MPN #SOC-20    
Buzz Audio SOC-20


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SOC-20 is a mid side audio compressor. A precision optical compressor optimized for the stereo buss with features not found on any other LDR compressor manufactured today.

Audio path quality
The main signal path of the SOC-20 compressor (including the mid/side processor) is made using our proprietary BE41 discrete class A amplifier with a Lundahl LL1517 transformer at the output. A special low impedance power supply design is used to enhance the sound quality of the BE41 amplifiers. The overall combination provides a sound character that is generally described by our users as "desireable"!

Mid-side processing power
We have incorporated a mid-side (or sum and difference) encoder and decoder into the SOC-20. When set to M/S mode, the stereo input is divided into signals that are common to left and right (mid) and signals that are not (side). The divided signals are sent to each channel of the SOC-20 then recombined at the output allowing you to adjust the dynamics of the stereo image.

Side chain flexibility
At the flick of a switch, a high pass filter reduces the compressor sensitivity to low frequencies for more bass punch when used on program material. We have also included a fully balanced side chain insert point so you can add additional equalisation to the compressor characteristic or "key" the compressor with another source to create those pumping effects. The monitor function allows you to hear what is returning into the insert point and the mid or side signal when in that mode.

Control genius
There are 5 compressor attack settings and 6 release settings that cover a wide range of response possibilties. In addition, our intelligent auto modes allow for true "set and forget" operation. The 5 ratio settings allow for gentle levelling or strong compression up to full on squash.
DRIVE - variable pot that sets the amount of compression.
OUTPUT dB - variable pot that adds gain at the output to correct for lost level.
ATTACK - rotary switch with 1mS, 10mS, 25mS, 50mS selections and the excellent AUTO mode.
RATIO - rotary switch with 2:1, 4:1, 6:1, 10:1 and 20:1 selections - all soft knee characteristic.
RELEASE - rotary switch with 100mS, 200mS, 400mS, 800mS 1600mS selections and our superb AUTO mode.
BYPASS - hard wire unit bypass to compare compressed and uncompressed signals.
METER - switches the VU meter between input/output levels or amount of compression.
S/C HPF - inserts a 170Hz high pass filter into the side chain for added bass punch.
S/C INSERT - engage the external side chain insert point and monitor the side chain signal.
LINK A/B - joins the side chain of each channel for stereo operation with "soft" tracking.

There is also a locking toggle to select STEREO or MID-SIDE mode and a handy POWER on/off switch.
Maximum Input Level: +32dBu
Maximum Output Level: +27dBu
Maximum Input/Output Level: S/C Insert +22dBu
Noise: -95dBu Stereo Mode, -90dBu M/S Mode (measured with no make up gain and A Weighted).
Gain: variable from 0dB to +15dB
Frequency Response: 3Hz to 120kHz measured with +10dB gain and no gain reduction.
Harmonic Distortion: No gain reduction 0.08% @ 100Hz, 0.025% @ 1kHz, 0.02% @ 10kHz, 0.05% @ 100kHz
Harmonic Distortion: With 20dB gain reduction (Attack AUTO, Release 16) 0.1% @ 100Hz, 0.06% @ 1kHz, 0.04% @ 10kHz
Harmonic Distortion: With 20dB gain reduction (Attack AUTO, Release AUTO) 2% @ 100Hz
Standard Operating Level: +4dBu = 0 VU meter display. Size 2 Unit 19" rack mount, (482Wx88Hx250D).
Power requirements: 230V/115V selectable, IEC detachable power cable.
Cristobal Tapia
January 27, 2023
BUZZ SOC-20 outstanding opto
I bought 2 Soc-20's after hearing some impressive demos on Youtube. It's by far the most useful optical compressor out there imo, compared to LA2's & LA3's (some of my most used optos), the Soc-20 allows me much deeper compression without choking the sound and it can be further tweaked for the perfect response, so the applications are universal, it makes anything sound better. Read more
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