Barge Concepts RC-2 Compressor


Barge Concepts

The RC-2 is our interpretation of the Ross grey compressor. The vintage Ross circuit and sound remain as popular as ever, and have inspired several quality clones over the years. The Ross was a direct descendant of the MXR Dynacomp, changing only modestly in the form of better filtering of internal voltages and other very minor upgrades. The Ross circuit is otherwise identical to the MXR and virtually all of the other clones on the market. The Barge Concepts RC-2 is designed to be a sonic and electrical equivalent of the Ross and some of its more popular clones, with a variety of significant enhancements.

  1. We build the RC-2 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-2 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 knobs on the top with spacing that's large enough for real human fingers, plus it leaves a bit of extra space on your board.
  2. A normal Ross, MXR, or clone typically provides two rotary controls; Level (a normal volume control) and Sustain (gain control for the opamp). The RC-2 adds to these an additional control to vary the decay time of the compression control circuit. 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, silkscreened and solder-masked circuit board inside the unit (revised for v2) provides the ultimate in power distribution to the compressor circuitry. Two of the layers are devoted entirely to providing power and ground for the components, resulting in lower noise and more ideal performance. The RC-2 has been engineered to operate safely at 18V, so you can use virtually any standard external voltage supply with no fear of damage, though there is a subtle change in the performance of the unit with higher voltages. Our conclusion is that, all else being equal, a higher operating voltage gives what appears to be a few more notches of sustain, with no negative effects.
  4. The RC-2 bass response enhancement switch greatly improves the low-end response of the RC-2 compared to the Ross, Dynacomp, and other Ross clones. This is particularly important for bass and baritone guitar players, and is accomplished by reducing the output impedance of the RC-2 at the critical low end. Depending on what equipment you use, this can result in a 10dB or greater improvement in low frequency oomph. Of course we understand that there might be times when you want to sound EXACTLY like a Ross, so the internal switch allows selection of either mode. On request, and for a modest additional charge ($15), we also offer the option of a small, unobtrusive, external toggle switch so you can quickly switch modes whenever you want without having to remove the back cover.
  5. 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. Exclusive use of audio-grade film capacitors in the signal path (new in v2) further insures the integrity of the output signal, while Switchcraft jacks and Alpha pots lend a solid feel to the unit. The E grade of the amplifier (CA3080E) is used and 3PDT 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.

With less space wasted on your board, vintage Ross circuit topology and sound, top quality parts, variable decay control, low noise circuit design, and a Barge Concepts price that makes it a lot easier to add a high quality, industry-standard compressor to your setup - the RC-2 is simply the best Ross clone you can buy at any price.

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