Older Symetrix Compressors...which is what?

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Analogeezer, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Analogeezer

    Analogeezer Guest

    I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    "yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".

    I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.

    Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    few...but I'm also seeing the:

    CL-100

    CL-150

    525

    I actually helped a friend configure his PA back in 1992, he wound up
    buying a 525, IIRC we were going to get a 501 and the salesguy said
    they were no longer made.

    I've got some old sales catalogs that list the 501 and the CL-150B,
    the main difference seems to be the 501 has a peak limiter, something
    I don't really need.

    I don't know if there is a CL-150 and CL-150B (B for balanced
    perhaps), or what the difference between the two is.

    I take it the CL-100 was an older version of the CL-150 but I'm kinda
    hazy on that.

    I do know that the 525 was a stereo "auto comp", no attack or release
    controls, they were program dependent...not so sure if I'd like that.

    To further confuse things, I read here in old threads on RAP that
    there are three different versions of the 501 VCA, the early models
    having a Valley People VCA and later a DBX VCA.

    So does anybody have stored around in their brain's useless
    information what the deal is on these different models? I went to the
    Symetrix site and they have an online manual for the 525 but there is
    no mention of the 501, CL-100 or CL-150.

    Ulysses? How about you? Last I heard you had about one of every
    compressor that Symetrix ever made...surely you have taken them apart
    and carefully catalogued all the parts numbers <g>

    I'm not staying awake at night worrying about this but if anybody
    remembers the diff between a CL-100/150 and a 501 (other than the peak
    limiter) that would be a place to start.

    Thanks,

    Analogeezer
  2. In article <bfb37ea9.0308271840.4276b99c@posting.google.com>,
    Analogeezer <analogeezer@aerosolkings.com> wrote:

    >I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    >like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    >almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    >"yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".
    >
    >I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.
    >
    >Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    >one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    >few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >
    >CL-100
    >
    >CL-150
    >
    >525


    There's also a 425, which seems a lot like two 501's in a singe box.


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  3. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    >In article <bfb37ea9.0308271840.4276b99c@posting.google.com>,
    >Analogeezer <analogeezer@aerosolkings.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    >>one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    >>few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >>
    >>CL-100
    >>
    >>CL-150
    >>
    >>525


    I've got two of the CL-100's racked and I still use them. I believe they use
    the dbx VCA. They're linkable via TRS jacks and you can daisy chain the power
    using only one stout wart. They require a pretty healthy input gain, otherwise
    they can get noisy on you.

    Threshold, ratio, attack, release and makeup gain controls. They also have
    side-chains and a bypass switch. I have a manual around here somewhere that I
    could scan if you need it.

    I use it on instruments mostly, bass, guitar cabinets, etc. For me, it seems
    to be more of a leveler than controlling peaks. Kinda "overeasy" if you know
    what I mean. Not neutral sounding in a good way.

    Some of the seniors on here will probably have a different opinion.

    Wayne
  4. >
    >I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    >like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    >almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    >"yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".
    >
    >I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.
    >
    >Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    >one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    >few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >
    >CL-100
    >
    >CL-150
    >
    >525
    >
    >I actually helped a friend configure his PA back in 1992, he wound up
    >buying a 525, IIRC we were going to get a 501 and the salesguy said
    >they were no longer made.
    >
    >I've got some old sales catalogs that list the 501 and the CL-150B,
    >the main difference seems to be the 501 has a peak limiter, something
    >I don't really need.
    >
    >I don't know if there is a CL-150 and CL-150B (B for balanced
    >perhaps), or what the difference between the two is.
    >
    >I take it the CL-100 was an older version of the CL-150 but I'm kinda
    >hazy on that.
    >
    >I do know that the 525 was a stereo "auto comp", no attack or release
    >controls, they were program dependent...not so sure if I'd like that.
    >
    >To further confuse things, I read here in old threads on RAP that
    >there are three different versions of the 501 VCA, the early models
    >having a Valley People VCA and later a DBX VCA.
    >
    >So does anybody have stored around in their brain's useless
    >information what the deal is on these different models?


