Quantcast
Behringer composer MDX2100 - Which Drawmer is it based on? - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Behringer composer MDX2100 - Which Drawmer is it based on?
Old 9th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Behringer composer MDX2100 - Which Drawmer is it based on?

Dear all,

I have the MDX 2100 (it is from around 1995-96) - and yes it is still going strong!

Just curious to know what model is it based on?

I'd like to get another from that era or the original it was based on... thanks
Old 27th August 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
M.S.P.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Also wondering?
Old 28th August 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I thought it was based on a DBX something, not a Drawmer.
Old 28th August 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
there was one model based on the drawmer lx 20 not sure if is this one
Old 28th August 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FYI, I believe it was the Drawmer DL 241, based on what I've read on the netz.
Old 1st September 2015 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
FYI, I believe it was the Drawmer DL 241, based on what I've read on the netz.
Is this the info that comes from the GS threads that pop up when doing a search, or do you have other sources for that?

Because i just got one of these (mdx2100), and couldn't find much about it that wouldn't be more or less hearsay.

...in any case, it seems to be doing what a compressor is supposed to be doing without wrecking the sound or introducing excessive noise.
At 38 USD i am not disappointed.
Old 1st September 2015
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes, and various posters on a few other websites...

I can't actually verify the info!
Old 1st September 2015 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
Yes, and various posters on a few other websites...

I can't actually verify the info!
Fair enough, could have been that you had a chat with a technician or something along those lines

Any way, whatever it was designed after (evil tongues would say copied from) the almost 20 year old mdx 2100 still works, so no complaining from me...
Old 1st September 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years


One of my fave tricks when I first got mine, was to stick it on a stereo ("ambient stuff and noise" submix, and use the 2 compressors as dual mono, with different settings... both high ratio, but different attack/release times.

I also found the auto setting was great for acoustic guitars... It actually sounded tonally better.

Last edited by Blast9; 14th January 2018 at 05:18 PM..
Old 1st September 2015
  #10
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I think it would be fun to buy a DL 241 from Drawmer and do a shootout and see how close they are. I am also using a (modded) MDX2100.
Old 1st September 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting! Transformers?
Old 1st September 2015
  #12
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
The mod I did was just to replace the audio op amps and improve the power supply a little bit. I also replaced 2 electrolytic coupling caps in the audio path. I think I got most of my info from GroupDIY forums. It's a surprisingly good compressor. I even like it on the mix bus sometimes.
Old 1st September 2015 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➑️
I think it would be fun to buy a DL 241 from Drawmer and do a shootout and see how close they are. I am also using a (modded) MDX2100.
I'm all for that idea, as i'd really like to get confirmed that i have bought something better than its price and name suggests.


...just kidding, i don't really care about internet reputation of gear, and am going to see what i can use this for regardless of what others may think

...otoh, i am curious
Old 1st September 2015
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Some info from this page:
Me in my studio: Carl Taylor | MusicRadar

(you have to click through to photo page 11 of 14)

"The early stuff from Behringer is excellent. One of the tech guys at the Drawmer factory told me the MDX 2000 is a DIRECT copy of a DL241."

"I couldn't believe it, so I went home and tried the MDX against my 241. I could not tell the difference, so sold the Drawmer and bought another 3 Behringer's with the money! Solid workhorse compressors that lend themselves well to electronic music."
Old 1st September 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Also there is this thread in which I participated, with lots of infos on the MDX2000 and MDX2100:
Behringer MDX2000 internal pics ?

Relevant quotes on page 5:
analogguru: ...the Behringer MDX2000 is an exact clone of the Drawmer DL241. (The MDX2100 is slightly different)."

xefe: "i've got both schematics. exact copy except the drawmer uses the ssm2120 where the behringer uses discrete rms detector made with the ca3046."

henk: "i do think now that the mdx2000 with dautherboard is the same as an mdx2100......... but is made cheaper than the mdx2000"
Old 1st September 2015 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gertius ➑️
Also there is this thread in which I participated, with lots of infos on the MDX2000 and MDX2100:
Behringer MDX2000 internal pics ?

