. Both offer the same compressor section except the FET 3 is completely able to be dialed in using variable pots and linking is done more accurately and internally. Also, being able to vary the linking on a stereo mix is very cool. You can achieve an interesting blend of the tight linked sound with the looseness and added life of dual mono. The small differences in tone are hardly noticeable when the box is doing its job and compressing audio, which is where it pulls the most of its character in my opinion.

Old 26th November 2009
Lives for gear
Jackie Moon's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Thumbs up

this is great news !
Thanks for doing this War !
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
thermos's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Thanks, those clips really make me want a pair of Fet IIs.
Old 26th November 2009
Gear Head
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thanks War! I had a FET II on demo a while back and the vocal clips reminded me of why I want to buy it thumbsup. I thought the FET III sounded very similar, looks like its time to demo it...
Old 26th November 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by warhead ➑️

The FET II seems ever so slightly darker and smoother, and has a bit of a low end bump from the Jensen transformers

The FET 3 seems a bit more detailed and open, and a more even response on the low end (more like what you feed it vs the FET II)

FWIW I don't find that at ALL

with respect, it strikes me a bit as what you EXPECT to hear, as you already ascribe the difference to "low end bump from the Jensen transformers"

How do you know the transformer is what makes the difference in what you hear?

if you posted a level matched clip from a II and III, without labelling them, I wonder how many people would find the III "more detailed and open"

I'm willing to bet not many.
Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hi there Mr Whitman.

I am attaching two clips just made, both units are engaged but not compressing (threshold is cranked, even still all compressor settings are engaged the same) so we're not bypassed but rather running through all circuitry for comparison sake.

I have marked one "A" and one "B". They are level matched. This is a room mic clip of an AEA R84 a few feet out from the kit. All conversion is done via SSL Alpha Link, 44.1 / 24 bit wav from Nuendo.

Personally, in my room monitoring on Manley ML10A speakers, I hear one of them as slightly more open up top, and the other I hear slightly more of a "fist" thump on the kick drum vs the other. I am still using the word "slightly" but to my ears, it is there (but not worth stating as anything but slight). I'd be willing to bet that a lot of people listening in bad environments could not discern much of a difference at all (I am not directing that comment at you, trust me I respect your commentary).

This is where I drew my conclusion, let me know if you hear the same.

For what it's worth these tracks will not null against each other, yet if you flip the phase on one and listen simultaneously you will noticeably hear more of that "fist" thump I'm describing as slight, as one of the differences.

Attached Files

drums-daking-A.wav (3.41 MB, 8544 views)

Old 27th November 2009 | Show parent
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar
🎧 15 years
File "B"
Attached Files

drums-daking-B.wav (3.41 MB, 8060 views)

Old 4th January 2010 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Mike O's Avatar
🎧 20 years
Warren wrote a very nice, informative review (such organization!), but I thought I would add my .02 after finally getting some time over the past couple of weeks to compare the FET 3 with the older FETIIs:

I'm not sure why, but I recall having the distinct feeling prior to receiving the FET 3 that I might prefer the switches on the FETII. I'm guessing the prejudice was due to my use of the switched FETII, since virtually none of my other comps are 'switched' (except CS STC-8M).

While the switches are somewhat unique on the FETII (and therefore valued), I've found that I like the variable pots on the FET 3 at least as much - AS A PART OF THE FET 3. Pots just seem 'right' in the context of having the variable high pass filter and variable linking pots. I'm really having fun with the interaction of the compressor, high pass filter, and variable link when on the drum buss. A complete different mindset from the FETII switches. Sort of 'tweakers' heaven. VERY quick to get what you want.

Along the way you may of course find some cool surprises. Of course you can implement filters outside of the comps but why be wasteful? Anybody that has a pair of IIs already knows how the 3 sounds; seriously. Everybody else should give one (or the other) a listen and see for themselves.

P.S. With apologies in advance to Warren (really; NICE review): Notice how I didn't mention the transformer thing and the two sounding different? That's not because I don't think that the last .1% of sound is important. I've spent a lot of time and money on that last .1%. It's just that in THIS case (IMO), there is simply NO reason for it to be a factor in someone's choice. Try it yourself and enjoy!
Old 23rd April 2010 | Show parent
Gear Addict
skygod's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The Jensens in the II make all the diff to me. Like Burr Brown chips in mixers and preamps, some like'm and some are ambivalent toward them. I love the Burrs just as much as I love Jensen speakers and trannys. Its just old school audiophile magic bro. The looseness of the 3 is almost analogous to the reasonance output control on 5150 guitar amp ... the more you add, the flabbier it gets. When I toured with 5150s years back I never turned reasonance beyond 2 anyway which turned to tone to mush beyond 4 ... got rid of them both and went back to my beloved plexis. Temorary insanity for 6 months deaprting from my Marshalls. Sorry I'm digressing. All your samples have so much more tight and better bottom thump to my ears from the II that sounds pleasant, musical, and smoother on instruments, voices, and the mixes. I'm a die hard believer in the original design and will stick to it - The FET II rocks and is one of my all time favourite dynamic tools for 8 bus individual and 2 bus summed mix. Hey but dat's what I tink!

Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
Lives for gear
YOHAMI's Avatar
🎧 10 years

War, this thing with all the audio samples right on the product page is brilliant

Daking FET 3 Compressor | Compressors @

any chances to get that on every product page rather than in the clipalator?
Old 28th January 2015
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
So is clip B the Daking II?
Old 8th February 2015
Here for the gear
abdulreda's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Hi...what do u think about FET 3 for mastering? Thx
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