Aphex Compellor 320A #9


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Aphex carved a niche in the signal processing market, first with the Aural Exciter, then with a series of superb levelling / compressor units including the Compellor. These are super-transparent units with no discernible “sound” and they use proprietary Aphex algorithms to determine attack & release times and to hold gain reduction when required. These were popular in American broadcast setups and many sat in racks for ten years or more controlling levels to the transmitter

“The Compellor isnt really a great channel insert. It will tame a little but its far better on a buss or whole mix that needs a bit of glue and smoothing”

“On mixes featuring acoustic instruments I often use the Compellor as a parallel comp. Thickens up the sound very nicely”

“I use them all the time for acoustic instruments (acoustic guitar, mandolin etc) and also on choirs. handy on grouped BGV’s”

Compellor controls are not like those on an ordinary compressor. The Drive and Output controls are detented and offer a way to alter the amount of processing whilst keeping the output at the same level. Process Balance moves the system between Levelling and Compression and there’s a slow / fast rate switch to alter the time constants. The two processes can be stereo linked. There’s a stereo enhancer and predictably, from a broadcast-oriented company like Aphex, it has perfect mono compatibility and there are no odd phase changes going on

In a studio setting the Compellor is confusing at first – it’s often difficult to hear it in operation but a quick flick of the process in/out switches makes you realise what it’s doing. It’s not a “grabby” unit that imposes its own sound on the signal, it’s more of a “glue” compressor, better suited to buss compression than drum tracks. On a bluesy song with a very sparse intro, I found the Compellor would pull things together nicely without killing everything when the drums kicked in. So it’s not an instant attitude box like a Valley People Dynamite, nor punchy like an SSL buss compressor, but it’s a tool to glue things together. I’d like to try it in series with an SSL compressor

The Compellor 320A differs from earlier versions, including the Compellor 300, by having more comprehensive stereo linking controls (unlink, link levelling, link levelling & compression) and in having a switchable output limiter. The compression ratio of the 320A is also lower than that of the 300

Tested & working 100%. Photos show the Compellor for sale

Inputs and outputs are balanced on XLRs. There is a rotary switch per-channel to set the operating level (-10, +4 and +8), an RJ11 connector for remote switching and a switchable 600 Ohm terminator. Mains is switchable 110 / 220 Volts and uses a standard IEC mains plug. I can supply a mains lead if required

Standard 19" 1U device suitable for all 19" racks. 220-240 Volt & standard IEC power socket

Product info


Owner's manual





In excellent, used condition with minimal marks or scratches. Tested & working 100%. Photos show the Compellor for sale