Relevant quotes on page 5:
analogguru: ...the Behringer MDX2000 is an exact clone of the Drawmer DL241. (The MDX2100 is slightly different)."

xefe: "i've got both schematics. exact copy except the drawmer uses the ssm2120 where the behringer uses discrete rms detector made with the ca3046."

henk: "i do think now that the mdx2000 with dautherboard is the same as an mdx2100......... but is made cheaper than the mdx2000"
Yeah, i just looked at that thread on groupdiy, after monkeyxx mentioned that place

So the interesting thing is where Behringer cheapened the 2100 - or if they did at all, because other people have mentioned that there apparently was a slight bug in the stereo operation of the 2000 that the 2100 was supposed to fix...
I wouldn't know, so far i have no intent of using it in stereo and have it set up as two mono channels on two aux sends, for tracking and mangling sounds.
Old 1st September 2015
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I remember that the user manual made a feature of the fact they used surface mount technology... So maybe that's the cost saving feature.
Old 1st September 2015 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
I remember that the user manual made a feature of the fact they used surface mount technology... So maybe that's the cost saving feature.
I haven't been inside it - but everything i have read says that the shift to smt came with the 2200.
If it is any indication, the 2100 is fairly heavy/feels substantial in your hands (in case you can't remember ).

I actually got the original manual with it, and it doesn't say anything about smt, btw - but it does talk about high tolerance metal film resistors and other "quality components".

...it also proudly announces that it uses BE027 and BE037 op amps - and declares them "exceptional"...

One thing is sure - behringer does not downtalk their products

Last edited by grumphh; 1st September 2015 at 10:56 PM..
Old 1st September 2015
  #19
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
No the MDX 2100 is still through-hole. Might have been the last one before they went SMD. The face plates and buttons look different on the SMD ones compared to the old through-hole ones, generally speaking. The obvious thing on the SMD ones is the clear, light-up colored buttons, vs black dark buttons on the old ones. The new ones are also smaller and much lighter in weight.
Old 1st September 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ah interesting! Must've been a different unit I'm thinking of! I borrowed a couple of rack units at different times.
Old 31st October 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
 
EBDA1176's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
ha, I've had one of these knocking around for nigh on 20 years bought it new, and yes it was very well built (for the price) and it was my first compressor so I have no shame. I've had real 1176's and WA76 that I've let go while keeping hold of the MDX2100! Not saying it's better than those in a quality sense (of course) but it's a very useful, utility and sometimes fun compressor that owes you nothing as they are basically free these days. And sometimes (not always) can be better at certain tasks than software comps.

INFO:

In my MDX 2100 I've opened it up and it has DBX 2152 VCA chips (tilted down by Mr B so as not to draw attention to them ripping off other compressor designs perhaps?), now if this thing is a clone of the Drawmer or not it appears these VCAs were also (not surprisingly) used in some DBX compressors, I think the 166 and 266? Correct me if wrong. And no it's not SMT, all through hole, nice solid build big PCB that fills the entire case etc. I think the only 'weak points' of these units were cheap PSU caps that could go (but for many of us they are still fine) and possibly the op-amps, B-series something or other that some swap out for NEC or similar (but... I guess that isn't going to turn it into an SSL G-Comp so probably not worth the trouble)

And yes, I'm quite a fan of VCA compressors in hardware (while FET for some reason has had a lot of focus in software to get close to the distortion and grit of the 1176 et al), this thing (the MDX) probably won't do anything special for your music vs a great software comp BUT it will feel fun and the dancing LEDs can look nice. It can also, perhaps, be pushed a bit more and sound a touch more lively than your typical soft comp.

And for those that didn't know, the MDX2100 model of the Behringer Composer was used on the DRUM BUS for Daft Punk's debut album! So it really isn't something you can't work with and do valid music with. Also the 2100 was improved over the 2000 (which had problems - that I wouldn't want) and it was the later 2200/pro I think that went to SMT and cheapened things up (this is around the time Behringer started getting a bad name for itself aside from the stealing of others Designs - build quality went down too after the MDX2100 which was actually pretty well built and solid as those of us who've had them for 20 years, used them as doorstops and shelving only to dig them out and plug them in to find them working and compressing just fine, will atest!). I think the ones AFTER the MDX2100 had to be redesigned so as not to be copies of the DRAWMER or DBX that had so blatantly cloned, and therefore the later ones weren't as good in build and probably sound. And quality slipped more and more till we ended up with their brand name being almost a swear word around this place

A great first comp but not much mojo (if any) surprisingly clean, pretty utilitarian... ironically has a lot of features we wish we had in our more expensive comps (Dual mono, Gates etc). The DUAL mono on a drum bus can work out OK, would rather use an 1176 or FET style plug in for the squashed/parallel drums though.

Would probably only use the limiter for emergency (live rig) and not use it at all in any recording/mixing... it's not as good as software limiters.
Old 31st October 2015 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
This is pretty similar to my experience. The SMD Autocom Pro I have doesn't get used much. But the old, modified MDX2100 gives me a surprisingly high end experience. I definitely think about it as something of a secret weapon. I also got it very cheaply and the mod was cheap too. I did have some issues during the mod but I was able to work through them, luckily enough. This stuff is not built like a "tank" so it does needed to be treated somewhat delicately. I think that's why they're so cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EBDA1176 ➑️
the MDX2100 model of the Behringer Composer was used on the DRUM BUS for Daft Punk's debut album!
Oh really? All I ever hear about is "this cheap little Alesis 3630 we got for $300 is the main compressor we used on the first two albums." But I do remember seeing a picture of them with various gear and I think there was a mention of the Behringer compressor.

I must be into a similar aesthetic as these guys because I really like both of those compressors, and the Mackie mixers also. It almost feels like cheating just to use the gear somebody else did and get good sounds, but why not?
Old 1st November 2015 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
EBDA1176's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➑️
This is pretty similar to my experience. The SMD Autocom Pro I have doesn't get used much. But the old, modified MDX2100 gives me a surprisingly high end experience. I definitely think about it as something of a secret weapon. I also got it very cheaply and the mod was cheap too. I did have some issues during the mod but I was able to work through them, luckily enough. This stuff is not built like a "tank" so it does needed to be treated somewhat delicately. I think that's why they're so cheap.



Oh really? All I ever hear about is "this cheap little Alesis 3630 we got for $300 is the main compressor we used on the first two albums." But I do remember seeing a picture of them with various gear and I think there was a mention of the Behringer compressor.

I must be into a similar aesthetic as these guys because I really like both of those compressors, and the Mackie mixers also. It almost feels like cheating just to use the gear somebody else did and get good sounds, but why not?
What mods did you do? VCA? Op-Amps? What do you find it good on post mod?


As for Daft Punk, well I think most people would put the MDX2100 a bit above the infamouse Alesis which many seem to think was the spawn of satan in the compressor world, and maybe DP only used the composer for the Drum Bus (because back then more hardware was needed I guess) and used the Alesis for most other things, but taken on a purely 1 to 1 comparison today (regardless of DP) I'd take the MDX2100 over the 3630, I think the MDX is as you say a secret (cheap) weapon with not much to lose, while the 3630 may be a good case of "you get what you pay for" (or don't in the case of the 3630). Though almost any hardware no matter the cost can be used somewhere somehow in music so long as it's not totally destroying your signal (in an unwanted way).
Old 1st November 2015 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBDA1176 ➑️
What mods did you do? VCA? Op-Amps? What do you find it good on post mod?


