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Thread: Symetrix 425 stereo compressor

  1. #1
    mrface2112 is offline Why 2K?
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    Question Symetrix 425 stereo compressor

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    Got a great price on a Symetrix 425 (stereo compressor which'll also do dual-mono). Such a good price that i bought it without doing complete and full research around here.

    Seems, though, that i didn't need to do the research b/c none really exists (other than some pdf spec sheets/manuals at symetrix's website, and one listing here for one being sold).

    Has anyone used one of these units? I'm figuring i'll use it mostly for kick/snare or maybe bass, and i figure that at worst it'll just be a different flavor. But i'd like to hear from anyone who's used one before in terms of what they used it on and what they think it excels at (and sucks at).

    and if it really sucks, i figure i can ebay it and prolly make enough to buy 2 more RNCs.


    wade

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    David Artis's Avatar
    David Artis is offline Dedicated Member
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    I used to rent one locally in Tampa years ago when I needed extra compression when I had no outboards left of my own.

    I remember it being very useful and did the job.

    Hope I got my model numbers right.
    Were all just actors in a cosmic horror film in God's private movie theater.

  3. #3
    mrface2112 is offline Why 2K?
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    thanks david. i'm hoping it'll be at least usable enough for drums (snare and kick, or maybe overheads at mixdown), but really hoping that it'll be decent for bass.

    there's a LOT of various models of symetrix comps out there.......the 425, 501, 525, and a whole list of others......it's hard to keep em straight.

    what i really hope is NOT the case is that this is like the dbx266xl which seems to be designed for guitar rigs instead of studio use......and if so, i'm sure i can make money with it on ebay.


    i guess we'll see in a couple days when it shows up! ;-)


    wade

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    chessrock is offline Banned
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    The best thing to do when looking at the older dbx and symetrix compressors is to do a little digging around and find out what VCA's these things are using. For the most part, that's what distinguishes the cheaper models from one another.

    For the most part, the symetrix stuff switched the VCA's around so much, it's almost impossible to tell what it's got in there, so quality is going to vary a great deal from unit to unit.

    For the most part, though, the 425's used the dbx VCA's, so they will have a very similar sound to the older dbx's like the 266. Sorry to break the news to you.

    What you should really be on the lookout for are the older Symetrix 501's. The distinguishing feature will be a small, silver toggle switch on the far right-hand side, as opposed to the big, ugly grey button on the later models. It's very distinguishable if the seller includes a picture.

    These models use a VCA that was adored by bassists for the most part. Reason being it was designed to react in a linear fashion across the frequency span. In other words, an open, low E and/or a drop-tuned D wouldn't automatically cause the compressor to kick in and go crazy. And you'd get a pretty even response whether you were playing on the E string . . . or popping on the G, for example. They were just very bass-friendly compressors.

    And the icing on the cake is that they were also very nice just about everything else. These were really the RNC's of their time.

  5. #5
    Jonkan is offline Senior Member
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    hey, I have an older symetrix compressor with a small silver toggle switch. Dunno what model it is though...

    I havent really used it (the fuses are all blown, must get some new ones first).

  6. #6
    mrface2112 is offline Why 2K?
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    thanks chessrock. i've been waiting for someone to come around and say just about what you did.

    honestly, though, i got the thing for $80, and i plan on using it mostly only on drums (kick/snare) and only to tame levels going to tape--so mostly as a limiter. it may do the job, but like with all things that i haven't read a thousand glowing reviews on, i don't expect to be pleased til i hear it. and if it don't like it, i don't suspect that i'll have a problem getting my $80 back out of it, ya know? and if i get more than that, well, the purchase of a couple more RNCs will be a no-brainer.

    i've heard you champion the 501 for a while now, and believe me, i DO have my eye open for one. our bassist has a 70's fender p-bass which has some "balance issues" shall we say, and boy that low e is a weeeeeeeeee bit out of control. combine that with the buzz/grounding issue it's got, and suffice it to say that i'm trying to convince him to give it to me for a week to work on, but he's young and playing pretty regularly and it's his only bass, so......so having a compressor that won't go apeshit on the low freqs will be nice.

    when it shows up (i'm hoping today), i'll pop the thing open and see what kind of VCA it's got in there and report back.


    cheers!
    wade

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    Jonkan is offline Senior Member
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    Just found out, Its an 522. Dunno if its any good.

    anyone tried one?

  8. #8
    mrface2112 is offline Why 2K?
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    well, i got it and fired it up tonight. being i bought this for drums and maybe bass, i did a little testing with kick and snare. i love what it does for a kick drum--perfect combination of smoosh, punch and thump. not thrilled with it on snare so far, but i've got more mics to try it with. :-)

    i'm really wondering what this'll do for our bassist's tone......we'll find out thursday night when he gets over here.


    wade

  9. #9
    chessrock's Avatar
    chessrock is offline Banned
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    Originally posted by Jonkan
    Just found out, Its an 522. Dunno if its any good.
    Probably better than an Alesis 3630.


  10. #10
    Serge doremi is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs up Symetrix cl-100

    I do not know if this can heip.
    I have two Symetrix CL100 compressor/Limiter
    I found that they were good on bass, kick drum.
    much better than the dbx xl 266.
    and they they are differant from a dbx 160a.
    as for bass the dbx 160a is what i'm using for the final mix.
    I recorded the bass with an Avalon VT737sp.
    When i link the two Symetrix for a general mix i was very surprise.
    Very warm . much more than the dbx 160a. and forget about the dbx xl 266,
    even with more compression it was very nice. these have the togel switch.
    and they were made in Seattle USA.are they the ones you are talking about.
    I paid $200 for the two. and I wouln't sell than at that price, more than that.
    Last edited by Serge doremi; 02-24-2008 at 19:16. Reason: mistake

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