Monday, June 13, 2011

Neve 2254 limiter/compressor


The much sought after Neve 2254 limiter/Compressor is the predecessor to the Neve 33609 which is one of my favorite compressors. It was designed by David Rees in the late 60's (who now designs for Phoenix Audio). The top pic is of a 2254E which has a variable compressor and limiter attack. The next pic is of a 2254A which has a variable threshold for the compressor but fixed limiter attack. The third pic is of the 2254D which is is the same as the 2254A except it has additional release settings for both the compressor and limiter section. There's also an additional 10:1 ratio that the others don't have. The bottom pic is of the original 2254 which has a fixed compressor threshold and switched limiter attack. They all sound amazing but the 2254E is more in demand because of the variable attack feature.
The 2254 works well on vocals, bass, drums, guitar, and even brass and string sections. It excels at getting sounds to stand out in a mix.


  • input:10K ohm bridging earth-free
  • output: Source impedance 80 ohms, balanced and earth-free
  • maximum output +26dbm into 600ohms
  • gain:0db (preset)
  • noise:-75dbm in the band 20Hz to 20kHz for the linear and Limit modes rising in the compression mode with an increase in 'MAKE UP GAIN' to a maximum of -60dbm at 6:1 ratio
  • frequency Response: Flat, within 1db, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • distortion: Typical results measured at +8db out and with 800ms recovery time are: residual, linear mode-0.05%. Compression mode, 6:1 ratio-0.2%
  • limiting mode@20db input -0.4%
  • limiter: ratio: greater than 100:1
  • level: +8dbm within 0.5db on preset, adjustable from +4dbm to +12dbm in steps of 0.5dbm
  • attack Time: 5mS
  • recovery Time: 100mS, 200mS, 800mS, and 'Auto' 50mS/5 sec.
  • compressor:
  • ratio: 1.5:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1.
  • threshold: 0dbm, within 0.5db on preset, adjustable from-20dbm, to +10dbm in 2db steps.
  • attack time:5ms
  • recovery time: 400mS, 800mS, 1500mS/5 sec
  • gain:0db below compression threshold, adjustable 'Gain make up' available from 0db to +20db
  • meter: switched to indicated either gain control up to 16db or signal level from -12db to +12db. Action approximates that of a P.P.M.
You might get lucky and find the 2254 for sale on the internet. Vintage King sometimes has them for sale.
They also have the Neve 2254R which is the one rack space reissue of the 2254 for $2950.

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