As for Daft Punk, well I think most people would put the MDX2100 a bit above the infamouse Alesis which many seem to think was the spawn of satan in the compressor world, and maybe DP only used the composer for the Drum Bus (because back then more hardware was needed I guess) and used the Alesis for most other things, but taken on a purely 1 to 1 comparison today (regardless of DP) I'd take the MDX2100 over the 3630, I think the MDX is as you say a secret (cheap) weapon with not much to lose, while the 3630 may be a good case of "you get what you pay for" (or don't in the case of the 3630). Though almost any hardware no matter the cost can be used somewhere somehow in music so long as it's not totally destroying your signal (in an unwanted way).
If you look up this page back to post #12 there's a very short blurb about the general nature of my mods. I did the same basic types of mods to the 3630 as well.

I agree with you that the MDX2100 generally beats the 3630. It's just a little cleaner and snappier, with less tonal coloration. The 3630 does this sometimes kind of cool thing where it sort of rolls off a little presence, loses maybe some subs, and kind of has a slightly saturated smooshed kind of response. It's also not nearly as snappy sounding in compression action.

My general use for the MDX2100 is on the mix buss, I like the tight sound it has there.

I've used the 3630 for the same thing just to see how it compares, and I guess it ended up not being the favorite. Too colored.

I have successfully used the 3630 I believe a couple of times since I've had it, once to sort of smash down a tingly sounding acoustic guitar, ended up with a weird but pretty cool track.

I think I used it a second time to compress a really nasty fuzz bass. It kind of rounded it out a little bit and made it slightly smoother sounding. This would be similar to how Billy Corgan used his Alesis on the guitar amp for Mellon Collie. If you want a blunt fuzz guitar sound the 3630 will give it to you. On a sound like that the low end can either get muddy, or sort of pumped up in a positive way, depending on how you balance things. I sort of imagine Daft Punk being able to coax some nice low end out of things with the 3630 being a part of the recipe, same with Smashing Pumpkins.

If you wanted a really hard-edged drum sound I think the 3630 would give it to you. Those transients on Homework are so crude sounding, this is how the 3630 sort of sounds to me when driven hard.

In a way the tracks almost feel slightly destroyed in terms of like transient definition but for some reason they kind of still sound...decent? I am strangely attracted to sounds that are sort of "broken" is the term I use. So I don't hate the 3630, I also don't particularly love it. In terms of utility compressors, I suspect my three dbx 560A are probably going to take over those duties then next time I put a big mix across the hardware. I'm not sure what I'm going to end up doing with the 3630 but I am going to keep trying to use it. I'm only about $50 deep with this box including all the mod supplies and power supply.

Essentially I am an In The Box mixer 90% of the time, but that last 10% is so interesting to me that I keep gathering all this hardware. I just don't even turn it on for weeks sometimes. It's really fun to experiment with though. I don't have the same sense of adventure with most plugins, they're more just workaday tools for me. And obviously I love tweaking, modding, and building gear so that's a big part of the fun of hardware too.
Old 14th March 2017 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
mutetourettes's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EBDA1176 ➑️
Also the 2100 was improved over the 2000 (which had problems - that I wouldn't want)
Hello - can you elaborate any on the problems the 2000 was known for?
Old 15th March 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
BarcelonaMusic's Avatar
 
DL 241. I have the modded version with a new power supply, Burr Brown input/output, and THAT 2180 VCA chips. It`s not good for everything, but some things it just shines. I suppose I prefer transformer based compressors, but these sound good and are REALLY quick.
Old 15th March 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Looking at the current DL241, it hasn't got sidechain sockets on the back like the Composer? Some old versions had them I think?



Also the inputs/outputs:

Quote:
The DL241 is available with either XLR connections and fully balanced inputs and outputs, or with stereo jack (TRS) connections, fully balanced inputs and single ended outputs.
The jack outputs aren't balanced? This is where the Behringer MDX2000/2100 differs too, it's balanced all round.

