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Buzz Audio DBC20 (or M) vs RND 535
Old 12th October 2017
  #1
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🎧 10 years
Buzz Audio DBC20 (or M) vs RND 535

With the DBC 20 costing about $600 dlls less than two 535, i wonder if the RND are worth the difference. I tried to find specs for the 535 to no avail...


actual users out there, care to elaborate ?


Old 12th October 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I would also like to know this answer
Old 12th October 2017
  #3
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🎧 5 years
Seems the flexibility of the 535 might justify the price difference. Also considering the 535 is stepped might warrant a comparison to the Buzz Dbc 20 Mastering version which cost more than a stereo pair of 535's. Anywho...I have one in route as we speak and I have a good feeling about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hansest ➡️
With the DBC 20 costing about $600 dlls less than two 535, i wonder if the RND are worth the difference. I tried to find specs for the 535 to no avail...


actual users out there, care to elaborate ?


Old 13th October 2017 | Show parent
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twenty Staxx ➡️
Seems the flexibility of the 535 might justify the price difference. Also considering the 535 is stepped might warrant a comparison to the Buzz Dbc 20 Mastering version which cost more than a stereo pair of 535's. Anywho...I have one in route as we speak and I have a good feeling about it.
that's what i thought after writing the post... Also the parallel knob and all the attack / release options...
Old 13th October 2017
  #5
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but a lot of my curiosity is about the sound comparison of both units...
Old 13th October 2017
  #6
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🎧 15 years
If the 535 sounds anything like the compressor in the Shelford channel (which it's supposed to) then it's a winner. That compressor in the Shelford channel blew me away on vocals. Just everything I wanted and more in a vocal compressor.
Old 13th October 2017 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 5 years
I am glad to hear this as that's how I plan to use it as well!



Quote:
Originally Posted by EleKtriKaz ➡️
If the 535 sounds anything like the compressor in the Shelford channel (which it's supposed to) then it's a winner. That compressor in the Shelford channel blew me away on vocals. Just everything I wanted and more in a vocal compressor.
Old 30th November 2017
  #8
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bump
Old 30th November 2017
  #9
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106 Reviews written
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You have to take into account that Tim Farrant builds great gear!

And from what I can gather, the DBC20 is underpriced by at least that much.

My 2 cents...

Roger
Old 2nd December 2017
  #10
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Tim Farrant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FYI, once you use the DBC-20 you will discover (as I did), it does not need a blend control. The adaptive ratio of the DBC-20 means you can just tickle it with no nasties. The Hard/Soft switch also introduces a measured amount of blend.
Cheers!
Tim.
Old 3rd December 2017
  #11
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🎧 5 years
I am nit familiar with the other compressor, but my dbc20 ican say will likely never leave my rig... for what the dbc20 is good at i have yet to try a better compressor
Old 6th October 2019
  #12
Gear Head
 
Bump. This is relevant in 2019. From what I have gathered:

- The DBC-20 can be used as a compression stage during mastering but also capable of thicker, vintage tones as it is driven harder. The adaptive ratio (harder input past threshold = higher ratio), discrete build components, specs (Max Output Level +27dBu), and flexibility in mixing and mastering appear to be the main advantages of the DBC-20.

- A pair of 535s would probably be too much color for compression during mastering in many cases. In general, the 535 is the more unabashedly colored piece. The vintage tone, RND input and output transformers, ability to parallel process, and more local build for most users seem like the main advantages of the 535.

Does anyone with any first hand experience with either of the units want to chime in? On paper it's the DBC-20 for me.
Old 16th May 2020
  #13
Old 16th May 2020
  #14
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No experience with the Neve here, but, damn, I like the DBC-20!
Old 16th May 2020 | Show parent
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 ➡️
No experience with the Neve here, but, damn, I like the DBC-20!
Cool, what application you mainly using it for? Have other hw comps to compare it to?
Old 16th May 2020 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam ➡️
Cool, what application you mainly using it for? Have other hw comps to compare it to?
Bass insert, tracking vocals, and acoustic guitar. I want another for a stereo group.

I have an API 2500, Smart C-1, Chandler LTD-2's, API 525, Foote Control Systems P3EX, and some Overstayer FET's going right now.
Old 16th May 2020 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam ➡️
Cool, what application you mainly using it for? Have other hw comps to compare it to?
I like it on the insert of the bass channel, and for tracking bass, acoustic guitar, and vocals. I would love another for a group buss.