    There were three variants, the first had a blackface and is wired out of
    polarity with the two grayface models. Easily fixed by switching two
    wires.Don't know what VCA

    The first grayface has a toggle switch for power and used Valley VCA's

    The second had a push button for powerand dbx VCA's.

    Even when setup as master/slave, the 501 is not a true stereo compressor as it
    only uses the master for detection. Generally this has not beeen a problem, but
    now I use a Compellor for stereo compressing.

    I like the peak limiters, if you don't need that functio, just shut it off.

    I use the 501 a lot for bass and snare.

    Kick drum, I prefer the dbx 160 VU.
    Richard H. Kuschel
    "I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty
  5. Rob Reedijk

    Rob Reedijk Guest

    Ahhhh, but there were two pushbutton versions. One was square and one
    was round. The most recent one (round or square?) had a DBX VCA. Other
    one (second to most recent?) had a Valley People VCA, but it was different
    to the Valley People VCA in the toggel switch modelAhhhh, but there were two pushbutton versions. One was square and one
    was round. The most recent one (round or square?) had a DBX VCA. Other
    one (second to most recent?) had a Valley People VCA, but it was different
    to the Valley People VCA in the toggel switch model. I compared the
    two and the earlier toggle switch one was better, to my ears.


    Rob R.

    Richard Kuschel <rickpv8945@aol.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    >>like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    >>almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    >>"yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".
    >>
    >>I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.
    >>
    >>Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    >>one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    >>few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >>
    >>CL-100
    >>
    >>CL-150
    >>
    >>525
    >>
    >>I actually helped a friend configure his PA back in 1992, he wound up
    >>buying a 525, IIRC we were going to get a 501 and the salesguy said
    >>they were no longer made.
    >>
    >>I've got some old sales catalogs that list the 501 and the CL-150B,
    >>the main difference seems to be the 501 has a peak limiter, something
    >>I don't really need.
    >>
    >>I don't know if there is a CL-150 and CL-150B (B for balanced
    >>perhaps), or what the difference between the two is.
    >>
    >>I take it the CL-100 was an older version of the CL-150 but I'm kinda
    >>hazy on that.
    >>
    >>I do know that the 525 was a stereo "auto comp", no attack or release
    >>controls, they were program dependent...not so sure if I'd like that.
    >>
    >>To further confuse things, I read here in old threads on RAP that
    >>there are three different versions of the 501 VCA, the early models
    >>having a Valley People VCA and later a DBX VCA.
    >>
    >>So does anybody have stored around in their brain's useless
    >>information what the deal is on these different models?


    > There were three variants, the first had a blackface and is wired out of
    > polarity with the two grayface models. Easily fixed by switching two
    > wires.Don't know what VCA


    > The first grayface has a toggle switch for power and used Valley VCA's


    > The second had a push button for powerand dbx VCA's.


    > Even when setup as master/slave, the 501 is not a true stereo compressor as it
    > only uses the master for detection. Generally this has not beeen a problem, but
    > now I use a Compellor for stereo compressing.


    > I like the peak limiters, if you don't need that functio, just shut it off.


    > I use the 501 a lot for bass and snare.


    > Kick drum, I prefer the dbx 160 VU.
    > Richard H. Kuschel
    > "I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty
  6. R. Foote

    R. Foote Guest

    Then there is the Symetrix 425, a stereo unit. Pretty nice. I think it
    uses DBX vca's if I remember correctly... Got one in the garage, maybe
    I'll open it up and see if it can be upgraded with current ic's.
  7. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Wayne <ybstudios@aol.com> wrote:
    >
    >I've got two of the CL-100's racked and I still use them. I believe they use
    >the dbx VCA. They're linkable via TRS jacks and you can daisy chain the power
    >using only one stout wart. They require a pretty healthy input gain, otherwise
    >they can get noisy on you.


    So do I, but I have upgraded the op-amps in mine, and also I think reduced
    the value of the coupling cap to the control network so that low end does
    trigger the VCA as easily.

