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Chameleon Labs 7720 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 16 customer reviews
  • from Charlotte, NC May 27, 2015Music Background:
    Mixer, Tracking Engineer, Producer

    Killer compressor killer price

    I was looking for an outboard compressor after summing and wanted to go the VCA route. Being very familiar with analog consoles I was set on the SSL buss comp or the Obsidian but since I wasn't in a rush I'd grab this and see what it could do for a quarter of the price of the big boys.

    Long story short it works VERY well. It instantly gave me the punch and glue I was looking for. It's definitely not colored but not sterile either. Well designed peice of gear.

    I don't usually change the attack and release settings, I only use it on the 2 buss (I keep the attack slow and release fast), so I haven't really fooled with the auto release setting that everyone says isn't quite right. The only thing I don't care for is the meter. It doesn't have the smooth movement that the SSL has, it's much more light and jumpy. I tend to not pay it any mind and use my ears.

    Basically, this compressor works. Buy it. It's only a few bucks more than certain plugins.
    If it's not good enough it's probably in the mix not the gear.

  • from seattle February 7, 2015Music Background:
    beat production

    VERY nice stereo compressor!

    Clear and transparent compression. The makeup gain is quite sweet as well. Overall, this is the best stereo comp for the money that I know of. By far the best bang for your buck if you need clean, quiet stereo compression. When cranking the makeup gain all the way up, the signal gets very crunchy, but does not clip. You can squash and crunch or be much more subtle with it and this thing is awesome either way.

  • from Twin Falls,ID January 18, 2015Music Background:
    musician, mixing engineer

    Worth it!

    My first analog compressor! Wow, this blows any compressor plug in I have. Running it with mogami cables.Worth every dollar!!

  • from MD, USA December 4, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer / Producer

    Big Sound, Heavy Mix

    This thing rocks. I am just blown away and for the price it is absolutely high end. This beats SSL hands down. Forget the hype about expensive bus compressors, your ears will tell you the difference. Thanks to Mike Picotte and Katie Stockman I am sticking this compressor to my mix bus.

    Walta Blackson

  • from CA November 25, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer

    Love it!

    Nice, clean, compressor. The built in HPF is the key to getting punch and glue across your mix. It also works well for tracking. Metering and knobs are solid, and fun to use. It's been a really great edition to my rack. Call Sweetwater, they're the best!

  • from Orange County, California, USA December 6, 2013Music Background:
    composer, signed artist, producer, arranger

    A pleasant surprise

    I recently picked up the 7720 to add to my ever growing rack mount.
    I have been producing and composing in the box for years, and have never used outboard compression....I was a little apprehensive about the price to quality ratio, but was instantly proven wrong.
    I sum from a UFX, to a D Box into the 7720, then print with UAD2 for the final touches to the master. This is better than any plugin. I'm grateful to Nick LaMendola for helping me with this selection. It's nice to work with a talented engineer, vs the usual "sales person" Sweetwater rocks!

  • from Baltimore, MD March 2, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    SSL Bus Clone

    I have an SSL X-Desk, and I wanted an SSL bus compressor to insert on the mix bus. I went back and forth on a ssl clone kit or this guy. I went with this guy. This is a great sounding compressor at a great price point. I have it wired into my X-Desk on the mix bus and I use it all the time. It sounds just like an SSL VCA compressor! Overall, Im very pleased with it!

  • from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada September 16, 2012Music Background:
    Mixing/Recording Engineer/ Producer

    For this price you can't go wrong with it

    Great piece of equipment, solid built, really works nice for mix bus. I would write and write but all i can say is that it works fantastic .Better than any plugin on master bus. $500 grab it right now

  • from Puerto Rico August 23, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer at WAPA TV and Pro Musician.

    A GLUE SOUND OF A BIG CONSOLE FOR A FEW BUCKS

    I was trying to buy a big name stuff for glue my mix and for mastering. But is too difficult expend this kind of money if you can't earn this quantity of money. I eared and read about The Chameleon Labs 7720. It's sound like an equipment that cost three times or more. It's so easy to use and the internal side-chain is wonderful. My preferred setting is internal side-chain at 200hertz, attack .30ms, release in auto mode, ratio 4:1, threshold until gain reduction is -3db. Makeup gain by ear. It's a real glue for your mix and mastering.

  • from Nashville, TN May 19, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician / Producer

    Fantastic Bus Compressor

    The 7720 is a great sounding compressor. It can be very subtle on the 2 mix, and with only 2-3 db of gain reduction you hardly know it's there, until you bypass the unit - it definately imparts a pleasing sonic character, even with very little gain reduction. The 1.5:1 ratio is fantastic, and along with the HPF makes this unit super versatile. Pretty hard to go wrong in this price range really. This would make an ideal FOH compressor for live work too. Also this sounds amazing on a drum bus. Individual tracks (vocals, bass, guitars) can sound pretty good through this thing too - but really its strength is in stereo program material.

