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Old 5th October 2012
Lives for gear
I had the non-toggle version first as I found a good deal on one in very good condition. A year or so later I found a decent deal on a toggle version and picked it up. So for a little while I had both and was very curious to see how big a difference there was. I only compared them on bass guitar since that is where the 501 rep lies and found there was not a huge difference between them really. Not enough to justify spending significantly more on the toggle version. I ended up selling the non-toggle mainly because of the myth of the toggle's being more desirable and because I had also picked up some other comps. To be honest I have not tried either 501 on other sources so I should see how it fares on snare, elec guitar, etc. Be that as it may, shortly after I sold the non-toggle I noticed that if I tried to engage the limiter section on the toggle 501 that I kept the output would cut out completely - no sound if I engaged the limiter - lol.

Anyway, I am a bit of a simpleton when it comes to compressors and I find the parameters as marked on the 501's attack and release to be baffling. You have to use your ears, experiment and get used to them. Although for many sources, if you want just basic compression, its hard to get better settings manually than the 'Auto' setting.