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Trying to build a compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DaS HaaS, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. DaS HaaS

    DaS HaaS

    Feb 11, 2004
    Sunrise, Florida
    Endorsing Artist - Ampeg, Ernie Ball
    Does anyone know where I can get some schematics on how to build a compressor. Perhaps a PDF file or a webpage. I saw that there was a previous thread with a url for the info i need but it seemed to be a dead link. thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That's going to be a tough job! Are you going to etch your own circuit boards? That'd probably make it a lot easier. But a compressor is going to be complicated. Good luck!
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    For a beginner I would recommend building an Orange Squeezer, here you can get a RTS circuit board as well as diagrams and more. They also have a DynaComp and other compressors you can build here.

    FYI, I don't etch my own circuit boards, I almost always use perfboard. It's a bit messy but etching is a pain in the arse unless you're making more than one, which I seldom do.
  4. I'm actually in the process of building an orange squeezer myself. i have all the parts except the transistors (on order), and am looking at how to lay it out.

    I've only built two other things on perfboard, so i'm not sure what the best way to lay things out is. is there any trick to laying out the parts on the board that makes the wiring easier?

    would laying it out the same as the PCB on that website be a good idea or a bad idea?

    should i lay out the parts first, and then look at wiring them together? or go through the signal path and lay them out that way?

    any help is appreciated.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics

    There is a very simple design intended for bass in the musical instruments section. It doesn't look like he's selling a circuit board for this one yet, but you might double check by email. His boards are very well made, I have a few that are going into my next bass preamp.

    For something more upscale, try the Symetrix, Rane, and Ashly websites. I have seen schematics in owner's manuals for all three companies, but not for everything they make. Buying a used one of eBay or wherever is bound to cost a lot less though, if that matters to you. I got a nice old Symetrix 525 for 40 bucks, in perfect working order.

    There also used to be compressor schematics on the National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments sites. I haven't had occasion to check in on those sites any time recently though.

    Craig Anderton has at least one in one of his books too.


    Charlie Escher
  6. This is also a great DIY site:

    In addition to the Orange Squeezer they also have projects for a few other compressors...
    DOD 280
    MXR Dynacomp
    Ross Compressor

    ... as well as a bunch others.

    ~ Charlie

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