Barge Concepts RC-1 Compressor


Barge Concepts

The RC-1 is a somewhat different take on the Ross grey compressor. The popularity of this circuit just goes on and on, and has spawned several quality clones over the years. The Ross Compressor was a direct descendant of the MXR Dynacomp, adding only modestly in the form of better filtering of internal voltages and other very minor changes. The Ross circuit is otherwise identical to the MXR and virtually all of the other clones on the market. The Barge Concepts RC-1 is designed to be a sonic and electrical equivalent of the Ross and some of it's more popular clones, with a few enhancements we're sure you'll appreciate.

  1. We built the RC-1 into a BB-size box, with the in, out, and DC jacks mounted on the North end of the box. Arranged in this way, the RC-1 actually takes up less space than a B-size box with side-mounted jacks, even if you use right angle plugs. That leaves room for 3 pots on the top with spacing that's large enough for real human fingers, and it still leaves a bit of extra space on your board.
  2. The normal Ross, MXR, or clone typically provides two rotary controls; Level (a straight-ahead volume control) and Sustain (really a gain control for the opamp). The RC-1 adds to this pair an additional control to vary the decay time of the compression filter. We use a detented pot, making it easy to set the unit to the original Ross decay value, as well as changing it to longer or shorter values. The values chosen provide lots of room for experimentation, and the detents are an easy way to return to favorite settings.
  3. A 4-layer circuit board inside the unit provides the ultimate in power distribution to the compressor circuitry. Two of the layers are devoted entirely to getting power and ground to the components, resulting in lower noise and ideal performance. The RC-1 components have been chosen to operate safely at 18V, so you can use virtually any standard external voltage supply with no fear of damage. There is a change in the performance of the unit with higher voltages; not necessarily better or worse, just different. Our impression is that, all being equal, a higher operating voltage gives what appears to be a few more notches of sustain, with no negative effects.
  4. The RC-1b Custom mod. We are now offering a custom modification that improves the low end response of the RC-1 for use with basses and baritone guitars - all the way down to 30HZ. This custom mod is available at no extra charge - just let us know when you place your order. We can also install a minitoggle switch, to switch between the stock and custom versions. The switchable version of the mod is an additional $15.

Inside the box we use our customary high quality components, jacks, and switches. Sealed tantalum, film, and mica capacitors, along with 1% metal film resistors and low noise transistors assure reliable and accurate low noise and low distortion performance. Switchcraft jacks and Alpha pots lend a solid feel to the unit. The E grade of the amplifier (CA3080E) is used and true bypass with pop suppression is also provided, as on all Barge Concepts products. The extra interior space and 4-layer circuit board allow a very clean PC board and wiring layout, with no evidence of things having been smashed into place.

So that's it; less space wasted on your board, identical circuit topology, same reliable high quality parts, variable decay settings, low noise circuit design, and a Barge Concepts price that makes it a lot easier to add a sturdy, industry-standard, high quality compressor to your setup.

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