Mercenary Editions home Pendulam Audio Quartet II Mercenary Edition Great River Electronics EQ-2NV Mercenary Edition Little Labs Signal Transmission Device Mercenary Edition Drawmer 1969 Mercenary Edition Great River Electronics ME-1NV Mercenary Edition Funk Logic '69 Merc Great River Electronics EQ-1NV Mercenary Edition Great River Electronics MP-2NV Mercenary Edition Drawmer 1968 Mercenary Edition
The Drawmer 1969 Mercenary Edition

Drawmer 1969 Mercenary Edition - vacuum tube compressor / pre-amplifier

Anyone familiar with the original Drawmer 1960 will be greatly impressed (as I was)
at the improvements made in the 1969 Mercenary edition. From functional niceties
(like the polarity switches and stereo link filter) to sound quality,
top-end clarity and definition, the 1969 is a dramatic improvement. Hats off.

~ steve albini ~ engineer

Based on the Drawmer 1960, (not really, it just looks like the 1960…sorta), the 1969 employs an entirely new topology for lower noise and improved depth of tone and clarity. Pretty much, all we kept from the original 1960 were the meters, connectors, and power transformer… everything else is different. The stuff with the 'gold' screen is the stuff we did...the rest is from the original.

This is why when you are about to ask "can my 1960 be modified to be a 1969?" the answer is 'NOPE, 'NYET', 'NUH-UH'...'Fuggedaboudit'.

Burr-Brown op-amps have been chosen for a 'silkier' sound for the mic amp. The 'DI' input has limited 'tone control' function as well…for 'minor touchups' [or real radical alterations ].

A polarity reverse switch was added, let's face it, a piece of "pro" equipment should have one.

The compressor works on a 'J-FET' compression cell, which sounds a bit smoother than a VCA, and has the potential to be faster than an 'opto-attenuator'. There's a whole new tube path in the compressor as well, which nets a "warmer","richer", "fatter" [your favorite buzzword here] tone.

Drawmer 1969 - the BIG switch explained
Three coupling positions allow for dual mono, stereo link, and a new "Big" position which puts the hi-pass filter in the side-chain to keep the bass and kick drum from 'driving' the compression. The high pass filter gently rolls off the detection signal at 100Hz to minimize undesirable 'pumping' which can be caused when the 'bottom' drives the compression.

The unit goes into "true stereo" compression…in other words, in 'stereo link', you control both channels with one set of controls. When in stereo mode you have a choice of adding a 100Hz filter to the detector path on the compressor [the signal path that controls the compressor, it's not in the audio path]. This is called the "big" switch. What it does is allow the detector to pretty much ignore the bass and kik drum while modulating the comression from the loudest sound source, which is usually the vocals. Very often things like kik drum and bass will have the greatest amount of energy behind them and the stereo compression reacts to this energy [ever notice that a bass player usually needs a 300 watt amp to keep up with a guitar player with a 50 watt amp? Same principles apply here.

The compressor's 'attack & release' functions were based on the timing selections available on the 670. Unlike the 670, we separated the 'attack' & 'release' controls so you can pick different attack and release times [on the 670 they work in pairs]. We started with the 670 timings, then "tweezed" them by ear. It's a completely different circuit than the 670, and while the buzzword of having the 670 timing parameters makes for great 'buzzwords'…the reality is they didn't sound really good…so we started with the 'buzzwords', and moved on from there.

Built around the 12AX7 tube, the gain-makeup section rounds out the 1969 supplying more punch and definition…and gives credibility to the "tube" buzzword so necessary as a marketing tool. While they were originally added as a "marketing tool" [ohhh, gee whiz, golly... it's tooob compressor], we found that they add to the character and the charm of the unit... which is a good thing.

Microphone Pre-Amps
Low noise circuitry combines with the 'warmth' of the vacuum tube allowing the engineer to capture every subtlety of the sound source, be it the human voice, an acoustic instrument or even an orchestra.
  • Two ultra low noise vacuum tube microphone pre-amplifiers.
  • Switchable 48 volt phantom powering.
  • Input level with 6dB steps from 0dB upto 66dB of gain.
  • Peak overload LEDs.
The Drawmer 1969 masters 'the gentle art' of smooth, transparent compression.
  • Two Vacuum tube 'soft knee' compressors.
  • Variable threshold control.
  • Switchable attack and release times.
  • Adjustable gain 'make up' of up to 20dB.
Auxiliary Instrument 'Tube' Pre-Amp
Many musicians around the world have already discovered the unique range of sounds available through the auxiliary section of the Drawmer 1969. From a 'warm', 'clean' tonality to the classic overdriven 'soft clipping' tube sound, the Drawmer 1969 has the scope to enhance the performance of guitar, bass, electric piano, synths and many other instruments.
  • Variable input gain sufficient to provide sustain effects.
  • Variable Bass and Treble equilisation.
  • Switchable HF Boost, Gain Boost and EQ Bypass.
  • Aux pre-amp section can be routed to one or both compressors to provide two channels of output for creating stereo effects from a mono source. Different compression characteristics can be set for each channel if required.
Additional Features
  • Stereo linking.
  • Big Stereo linking.
  • Balanced XLR connections.
Each channel also provides:
  • Switchable 50Hz and 100Hz high pass filters.
  • Switchable Phase Reverse.
  • Switchable input source: Mic; Mic 48V; Line; Aux.
  • -10dB and +4dB 'Insert' connections allow the sound sources of each channel to be independantly modified with external effects and/or equalisation.
  • Side Chain access for external equalisation to achieve frequency selective compression.
  • Illuminated VU meter indicating output level or gain reduction.
Connectors: Mic/Line Balanced XLR (Pin 2+) Aux Input 1/4 jack (Unbal). Mic Pre-Amp:
  • Noise: -134.5dB (ref 0dBu, Shorted)
  • Noise: -130.5dB (ref 0dBu, 150Ω)
  • Noise: -129.8dB (ref 0dBu, 200Ω)
  • Dynamic Range: 150dB
  • Headroom: +21dB
Input Impedance:
  • Line: 20KΩ
  • Mic: 150Ω
  • Aux: 2.2 MΩ
Max Input Level : +16dB (+20dBu).
Output Impedance: 50Ω
Max Output Level : +18dB (+22dBu)
Frequency Response: <20Hz to 24 KHz -1 dB
Crosstalk: better than -80dB @ 10KHz
Noise: (Compressor section @ unity gain) -85dB @ 22Hz- 22KHz
Distortion: Unity gain, +4dBu input:< 0.35% @ 100 Hz to 10 KHz.
Power Requirements: IEC Connector, 95-125V or 190- 250V @ 50-60Hz, 38 Watts.

Great River EQ2-NV Mercenary Edition  -  Click for a Larger ViewDrawmer 1969ME Brochure Adobe .pdf

Drawmer 1969ME Session Recall Sheet Adobe .pdf

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Drawmer 1969 M.E.
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