SPL Charisma 2

SPL Charisma 2

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Charisma 2, Studio compressor from SPL.

7 user reviews
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SPL Charisma 2 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: SPL
  • Model: Charisma 2
  • Category: Studio compressors
  • Added in our database on: 01/12/2004

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SPL Charisma 2 user reviews

Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 7 reviews )
 5 reviews71 %
 2 reviews29 %
Value For Money :

moosers's review

SPL Charisma 2
SPL's Charisma 2 is a dual channel tube limiter that will be found and is designed for use in the recording studio. It's the perfect compliment to your digital recording studio, as it adds clarity and a realistic factor to your sound whether you decide to track with it or mix with it. This is an analog piece of gear consisting of XLR and 1/4" connections for both inputs and outputs on each of the two channels. It also has a ground switch on it and is indeed rack mountable. It will only take up a single space in a traditional rack casing.


Using the SPL Charisma 2 is pretty simple if you understand the parameters generally associated with limiters and compressors. Each of the two channels have the same exact make up, each with parameters for drive, 'charisma,' and output level. The drive level allows you to set the level of the tubes, while the charisma parameter is kind of like a hard knee parameter, which can add a good amount of punch and clarity to your sound depending on the same you set it. A manual isn't necessary, but I haven't seen it so I can't speak to it's make up.


The sound of the SPL Charisma 2 tube limiter is really impressive, as it's the kind of unit that sounds good right off the bat and is easy to get a good sound from. It's great for mixing all sorts of different instruments, as it can really help things cut through the mix well and/or add warmth and fullness to your sound if that's what you're after. SPL products tend to have a similar type of sound, and the Charisma 2 definitely follows this type of mold. I've got nothing bad to say about the Charisma 2 as it's a great mixing tool.


In general, the SPL Charisma 2 can really save you during mixing! It's almost fool proof to use and it's really easy to dial in a great tone with this. The price isn't nearly as much as you might think considering you're getting two high quality tube based limiters here. While this is undoubtedly a professional's piece of gear, the price makes it accessible to just about anyone interested in this versatile and unique tube limiter...
Audiofanzine FR11/29/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

SPL Charisma 2
(Originally written by Raven Circle/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Connections: stereo inputs and outputs via XLR and jacks

Pure German analog technology


Ultra easy to use if you have good ears and you know what you bought...


Extremely effective. The Charisma can saturate or only thicken the sound. Its application are limited but somehow I can't make without it anymore. I use it for everything from drums to beats, digital keyboards, etc. And also in a final mix.

I like how the sound becomes a bit more dirty and punchy.

I use it as a tube limiter and it gives much better results than a plug-in (but it depends on the sound you expect).

Set the saturation/overtones you want to add (the result is different if you change the tubes), adjust the Charisma (sound thickness) and the output level. These settings allow the Charisma to be used as an analog limiter. It can add analog saturation to a mix and increase the overall signal level. To summarize, the sound becomes less clean and precise but more powerful and warm. The Charisma has become a faithful partner because I was fed up with cold digital sound.


I bought it a few months ago. I find the it a bit expensive new. But if I didn't have the choice, I would buy it new (it's hard to find it secondhand). I was really lucky to find it on ebay at a nice price and in perfect condition with new tubes.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again (at the price I bought it, I could even afford one per month ^^).

You have to be used to hardware processors. People who work only with software tools won't need it. It takes an important place in my setup (under my Tube Vitalizer, which is a perfect complement).

SPL =)

EKAA's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

SPL Charisma 2
"Preamp" stereo tube.

IN / OUT XLR or Jack



Nothing more simple.
3 buttons per channel, manual absolutely useless ...
we need to find the balance, or the desired sound playing on the drive and charisma .. and adjust the output level.

the two channels are fully independent and can be used as two mono channels ...


So there!
super effective!
it brings precision to the processed track. the "contour" I say ...
After many years of practice, I regularly use on synths and bass ...
On synths, that the "precise" ... Claremont ... warmer, more present, less "fuzzy" in the bottom ...
on bass, several settings are possible, "just what it takes" to downright dirty ... clean .... But I adore.
The bybass nikel is it n not alter the sound.

It may work well for certain types of guitars, mostly clear ... but hey .... matter of taste.

For voice is the same ... there's much better material ... but you need to add a 0 ...


I've had more than 10 years, and I do not sell EVER!
Just for synths and bass!

I often work in the studio and for guitars, Tubetech is much better ..
to see, like, it is not worth a voicebox ..... finally everything we already know ...

Coupled with a good EQ, it can be a great tool.

There is nothing that I don t like, and considering the price and use, I put a 10! no problem.

I would do this choice without asking questions, I was even tempted by Charisma 8 8 channels ... but this guy is still a bit too much for my use ... to the limit, why not add a string to my Charisma 2 a day ..
Val Cortoni03/01/2012

Val Cortoni's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"The lamps combined with the digital"

SPL Charisma 2
This is a dynamic two-channel processor, analog technology to lamps.
Level of connectivity, each channel has an input and output (XLR or 1/4 "). Power" universal "practice!
This is a 19 "/ 1U. The ignition switch is located on the front.
I noted 9/10 because although the price is high compared to the versatility, it still fills its only function perfectly. And those who are interested in this device may already have an idea about its use.


Setup is simple, by a detailed manual (English and German) very clear and illustrated with examples.
There are three knobs, two diodes and a push button by:
- The push button used to activate / bypass route. (Note that although the Charisma is off, a bypassed path passes the signal)
- The DRIVE control adjusts the input level of sound that attacks the lamps, it is primarily he who dose the amount of effect, the limiter threshold is fixed.
- The potentiometer CHARISMA is of course the originality of the device. I'd say it's similar to a compressor on Knee: hard position (fully clockwise), the sound is not altered as it has not reached the threshold. Position soft (left), the saturation of the lamps is heard gradually while the input level approaches the threshold.
- PROCESS The diode indicates that the Charisma acts on the input signal. It shines more or less depending on the saturation amount provided by the lamps.
- The LED MAX Full PROCESS LED, it lights when the maximum effect is reached.
- The OUTPUT sets the output level.
Overall it's very intuitive and it goes to the core. A small detail is boring, however the lack of link: you have to copy the same setting on both channels for use in stereo when you have a specific idea in mind it may interfere as it is for example impossible to play keyboard and set the machine at the same time.


The only effect of Charisma is high quality, it adds a kind of grain to the sound, which can be determined from subtle to more violent.
I used it on quite a few sources. What we immediately notice is its distortion well "set", not too crunchy and warm. I believe this is the kind of effect that, well balanced, does not sound vulgar but rather adds to the holding and presence.
Usage requirements range is variable and subject to experimentation. Personally I think it will not fit on anything. For what I could try:
- I use it all the time on the Virus TI. What a trip to hear HyperSaw énormifiée by Charisma. Of the sub-bass type square I find equally formidable to add harmonics after filtering. Anecdote, recently on a piece electro bypassed and I thought I recorded a sort of pad "sine" acute, while my game intensified sound almost began to cry, oh so trippy experience.
This allows me to bounce on the fact that the synth really seems to be its field of excellence (including FX). on the other hand it does not define its own identity of sound. For those wondering if they can "warm up" of VSTi, I would say a bad sound will not sound better in Charisma. After all depends on the VSTi on the NI Massive or the Arturia Prophet / MiniMoog I can already imagine wreak havoc. I have not tested on analog synths, but it should be done soon (go to the classifieds).
- The perceived: I love the look on kicks of hip-hop and rock, where you can put the knob back to Charisma. It saves them a potato, and pushing the saturation can give them an almost dangerous side. Sometimes I use it in small doses on overheads, to increase the aspect of "stress relief" of the song. Ditto for the hi-hats and claps, it's cracked slightly, if you like the feeling that the song "rubs", he tries at all costs to slip between the concrete block walls are too narrow, we can put a everywhere on the drums.
- The voice: he has already been helpful to retake the lead voice in the Charisma in the mix, especially on the choruses. I have been riding on the metal and the result is radical, literally the voice pierces the mix for you to come scream in the face. You can also make it look cute, slightly broken, on a softer voice, or give gloss and the presence and definition to a rap voice.
- The guitar really where I have not hooked, already at the base it is not useful on a guitar distortion, but even on its clear that shambles, it is less pleasant to listen.
This is also the limit of the device in my opinion: instruments that sound "natural" kind of wind instruments, strings, piano and typically have a record that I found quite unpleasant - dirty, but not dirty as it should.
In fact, without wanting to establish a general rule, I feel that the instruments that take up much space, with lots of harmonics, are those who do not have the Charisma (otherwise resemble sounds with exceeded 0dB). Nevertheless, I would say we can still balance this kind of sounds by filtering them up before processing.
- Finally: the mix. I agree with previous opinions: pass the master track in Charisma really gives a good effect, it can significantly support the mood of the song. Pushed to the extreme it might look like the kind of effect you hear in such Kalkbrenner (I think Sky & Sand or Queer Fellow), but he may have used a Culture Vulture, for that matter!


I use it extensively for four months, on almost anything out of the Virus TI synth plugin and UltraAnalog; also on masters to add punch and cohesion to the whole (as it is a limiter before a saturator ). I sometimes specifically, according to the needs of the piece, to put it on the drums (especially kick) and voices (choruses).
In terms of musical style I use a lot of electro, hip-hop often, and occasionally on rock. I would not see this machine on the classical, folk and the music more "acoustic" in general.

+ The big addition it provides for good electronic sounds (like synth percussion), now I create my sounds with Charisma lit
+ The directness of the machine: three knobs.
+ The parameter charisma: despite its air of quiet is almost alone rests the consistency of sound between the input and output (much more than the knee of a compressor for it), he decides whether only peaks detonate or all of the sound is bathed in a carpet of saturation
+ ON / OFF switch on the front

- No link between the stereo channels, damage when you set the Charisma while strumming
- It must have already created a great sound for it to be enhanced by the Charisma, in this sense we finally see the device as a synth module, just like a filter or an LFO. And it is an expensive module.

I conclude by saying that I still use it all the time, right from the creation of sound (synth or drums), the waveforms "basic" being very flattered by the Charisma, it gives me quite directly confidence in its draft for the drive to the end, I do not know if this sentence is clear. Let's say the Charisma has become an essential part of my music as well as the filter on a synthesizer or a reverb could be.
If I had to make the choice, I used rachèterais. Nine in all cases I would not take the 2 Charisma: I would wait to buy the 8 Charisma, much more advantageous price level (8 channels for € 1700), and suddenly much more flexible.

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Other names: charisma 2, charisma2, charisma 9733

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