Joe Meek SC2.2 V3 Stereo Compressor (Refurbished & Recapped)


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Part of the Joe Meek range of outboard gear, the SC2.2 was designed by famed British engineer Ted Fletcher. These Joe Meek units were built in small quantities but have a big reputation

The SC range is complex and comprises many versions, updates & revisions. The SC.2 is a late, lower-cost version of the SC range and the V3 is one of the later versions

Joe Meek compressors use optical devices for gain reduction. Light Dependent Resistors (LDRs or Optos) have long been famed for their smooth response. Their drawback, when compared with FET or VCA compressors, is a relatively slow response, but the response time, and consequent smoothness, are a big part of their appeal

Other reviewers suggested Joe Meek compressors feature lots of colouration but I’ve found them to be a subtle & well-behaved with a smooth sound. They certainly have a characteristic warmth & gluey-ness but I see that very much as a plus point. They’re a great alternative to boring VCA compressors that make things sound smaller as gain reduction increases. With Joe Meek compressors the sound gets denser & more in-your-face as you use more gain reduction which is really the ultimate goal of effect compression

In contrast to VCA compressors, where changing ratios normally gives a subtle, progressive change, the Joe Meek slope control gives five very different approaches & sounds. In conjunction with the compression control, slope changes the sound massively

The SC2.2 tends towards the coloured & more characterful end of the spectrum and is capable of full-blown, pumping compression or dense, swampy glue on the mix bus. But it doesn’t have to be that pronounced – with less gain reduction the Joe Meek glues the sound together without obvious compression artifacts in a really beguiling way

It’s easy to buy VCA compressors that sound clean & open, but finding a compressor like the Joe Meek, where the character that can be dialed up & down as required, is not easy. I’m definitely a fan

If you’ve not heard one, are suspicious of green outboard gear or harbour an irrational fear of the unknown, try a Joe Meek compressor. It may not change your life – but it may make you think again about buying boring VCA compressors

Recapped & subtly modified in our workshops, this compressor sounds great!

“It is VERY coloured – in fact, that’s kind of the whole point… I liked it on clean electric guitars and the drum buss”

“I like it. But I like heavy, colored compression which the Meek can do”

“The Dark switch is a nice alternative to mess things up in a good way (guitar – drum buss)”

“I love mine on kick, parallel drum “push”, bass push, gtr sub’s, and even the occasional “2 mix” (with extreme caution!)”

“It’s colored and it looks good, it’s colored and it sounds good, you can crank it up all the way and it still sounds good, it has good-sized knobs and an uncluttered front panel, it’s well-visible and readable from the distance, it has balanced in/outs on XLRs, it’s downright cheap so you don’t have to break the bank after shelling out big bucks for your Main Compressor”

“My SC2.2 lives on the parallel compression drum buss … dark mode on, comp number 3, max compression! Adds a shedload of excitement …”

“If you want to hear a thing of beauty…put an RNC (no super nice mode) after the SC2.2 on the drum buss”

“Joemeek compression is in my opinion some of the nicest sounding, warm/dark compression out there. I truly love the sound that this unit give”

“The JoeMeek SC2 is a very cool “character” compressor; it’s almost more apparent in its timbral coloration than in its gain reduction (though it’s generally pretty overt in both”

“My usual task for it is guitar subgroups or vocals for an obvious compressor effect.

I like it. But I like heavy, colored compression (the) which the Meek can do”

 “It sounds like…….. JoeMeek. It’s a legitimate sound, a distinct family among compressors. The others are subtler, cleaner, creamier, classier, faster, sturdier, more versatile, more famous, more expensive, more prestigious……… but JoeMeek is still one of them

Oh yeah, there’s certain feelgood factor involved, too”

Opto compressor with a short signal path and electronically-balanced inputs & outputs. True bypass. 220 VAC power input on a standard IEC connector. UK or Euro power cable supplied on request
Standard 2U rackmount device

User Manual

Audiofanzine 4.3 Star Review

Sonic State review

Harmony Central Review

Big Squeeze Review

Russ Long Review

In very good used condition. Photos show the Joe Meek for sale. Refurbished & recapped in our workshops with an uprated power supply & larger bipolar caps in the audio path. Tested & working 100%

Vintage Gear All vintage gear will have case scratches and marks. It may also have or develop noisy pots and switches, and backup batteries may fail. I make my descriptions as accurate as possible but please understand that vintage gear will not be perfect and adjust your expectations accordingly