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mattbass6

Best compressor pedal?

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Seeking some advice please? In your opinion, what is the best compressor pedal out there at the moment. I only want to apply light compression but there are so many pedals out there and so many videos where you can't really hear what the pedal is doing, I felt it best to speak to people in the know. Thanks in advance.

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Best is subjective so it'll come down to the one that does what you want it to do and gives you the sound you want :)

My personal recommendation for infinite flexibility, versatility and a superb compressor in its own right would be the TC Electronics SpectraComp.  

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Yeah, I hear you on that but, there is no way I'll be able to try out everything ha ha ha ha ha ha. If the kind folk here start mentioning certain models more frequently, it'll be easier for me to narrow my search. Thanks Osiris, appreciate your input and will certainly look at the SpectraComp. I have used it when I had my TC RH750 so yes, that gives me a good basis for comparison :) 

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It all depends what you want it to do. Iv'e been using the MXR M87 for a couple of years now, does what it says on the tin and is very transparent having little effect on your overall tone, but that may not be what you are looking for. There are many many good options around at the moment. 

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1 minute ago, JBP said:

It all depends what you want it to do. Iv'e been using the MXR M87 for a couple of years now, does what it says on the tin and is very transparent having little effect on your overall tone, but that may not be what you are looking for. There are many many good options around at the moment. 

I think you have described exactly what I want JBP. Thank you. I shall check out the MXR as well. Cheers :) 

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Of the ones I've tried, I like the Cali 76 Compact Bass for general purpose transparent compression, and the Effectrode PC-2A for more of a warm tube preamp style of compressor that works absolute wonders with my acoustic fretless.

Ones that didn't make the grade:

 

- EBS Multicomp - the input kept clipping with my bass and playing style. Perhaps the newer Studio Edition has improved things here?

- Diamond - lack of a ratio control and some unexplained buzzing when used with my Cioks DC5 power supply meant I had to move this on.

- Keeley Bassist - seemed a bit dry and clinical and the attack time was set pretty fast for me - I like the peak to come through a little more before it clamps down. Would make a great limiter though especially as the ratio control goes up to infinity.

- RMI Basswitch Dual Band - changed the tone pretty drastically compared to other comps, and the internal 9v-18v puts out a high pitched hum on the power line that gets picked up by other pedals if you don't use isolated power.

 

The Spectracomp looks great if you mainly use one bass and want to set it and forget it. CRAZY amounts of tweakable controls in the editor app, and plenty of Toneprints to get you going, looks like a fun pedal for tweakers. I like to flick between different basses though and prefer something with basic metering and a threshold control for setting on the fly.

Edited by dannybuoy
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1 hour ago, Osiris said:

Best is subjective so it'll come down to the one that does what you want it to do and gives you the sound you want :)

My personal recommendation for infinite flexibility, versatility and a superb compressor in its own right would be the TC Electronics SpectraComp.  

+1 I love mine, it is always on. Very simple to use and get a decent level with.

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2 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

Of the ones I've tried, I like the Cali 76 Compact Bass for general purpose transparent compression, and the Effectrode PC-2A for more of a warm tube preamp style of compressor that works absolute wonders with my acoustic fretless.

Ones that didn't make the grade:

 

- EBS Multicomp - the input kept clipping with my bass and playing style. Perhaps the newer Studio Edition has improved things here?

- Diamond - lack of a ratio control and some unexplained buzzing when used with my Cioks DC5 power supply meant I had to move this on.

- RMI Basswitch Dual Band - changed the tone pretty drastically compared to other comps, and the internal 9v-18v puts out a high pitched hum on the power line that gets picked up by other pedals if you don't use isolated power.

 

The Spectracomp looks great if you mainly use one bass and want to set it and forget it. CRAZY amounts of tweakable controls in the editor app, and plenty of Toneprints to get you going, looks like a fun pedal for tweakers. I like to flick between different basses though and prefer something with basic metering and a threshold control for setting on the fly.

Very interesting dannybuoy. Thank you. I do use just one bass well, 2 basses but, they are the same model. I really want something that can be set and forgotten about. The path of least resistance and all that ;) 

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2 minutes ago, T-Bay said:

+1 I love mine, it is always on. Very simple to use and get a decent level with.

Fantastic, thanks T-Bay :)

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1 hour ago, dannybuoy said:

Of the ones I've tried, I like the Cali 76 Compact Bass for general purpose transparent compression, and the Effectrode PC-2A for more of a warm tube preamp style of compressor that works absolute wonders with my acoustic fretless.

Ones that didn't make the grade:

 

- EBS Multicomp - the input kept clipping with my bass and playing style. Perhaps the newer Studio Edition has improved things here?

- Diamond - lack of a ratio control and some unexplained buzzing when used with my Cioks DC5 power supply meant I had to move this on.

- Keeley Bassist - seemed a bit dry and clinical and the attack time was set pretty fast for me - I like the peak to come through a little more before it clamps down. Would make a great limiter though especially as the ratio control goes up to infinity.

- RMI Basswitch Dual Band - changed the tone pretty drastically compared to other comps, and the internal 9v-18v puts out a high pitched hum on the power line that gets picked up by other pedals if you don't use isolated power.

 

The Spectracomp looks great if you mainly use one bass and want to set it and forget it. CRAZY amounts of tweakable controls in the editor app, and plenty of Toneprints to get you going, looks like a fun pedal for tweakers. I like to flick between different basses though and prefer something with basic metering and a threshold control for setting on the fly.