    I don't remember the difference between the CL-100 and the CL-150, but they
    were pretty similar.

    >I use it on instruments mostly, bass, guitar cabinets, etc. For me, it seems
    >to be more of a leveler than controlling peaks. Kinda "overeasy" if you know
    >what I mean. Not neutral sounding in a good way.


    Definitely. These were all intended for broadcast applications, where AGC
    stuff is often needed, so they can do that kind of thing very well. Very
    soft knee. As soft as an Altec.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  8. Rob Reedijk <reedijk@hera.med.utoronto.ca> wrote in message news:<bil415$he4$1@news1.chem.utoronto.ca>...
    , but there were two pushbutton versions. One was square and one
    > was round. The most recent one (round or square?) had a DBX VCA. Other
    > one (second to most recent?) had a Valley People VCA, but it was different
    > to the Valley People VCA in the toggel switch model. I compared the
    > two and the earlier toggle switch one was better, to my ears.
    >
    >
    > Rob R.


    And if I'm not mistaken each of these different versions were all
    available with a custom ordered transformer balanced input so now we
    have double the possibilites for the different on/off switch/button
    and VCA versions...
  9. nmm

    nmm Guest

    On Fri, Aug 29, 2003 1:36 am, ThePaulThomas
    <mailto:thepaulthomas@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >Rob Reedijk <reedijk@hera.med.utoronto.ca> wrote in message news:<
    >bil415$he4$1@news1.chem.utoronto.ca>...
    >, but there were two pushbutton versions. One was square and one
    >> was round. The most recent one (round or square?) had a DBX VCA. Other
    >> one (second to most recent?) had a Valley People VCA, but it was

    >different
    >> to the Valley People VCA in the toggel switch model. I compared the
    >> two and the earlier toggle switch one was better, to my ears.
    >>
    >>
    >> Rob R.

    >
    > And if I'm not mistaken each of these different versions were all
    >available with a custom ordered transformer balanced input so now we
    >have double the possibilites for the different on/off switch/button
    >and VCA versions...
    >


    Are these the 'higher end ones"? I have a few of their cheapies the CL-150

    they are noisey, but easy to use, and compress OK. I didn't stop using
    them until i got some UREIs.
  10. We do have a 525, CL-150, and CL-100 but they're all three on loand to
    a friend I haven't talked to in a while. I did look inside all of
    them, but I'm not sure I remember everything. I don't recall seeing
    any DBX VCAs in any of these three units, but maybe I recall seeing
    some of those green Valley People VCAs.

    The 525 is a stereo unit with noise gates. I don't remember it being
    very memorable. I always wanted to get rid of it so we could say we
    didn't own ANY noise gates, but the only time we ever used it was when
    we needed some noise gates. Whatever.

    The CL-100 and CL-150 were fairly similar, with the CL-100 being
    obviously older. I thought it looked cooler than the CL-150 which
    looks like a low-budget 501. One of them, or maybe both, had a Jensen
    output transformer. Neither of them have enough LEDs in the LED gain
    reduction meter.

    I ought to borrow them back and remind myself why I'm not using them
    myself.

    On a completely unrelated note, I'm a fan of the SX206 and SX208
    compressors. These are half-rack jobs, much much newer, and they use
    the DBX/THAT 8-pin SIP VCA modules (2151, I think). The SX206 does
    EVERYTHING (comp/exp/gate/duck/slave) but not simultaneously. The
    SX208 is a pretty nifty stereo mixbus comp/lim that's handy to have
    around. Both could be easily upgraded and tend to go for peanuts on
    eBay.

    ulysses


    In article <bfb37ea9.0308271840.4276b99c@posting.google.com>,
    Analogeezer <analogeezer@aerosolkings.com> wrote:

