VC2 no compression

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    Keith S

    Hi Ted. I have a Joe Meek VC2 in which the compressor section has stopped working. The needle shows gain reduction but there is no audible compression even when the meter shows huge amounts of GR. Any ideas as to what’s wrong?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    Ted Fletcher

    Ha! This is a known problem!

    If the meter is showing GR then the sidechain is operating correctly and the problem is either the gain cell or one of the driver LEDs.

    The chances of a gain cell failing are very small…. the most likely cause is the failure of one of the LEDs.

    Note for others…. the compression circuit on the VC2 is not the same as on the SC2 compressors where a fairly common fault is failure of one of the LED driver transistors.

    If you would like me to look at it and fix the problem (and check the gain and linearity of the valve circuit as well) My offer on old JoeMeek gear of my design still stands; the cost is now £30 plus the cost of returning the unit. That charge holds for all ‘fixes’ unless an expensive component like a meter or a transformer is required.

    If you would like the circuit diagram of the VC2, please email me separately at and I will email it to you.

    Keith S

    Just to follow up, you were correct on the LEDs, thank you. I replaced them both and all is well with the compressor section. One year later and now I have no audio on the mic level input :(

    Ted Fletcher

    Ha!!! This is another known problem. The problem you have is almost certain to be a faulty connection inside the front panel jack socket. The ‘tip’ connection is not making contact (the ‘normally closed’ connection). Try plugging and unplugging a jack a few times, if that does not fix it you may have to bend the tip connection so that it ‘makes’ OK.

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