DRAWMER 1968 Stereo Vacuum Tube Compressor
This unit comes from a customer’s home studio. It’s in great shape and it originally sold for $2150.00 New.
It’s two linkable or fully independent JFET compressors, each with a tube output stage. Each channel has its own metering, “Big” switch and patchable sidechain. The meters can display gain reduction, output level, or output level with a +10 dB scaling for when you’ve got the output cranked. The meters have an LED system that makes them glow red as you approach the maximum operating level. NOTE: It’s hard to tell from the picture, but when you first turn the unit it on, both meters are a different color. One is Yellow and one is Orange. However, after a few minutes or when the compressor receives signal, both meters LEDS default to the same color and act as expected. In an no way does it affect the compressor. It’s just a visual aid. But, I want to be completely transparent in describing the unit. The “Big” switch is an internal side chain that stops the low frequency from being sent to the compressor’s detector so that the low end does not trigger gain reduction. The result is more low end comes through for a bigger sound. The patchable sidechain allows you to to send an EQ’d version of your signal to the detector for frequency dependent gain reduction, such as de-essing.
The threshold and output controls are pretty standard. The attack and release controls are detented with six positions each. The attack times are 2 ms, 8 ms, 15 ms, 25 ms 30 ms and 50 ms. The first three release times are fixed, the second three are program dependent, meaning the release rate will vary within the release envelope – releasing quickly a few dB at first and then slower as it gets back towards 0 DB of gain reduction. The release times are 100 ms, 500 ms, 1 second, 200 ms-2 seconds, 500 ms-5 seconds, and 1 second to 10 seconds. I like having the detented controls. The attack times are all on the faster side, but they are well chosen.