DB54 is a diode bridge compressor originally inspired by classic Neve 2254 compressor/limiter.

2254 was created by David Rees and Rupert Neve in 1969 as a continuation of 2252 и 2253 compressors, which also became the standard compressor unit inside their famous 80 Series consoles.
2254 was unique in using diode bridge as compression element. This bridge relies on the dynamic resistance of the diodes changing with current provided by the control voltage. Up to now not many compressors using this method of compression with a such sound character.
DB54 is based on 2254 E revision. During explore of original we’ve decided to get best from vintage, save mojo approach as possible, extract some not useful function and add some additional options multiplied by modern approach. And here is what we’ve got:
– recreated original BA cards – 185, 191 and 283, which can save some vintage “mojo”
– feat it into standard 1U enclosure
– limiter function was deleted, compressor only
– all wires between BA cards was replaced with pcb boards
– additional variable attack times (original has fixed)
– additional faster release times
– relay bypass
The sound of 2254 is obtained from the combination of three transformers in the audio path, class-A 1272 line amp running at 60dB gain and level control element added just after the input transformer. The 60dB gain comes from the -40dB loss in front of the diode bridge (as it can’t get hot signal) and another 20dB for the gain make up.
diode bridge compressor sound is often described as creamy, warm or round. It is great for gentle compression on mono sources or for thickening and punching subgroups, such as drums.
Might mention that 2254 was Michael Jackson’s favorite compressor to use on his vocals. We hope that DB54 became favorite compressor on your voice:) Orignally DB54 designed as diy (do it yourself) kit. Same principle as Ikea furniture. Until december 2018 sold more then 20 kits. If you read this article means that DB54 still available as a kit. Soon we will make it available only as finished unit. Build and descuss thread: