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Buzz Audio DBC-20

The Buzz Audio DBC-20 is a new take on a vintage technique utilizing a gain reduction element of silicon diodes in a balanced bridge arrangement. The diode bridge is coupled via a "radio steel" laminated transformer of our own design. This element produces a desirable compression character that can best be described as tight, colourful and rich with harmonics. In the style of compressors from the 60's, the DBC-20 incorporates a self-adjusting ratio whereby the compression ratio is progressively increased with deepening gain reduction. This feature allows for the control of very dynamic signals (such as vocals) in a seamless fashion. The DBC does sound very vintage but does not carry the vintage price tag!

The DBC-20 is available with a grey (silver) or black face plate.

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€1,495.00 (incl. VAT)

€1,495.00 excl. VAT

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The DBC-20 audio path uses our Class A discrete amplifier design in a balanced configuration from input to output. Operation of the compressor is easy with six switched attack and release times, a big knob for the amount of compression and an output gain control. The compressor can be switched to a Soft mode whereby dynamic peaks are partially retained. Another switch introduces a high pass filter to the side chain to lower compression sensitivity at low frequencies. These features make the DBC an ideal tool for manipulating drum sounds and samples. Check out the audio clips.

Each channel has a bypass switch and the side chain of the two channels can be linked for stereo operation. The large knobs with pointers allow for accurate resetting of the compressor and the fast response 15 LED bar graph meter accurately displays gain reduction.

• Discrete Class-A transistor amplifiers
• Transformer saturation
• Progressive ratio control
• Hard and soft modes
• Seamless compression

• Gain - variable pot that adds gain at the output to correct for lost level with 15dB range.
• Compression - variable pot that sets the amount of compression.
• Attack - rotary switch with 6 settings, FAST (less than 0.5mS)-5mS-10mS-15mS-25mS-50mS.
• Release - rotary switch with 6 recovery time settings, 50mS-100mS-200mS-400mS-600mS and AUTO.
• Hard/Soft - adds dynamics in soft mode for times when light compression is required.
• Flat/Bass - reduces compression sensitivity at low frequencies.
• Bypass/Engage - hard wire unit bypass to compare compressed and uncompressed signals.

There is also a handy power On/Off switch and the Link A/B which provides for stereo tracking to prevent image shift when used on the mix buss.

• Levels:
Maximum Input Level; +27dBu
Maximum Output Level; +27dBu
• Noise: -80dBu (measured A Weighted with 10dB gain applied).
• Gain: variable 0dB to +15dB
• Frequency Response: 6Hz to 400kHz measured no gain reduction.
• Harmonic Distortion
At +10dBu input level, no gain reduction; 0.28% @ 100Hz, 0.25% @ 1kHz, 0.15% @ 10kHz
With 10dB gain reduction (Release set to 400mS); 1.5% @ 100Hz, 0.5% @ 1kHz, 0.5% @ 10kHz
• Standard Operating Level: +4dBu
• Size; 1 Unit 19" rack mount, (482Wx44Hx250D)
• Power requirements: 230V/115V selectable, IEC detachable power cable.

Specifications are typical of a production unit and are subject to change without notice. 0dBu reference = 0.775 volts RMS.

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Product Details

Data sheet

Diode Bridge Compressor
Tracking & Mixing
Dual Mono
Solid State
Inout transformer(s)
Output transformer(s)
1 U
Overall rating
1 Review
Ease of use
Quality/price ratio
So, I've had my DBC for a few days now, and I gotta say, this thing is amazing! First use was on drum overheads, and you can really shape the sound with the DBC. Fast attack is really quick, totally smears off the transients, great for a parallel compression type of usage, or you can do slow attack, fast release for an SSL-kinda thing. I ended up somewhere in between, with the 10ms attack and 100ms release for adding a little "smack" to the front of the snare hits, while also bringing up the tone and ambience. Whatever you want it to do, it always sounded great. Piano on another mix was the next use, and here it also sounded great. The HPF switch helps reduce pumping, and again, the attack control and the hard/soft ratio switch enables you to go from mild control to full-on pumping for a Beatles-esque compression swell effect. The flexibility does mean, however, that you can set it wrong and get pumping, or un-natural sounding compression. This is not a set-and-forget box. Final use on today's mix was for double-tracked acoustics, using the L and R channels independently. Fast attack and auto release with the side chain HPF switched in, doing just a couple of dB's of gain reduction just helped to tame the peaks and increase the sustain of the acoustics, adding a slight sheen and sense of authority to the sound, making them sound much more expensive than they were! I haven't tried it on the mix buss yet, but I have no doubt that it will be great. I have used the MA2.2 and the ARC before, but this is my first Buzz purchase, and I can see myself using the DBC-20 on something on every mix I do. It's that good!
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