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Becos CompIQ. Anyone seen this?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, 51m0n said:

The bigger version really floats my boat though, because I like having proper control of attack and release (honestly once you 'get' compression you start to realise that the real power is in the attack/release curves).

It actually seems better configured than the Cali 76 CB, would you agree? Which is regarded by many (correctly or not I don't know) as the gold standard for pedal compressors. And this also costs less than the Cali, although still a punchy nearly £200 for the Stella. 

Looking forward to getting @Opticaleye's feedback on this and if it's half as good as we are all hoping, I could see this as being a really good way of getting to grips with compression. 

I actually rate Mark from Talking Bass as one of the best YouTube bass tutors out there and if he's endorsing this pedal, then that's also a pretty big recommendation in my books. 

Edited by Al Krow

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

It actually seems better configured than the Cali 76 CB, would you agree? Which is regarded by many (correctly or not I don't know) as the gold standard for pedal compressors. And this also costs a lot less. 

Looking forward to getting @Opticaleye's feedback on this and if it's half as good as we are all hoping, I could see this as being a really good way of getting to grips with compression. 

I was hoping that it would be with me today but nothing yet 😐. The parallel compression and tape saturation are the interesting features for me, over the excellent Basswitch Dual Comp and Markbass Compressore that I also have.

I'm not expecting that this would immediately appeal to someone new to compression given the number of options to twiddle with.

The review over on TB in the stickied compressor review thread makes me think I made the right choice.

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15 minutes ago, Opticaleye said:

I was hoping that it would be with me today but nothing yet 😐

I'm not expecting that this would immediately appeal to someone new to compression given the number of options to twiddle with.

But if you're already at one knob (with the TC Spectracomp aka 'spawn of the devil' according to @51m0n), then this would seem as good as any as a next step on. Why bother spending more money on something less good? 

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1 hour ago, Opticaleye said:

I was hoping that it would be with me today but nothing yet 😐. The parallel compression and tape saturation are the interesting features for me, over the excellent Basswitch Dual Comp and Markbass Compressore that I also have.

I'm not expecting that this would immediately appeal to someone new to compression given the number of options to twiddle with.

The review over on TB in the stickied compressor review thread makes me think I made the right choice.

 

1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

But if you're already at one knob (with the TC Spectracomp aka 'spawn of the devil' according to @51m0n), then this would seem as good as any as a next step on. Why bother spending more money on something less good? 

Reason this is a great pedal comp to learn with? Look at that lovely Gain Reduction meter. Oh my, what a beauty! That and a ratio variable from 0 to infinite. With a similar threshold range. Christ  you can even play with the knee and the attack release curves!

If someone wants to really really learn about compression then this is the stinky poo. Assuming its signal to noise ratio is decent (no reason it wouldn't be) and it doesn't play nasty with your tone (its supposed to be pretty transparent) then this would be a killer pedal for someone looking to really learn how compression works and what it can do.

 

If you don't already know your beans regarding setting up a compressor then you are not going to get this one figured out in 10 minutes during a soundcheck.
As someone who really understands what compressors do, and what the controls are giving you as options I would be willing to bet good money I could set this up for anyones particular needs in under 5 minutes. Easier than setting up a Joe Meek compressor, or a Diamond Pro for me (because all the controls are labelled with exactly what I would expect).

Also just to clear something up the Threshold is correct, anti-clockwise is the lowest threshold, i.e. it causes the most signal to be compressed. This is actually the correct way to do it, pedal comps get this wrong all the time, because they label the control 'compression' or whatever and then have to switch around wiring on the pot - drives me bonkers!

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1 hour ago, 51m0n said:

Reason this is a great pedal comp to learn with? Look at that lovely Gain Reduction meter. Oh my, what a beauty! That and a ratio variable from 0 to infinite. With a similar threshold range. Christ  you can even play with the knee and the attack release curves!

Just to clarify which model are you referring to? The mini pro

image.png.7d8339cd676c7604f742ed399afd6955.png

or the Stella?

image.png.bcbe0ffb606d4670d56e205ba520fe76.png

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The Stella, as a learning aid, since it is ridiculously full featured...

Edited by 51m0n
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Posted (edited)

These, for me, are still the best two posts on compressors on any thread I've read in several years on this forum and IMO worth digging up and sharing once every while!

(1) COMPRESSORS AND PUB BANDS

What are transparent compressors good for in a pub band?

Not about to try and teach anyone to suck eggs, if you know this stuff, sorry for the post, if you are not really interested please skip it, if you want to know why a compressor might help you in a live situation when it apparently 'does nothing' or 'kills my dynamics' then feel free to have  a read. It's like a very cut down compressor 101 chat I gave once, which some of you are still scarred by.....

