Ashly CL50 Compressor


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Ashly is an American company specialising in signal processing & amplification. They have a substantial list of historic products like the CL50. The vintage products in general, and the black-face versions in particular, are now quite sought-after

The CL50 is a single-channel VCA compressor in conventional format with attack & release controls and variable ratio. It’s a feisty compressor, easily audible in operation and quite coloured. It responds well to changes in both threshold & ratio, allowing subtle compression, vicious limiting and all points in-between. It’s a peak-detecting compressor with no over-easy or RMS detector functions. The sidechain has send & return jacks so it’s easy to patch in a sidechain equaliser. There is provision for stereo linking

The Gain control sets threshold. Output Level control is active even in bypass. The rest of the controls (Ratio, Attack, Release) are conventional. Gain reduction is shown on an LED meter which has a useful yellow “Threshold” indicator to show the point at which the unit tips over into compression

“Absolutely kick-ass compressor‚Ķ”

“I think they sound fantastic on drums and bass. I’ll use them on guitar sometimes, depending”

“I have two sc-50’s, a black face and a blue face… and they’re actually pretty freaking awesome!”

“The SC-50 is the same circuit as the CL-50 . . . at least the black face ones are”

“All Ashly gear = built like tanks”

The CL50 will appeal to those wanting a compressor with a bit of edge. I found it worked very well on vocals, adding grit and character without killing the dynamics. I suspect it’ll be just as good on guitars and drums. It’s not invisible and neutral, like the Symetrix 525 or Cloud CX335, but more of an effect compressor like the Furman LC-X¬†or dbx 160X

The CL50 is in the typical tough 1U steel case used by American manufacturers. Internal construction is simple with a single PCB & through-hole components so it will be repairable in the future. Power transformer is 110 Volt-only but can easily be replaced by a 220 Volt one. Mains input is 110 Volts AC with a rear-panel fuseholder, captive 3-core cable and American power plug

The unit has a balanced input & unbalanced output on jack sockets. Stereo link and sidechain input & output (labelled "Detector Send & Return") are also on jacks

For standard 19" rack

Owners manual

Youtube demo (of modified unit)


In excellent used condition. Tested & working 100%

Vintage gear All vintage gear will have case scratches and marks. It may also have, or develop, noisy pots and switches. I make my descriptions as accurate as possible and note any existing defects. I test each item before shipping but please understand that vintage gear will not be perfect and adjust your expectations accordingly