Summit DCL-200 Stereo Compressor


In stock


Summit is a boutique pro-audio manufacturer based in Westlake Village, California. Founded by Michael Papp and Dave Hill – later of Crane Song – their first product was the TLA-100 compressor. Thirty years later, the TLA-100 is still in production but has been joined by a small range of beautifully-crafted compressors, EQs and preamps
Summit uses a hybrid approach to their products, mixing solid-state active circuitry with valve gain stages to produce a modern sound with the warmth of valve gear. It’s quite a trick to pull off successfully, but one that Summit excels at

Writing in in Sound on Sound, Hugh Robjohns said:

“The sound of this compressor is a well-balanced blend of benign valve warmth, with gentle harmonic overtones, but remaining bright, clear and quite modern. This unit seems to enjoy being driven hard, and certainly its character shines through most clearly when used in this way. However, even when pushed, the soft-knee transition ensures that the compression is never that obvious: appropriate attack and release times can always be found to ensure it doesn’t pump, like so many compressors do when hammered. Equally, if it’s used to apply only a very gentle squashing of a few decibels, the sound is quite sublime — warm and full, smooth and delightfully controlled”

“On vocals, the DCL200 is fabulous, controlling dynamics supremely well, while also fattening and warming the voice in a very musical and flattering way: I can see why so many producers and engineers rate this box so highly”

The DCL-200 is ideally suited to bus compression. It’s a two-channel unit, with separate controls for each channel, but the Link control keeps gain reduction consistent across the two channels to keep the stereo image stable. In Link mode, Threshold, Slope, Attack and Release are dictated by the upper set of controls whilst gain & metering are adjustable for each channel

The DCL-200 is a soft-knee compressor and reacts in a program-dependent way. Slope determines the compression ratio which is variable from 1:1 to 7:1. Ratio is also program and level-dependent. Attack time is variable from 0.1 mS to 100 mS. Release time is variable from 35 mS to 10 seconds and is also program-dependent. It’s capable of faster attack & release times than most vintage and opto compressors so has a lot of flexibility

Each channel has a sidechain insert send/return TRS jack, useful for EQing the sidechain when using it as a bus compressor or for keying the compressor from an external source

Other opinions from the web:

“This is a NICE piece of gear with perfect character for vocals and bass”

“My favourite mastering engineer says he’s tried everything and he keeps coming back to the DCL200.

‘It compresses’ he said, and that’s that heh It certainly doesn’t do his work any harm, jeebus it sounds good”

“It sounds great. It’s wonderful, warm unit, like a strong brewed tea or stout. Like most good comps, it takes a little work to really understand it. But it sounds wonderful. It’s one of my fave comps for broadcast mixes. It has subtle glue that also clamps down well on rock mixes or drum subgroups”

“This is a NICE piece of gear with perfect character for vocals and bass, I haven’t tried to use it on anything else yet and my gut feeling is that it doesn’t hit hard enough for drums but I LOVE the cleanliness of the sound of these units. Other than an LA2A this is my “go to” compressor for vocals”

“DCL-200 Is a very nice piece indeed. A somewhat clean sounding FET Compressor, with a Transformerless Tube output stage. Dont let the Non Tranny design throw you off. This thing gets pretty creamy in the Mid’s. Patch in a sidechain EQ, – Mastering or Buss Compression is easy. Has some very fast attack/release times”

“DCL-200 is Not Dark sounding like many Neve style compressors, Nor is it ultra clean like SSL, Alan Smart, Crane Song. I would say its slightly Colored with a very usable set of controls”

“Summit DCL200 is sort of in between the Smart C2 and the Vari Mu. Its mostly Clean, and smooth. But has a touch of vintage vibe on the output. – With a sidechain EQ engaged, = Its Great for 2 Buss Mixing or Mastering. A worthy contender considering the Price, Versatility. You can find a used one for a great price = Buy it!”

“I use it for mastering tracks that have been recorded/mixed in the box and somewhat seem to lack life and/or “glue”. Just let the Summit nibble at it, and the tracks gains coherence and warmth without really imparting too much colour or compression. I never use it to compress more than 1-2 dB of gain reduction. Clients love it, even on chamber music”

Balanced inputs & outputs on XLR connectors. Nominal operating level is + 4 dBu. Sidechain send & return is on TRS jacks. AC supply is switchable between 115 and 230 VAC and uses a standard IEC mains connector. UK, Euro or USA power cable supplied on request

Deep, heavy 19" 2U device weighing 7.75 Kg. Suitable for substantial 19" racks. 230 Volt AC & standard IEC mains socket. UK, Euro or USA power cable supplied on request

Product Page Sound on Sound Review Gearslutz discussion Vintage King video

Summit on the Drum Bus

Audiofanzine 5 Star ★★★★★ Review


In extremely good used condition with no apparent rack rash and a couple of marks on the case. Direct from the effects rack of a well-known UK producer