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chriswareham

Demeter Compulator optical compressor pedal

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[b]Overall Rating:[/b] 9 out of 10 (nothing's perfect, except my wife if she reads this).

[b]Sound Quality:[/b] Transparent in use, you only really notice it if you crank the compress knob right up or when you turn it off after playing with it switched on for a while. If you don't want a compressor that colours yiour tone then this one is great. No noise apparent when used on it's own but it doesn't like sharing an unisolated power supply such as a 1 Spot with one of my other pedals (most likely an issue with the other pedal, but I thought it worth mentioning).

[b]Reliability / Durability:[/b] Very solid steel chassis, with the controls and sockets securely fastened to it. Mine has survived numerous gigs over the lasty two years without showing any wear and tear.

[b]Ease Of Use:[/b] Only two knobs - compress and level. I basically dial in the required amount of compression and then adjust the level to match the volume when the pedal is not engaged. There's also a recessed trim pot on the side to adjust the input level, but despite using a very "hot" active bass I've never needed to touch it. I felt no need to understand exactly how it worked, I just set the compress control to the mid position and tweaked it until it sounded right.

[b]Reviewer Background:[/b] Been playing bass about twenty years, in bands signed to indie labels and with a number of commerically released album to show for it. Didn't start using compression until a couple of years ago, but now wouldn't be without it.

[b]Purchased From:[/b] Bought new by phone order from a Demeter main dealer (Charlie Chandler's in Bath I think).

[b]Price:[/b] £200. Not cheap, but not a silly boutique price either in my humble opinion.

[b]Additional Comments:[/b] It uses a silly power connector - a bit like the "big box" Electro Harmonix pedals - rather than the more common Boss style one. Not a big deal as I just bought a regulated power supply from Maplins that came with a suitable adaptor. If the pedal broke, then I'd definitely get it fixed, and if I lost it I'd definitely get another one.

Edited by chriswareham

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Sums up my thoughts but I will add going between passive fender and active Aria means it needs the gain pot trimming. Also it is incredibly musical, it just makes you sound much better.

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A few years ago I decided to try out this compressor. I spent an hour playing through one of these units (nice bass through nice combo), trying to spot what it was actually doing ... in fact, was it actually doing anything?

I reached the conclusion that it was so subtle that I couldn't detect it even when playing solo and concentrating on what it was doing.

My ears? I reached for a Maxon CP-Pro+ and tried that ... immediately obvious when it was engaged and how it worked, and the controls made sense too.

I do recognise my own limitations, and I really should try a Compulator again to see whether I get different results, but when reading positive reviews (which is all the Compulator ever gets :lol: ) just be aware that it won't suit everybody.

For the amount of money involved, I'd say try before you buy.

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[quote]
I reached the conclusion that it was so subtle that I couldn't detect it even when playing solo and concentrating on what it was doing.
[/quote]

That has to be a setup issue.

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Maybe so, but as I said - when I substituted a competing product I immediately got results.

The Compulator has just two knobs, one of which is Level. Even an incompetent clown like me would struggle to get the "set up" wrong after an hour of twiddling a knob marked "Compression". ;)

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The signal from my Thumb Bass was too hot for the Compulator (perhaps the 18v preamp?). Even with the trim dialed all the way back there was unwanted distortion. I had to sell it for this reason, which was a shame as I loved the clear, quiet, functional compression which it gave to my passive Aria SB.

Perhaps this isn't a problem for most folk, but a more easily adjustable input gain control with a greater range (to account for uber hot basses) would drastically improve the functionality of this pedal.

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