Pan60 12/2010
Pan60: "elysia has been a voice to be reckoned with since their debut when it comes to compression. The xpressor is no exception. A combination of modern assemble technology and high quality components in the audio path as now delivered by elysia, as well as making the 500 format just that much more appealing!"
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Sound & Recording 10/2010
Hannes Bieger: "Class-A circuitry, stereo processing, many special features, and then the incredible price: elysia has created a super hot candidate for the title “Compressor with the best value for money ratio in its class”. The functional range is truly amazing. As a result, there is almost no signal which could not benefit from such a Swiss dynamics knife."
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Producao Audio 06/2012
Miguel Pinheiro Marques: "The xpressor is truly a swiss army knife when it comes to audio compression, because it can handle every type of instruments, groups or mixes in very transparent and musical ways. And the most amazing thing is that elysia made this incredible tool at a very affordable price, which makes it a no-brainer purchase."

Keys 01/2012
Tim Schuldt: "The xpressor convinces in every aspect. It combines extreme flexibility with premium sound qualities. No matter if used on single, group or sum signals, the results are always positive and versatile. Because of the delivered quality, the price results in a very good value for money ratio. And the xpressor does not have to fear the competition of much more expensive units at all."

Professional audio 11/2011
Georg Berger: "The rack version of the elysia's xpressor is a high-flying dynamics processor. Its construction and build quality are absolutely breathtaking. Looking at the qualities of the xpressor, elysia could have sold it for twice the price easily – and because they didn't, the value for money rating must be estimated as phenomenal."

Studio Magazin 10/2011
Fritz Fey: "The xpressor meets the requirements for being used in professional environments in every single aspect, and it outperforms considerably more expensive competitors easily. Never before has such a high level of technology in combination with such a creative concept been offered for so little money. The xpressor defines a new value for money class which stands unequaled today..."

elysia xpressor 500

by Henning Schonvogel
Beat (Germany) – December 2010

As many standard compression tasks can be satisfyingly solved with plug-ins these days, hardware manufacturers are searching for new niches for their products. In this regard, elysia's little one recommends itself as an affordable creative machine with certain twist.

In many cases, hardware customers find themselves confronted with the alternative: cheap price combined with a rather mediocre sound or high fidelity at a really steep price point. The hardware manufacturer elysia has recently released the xpressor 500, arousing the hope for high class sound at a fair price level.

Little Sweetie
The xpressor 500 is a module in API's 500 series or so called "Lunchbox" format. This is a tried and tested standard API Audio introduced at the end of the seventies for their high end preamps, compressors and equalizers. The user needs a compatible rack to operate these modules, because they do not have connectors and a power supply of their own. The xpressor features a blue front panel, eight controllers, four buttons and an LED meter. All control elements feel handy and solid. All controllers have detents, which is a great help for recalling previous settings easily.

For beginners...
The xpressor is a stereo compressor which generates its control voltage from the sum of both input channels. The parameters are controlled for both channels simultaneously, too, therefore a dual mono operation is not possible. The audio path is a discrete design which offers great precision and which is easy to service. Standard compressions tasks are handled by the usual suspects, meaning the controllers for threshold, ratio, attack and release. The Warm mode switch can be used to add some saturation to the otherwise clean sound character, fattening the signal by changing the behavior of harmonics and transients. This can add quite a lot of analog charm to a digital audio signal.

…and advanced
On top of the tried and tested standard functions, the xpressor offers a number of unusual features which exceed the possibilities of standard compressors by far: the Fast Attack functions allows for an automated regulation of the attack time. In this mode, the attack controller determines the longest attack time allowed. If the compressor detects fast impulses, it automatically shortens the attack to a shorter time. An additional switchable release characteristic helps to prevent compression results which are just too flat. The gain reduction process becomes much shorter in the logarithmic mode, keeping the dynamics intact even when strong processing is required. The unit also offers negative ratios for extreme pumping effects, which cause a further reduction of the signal once the threshold has been passed. The mix controller helps to just thicken signals by blending the compressed and the unprocessed signal in „New York“ style. Finally, there is also a sidechain filter and the gain reduction limiter, which can be used for frequency selective compression and setting the maximum amount of gain reduction the compressor is allowed to make.

In the mix
In practical use the xpressor is easy to handle. Simple compression tasks can be coped with in no time at all. The results are flawless and better than most of the competition in terms of precision. Smooth leveling or really hard processing – all this can be done fast and easily. With an infinite ratio setting the compressor can also be used as a limiter. Fast Attack and the logarithmic release option are further benefits to be mentioned, because these functions are a great help for stronger processing without loosing too much of the original dynamics. The Warm mode generates some nice effects which remind of tape saturation, and this is much more than just a gimmick in times of completely digital productions. One has to be a little careful when applying the Fast Attack function on drums, as the impact of the set could be reduced just too much.

Then the filter controller for the sidechain of the compressor comes in handy. This can also be a great help for adding a nice accent to the bass drum – the perfect kick for electronic music. Negative ratios are certainly something special, though, as they certainly cannot be used for regular sound enhancement. They turn the xpressor into a creative tool which is great for electronic musicians and friends of sound experiments. Producers of classic music, on the other hand, will not have much use for this feature, as they are unlikely to get much benefit out of the sonic destruction the effect causes. In our test, we used the mix controller to keep the madness under control – at least a little bit...

The xpressor 500 truly lives up to its claim of being an affordable high end product. Standard dynamics processing becomes a child's play, and more complex tasks are made easy by the Fast Attack and Log Release features. A combination of the mix controller with negative ratios is great for advanced sound design, and the sidechain filter helps to polish any sum signal you throw at this machine. The asked price for all this is really a steal. Get one now!

+ Great build quality
+ All controllers have detents
+ Flexible compression characteristics
+ Fast attack
+ Logarithmic release
+ Warm mode
+ Negative ratios

6 out of 6 points – Editor's choice