The JDK Audio R22 is a great 2 channel vintage style compressor that was purchased at a local music retailer for a great price. I had my eyes on this compressor for a while just didn’t want to fork out the money for it. Then the store was having a weekend sale and gave me 15 percent off in an email and I immediately jumped on this compressor because I heard another band use it before.
It is simple to use this compressor and if you are into vintage compressors like I am, than you will enjoy it as much as I do. This unit is well worth the 1000 dollars that it cost me to purchase it. The signal to noise ratio is 88 dBu (comp in) and the maximum level is 19dBu. This compressor gave me a warm classic tone to many different audio sources that I ran through it. Sometimes I like to get creative and run different instruments through these classic compressors just to hear what they can do to them.
On acoustic guitars and vocals this compressor was great. I have heard similar compressors in major studios and they cost double and sometimes triple what this R22 cost. The R22 gives two channels of API style compression and the model of compression it is based on is the ATI Paragon mixing console (which I was already familiar with).
This compressor does a great job with dynamics and still keeps a very natural sound without going overboard on the compression even if you start to “over compress” it will still come out pretty clean for the most part. I love this compressor a lot, and so does an electric guitar player that comes over to record a lot, this is the compressor he request every time and I think it is the sole reason he comes here to record now. JDK has had some gear in the past that I was not a fan of but the R22 is flat out great!
The JDK Audio R22 Compressor is a two channel compressor. Each of the two channels has independent control, but it can be used as a stereo compressor too. It’s basic characteristics include XLR and ¼” jacks for inputs and outputs for both of the channels and it gets power from a standard IEC power cable. It is rack mountable and will take up two spaces in your racking system – it even has handles to help you to get it in there.
If you’re familiar with the controls generally associated with compression, it shouldn’t be very difficult to get the hang of. Each of the two channels has knobs for threshold, ratio, and gain. It then has switches for soft or hard knee modes and also a unique thrust/flat mode. You can monitor either gain reduction or output with the VU meters and there’s a bypass switch for each as well. I haven’t seen a manual for the R22.
I really like the overall tone of the JDK Audio R22 Compressor. It’s great for a variety of options including on tom tom drums, kick drum, electric guitar and bass too. I haven’t used it as a stereo compressor but I would bet it would also sound cool on overheads or room mics too. It has a smooth response making it perfect for heavy hitting instruments like drums.
You aren’t going to find too many dual channel compressors with a sound like the JDK Audio R22 Compressor for the price. Compressors are definitely getting cheaper and cheaper but this is definitely a professional piece of gear with a unique sound and make up to bring to table. I’d recommend it as a go to compressor in a home studio or one of the gang in a larger studio. Perfect for filling out your compressor rack with some quality comps for cheap.