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Daking FET II Reviews

5.0 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Hollywood, CA December 21, 2016Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Music Producer

    Creme de la Creme

    I've had the pleasure of owning and using this compressor for about 3 months now, and let me quickly outline exactly what I love about it so much.

    For all intensive purposes this is a very clean, pristine, and transparent compressor. Even under heavy use (low threshold, high ratio, fast attack, slow release, high output makeup gain) it still manages to retain a very transparent response. You almost can't hear it working whatsoever... Assuming you use the normal release options that is...

    This compressor may be transparent when using the normal release times (.5s to 1.5s), but as soon as you get into the multiple release constants, the entire tone and character of the compression goes from transparent to very colorful.

    When using the auto 33609 release settings the tone is low-mid forward, with tamed brightness. It adds warmth and fatness/weight to anything that goes through it, this setting is awesome for bass and warm guitars.

    The compex auto setting tends to be a little brighter, but scooped mids.

    The Fairchild 5 is really like a mix between the compex and the 33609, but more balanced sounding.

    Now comes the Fairchild 6, modeled to resemble the iconic 670. This is where this compressor truly shines. ANYTHING you run through this compressor with the 670's release settings gets completely colored, in a gorgeous, musical way.

    I find it really "airy" and "sweet" sounding. It doesn't remove bass response per se, but it definitely adds a bright colored tone to anything you use it on. The best part about it is the more you compress the signal in this setting, the more of that brightness it adds. Gone are the days where compressing removes high-end tone, this thing adds it.

    All in all, it's a workhouse compressor that will work on anything. Mixing vocals, guitars, general tracking, fattening up bass, even mastering. But for me the greatest use is as a peak limiter for tracking vocals with the 670 release settings to add that special sweetness. I also own a Purple 1176, and an LA-2A, but they simply cannot compete with the Daking for transparent peak limiting on vocals.

  • from Nashville September 30, 2016Music Background:
    Bassist & Sound Engineer

    Amazing Compressor

    I'll keep it short since others have hit most of the main points. This is a pro-level compressor without a doubt. However, as others have stated, this is not a character/color compressor. The combination of its FET compression and Jensen transformers makes for very clean, colorless (but not sterile) compression. In addition, this clean accuracy means that I can regularly shave 5-7db off a dynamic singer with no audible artifacts or hint that it's happening. Its automated multi-time release constants take it to a crazy level versatility. It also has such fast options for attack that I would imagine it could make a good limiter, but I've never used it for that purpose.

    In the end, I couldn't be happier with it. If you intend on compressing while tracking or re-tracking, this is great. If you have the main intention of mastering with it or generally using it on the 2-buss, consider the daking FET iii. These can be stereo linked via voltage summing which works fine, but is generally not as accurate across a stereo image as audio summing that the FET iii uses.

  • from September 25, 2014

    I love the Daking FET II

    I have two of these now. They are extremely useful around the studio: quick and easy to setup and versatile. Most importantly they have a great sound that will work on anything. Vocals, guitars, drums, 2-bus-- you name it.

    Highly recommended.

  • from Chicago, IL September 25, 2014Music Background:
    Mastering Engineer

    BUY IT!

    I purchased one of these units during a Sweetwater sale without expecting much other than another compressor to add to my arsenal. However, it only took ten minutes of running a few kick drums and snares through the unit to realize that I needed more. This compressor has one of the sexiest output transformers that I have ever heard. I own 1176's, Distressors, a Vari-Mu, 2500, Titans, etc. I find myself constantly reaching for the FET II as opposed to my other units now. This compressor is extremely transparent (I'm talking walk into a glass door clean.) It is extremely fast as well with a 250Ás attack time .. but that's not all. The 33609 auto release setting on the mix buss sounds like Kate Upton whispering sweet dreams into your ears! I swear that I can write for days. I highly advise anyone reading this to buy one and I promise that anything you run through it will turn into a unicorn and fly out of your speakers.