I have an API 2500, which is more mid present and colorful, I have a Foote FCS P3EX that is more transparent. I have Chandler LTD-2's that are more colorful, and I have some Overstayer FETs that get used on drums a lot, more grit.
Old 7th June 2020 | Show parent
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 ➡️
I like it on the insert of the bass channel, and for tracking bass, acoustic guitar, and vocals. I would love another for a group buss.

I have an API 2500, which is more mid present and colorful, I have a Foote FCS P3EX that is more transparent. I have Chandler LTD-2's that are more colorful, and I have some Overstayer FETs that get used on drums a lot, more grit.
Hey just saw these for whatever reason but thanks for your input!
Old 23rd August 2020 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 ➡️
Bass insert, tracking vocals, and acoustic guitar. I want another for a stereo group.

I have an API 2500, Smart C-1, Chandler LTD-2's, API 525, Foote Control Systems P3EX, and some Overstayer FET's going right now.
On bass or vocals i would recommend buzzaudio essence + maybe dbc-20 patched behind it

I got my dbc-20 some weeks ago. And it's "more" than i expected. The dbc-20 is good on:

- Mastering (there are some famous engineers who use it)
- Mix buss (in a ssl way without narrowing the image)
- Drums parallel / drum buss (this is where i like it the most: Very fast and punchy)
- Cymbal stuff: Overheads, Rooms
- Electric guitars
- Snares (often wins against my Distressor EL8-X)

The sound of the unit is the custom build transformer by buzzaudio which has a nice shining top end. It's unique. That's why i like it on cymbals especially. And that's why a lot of mastering guys like it. The tone alone is worth it.

It's very versatile too: Especially the hard and soft is so different as if you would have two different compressors!
The sidechain is a sort of intelligence knob: No need for a mix knob. No pumping / artifacts.

I did not regret to buy it. Many hardware has a brown or dark tone. This has it's own.
Old 28th August 2020
  #20
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🎧 10 years
i now sold my 535 pair and got a 54f50. Pure creme! still would love to get a dbc20 here to try, but we've got no buzz audio distributor here :(

Last edited by HansMues; 29th August 2020 at 10:53 AM..
Old 28th August 2020
  #21
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
They are both excellent. Which is why the OP is contrasting the two. I would prefer the Buzz on master buss more so. Either one for tracks or sub bus will sound nice.
Old 29th August 2020 | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by HansMues ➡️
i know sold my 535 and got a 54f50. Pure creme! still would love to get a dbc20 here to try, but we've got no buzz audio distributor here :(
Well I sold my Aml. The buzzaudio is a lot more versatile in many ways. The Aml just never worked for me on 400ms release times for drums, vocals or bass. The boxtone is nice of the Aml. Many times the dbc kills my distressor. It's that good. So punchy.
Old 29th August 2020 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipnaut ➡️
Well I sold my Aml. The buzzaudio is a lot more versatile in many ways. The Aml just never worked for me on 400ms release times for drums, vocals or bass. The boxtone is nice of the Aml. Many times the dbc kills my distressor. It's that good. So punchy.
nice! but i guess we have different tastes, i never cared much for the distressor. I´m abolutely loving my AML´s. Still, i bet i would love the buzz
Old 29th August 2020
  #24
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🎧 5 years
Yes the Amls are great. I had the ez2254 and enjoyed them more than a hairball 1176 I had for a couple of months. I guess they are good on acoustic guitars and maybe slower singer songwriter stuff. The Aml had four carnhills and that made a fat sound. 😊But I do mainly rock pop and indie music. So in that territory a fast release is necessary on most tracks because everything is between 120 and 180 bpm. I often enjoy 100ms. Or on groovy stuff 200.