The level meter only shows output, the Behringer is switched to show input or output.

And another big difference, the Behringer has relays for bypass so it passes audio even with the power off.

IMO the MDX2100 is a bargain.

Regarding the 3630, I've got a Phonic PCL3200, and that seems to be a close relative of it. It's laid out differently though, sort of like an upside down version if you compare the back panels and position of the power switch and LED meters. Both use 2150 VCAs and 2252 RMS chips. Both are unbalanced in/out. The input/output op-amp is a TL072. I've read that the 3630 uses some poor quad op-amp (Edit: U2, U6 are usually TL084 or LF347), there are loads of articles on swapping those for better ones. The TL072 seems fine in this Phonic. The main functional difference is the Phonic has a switchable band-pass filter on the gate. The pots are secured onto an internal panel with nuts, I like that. External AC/AC PSU like the Alesis, not so keen on that. Sounds great on drums. Worth having but I would say buy an MDX2100 before this!

Last edited by rockmanrock; 16th March 2017 at 01:14 AM.. Reason: Word missing!
Old 15th March 2017
  #28
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the rundown. I kept trying to figure out why my DBX 520 De-Esser passes signal when the power is off. Hardware bypass, duh! Just like a true bypass stomp box. But with relays like you said...cool.

Also I'd like to note that my modified MDX 2100 Composer is pretty dang dirty sounding. I like what it does, especially on electronic music, where the extra grit is often welcome. I didn't realize how dirty it was until I'd spent a few months with it.
Old 16th March 2017 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➑️
Thanks for the rundown. I kept trying to figure out why my DBX 520 De-Esser passes signal when the power is off. Hardware bypass, duh! Just like a true bypass stomp box. But with relays like you said...cool.

Also I'd like to note that my modified MDX 2100 Composer is pretty dang dirty sounding. I like what it does, especially on electronic music, where the extra grit is often welcome. I didn't realize how dirty it was until I'd spent a few months with it.
Yes I'm using mine on electronic stuff, I really like it. I had the MDX2200 for a while and that seemed to make the audio slightly plasticky. It was alright, but surprisingly different to the MDX2100.

I've been reading the GroupDIY threads. I've had one MDX2100 for a while now and bought another two recently. One has a BA4558 input op-amp and a 1252 VCA, the other has JRC4558DX and a 2159 VCA. I've not checked my first one. The 4558 is usually seen as poor but maybe its lack of fidelity is helping with the character? I might swap one of mine for a 5532. According to the circuit diagram, the input op-amp is supposed to be a BE027, which is a selected 4580. Both use the BE037 (NJM2060) for the balanced output op-amps, apparently quite good.
Old 17th March 2017 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➑️
Thanks for the rundown. I kept trying to figure out why my DBX 520 De-Esser passes signal when the power is off. Hardware bypass, duh! Just like a true bypass stomp box. But with relays like you said...cool.

Also I'd like to note that my modified MDX 2100 Composer is pretty dang dirty sounding. I like what it does, especially on electronic music, where the extra grit is often welcome. I didn't realize how dirty it was until I'd spent a few months with it.
I have currently have four Composer Pro compressors which have been purchased over the last ten years, mine are not modded at all. I tend to think of these as very clean compared to my 1176s and LA2a.

I've never opened them to analyze them, they've always just worked very well for me when I need a clean utility compressor. I rarely track with these, I use them inserted on channels during mixing.

These are only rated for +21dBU maximum output, I'm wondering how big the electrical signals are to make these sound crunchy or dirty?

Good music to all!
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 1232 views: 338075
Avatar for staticwhitesound
staticwhitesound 24th June 2021
replies: 27 views: 18138
Avatar for product26
product26 5th February 2021
replies: 3 views: 4039
Avatar for AL Sound Guy
AL Sound Guy 21st May 2015
replies: 2 views: 760
Avatar for audiosemipro
audiosemipro 11th July 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump