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Calrec compressors - info needed?
Old 14th May 2003
  #1
Gear Nut
 
madrigal's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Calrec compressors - info needed?

I've spotted a pair of calrec 1656 compressors for sale at a pretty good price, but can't find any info on this model, and was hoping some of you guys might be a little bit more familiar with them. I've used an 1161 pre before, and loved it, so are the compressors of similar quality? Has anyone used them before, and what did you think of em - similar to neve/API compressors? Do you have any technical specs, liek attack/release times, ratios etc?

I know that's quite a barrage of wuestions, but I figured this is one of the few places where they might stand a chance of being answered!

Cheers

madrigal

PS: if it helps with the evaluation, I'll be mainly using them for some basic limiting during tracking (I record to digital) and for some more characterful/extreme stuff while mixing.
Old 15th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Calrec 1656 compressor is similar to the one found in the UA8000 "Polar" desk - but with a different VCA, a DBX2150 in stead of an Allison Research TA-101.

I haven't worked with the 1656, but worked a lot with the UA-8000: The compressors are VERY subtle - very good for controlling levels, but almost unusable as "effect" compression. You simply don't hear it working.

Rumours say that Leif Mases of Maselec worked with Calrec on this design - and soundwise they're quite alike.

Just a word of warning: The 1656, as well as the UA8000 dynamic, contain an epoxy-potted component known as "blue secret" for controlling some sidechain timing. If this part burns out - and they sometimes do - it cannot be replaced, as Calrec don't support it anymore..

Jakob Erland
Gyraf Audio
Old 15th May 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ouch, you never know what you're walking in to do you?
I've heard similar warnings about Cadac consoles.
They are supposed to sound fantastic, but if that obsolete chip goes you're stuffed.
Old 15th May 2003
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by gyraf


Just a word of warning: The 1656, as well as the UA8000 dynamic, contain an epoxy-potted component known as "blue secret" for controlling some sidechain timing. If this part burns out - and they sometimes do - it cannot be replaced, as Calrec don't support it anymore..
Yeah, but most good techs tell stories about gear with 'secret' parts, and having to chip off the epoxy to replace what's inside; Some Massenburg pieces had epoxied parts, too.
Old 15th May 2003
  #5
Gear Nut
 
madrigal's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dave and gyraf, thanks for the info. I've also been on to Calrec, who're going to send me out the technical specs/circuit diagram for this unit (free of charge!! Talk about fantastic service...)
Apparently this compressor is the one used in the DL1656 console, the succesor to the M series, which featured the 1161 pre/EQ. I think it's worthwhile taking a look at/listen to anyway, but thanks for the word of warning about the "blue secret". The only thing worse than the expense of vintage gear is the expense of non-functioning vintage gear...

Thanks again
Old 19th October 2005 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
help me

hi

i 'll buy dl1656 on ebay but without audio adaptor . do u have the diagram to "transform" it with xlr connection. sorry for my english.
cheers
klooz
Old 3rd January 2006 | Show parent
  #7
8070
Guest
I know this is quite late on this topic...but from the sounds of it...like jakob and a few others have mentioned...the calrec comps are designed to compress WITHOUT all the compression artifacts found in a more characterful compressor such as an 1176. This would make the calrecs excellent for vocals, guitars, and bass...where slamming effects generally aren't wanted. I tend to think of crushing or slamming...as a reserved measure to accentuate attack on drum subs....

Thats just me tho...anyone used a calrec as a drum sub?


D.
Old 4th January 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
gyraf's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Desol,

You're absolutely right - the Calrec compressors are far too neutral sounding to be used for "effect-compression" where you want to hear the artefacts. Our in-board compressors are mainly activated on vocals, akk.guitar, and pianos. Even for Bass, they're too neutral..

Jakob E.
Old 10th March 2009
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Arny's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by madrigal ➑️
I've spotted a pair of calrec 1656 compressors for sale at a pretty good price, but can't find any info on this model, and was hoping some of you guys might be a little bit more familiar with them. I've used an 1161 pre before, and loved it, so are the compressors of similar quality? Has anyone used them before, and what did you think of em - similar to neve/API compressors? Do you have any technical specs, liek attack/release times, ratios etc?

I know that's quite a barrage of wuestions, but I figured this is one of the few places where they might stand a chance of being answered!
Cheers

madrigal
Sorry I might be to late, I have a 48 Channel Calrec M Series with 10 of these I love them I have all the Service Info if required

PS: if it helps with the evaluation, I'll be mainly using them for some basic limiting during tracking (I record to digital) and for some more characterful/extreme stuff while mixing.
Sorry I might be to late, I have a 48 Channel Calrec M Series with 10 of these I love them I have all the Service Info if required

Best Regards,

Tony.
Tony Arnold (Director)
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