Here are some pictures from the making of my GSSL compressor. Thanks to Jakob Erland, Roger Foote, Wayne Kirkwood, Gustav and all the others at
the Prodigy Pro forum


I got the PCBīs from Gustav at the Prodigy Pro forum. They are single sided ones of decent quality. Euro 15 each, shipping included. All the electrolytics are Rubycon YXF ordered from Electrokit.se.
I choosed the pretrimmed VCAīs - THAT2180LB. $5.75 each from KA Electronics in the US. This is also the guy supplying the gain reduction PCB and the "Pico compressor" designed by Roger Foote.. I built the compressor in our small kitchen, all metalwork and painting included. It was a total mess for two months. The time spent was well over 100 hours.
I opted for both XLR and TRS connectors, and they are simply soldered in series. I really like the Neutrik XLR/TRS combo unit. Main PCB, transformer and jacks in place.
Many late nights passed by during two winter months. I developed quite a head ache of all the flux fumes so Iīm seriously considering building a small exhaust fan. That stuff canīt be healthy. An understanding girl friend helps alot at this stage.. The first test. No smoke! and the power rails looked good on the meter. I first measured without the ICīs in place and got some weird results, but with the chips in place everything was ok. The regulators need some load to function.
The metal work proved to be very time consuming. You really should have a proper work area and tools when building stuff like this. A mill would help a lot! I added two C&K DPDT toggle switches at the back that break the cold pin for unbalanced connections. Probably not the best or neatest way, but it seems to work.
Making the rectangular cutout for the two 10 segment DIP modules was not an easy task, but it actually turned out quite good. After drilling as many holes as possible you can bend pieces out easily.
Then file away! Various needle files come in handy at the last stage. The Adam Hall case bought from Thomann.de turned out to be of mediocre quality. The finish was not the best and the painting did scratch of easily. You really get what you pay for.
Anyway, the next morning the paint had dried and the panel looked a lot better.
It was supposed to be cream white but turned out to be yellow...WTF?
Oh well, back to the drawing board. I did a lot of scetches of the front panel.
I had a nice evening with Illustrator making the scales and text. This would later be ink jet printed to Letraset Safmat self adhesive sheets and applied to the front panel. One cool thing with inkjet and Safmat is that youīre able to get any color you like, except white.
Test fitting the two LED modules. I got them very cheap from Electrokit in Sweden. I think they were like 1/5 of the price of ELFA.
I highly recommend checking with them before placing an order at ELFA.
The range/scale switch mounted behind the front panel. 10 or 20dB of full scale deflection. Got to love the feel of those C&K switches!
Safmat in place. Itīs almost necessary to give the sheet one layer of clear coat before burnishing it down, otherwise the ink is prone to smearing. Maybe laser is better in that regard. Tadaa! Almost like screen print! I later remade it though because of some smearing of the ink. No clear coat prior to burnishing the first time...
Close up of the Safmat print out. The resolution is really good! I think you could easily get carried away ending up with photos and stuff on the panel.. Just to the right of the line you can see a joint in the film. Of course, being a LED fanatic, I had to put one of the unused poles of the bypass switch to use. Blue looks good, but itīs not the best color for indicators. The power LED has not been wired yet.
I cascaded two Pico GR2 PCBīs to get a 20-segment meter. Roger Foote made a good post at the forum describing how to. Very tedious work though. Passing audio through the compressor! The inside is still a mess but itīs fully functional. I had some very nice hours testing the unit out. The sound is truly awesome!
The input/output wiring. The 15V regulators really need cooling. They were way too hot before I installed the heatsinks. The regs need separate heatsinks since the ground is on different pins. Itīs a tight fit!
I had only one PCB installed first, but the added 10 LEDīs were really worth the effort. IMHO this is far superior to mechanical meters like the Sifam and others. And itīs eye candy too! Another view of the front without the LED modules installed.