Valley International Dynamite Stereo Compressor / Limiter / Expander #3


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This Dynamite has been refurbished and recapped in our workshop as follows:

  • Upgraded power supply with higher-capacity Panasonic reservoir caps
  • Additional power supply decoupling caps
  • Replacement of electrolytics in the audio path with higher-value Panasonic bipolar electrolytics
  • Replacement of all non-audio electrolytics with Panasonic electrolytics

Recapping the unit has given it more clarity without diminishing the character of the Dynamite. Electrolytic capacitors have a limited lifespan so replacing them is good practice

Valley International was the final incarnation of Valley People, Valley Audio and Allison Research. The common factor in all of them was Paul Buff, a recording engineer from Southern California. Buff started his own studio, PAL, in Cucamonga where he recorded bands including The Surfaris, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Frank Zappa. After starting Allison Research Buff created the amazing Gain Brain compressor and later, at Valley People, he designed the equally extraordinary Dynamite. He also created & patented the Valley People TA-101 VCA which formed the basis of many of his designs

There are multiple versions of the Dynamite. The original Valley People Dynamite came in a 2-channel version in a beige plastic case and, later, in a 1U rack box with a black front panel and aluminium strips top & bottom. The Valley International version (in this auction) uses Buff’s TA-101 VCA. There is also a final Mk 3 version from Valley International. There is some discussion of the various version on Gearslutz – see the link below for details

The Dynamite has a huge reputation as a compressor as a drum compressor. It’s a reputation that’s well-founded – it excels at savage compression but still remains musical whilst doing it. It’s an ideal compressor for parallel compression – blending the compressed signal with the original gives the punch of the Dynamite along with the character of the original

“This is my favorite unit for gating, for squashed-with-a-sledgehammer limiting, and abusively loud sound”

“A bit hard to tame, but good for savage drum room compression”

“The dynamites sound cool on room mics, bottom snare, percussion, and various things needing squish, they are fast and tend to pull things up a bit, they sound fairly simalar, maybe the old ones are a tad more vibey…but ALL are cool. I have all three, and have resisted attempts to be parted from them…”

“When I want to slap those drums silly, the first place I reach is for a dyna-mite…. heh heh. Not a subtle compressor”

“I purchased one recently on sluts and have used it on tom group & electric guitar group… Recently it has stayed on my parallel drum group. it does something really cool in terms of smashing a kit. you can pull a lot of ambiance out of this box if you blend it just right with the rest of your kit mix”

“its a cool vibe piece if you like to smash things up”

“Yep. Not a lot of grace and subtlety to the VP dyna-mite. But it imparts a certain bigness – and has mojo in spades”

“the dyan-mite compressors are really cool, definitely adds snap to a week kick or snare, some times too much… I have also used mine on a guitar bus track”

“Never used the preamp but the compressor is spanking. Great drumsquasher!”

“we have some gain brains and they rock”

“the dynamites SPANK! Great for snares that you want brought into SUBMISSION!!!”

“Valley people ‘Transamp’ preamp modules kik ass.. pretty clean but punch like tyson!”

“the dyan-mite compressors are really cool, definitely adds snap to a weak kick or snare, some times too much… I have also used mine on a guitar bus track”

“wow. this thing is nuts. sooper fast attack. makes vocals stand up right in your face. you can make the attack of a snare inaudible”

“2 settings – smashed, and bypass”

Photos show the Dynamite for sale

VCA compressor using Valley People TA-101 VCA. Can be used as a twin-channel device - each channel has its own set of controls - but a stereo link switch links VCA action to maintain stereo image. Gain reduction is displayed on LED bargraphs

Inputs, outputs and External Inputs are balanced on jack connectors. External input allows keying of the compressor or gate. Insert jack for VCA control

This Dynamite has been cleaned, recapped & refurbished - see the top of this desciption for details. It has been tested and is working 100%. It sounds fantastic!

Standard 1U device suitable for 19" racks. 220 Volt power input is via a standard IEC socket. Supply voltage is internally switchable between 110 / 220 Volts via a jumper. UK or Euro Schuko IEC power cable supplied on request

Valley International Dynamite Manual

Valley People History

Valley People Audio Manuals

Sound on Sound Classic Compressors Review

Youtube demo

Gearslutz Dynamite Versions Discussion

TapeOp Forum Discussion


In excellent, used condition. Refurbished & recapped to a high standard. Tested & working 100%. Photos show the Dynamite for sale