    > I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    > like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    > almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    > "yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".
    >
    > I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.
    >
    > Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    > one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    > few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >
    > CL-100
    >
    > CL-150
    >
    > 525
    >
    > I actually helped a friend configure his PA back in 1992, he wound up
    > buying a 525, IIRC we were going to get a 501 and the salesguy said
    > they were no longer made.
    >
    > I've got some old sales catalogs that list the 501 and the CL-150B,
    > the main difference seems to be the 501 has a peak limiter, something
    > I don't really need.
    >
    > I don't know if there is a CL-150 and CL-150B (B for balanced
    > perhaps), or what the difference between the two is.
    >
    > I take it the CL-100 was an older version of the CL-150 but I'm kinda
    > hazy on that.
    >
    > I do know that the 525 was a stereo "auto comp", no attack or release
    > controls, they were program dependent...not so sure if I'd like that.
    >
    > To further confuse things, I read here in old threads on RAP that
    > there are three different versions of the 501 VCA, the early models
    > having a Valley People VCA and later a DBX VCA.
    >
    > So does anybody have stored around in their brain's useless
    > information what the deal is on these different models? I went to the
    > Symetrix site and they have an online manual for the 525 but there is
    > no mention of the 501, CL-100 or CL-150.
    >
    > Ulysses? How about you? Last I heard you had about one of every
    > compressor that Symetrix ever made...surely you have taken them apart
    > and carefully catalogued all the parts numbers <g>
    >
    > I'm not staying awake at night worrying about this but if anybody
    > remembers the diff between a CL-100/150 and a 501 (other than the peak
    > limiter) that would be a place to start.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Analogeezer
  11. Wayne <ybstudios@aol.com> wrote:

    > I've got two of the CL-100's racked and I still use them. I believe
    > they use the dbx VCA. They're linkable via TRS jacks and you can
    > daisy chain the power using only one stout wart. They require a
    > pretty healthy input gain, otherwise they can get noisy on you.
    >
    > Some of the seniors on here will probably have a different opinion.


    I'm no senior, but I could have sworn our CL-100 has a built-in power
    supply with a captive cable. I'll have to look into it.

    ulysses
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    >Wayne <ybstudios@aol.com> wrote:
    >
    >> I've got two of the CL-100's racked and I still use them. I believe
    >> they use the dbx VCA. They're linkable via TRS jacks and you can
    >> daisy chain the power using only one stout wart. They require a
    >> pretty healthy input gain, otherwise they can get noisy on you.
    >>
    >> Some of the seniors on here will probably have a different opinion.

    >
    >I'm no senior, but I could have sworn our CL-100 has a built-in power
    >supply with a captive cable. I'll have to look into it.
    >
    >ulysses
    >
    >


    It probably does. After putting my glasses back on, I realized the CL-100 is
    an Ashly not Symetrix. Anyway, my CL-100's are using an OEM wart supply, 18v
    ct 600ma on a 6 pin telephone J plug. It also has the push-button bypass
    switch.

    Sorry,

    Wayne
  13. Analogeezer

    Analogeezer Guest

    analogeezer@aerosolkings.com (Analogeezer) wrote in message news:<bfb37ea9.0308271840.4276b99c@posting.google.com>...
    > I've got an old Symetrix 501, one of the toggle power switch models. I
    > like the thing a lot, although in a fit of dumbass back in 1992 I
    > almost sold it to a friend of mine for $125...he declined saying
    > "yeahhhhh I want a stereo unit".
    >
    > I'm glad he backed out and bought a DBX 166 or whatever.
    >
    > Anyway I started thinking that given how cheap they are, getting a 2nd
    > one would be cool, so I start looking around and come across a
    > few...but I'm also seeing the:
    >
    > CL-100
    >
    > CL-150
    >
    > 525
    >


    <SNIP>

    OK guys, how about yet another variant/mutant? The 522?

    Looks sort of like a 501/CL-150 (grey front panel) but it has two
    channels without a dedicated gate section.

    There is a button for each channel that toggles between gate,
    expander, compressor, and ducker, but the 2nd channel is labeled
    "slave", not channel two like it's a stereo only unit or something.

    There's one on Fleabay at the moment, maybe I can dig up the link.

    Any thoughts or comments?

    (I did a Google and other than someone calling it a POS and a lot of
    some FS posts, there was not much info).

    Analogeezer

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