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Drawmer S3

Three-band stereo vacuum tube opto-compressor

Product Description

The Drawmer S3 Stereo Three Band Optical Compressor incorporates the very latest in Ivor Drawmer designs and the aim from the very beginning was to create a 'no technical compromise' circuit using only the highest grade components.  The S3 forms the basis of a 'Signature Series' and offers previously unattainable control and tonality over each of the three bands - gain control at each stage provides precise spectral balancing.   The signal path consists of high performance input/output transformers, passive components and 10 tubes (8x ECC83 and 2x 12BH7) configured as a fully balanced Class A design.  Because the LDR's (Light Dependent Resistors) in the opto-compressors are temperature sensitive the S3 houses an 'electronic oven' which provides and sustains the optimum LDR operating temperature - thereby maintaining calibration accuracy and improving performance.  A front panel LED indicates temperature status. Large scale VU meters can be switched to 'Peak' mode to show transient information.  Two further VU meter re-scale modes are available (+10dB and +20dB) to accurately display the unit's ability to output levels of up to +30dBm.  The master output section includes controls for both Gain and stereo balance to compensate for source material with a Left/Right imbalance or disproportionate processing.


  • Fully balanced signal path class A design
  • Isolation transformers in and out
  • 20 x active tube stages
  • High power 'push/pull' output stage delivering up to +30dBm
  • Variable band split points
  • Fast reacting 'oven' controlled LDRs to maintain calibration accuracy
  • Switchable 'peak' or 'VU' metering to display transients
  • Switchable +10dB or +20dB meter re-scale modes
  • 'Air' mode for high band
  • 'Big' mode for low band
  • Switchable mute and bypass on each band
  • Individual gain reduction metering on all bands
  • 2 Crossover controls, continuously variable, divides the audio into three bands
  • 3 Threshold controls, one for each band, to set the onset of compression
  • 3 attack and 3 release controls, one set for each band
  • 3 gain controls, to control make up gain for each band
  • 3 mute switches, one per band, to mute the output of that band during set up
  • 3 bypass switches, one per band, bypasses compressor on that band
  • Large illuminated easy to read meters w/switchable ballistics (VU or peak VU)
  • +10dB or +20dB scale switches on meters
  • Input or Output meter switch
  • Overall make up gain control, continuously variable
  • L/R output balance control
  • Unit bypass switch
  • Front panel power switch
  • Angled cage to enable additional cooling above unit
  • Product Specifications

    Condition New
    Tube or Solid State Tube
    Channels Dual-Channel
    Chassis 19-inch Rack-mount
    Rack Spaces 3U
    Digital I/O No
    Compression Type Optical

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