Originally compression was supposed to be a transparent tool to prevent an engineer from having to ride a fader throughout a take or a mix. All it was supposed to do was keep that level more even - as often as not by just slightly modifying the envelope of the input sound, hence the attack and release control. And with VCA compressors they pretty much achieved it. But before VCA compressors there were Vari-mu compressors (real tube compressors), Optical compressors and FET compressors.

All these types have pluses and minuses, they all have different attack and release curves all of which do more than just transparently alter volume and help out an engineer.

On top of these types of compressor there is tape compression and and amp/driver compression - no driver is completely compression free when you push it hard, no amp is compression free when you push it hard, all overdrives and distortions and fuzzes are also compressors, just totally not transparent ones. The best ever compressor you will ever experience is the pair you have strapped on to the side of your head all day. Yes your ears/brain are simply the most powerful compressor you can buy. The quietest sound you can hear is equivalent to your ear drum moving the width or a single molecule apparently, whilst the loudest sound you can hear before deafening yourself pretty much instantly is hundreds of thousands of times louder (you need to look into the way sound pressure level measured in micro pascals and decibels work as units of measurement).

That amazing set of compressors on the side of your head has an unfortunate side effect, without a direct reference you are almost totally volume blind, small changes in volume are beyond you to describe, you can not reliably perceive them. Unless they are compared to a level that has not changed and is not changing. Obviously bigger differences are easy to perceive but the differences that can make or break a mix, if you aren't listening to the the mix happening at the time, nope, not  a hope.

So a deliberately transparent compressor you can't hear working on your signal in isolation, until you are doing way to much with it, and that's about when you feel your dynamics disappearing, because you are doing huge amount of compression in order to hear anything much at all. In a mix way less compression would be 'enough' to change the envelope of your signal to make your instrument be easier to hear, but you aren't in a mix so in order to hear anything at all you put way too much compression on.

Thing is, a studio engineer has the time and choice to select the right type of compressor for the particular part of a track he/she wants it for and then set it up just so.

What it does to an instrument in a  mix then is help prevent 'masking', this is where the envelope of the signal drops in such a way, either because of the player's technique or their instrument or their preferred tonal choices that some other instrument makes it hard to hear when it plays at the same time. Near the end of a mix when two instruments are masking each other I have found that a change of as little as 0.1dB can sometimes make a real difference to the way a pair of instruments sound in a mix.

Back to live then.

  • If you are trying to use a compressor to help you be heard in a mix you need very very little for it to make a difference.
  • If you are using compression for a definite effect then you may need bucket loads.
  • If you like your tone as it is but feel you sometimes 'disappear' in the mix and are constantly turning up, then a transparent compressor, set just right, could be the answer to the fight.

But you need good critical listening skills, you need to do this 'in the mix' unless you have great metering on the pedal to help you out otherwise you probably will put too much compression on the sound in order to hear it happening.

Compression is difficult to master when you are in the safe space of a mix down with no distractions and lots of time to experiment. In order to make it 'easier' to use many pedals have no 'confusing' metering and not all the required parameters to really control the compression. This is a double edged sword, no metering and 'doing it by ear' are nigh on impossible with a transparent compressor unless you are setting it up in situ in the mix. On the other hand a full featured compressor is waaay to complex for an average bassist to get the best out of, and also remember that little detail about setting it right for a particular song? Well you can't with an always on compressor, so you have to set it to help you a little bit all the time, and that's another skill.

Ultra low ratio (1.5 to 1 even), very low threshold, slow-ish attack (50 to 80 ms) and fast release (less than 30ms) giving not more than 3dB total compression on the loudest parts is probably a good target for a general touch of compression type of setting on bass live IME. No you can't really hear or feel it if you are just playing solo (don't be concerned if when playing normally the 3dB light doesn't light up at all, you are still getting some compression if your threshold is set right). In the mix you will be easier to hear, whether you are a loud or quiet band. Not because of tonnes of compression but because your individual note envelopes are changed just a smidge so that the post transient part of the note envelope is a touch louder than before.

(2) COMPRESSION SETTINGS: AN INTRODUCTION

Right, compressor talk 102 in short then (if you know this stuff, skip it etc etc etc):-

OK so there are 5 not 4 parameters, and they are as follows:-

THRESHOLD LEVEL (level above which the compressor starts compressing)

ATTACK TIME (time taken to reach n% of your total compression ratio, this is complicated by the fact that different circuits do this with different curves and get closer to 100% of the ratio by this time)

RELEASE TIME (time to turn the ratio back down to 1:1 after the signal drops below the threshold)

RATIO (slope) (amount that the compressor prevents the sound getting as loud as it would otherwise, i.e. 4:1 means the output is 1/4 of what it would have been)

MAKE UP GAIN (level) (amount of gain to apply to the signal after compression, its always on though, not only when the threshold is exceeded)

If you are looking to add a little 'something' extra to your bass tone, but don't have hella ears/metering/experience then I suggest this process:-

Initial set up (this is actually all about setting the threshold level very accurately):-

Set the attack to about 20ms, the release to 200ms the ratio to max (at least 10:1), make up gain leave at unity (0)dB

Then playing at a quietish level on the A string lower the threshold slowly until either you first meter light (3dB) lights up or you hear it start to squeeze the volume.

OK, this is entirely unusable right now, except from now on pretty much every note you play normally will start to compress (oh my God, think of the poor dynamics!!!)

Second stage to set up:-

  • So, we now set the ratio way back down to as low as it goes (1.5 to 1, or 2:1 are good)
  • Set the attack back to about 50ms
  • Set the release to about 45ms

Play normal stuff. Turn the compressor off, and on, try and equalise the volume with the make up gain so that the volume is consistent whether the compressor is off or on.

Now if you need a bit more 'bite' to your tone open up the attack a little, if the initial transient peak is too loud, or you want to hear the compression happen when you dig in then speed up the attack (faster than 25ms will getting very frustrating dynamics freaks!)

If you feel your playing is choked by this lower the ratio, if you feel its not doing enough in the mix try raising the ratio very slightly (2.5:1 would be an absolute maximum)

If you play streams of notes one after another legato and the attack of the first note is loud compared to the following notes' transients shorten the release even more (10ms is fine), I play a lot of 16th note lines, my release time is very very short :)

Don't worry if you only see the 3dB light when you slam the strings as hard as you can, you know you are always compressing, just slightly, and just the meat of the note, after the initial transient peak.

There you go you've effectively emulated a tube channel that is creeping in to saturation, on the meat of the note but left your transients untouched, and you aren't distorting.

Hope this helps someone.

[Source: @51m0n Dec 2017]

Edited by Al Krow
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While I'm collating quality posts on compression in one place, I note that even @51m0n's excellent two posts above states that "all overdrives and distortions and fuzzes are also compressors, just totally not transparent ones." It would be good to add the (heartfelt!) clarification from @Jus Lukin which he very recently posted on another thread:

Overdrive & valve amp and 'compression'

know I'll regret saying it, but to all those comments about overdrive and valve amps 'compressing' (not just in this thread, but everywhere for years), this is another misunderstanding which has been repeated until it sounds true. Valve amps and drive/distortion clip the signal, conpression turns it down. Before audible breakup, they sound similar. Draw a graph or look at a wave form and they look similar. They are, however, different actions, and compression has much more control over how the volume gain is reduced and when. It IS pedantic to point it out, and I've sworn off these kind of topics for exactly the same reason I may never mention this again, but the fact is that clipping and compression, while sharing some similarities, are almost, paradoxically, also diametrically opposed in what they actually are.

The same misinformation is trotted out so often that I think it is worth pointing out, not least so that proper use of compression gets a little more consideration by those who may be interested to dip into it.

Another way to look at it could be that they both reduce dynamic range. In that regard they are the same.

However, clipping, intentional or otherwise, in the simplest terms will be finding the limit of a particular component or circuit, and putting in more signal than it can deal with, hence anything at or past the limit is just not produced with any gain. Looking at the wave form it appears the sound changes shape, and therefore takes on a different timbre. This why fuzz is often used to replicate synth sounds- the wave has been turned quite 'square'.

Compression however, only ever turns the volume of the whole signal up or down. To understand them in their most basic sense, they were designed to stop mix engineers having to ride the fader to keep a very dynamic track from bobbing in and out of the mix or to avoid unwanted clipping where a loud bit would hit physical limits and get a bit square. With compression, the wave stays the same shape, but is at different volumes at different times. We can see this in the need for a release control- at the threshold, the volume is reduced so that the signal is not so loud, but if it is not turned back up, the signal below threshold will stay quiet. The comp needs to turn that volume back up, unlike a fuzz, which simply gets less dirty as it becomes less saturated with signal.

Valve amps blur the lines as they behave differently to a fuzz, but the fact that they can sound cleanish in that hinterland at the point of saturation belies the fact that they are still clipping- just really nice and smoothly.

