SC2 1.07

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    Hi Ted,

    I’ve had this SC2 for some years now and was just curious if you could tell me anything about its history.

    It’s a 1.07 with the output knob at the back.

    The front panel is not beveled, so I take it it’s not a super early model.

    The user manual refers to it as a version 1.05, whereas the rear panel is labeled 1.07 – but I’m guessing that’s just because the manual hadn’t been updated at the time it shipped.

    In particular I’m curious if you have an opinion as to any sound differences between these 1.07 models and the earlier 1.05s without a gain knob? Or is it your expectation that they’d sound the same?

    BTW this SC2 was owned by a famous production duo before I bought it from them, so it may have made it onto some very popular albums and soundtracks from the late 90s. One never knows…

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    Ted Fletcher

    We only made the very early V1.05 with the bevelled front panel for a few months; it became obvious that the cost of the panel with its milled edges and the ‘coachwork’ paint finish were not really necessary….. the main thing was the sound!

    There was no difference between the design and performance of the 1.05 and the 1.07, I don’t clearly remember but the change was probably some small layout change on the PC board.

    The gain control on the back was put there because lots of users wanted an output control and I didn’t want to change the appearance of the front! In hindsight that was fairly dumb, but I still think appearance is important.

    Technically, the SC2 compressor adds to the compressed sound by dynamically adding harmonics during the time it takes to control the volume level. These changes are of extremely short duration and not noticeable, but have a profound effect on the ‘feel’ of the sound. Sounds complicated but in reality, it’s simple, the behaviour of the controlling electronics happens to emulate effects that our brains like; the ‘optical’ compression circuits are much nicer sounding than any other analogue compression circuit, and far superiour of course to any digital system no matter how carefully programmed!


    Hi Ted!

    I had a later version a couple of years ago with the dark mode. You actually helped me out and send me some original parts for it and I am truly grateful for it. You are truly one of kind in the audio world.

    Sadly I had to sell it 2 years ago to pay rent doe to falling sick.

    But I’m better now and back in the recording game. But I always missed the old drum devil. :)

    I have now been offered a SC2 1.07 but really liked what the dark mode could do guitar busses and rock drums.

    I read on the forum that the dark mode was a way of altering the timing shape of the release. Could perhaps tell me more about this? Also remember that in my manual there was a writing about an unusualtime curve when the compression was released.

    Also wounder if would be possible for me to add an extra PCB and/or changes to the main pcb to retrofit a dark mode switch on the 1.07 or other wise alter the sound more in the dark mode I really liked.

    I also read a post by Alan Hyatt on gearslotz that your reason for adding the dark mode switch was a done to get the was to get it closer to the sound of the earlier version of your compressor. Is he right in this statement Ted? If so if there where other alternation on the version 1.07 you would have done in hindsight compared to your first versions?

    Also there are some rumours circulating on gearslutz that the first version of your compressor had an output transformer similar to your original preamp. Is this true and if so what brand and model where they? Curious to perhaps add some for extra flavour.

    Kindest regards Pierre


    Hi again Ted.

    I ended up buying the sc2 1.07 for that I Think is a crazy good price, about 340€. So now I waiting it to arrive!

    So when it arrive I’ll probably have more questions for you about it then.

    But I was wondering right away on how the the output knob was implemented. Is there just a dual gang pot that are added after the output stage to the signal path?

    Is so if I would like to get the sound of the 1.05 I could leave the knob all the way and use the input knob to control the overall gain of the unit?

    Is the dark mode just a way to make the 2.2 to sound more like the 1.05-1.07? :)

    Ted Fletcher

    The output control was simply a ganged pot inserted immediately before the balanced output stage. The pot had absolutely no influence on the sound of the compressor.

    The ‘dark’ switch I introduced on the suggestion of an engineer in a London studio; he said that the later SC2 V2 sounded ‘lighter’ than the original V1.05 and 1.07, so I had a look at the timings around the release control and introduced a change that could switch in the exact characteristic of the earlier versions…. but the difference is extremely small and not noticeable on most music material. I have repeated the changes in the new TFPRO538 stereo compressor, this one also has a ‘dark’ switch. The main difference is an extended release time and a slightly ‘heavy’ effect.

    But the main characteristic of the sound of all these compressors is the use of a batch of opto devices that I bought back in 1988. I still have a good quantity left and while I changed to a more modern (and much faster acting) type for the P38EX, I have gone back to the original opto device for all new compressors including the TFPRO538 and also the new P38EX Mk2 that will be ready in October or November this year (2019).

    Compressors are extraordinarily complex things!! 😯 :)

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