Tegeler Audio Manufaktur Creme

Earlier this week I got my Creme unit from Tegeler after a little over a month wait (they were sold out). I’ve wanted a few different pieces of outboard gear in my mastering efforts for a hybrid setup. To me it’s not necessarily a matter of hardware vs. software – I really like both. I think plugins are fantastic (more on that later). I had decided to get the Creme after much research and mental debate. It seemed like a great value combining a high quality VCA compressor (very similar to an SSL G comp) and a 2 band Pultec style passive EQ in one unit.

If you’re not familiar: https://www.tegeler-audio-manufaktur.de/Creme_bus_kompressor_mastering_equalizer

About me, I’ve been engineering audio for a long time, but never had any dedicated analog outboard compressors or eq’s. I always spent my money on synths and samplers in hardware aside from my console. Compression and EQ was always done in digital form either in my Yamaha 02r mixer or plugins in the DAW for those years. Fast forward 12 years and I’m wanting a few key pieces of outboard in hardware.

Here are some initial thoughts, but I plan on adding more to the post/thread later on and hopefully doing some audio samples over the weekend. I just want to think about how to do that… my initial idea got way too involved rather quickly and would take a long time (for me anyway).

The Compressor:

I don’t think they state that it’s an SSL clone, but it’s pretty obvious what device they’re heavily borrowing from. It’s very easy to dial up something that sounds good. In fact, even when pushing to extreme settings the Creme doesn’t sound “bad”. Obviously, you probably aren’t using those settings, but it’s not falling apart sonically.

For my purposes, most things are going to be in the 1-4db of gain reduction, usually 2:1 ratio though sometimes 4:1, 10-30ms attack, 0.1-0.3 release and adjusting the output gain to compensate. At those settings it sounds fantastic… all the typical platitudes of “glue”, “gel”, blah, blah. It does what you’d think!

Here’s where it’s a little interesting though. I’ve spent several hours the past few nights comparing it to my favorite plugins and demos a couple new ones. I wanted to see (hear) what differences there were. I knew plugins were good, but I was definitely a little surprised at just how good they are.

I compared (these were the closest I had quick access to):

UAD SSL G comp
Waves SSL G comp
PA Vertigo VSC-2
Cytomic “The Glue”

At “mastering” settings all of them were good. To my ears, the UAD SSL emu was the best… shockingly close. I could get it nearly indistinguishable at 2:1 settings with 10ms attack and 0.1 release. The Creme was (subjectively) 1-5% “better” being more present and round (best I can describe it) at some settings while maybe 5-10% better at others. As the ratios and threshold got higher the Creme continued to sound better, but again, we’re not talking night and day differences at least to my ears until you got to extremes. If you can hear a bat fart from 10 yards away, god bless, you’d probably hear a lot more difference than I can and might have a completely different opinion.

Overall, 2nd best plugin in terms of straight 1:1 comparison was the Waves emu, but I prefered the UAD. Sounding different overall, but a still a favorite of mine is the VSC-2. I love that plugin! The Cytomic plugin was my least favorite, but didn’t sound “bad” – it just wasn’t as close as the others.

To me this really highlights how far plugins have come and where we’re at. They were pretty terrible in the mid to late 90’s in most cases (IMO until UAD-1), but these days it’s not an issue. It’s to the point of minor sonic differences (you want to chase that last 5% in some cases), workflow and personal preferences as to what you want to use.

The EQ:

This to me was more of a substantive difference to many of the plugins I use regularly. On the Creme, it’s just effortless and beautiful! So much so, you want to slather loads of it on until you realize you’re overdoing it, but it still somehow sounds good. You just want more of it! The EQ is additive only, so it’s a finishing and polishing tool – not a corrective one.

For plugin comparisons, the UAD Pultec stuff and Softube are good to my ears, but I didn’t do the same comparisons and not sure that I will. The Creme just sounds better. Probably the closest (yet different) I’ve heard are the recent Acustica Audio Ruby and Azure. Those are beautiful as well and a steal for what you’re paying (though CPU monsters). I plan to get Azure at some point for far more flexibility. I’m not sure what if anything I’ll do for dedicated EQ in hardware.

Hope this helps! I’ll update more in the coming days. If you’d like to know what I’m doing or want to hear some of your own audio through it, check out this thread: Free Mastering


Good info, I’ve been looking at the Tegeler Creme for a week or two now.


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Thanks! A year later my thoughts are more or less the same. The one thing I didn’t realize then is how nice it is use the Creme output volume to gain things up in the analog domain. Mine sits right before the converters, so it’s great to get things louder if needed, then do any final limiting back in the DAW.


I just got the new Creme RC yesterday. It comes with motor pods and plugin support, so you can automate it and do a total recall. it also has a new autoreleasr setting called creme and a third sidechain setting with 200 hz high pass. the knobs are not stepped anymore.

First impression, i have only worked in the box so far, that its much easier to get the „right“ setting. Mostly attack and release settings of the compressor reacts much more audible than migh best software plugins. its much more ease to hear when you get the most smack of a drum track when increasing attack time and the groove changes much more when playing around with release.

so far, its a keeper and Im really astonished, how much better real hardware sounds than even the best plugins (checked it against the fabfilter c2, but had only 1-2 hours yet).

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I’ve had the creme (no rc) at home. While I liked it, I didnt see the benefit for the price. I ab’d to my plugins and didnt have much difference. None were better, just different.

But our mmv of course.

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Congrats on getting the Creme RC! After 2.5 years it’s still a great bit of kit for me and gets used to some extent on just about everything. I’d really like the additions on the RC, but I can’t justify selling and upgrading… have too many other things on my gear lust list. :laughing:

I find some of the plugins very good if not outstanding in some cases, but I just like hardware for outboard processing. It’s not just a matter of whether or not it’s ‘better’ at this point (that’s subjective), but like you’re finding it can be easier to dial in and IMO it’s just more enjoyable to turn physical knobs. As to being easier, for me, it’s combination of sounding slightly better, but also due that at least in my experience hardware is more forgiving. You have a wider sweet spot and if needed can push it more without sounding like it. Many of the plugins don’t respond the same way. I also like some of the limitations and not having endless choices, so I’ve really gotten to know each device.


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