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Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor
4.85 4.85 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Diode bridge compressor for the 2 bus and much more

16th November 2019

Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor by Morgueritual

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor

A home run by Mr Rodriguiz and Heritage Audio. This diode bridge compressor kicks major ass. Bus compression is normally reserved for VCA type compressors (as you know) but the fellas at Heritage Audio dared to try something different it seems. I have my 2 bus going into a pair of Warm Audio Pultecs (which are amazing btw) then into the successor. The first thing I noticed is the stereo field widened quite dramatically. Transients are coming through more and the kick, snare and bass are more punchy.
The features are dynamite. With ratio going from 1.5:1 to LIMITER and the usual suspects in between there is plenty here to play with. The release times are crazy. From 50 nanoseconds to 20 milliseconds. Way beyond what you need for bus compression which leaves room to f**k things up if you want to be creative. The threshold from -20 to 20db. It also has an internal sidechain filter that has 80hz, 160hz, 800hz, 3k, and 5k. See the manual for what these do. All knobs are stepped for easy recall except threshold and blend. So parallel compression is also possible. There is also a 100% wet switch so you and A-B with the blend knob. There are also external sidechain inputs in the rear. And of course the classic SSL style VU meter.
Build quality is amazing. It's HEAVY. You can tell there is some serious stuff happening inside the unit.
This compressor is VERY versatile too. It is right at home on the drum bus, room mics (you can smash the hell out of them with the crazy attack and release times) and sounds KILLER on bass guitar. EDM kicks sound unreal as well.
For $1450 this compressor is a no brainer.

  • 9
4th January 2020

Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor by Kerbkrawler

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor

The Heritage Audio Successor is a stereo buss compressor based around the venerable diode bridge found in the likes of the Neve 33609, Neve 529, BAE 10DC and IGS V8 to name a few.

Sound Quality: This compressor will surprise you with the euphonic quality of the sound. It sounds punchy and fat with a solid character. Perhaps it is too colored for some types of music, but boy does that color sound good. I have experimented extensively with this on the drum buss and have been very pleased with the results relative to my SSL clone. I have found it a little more challenging on the two buss as the unit does have a distinct character, but I am certain that after a little more time with the unit and becoming more familiar with the characteristics of the mix knob, attack/release relationships that I will be able to dial in some more transparent two buss settings that are more to my liking. The unit makes no pops, clicks etc while bypassing or switching the filter types. I would like to note that I could not replicate the needle slamming behavior mentioned on the Successor's GS thread when engaging or bypassing the compressor. If I do find settings that cause that behavior, I will update my review accordingly.

Ease of Use: Couldn't be easier, everything is detented with one set of controls for L/R. Metering is clean and responsive.

Features: The available SC filter options include the standard HPF at 60, 160 plus another at 800, a bell at 3K and a another HPF at 5K (perhaps for a de-essing sort of use). The unit is very generous with attack and release options (e.g. 50 nanosecond attack!) and has TWO auto release modes. Ratios options abound with 1.5 all the way up to 20:1 for limiting. Knobs are solid with firm detent action. The unit is heavier than you might think based on the size, construction feels very solid. I would have preferred more than 10db on the makeup gain, but that is a minor quibble.

Bang for the Buck: As of this writing, I defy you to find a buss compressor with this many options and sound quality for the price ($1,499). It is definitely worth the money for the drum buss alone and I have yet to scratch its potential for other uses. If you are in the market for a buss compressor in the $1500-$2000 range, the Successor deserves a serious listen.

  • 2
1st March 2021

Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor by Linnemann

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Heritage Audio Successor Stereo Bus Compressor


I've been using the Successor for about 9-10 months, mainly on the 2-bus which I believe is its intended purpose, but it is of course not restricted to that function.
There it's been used either as the only compression for the mixes or as one of a couple of compressors in series.

Sound Quality 5/5:

In itself, The Successor benefits from its Tranformer input and "1073" output stage / makeup, lending the music a subtle harmonic euphoria and cohesion before compression is applied. It's a beautiful sounding unit that can quickly bring a mix's disparate elements together as a whole.

The compression is not transparent in character and combines a snap and roundness to the material at the same time. I personally found it working best for me doing minimal amounts 1-3db at most, often at the 2:1 ratio.
I have almost defaulted to the 5ms attack setting, mostly only varying the release between the 25-100ms area.

The sidechain is incredibly useful and I have used the 80hz almost exclusively, which serves to let through the kick, fundamental of the snare, bass-guitar and guitars of most material I work with.

I have experimented with burying the needle to hear it's effect and was surprised at how well it still kept sounding like music and not a compressed mess.

I've only use the Successor sparingly for individual channel processing, trying it out on room drum tracks (does work really well to fatten up and control the sound even when applying 10-20dbs of compression) and bass guitar where it works fine.

But for my use, the mixbus is the optimal placement for this processor.

Ease of use 4/5:

The unit gives you 5 compression ratios (1.5:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1) and 1 limit ratio and 6 time constants for both the attack (50microsec, .2, .5, 2, 5, 25ms) and release (25, 50, 100, 400, Auto1 and Auto2). The make-up gain is 2db increments from 0 10db.

Finding a sweetspot between these settings can sometimes be a little tricky and as mentioned I've pretty much defaulted to few settings that work best for me, often venturing out only to return to the same settings again.

Using the make-up gain can also be a little tricky, if you for example want to a/b with the uncompressed signal. I found finding the sweetspot with the make-up a little challenging with only 2db increments.

Besides that, it's a breeze to use, the knobs feel solid enough with just enough click in switching from setting to setting.

Features 4/5:

This unit IS boasting a lot of great features, don't get me wrong:
Dry/wet option, external sidechain, variable sc-filter), that would be all you'd need in any compressor. But seeing the market having new units that feature daw-control where you can adjust and save your settings leads me to give 4 instead of 5.

For a unit like mine that sees 9 out of every 10 mix I do, being able to recall the unit when switching between session would be amazing.

Bang for buck 5/5:
For 1800 dollars or around 1500 euro, you get a really great sounding compressor for your mixbus. It'll make your mixes come together and feel alive with even subtle usage. In that price range you would usually only get a really nice mono compressor of the same quality.

I love my unit, it makes every mix I put through it better, and the only time it's not on there is when I don't need compression.