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Dramastic Audio Obsidian 500 Stereo Compressor in 500-Series  From Dramastic Audio

A cult favorite now offered in 500-series! The Obsidian 500 takes a tried and tested "glue" style of stereo compression and adds a pleasing warmth and vibe that is unique to the Obsidian's signature sound.

Dramastic Audio


Retail:  $3,595.00

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What We Think

“I'm a sucker for over-engineered, well-designed studio gear, so, naturally, when I got my hands on the Dramastic Obsidian 500 I was immediately enamored. The look is stellar and the knobs and buttons feel great to the touch. Of course, here at Sound Pure we're all about amazing sound, and the Obsidian 500 brings rich sonics in spades. This unit has a robust tone that adds weight and heft to your music all while maintaining clarity and tightness. Thanks to its intelligent feature set and a to-die-for tone, the Obisdian 500 is not just another SSL clone!”

--Chuck Giardino, Sound Pure Pro Audio Specialist


In a world now flush with different variations of tried and true bus compressors, what makes the Dramastic Obsidian a standout within the VCA compressor family? 

First and foremost, tone. The Obsidian is outfitted with two giant input transformers and two equally sized output transformers, all of which were handpicked Jensen transformers for their specific tonal qualities. The end result is a thickness and polish with anything run through the Obsidian regardless of compression settings. When you do start dialing in more middle to slightly aggressive settings, a punch, attitude, and additional heft emerge that, combined with it’s natural polish and thickness, adds a truly unique tone to your signals.

Additionally you find the addition of what I consider to be the most important feature on this style of compressor: a high-pass side-chain filter. And not only does the Obsidian have one, their specific filter provides more frequency options than just about any compressor on the market, providing you unparalleled control over precisely how much low-end is triggering your compression. 

A final very interesting and very unique feature is the addition of a “Lo-Fi” release setting which purposefully adds distortion characteristics representative of aggressively fast time settings. While achieving a similar attack/release-based distortion is possible with other compressors, the specific characteristic of the Lo-Fi release coupled with the Obsidian’s larger than life tone create a really interesting sound that’s sure to inspire when searching for more effect-like compression sounds for any application. 

In short the utilitarian features the Obsidian sports (specifically the side-chain filter) provide you with all of the dynamic control settings you could ever need - while the hand-selected and beefy transformers add a truly unique tone to this one of a kind compressor. While the Obsidian produces instantly impressive results on buses, don’t be afraid to run individual mono tracks through it as well. The worst thing that could happen is you realize you actually need an additional Obsidian - one to live on your mix bus and one free for tracking and individual stem processing.

Manufacturer's Description from Dramastic Audio

Through the use of several proprietary methods, the Obsidian performs a range of tasks unheard of from the average bus compressor. The Obsidian offers superior imaging. The stereo image always remains intact, the highs stay brilliant and clear, and the bottom continues to thunder [especially with the internal “High Pass Filter” engaged on the detection circuitry]. For even greater control, an “External Side-Chain” input is available and may be used in conjunction with the “High Pass Filter.”

Six ratio settings are available from a subtle 2:1, to a bone crushingly extreme setting. Six attack, and six release settings further complement the Obsidian making it extremely versatile on many different types of program material.

Employing the “Auto” release time gives the audio a smooth rich texture without any pumping and breathing. From there, if you have decided that the audio is a little too smooth for the application, a simple click of the release switch to the “Lo-Fi” setting will net all the “IN YOUR FACE” aggression one may desire. Try it on a drum submix! Overall, the clarity, performance and musicality of the Obsidian is unparalleled.

The Obsidian is hand crafted in the USA using the finest quality precision components available.


  • TXIO enhanced transformer balanced I/O
  • Precision stepped controls to accurately recall settings
  • VCA feed-forward compression
  • Selectable internal high pass filter
  • Expansion port for additional features
  • Link multiple modules together
  • Selectable pad settings
  • Superior imaging
Dramastic Audio

About Manufacturer

Dramastic Audio is a USA based company designing AND building their products in the USA. They make boutique bus compressors as well as an automation solution for SSL consoles.


Ratio settings: 1.5:1, 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 10:1, and 12:1.

Attack Control Range: 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, 10 and 30 mSec

Release Control Range: 0.1, 0.3, 0.6, 1.2 sec, Auto and Lo-Fi

HPF settings: 30Hz, 60Hz, 105Hz, 125Hz, 125Hz, 185Hz, 330Hz

Makeup Gain Output: 12 dB