The dbc was the best buy so far. Everything I put through it sounds more expensive in the upper mids.
Maybe I can afford a buzzaudio soc 20 in the future. They seem to be fairly priced but still not in my range... Because I guess those are awesome too.
Old 8th September 2020 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by EleKtriKaz ➡️
If the 535 sounds anything like the compressor in the Shelford channel (which it's supposed to) then it's a winner. That compressor in the Shelford channel blew me away on vocals. Just everything I wanted and more in a vocal compressor.
One should not be confused to believe the 535 will sound on par with the Shelford channel compressor. There's a lot of circuitry within the channel strip and I believe it's high current that is in play. 500 series format though good simply doesn't have the power to perform at the same level as "some" high end rack units. That's not to say they don't sound good but it's like comparing a Retro Double Wide to the Sta-Level. It sounds great but it ain't a Sta-level.
Old 28th March 2021 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfront2K ➡️
One should not be confused to believe the 535 will sound on par with the Shelford channel compressor. There's a lot of circuitry within the channel strip and I believe it's high current that is in play. 500 series format though good simply doesn't have the power to perform at the same level as "some" high end rack units. That's not to say they don't sound good but it's like comparing a Retro Double Wide to the Sta-Level. It sounds great but it ain't a Sta-level.
You do know API consoles were built with 500 series format modules everywhere right? Theres nothing inherently power starved about the format, and todays 500 series chassis have gotten much better to where this debate is kindove settled.

RND website specifically states the 535 is the compressor section of the Shelford, and again 500 series chassis' today have proven plenty capable.

Double-wide vs STA level analogy doesn't apply as those are literally different designs. Not same design different power supply.

Perhaps if the 535's design was altered from the rack mount to fit into 500 series size then I could see a sonic difference but given the size it occupies on the shelford channel it doesn't look like they would need to make much of a change to fit it.
Old 28th March 2021 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfront2K ➡️
500 series format though good simply doesn't have the power to perform at the same level as "some" high end rack units.
I do not think that this is true.

Maybe if you look at tube gear: For sure - tubes need more Power. And you have more space for more options - especially for stereo devices.

But 500-gear has a lot of advantages! It's cheaper, it also sounds very good. It's good enough. Get some API, CAPI or RND gear stuff and you get a professional sound for half of the price of 19" rack gear. That's a deal.

This is how i do it with eq's and preamps. After that I add 19" compressor devices.

When you compare a IGS ONE LA 500 to a Stam Audio Sa2a 19" you'll see that there is not much difference, when you put these filese into the mix to compare You could even not say if it has been a plugin
Old 28th March 2021 | Show parent
  #28
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kev1n28 ➡️
Perhaps if the 535's design was altered from the rack mount to fit into 500 series size then I could see a sonic difference but given the size it occupies on the shelford channel it doesn't look like they would need to make much of a change to fit it.
right, the sound comes through the transformers and some parts that aren't that big i guess. The 535 could be the same components in the shelford channel strip.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #29
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfront2K ➡️
One should not be confused to believe the 535 will sound on par with the Shelford channel compressor. There's a lot of circuitry within the channel strip and I believe it's high current that is in play. 500 series format though good simply doesn't have the power to perform at the same level as "some" high end rack units. That's not to say they don't sound good but it's like comparing a Retro Double Wide to the Sta-Level. It sounds great but it ain't a Sta-level.
It´s true. 500 has space, current, voltage and heat dissipation constraints. But they CAN be overcome. There are designers that state same specs of their rack pieces. There are some that don't. Usually headroom is the main issue with 500 series, but NOT always. Having said that, i had the 535 for about a year, and had some Shelfords in my studio (though not at the same time) and got the impression that the compressor in the Shelford Channel do not sound the same as them.
Old 3 days ago
  #30
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flipnaut's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
SOC-20 and DBC-20

I have now had the "DBC-20" and the "SOC-20" compressor for a few months.

Both devices are great. But the SOC-20 has completely convinced me and is definitely the best compressor I have ever had and heard. I use the "SOC" on bass drum and snare drum signals and find the perfect sound every time for Indie Rock and Rock.
Sonically, the SOC-20 reminds me of a Dual CL1b. It is easy to find a good setting for the right release. I often end up with 200 to 400ms and 25 or 10ms attack for the important drum signals. The thick "Lundahl" transformers give a great colouration. And there is the sidechain, which always works and fits. I would also prefer this compressor to Vari Mu compressors because it has character and adds something that is never too much and just fits.

The "DBC-20" is much more neutral and unobtrusive. I like it on overheads, vocals and bass. On the overheads it has that angel dust and gives cymbals a chance to breathe. Always sounds good and evens out the levels. The comp is also faster than the opto for my liking. For me, the DBC-20 is an unobtrusive sound maker, which is why it can be used well in mastering. With both compressors you have very different devices that are and sound very different.

I will now give Sound Sculptor another chance with an 1176. At least it has a Cinemag in it, whose sound I like very much in the Electrodyne 511.
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