    The metering kinda sucks (hard to see at an angle) and I would have liked a 3:1 ratio (and a parallel mix control?) but at this price nothing can touch it.

  • from Tacoma, WA October 1, 2012Music Background:
    2

    Kicking 2 Bus compressor for the money!

    If you love the analog compression sound of the great recordings from the 80s, 90,s and any other era and want to add that to your studio without breaking the bank, get this thing. The HPF side chain filter is awesome.

  • from United States September 30, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great 2 bus and drum bus compressor

    I got this compressor from Sweetwater a couple of months ago and am really enjoying it. I had been previously been using SSL Bus compressor plugins and I must say that I prefer this by a mile. I've tried level matching mixes run through the plugs and then through the 7720 with the same parameters and the 7720 wins every time. The high end is far better through the 7720/ Additionaly the internal sidechain to allow you to keep low frequencies from making the compressor hit is a great extra feature that is not available on the original hardware or software SSL pieces.

    This is a nice transparent comp for Drum busses too.

    Very easy to work with and dial in quickly and not a lot more expensive than some of the high end plug in emulations of the SSL mixbus compressor

  • from Westminster, MD March 18, 2015Music Background:
    Engineer/Musician

    Drum & Two Buss Duties!

    After using the real deal I knew I wanted a compressor with similar characteristics so after some research I found this and couldn't be more pleased. It is a great compressor for stereo sources and using the left only it is a great mono comp for kick! I tend to use this compressor on drum buss in the mixing phase with the Waves SSL Comp on the mix buss then I bypass the Waves, print the mix, and use the 7720 again on mixbuss for mastering the projects.

    The HPF is a great value but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I tend to leave it around 60 or just off. If you're trying to tame the high end the HPF is great and can be brought higher but I feel you lose that SSL sound if you take it to high on the mix buss. After all the original doesn't have one!

    If you're after that sound I'd definitely recommend this compressor. I am looking forward to getting the Zen Pro mod on it in the near future to push it that much closer to the original!

  • from St. Louis, MO August 11, 2012Music Background:
    Producer/Engineer/Composer

    Strong Value

    What a great value and overall great compressor this is. I've A/B'd it with my UAD SSL plug on the 2 buss, and it gives you a much better stereo picture and depth. It allowed you to hear the placement of the instruments much better on the stereo field.

    The hi pass filter is also incredibly valuable. I hate that SSL comps trigger with heavy kicks, as I do a lot of rock mixing. The filter really helps you tailor your low end to exactly what you want.

    Does this sound exactly like a 4k comp, not exactly. Is it a great VCA unit in its own right? Absolutely. Don't let the price point fool you. This is a bargain and would still be a great unit at $800.

  • from Nashville, TN June 15, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Insrumentalist

    Solid Comp, Great Value

    We have the 7720 in my studio, and I've been using it for 6 months now. It's obviously styled off the SSL bus compressor, and the sound is comparable (to the plug-in. I don't own a hardware SSL comp). Responsive controls, and a clear sound (doesn't suck much treble out when you hit it hard). I wouldn't call it warm or "gooey," just clear and mostly transparent.

    I used it on drum overheads until we got an ART PRO VLA II (which has a killer bite), and now I use it on rooms, just crushing them. I've used it on acoustic and electric a few times, where its clarity is appreciated. I'd say it's not a big "mojo" piece like a LA-2A or something, just a solid comp. I use it on my master bus, with about 3dB of reduction, and it's fantastic. Passes the mix through with great clarity, and even with the needle jumping around, you can't hear artifacts of the compressor working. My main negative comment is that it gets "fizzy"--harsh high end crunch--when you hit it hard and crank the gain up.
    Overall, an excellent clean compressor, fantastic value for the money, but if you're looking for warm mojo, look elsewhere. Big ups to Chameleon Labs for an incredible price!

  • from FL, USA December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Singer, songwriter, Engineer

    Good Buss Compressor

    This is an absolute no brainer but if you want to make this compressor sing like it's big brother there is a mod (google it) that can be performed to make this stand tall with the original this is cloned after.

    What I like:
    SSL sound...punchy and clear but sings when pushed
    HPF is really helpful for not letting the bottom trigger compressor

    What I do not like:
    Not to much for the price but if I were nitpicking I had a screw come loose in mine and also the caps were leaking when unit was modded (only a couple of years old.)

    I actually sent my RNP MBP Portico II back after comparing the modded CL 7720 to it so its a pretty good unit and absolutely fabulous when modded

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