    Daking FET II = 10/10

  • from van nuys, ca. November 12, 2011Music Background:
    Producer/engineer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist

    I have one, ordering another. nuff said

    I have one, ordering another one. nuff said.

  • from Atlanta, GA November 10, 2009Music Background:
    Music business anomaly

    Absolutely superb

    I own two of these, I got them about a year ago. I agree 100% with the previous reviewer, so rather than repeat what he said I'll just add a few comments.

    Two of the release settings are dual time constants, as described, and two others are triple time-constants modeled on the Fairchild 670.

    Attack time ranges between 250 microseconds (1/4 of one millisecond, to put it in perspective) and 64 milliseconds. The latter is perfect for string instruments like guitar, mando etc., allowing a note or chord to bloom before it kicks in. It's very transparent, used that way to shave off just a couple of dB.

    Earlier models had a non-illuminated VU meter, and there was no way to tell visually whether the unit was powered up or not. Mine are more recent; they have an illuminated meter. My only negative comment is that the new meters are considerably slower than the old ones. Actual peak input, output or attenuation may be several dB. more than they indicate. Maybe they're meant to be that way, I don't know. But I have other meters elsewhere in the chain, so I'd prefer illumination to accuracy anyway.

    I feel this ranks among the best compressors ever made, vintage or otherwise.

  • from Boston, MA USA October 30, 2009Music Background:
    Producer and Audio Production Professor

    Fast mastering quality compression with dual time constant release

    I currently have three of these units in my studio right now and I have had a chance to really put them through their paces.

    First, I should say that the sound quality on these units is pristine. There is very little coloration of the sound even when using heavy compression. Many compressors seem to roll off high end when they attenuate heavily, but this is not the case with the FET II. The FET II uses Jensen transformers both in and out of the unit and the pc board is extremely clean and well designed. The FET is in a socket so if it were ever to go bad, it is easy to replace.

    The FET II excels at transparent compression and is easily used on bus or program material where lesser compressors really start to sound yucky. The attack times vary between 250 micro seconds to 64 milliseconds and it's fast enough to be used effectively as a brickwall limiter if desired. The release characteristics are I think what really set the compressor apart though. You have some standard settings of .5 - 1.5 seconds, but also some really nice dual time constant releases designed to mimic some of the nicest compressors in history. The idea behind dual time constant release is this: the compressor releases a little fast at the beginning and then slows down. This effectively eliminates the "pumping and breathing" sounds associated with more abrupt release times.

    I have also been able to get some really nice vocal distortion (think Flood's production techniques) out of it by using the fastest attack and release times and a very high ratio (20:1). Then I drive a very hot signal (over +20) and get a very pretty sounding harmonic distortion very appropriate for alternative rock vocals like NIN, PJ Harvey or Smashing Pumpkins.

    I recommend using only XLR cables in and out of the unit, you can use a 1/4" input but it boosts the signal 14 dB to make up for the -10/+4 difference in operating levels between consumer and pro gear. Another odd thing is the power supply (external, but not a wall wart) uses a DB25 connector which looks pretty weird, but works perfectly well. Just make sure your intern doesn't try to run the power supply into the DB25 input on an audio interface or multitrack....Bad intern! Bad intern!

    You can link two units together to work in stereo with a 1/4" guitar cable. The sidechaining connection uses DC summing to tell the linked unit when to compress and does not send audio. The FET III does audio summing, but it's in stereo and is geared more towards working in stereo anyway.

    All of the knobs on the unit are switches so you can set two or more compressors exactly the same way and repeat your settings later on. The knobs are really heavy and feel like your really working with pro gear.

    All in all this is a great compressor with excellent transparent compression that doesn't color the sounds you are working with. You can use it to chase the waveform to create harmonic distortion with the fastest attack settings to add a little crunch to vocals, bass or drums.

    I can't recommend it more highly.

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