I like the Keeley a lot for it's clarity and ease of use, plus versatility as It can compress softly or brick-wall limit. I didn't experience these problems with the EBS but it was not transparent. The MXR I had wasn't working well and that seems to happen quite often.  

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I love my markbass compressore. I use it at the start of my chain to tame my playing a bit, add some attack (I play with fingers) and give me a bit more control over my dirt pedals (ie. makes me have to dig in a bit more before my pre starts to breakup), and add a little sustain.

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3 hours ago, dannybuoy said:

The Spectracomp looks great if you mainly use one bass and want to set it and forget it. CRAZY amounts of tweakable controls in the editor app, and plenty of Toneprints to get you going, looks like a fun pedal for tweakers. I like to flick between different basses though and prefer something with basic metering and a threshold control for setting on the fly.

I have 5 different basses, some active, some passive and the SpectraComp is happy with all of them :)

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Used MXR - not bad at all

User Darkglass Super symmetry - again good compressor and puts a warm feeling to your tone

i have a Cali76G- it’s the absolute mutts nuts-infact anything Cali is super cool. You will defo not go wrong there!

 

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Not to be dismissed is the Boss BC1X. Ovnilab compares it favourably with the MXR and I've certainly found it to be fit-and-forget and nothing at all like the old analog Boss Comps (CS2 for example).  The metering is very good on it too. The Spectracomp lacks meters and (as DB points out) is only great provided you don't need to change parameters mid-set (new bass etc). Although I suppose that you could assign 'bass swap' set of parameters to the knob and have one half of the sweep dedicated to each bass or something.  I'd definitely consider one for studio use with a laptop connected or as a super compact 2nd comp with some sort of stunt setting or for a small board, but for routine gigging I'd definitely want more fingertip control. Boss or MXR.  That's assuming you want 'clean'. Other flavours are available of course.

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Using a Keeley Bassist at the moment which I like. Best pedal I ever had was the TC Electronics Nova Dynamics which was a fantastic pedal. Needed a 12w supply and was just a bit too big for my board but I wish I still had it. It could do anything well.

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Thanks everyone for your invaluable input. Plenty of food for thought. I only use one type of bass (though I have 2 of them) so for me, it's really about having a compressor, setting it and leaving it well alone. I also don't like too many options when it comes to settings etc as I get really bad option anxiety ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. The SpectraComp seems the simplest and most practical idea at the moment but, I am looking in to all the pedals you guys have mentioned. Thanks again :) 

 

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+1 for the spectracomp here too Matt, like you said it's on the Rh750, I've also got it on my backup BH250, and I've got it as a separate pedal too..I just use it in it's 'out of the box' setting, and it's great as it is.  

From 0 up to midday, you get fattening and some control of dynamics, then past midday you get more limiting.

Edited by LewisK1975

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10 minutes ago, LewisK1975 said:

+1 for the spectracomp here too Matt, like you said it's on the Rh750, I've also got it on my backup BH250, and I've got it as a separate pedal too..I just use it in it's 'out of the box' setting, and it's great as it is.  

From 0 up to midday, you get fattening and some control of dynamics, then past midday you get more limiting.

Brilliant, thanks mate. That's exactly what I need to know. Does it colour the sound in anyway?

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Some of the Tone Prints for the SpectraComp can add colour, but there are plenty of transparent ones too, so you get to choose which ever suits you best. The default tone print that comes with the pedal wasn't very exciting to my ear but once you start experimenting you'll soon find what you're looking for. 

I previously had a TC RH450 amp with SpectraComp and if anything I find the pedal to be an improvement in terms of performance and sound.   

Personally I don't mind the lack of metering, I prefer to use my ears to find the compression sweet spot. 

As for having different patches for different basses, I tend to just use my favourite tone print (Muscle Comp) with all my basses, a small nudge of the control knob either way is enough to adjust to different outputs from different instruments. 

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1 minute ago, Osiris said:

Some of the Tone Prints for the SpectraComp can add colour, but there are plenty of transparent ones too, so you get to choose which ever suits you best. The default tone print that comes with the pedal wasn't very exciting to my ear but once you start experimenting you'll soon find what you're looking for. 

I previously had a TC RH450 amp with SpectraComp and if anything I find the pedal to be an improvement in terms of performance and sound.   

Personally I don't mind the lack of metering, I prefer to use my ears to find the compression sweet spot. 

As for having different patches for different basses, I tend to just use my favourite tone print (Muscle Comp) with all my basses, a small nudge of the control knob either way is enough to adjust to different outputs from different instruments. 

Very cool. The TC looks like it is the way for me to go. I was impressed with it when I had the RH750 but wasn't sure how it would translate outside of the "box" if you know what I mean. Good to hear that you feel it is an improvement. Thanks ;) 

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Osiris is right, the pedal is better than the built in on the RH amps, and you can do an awful lot more with it.  I don't hear any colouring in the setting I use.

Dan Veall did an excellent video review of it on guitar interactive.  Worth a watch..

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Just now, LewisK1975 said:

Osiris is right, the pedal is better than the built in on the RH amps, and you can do an awful lot more with it.  I don't hear any colouring in the setting I use.

Dan Veall did an excellent video review of it on guitar interactive.  Worth a watch..

Top of the pops. Thanks buddy. I shall search out the video and appreciate the insight. I think this is the route I am going to take ;) 

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