The Dramastic Audio Obsidian is a VCA feed-forward stereo compressor inspired by the SSL bus compressor, featuring Jensen transformers.

This is the Rolls-Royce of SSL-style compressors! Originally designed around the G-series compressor which sits in the centre of large format SSL consoles, this box steps things up a notch from the original design, adding additional features and better overall sound. While looking humble and understated, there's a reason these boxes cost £3000 new - the components inside are of the utmost quality.

The compressor has custom-wound transformer inputs and outputs and stepped controls for perfect stereo imaging and recall. As well as the typical SSL ratio settings (2:1, 4:1 and 10:1) the Obsidian also adds 8:1, 12:1 and a 'nuke' setting (symbolised with a skull and crossbones!) for doing some serious crushing. The attack and release times follow suit, with both familiar settings and additional possibilities, including a 'lo-fi' release setting which is incredible quick and deliberately induces distortion. The make-up gain is one of the sweetest-sounding analogue gain stages I've ever heard and I often deliberately run a lower level signal into the box to make use of it.

Finally, the box also incorporates an optional high-pass filter in the sidechain to allow the compressor to pass heavy bass elements without compressing them hard. I find I have this in at all times when compressing entire songs as it gives the box a smoother, more transparent tone that allows my kicks and bass lines to come through in full force.

If you want SSL-style compression but a wider sound stage, deeper bass and additional glue, there isn't a better box on the planet. Incredible across a whole mix, the drum buss, pianos, acoustic guitars and many others.

Analog Input
Connectors: XLR balanced (pin 2 hot)
Impedance: 10k ohms (transformer balanced)
Analog Output
Connectors: XLR balanced (pin 2 hot)
Max Output: +24dbu (above 0dbu with 1% THD )
+23.7dbu (onset of clipping)
Noise: < -86dbu in bypass
< -80dbu with compressor IN
THD: .005% @ 1kHz
IMD: In Bypass: .054%
With compressor IN and no compression: .069%
Freq. Response: 10Hz to 50kHz
@ 10Hz – 0.04db
@ 20kHz – 0.36db
Crosstalk: Measured referenced to +20dbu
-109db @ 1kHz
-73db @ 20kHz
Side-Chain Input
Connectors: XLR balanced (pin 2 hot)
Impedance: >20k ohms (electronically balanced)
HPF: 125Hz 12db/octave
General
Finish: Black Painted
Chassis: 2 piece cold rolled steel
Chassis Ground: 5-way binding post
Dimensions: 19” x 1.75” x 8”
Weight: 8 lbs 5oz
AC Power: 115 / 230 VAC 50 – 60Hz
3 Pin IEC power connector

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