As I said, the graphs don't help as they can look very similar, too. But while you could draw the dynamic action of a fuzz and limiter in the exact same way, the difference is that the fuzz can't get any louder at the threshold, so changes the shape of the wave as more signal is shoved in. The limiter turns the volume down so that it doesn't cross the threshold, then turns it back up as it falls away.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Compression however, only ever turns the volume of the whole signal up or down

 

This is, in fact, absolutely not the case in any setting of a real world compressor circuit that I can imagine. Sorry.

A compressor does not turn the volume of the entire signal down - that is far too simplistic a way of thinking about compression, it is not a thing to eb considered in a given moment, it is a thing that is all about the time domain at the milli/micro-second level. Once it starts being triggered it begins to act upon the input signal. And at some point after it stops it being triggered it stops changing the amplitude of the sound that triggered it.

The attack control allows some of the signal through, before the compressor starts to work,  the point at which the compressor has turned the signal down by the ratio that the ratio is set to occurs some time after that. With an attack of 20ms and a ratio of 4:1 the compressor will take 20ms to have achieved the majority of that ratio (but not actually necessarily all of it). The manner in which that turning down of the volume occurs (commonly called the attack curve) varies hugely between different settings and different circuits (hard/soft knee, FET vs optical vs VCA vs Vari-Mu vs digital).

Likewise setting a release time of 200ms means that 200ms after the threshold is crossed (going below the threshold) a percentage of the level will have returned (though not necessarily the full 100%) the way this returns is rarely a straight line, optical compressors sound like they do precisely because the release curve is, well, really curved! They initially return the volume very quickly, but this speed tapers off over time, the light source does not dim in a simple 1:1 relationship to the input signal. So the compression doesn't.

The make-up gain works over the entire signal though, drastically changing the ratio of the transient to the sustain phase of the input signal.

Many many compressors on the market also exhibit saturation qualities, the 1176 is often quoted as 'sprinkling some kind of fairy dust' on the sound, especially at extreme settings - guess what, its saturating, which adds harmonic overtones. Like a tube amp, but in a different way. Almost all 'tube' compressor pedals (not the Markbass Compressore), use a tube not to control the compression (a Vari-mu circuit) but as a preamp to a VCA compressor, guess what the tube does in these compressors? It saturates if you drive it hard. This makes people think the compressor is 'doing some magicks', when its not the compressor part of the circuit as much as the tube preamp to the compressor. The compressor does help make the additional harmonics sound a little louder in the overall resultant output signal, by removing some dynamic range.

The result is a very very different wave form envelope over time. So much so that you can definitely change the timbre of a sound using compression (really fast attack, ratio about 8:1 or above, threshold medium low, catching all the sound, about a constant 3-6dB of GR will effectively make any percussive bright transient disappear, the entire sound is now perceived as darker).

As soon as a compressor compresses it changes the wave form, with a hard enough limiter you get clipping, you can see it in recordings! Some digital limiters are designed to digitally clip (sounds gash to me but what do I know). No tube amp or analogue circuit anywhere can match the utter brutality of digitally clipping, it is the hardest limiting we can achieve. Every single digital audio recorder with an input gain knob and a loud enough input level can be forced to digitally clip. It just sounds stinky poo. And hard limits dynamic range.

3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Another way to look at it could be that they both reduce dynamic range. In that regard they are the same

This I agree with 100%. And in the way people say tube amps compress the signal, that is exactly what they are referring to (well I am). The result is, you get less dynamic range, however within the less dynamic range you get to vary the saturation level with your playing dynamics instead, which just so happens to be very musical, or Mr Gilmour would be just another geezer saturating his amps.

 

Edited by 51m0n
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@51m0n- I won't quote the post as it's quite long, but I don't think we're in disagreement here at all. I'll go into more detail as I know Al may be listening!

My phrase is about as simplified as it comes, but essentially covers everything you said regarding compressor control. The input signal is presented at different volumes at different times. Sure, measured in ms, and we can control many aspects of how and when the volume changes occur, but I don't see how the blanket statement is inaccurate. As for the basic action being that the volume simply goes up and down, we both used the same historical reference of riding a fader- we can tell the engineer when, and how far, and how fast to move his hand, but it can only go one way or the other over time. That the background noise rises and falls in opposition to the envelope further shows that the volume is simply being turned up and down, to our specification of course.

Regarding comps which include a valve stage and call themselves a valve compressor, of course the compression comes from the VCA which is acting on a clipped pre signal. Two separate processes, to me. Bringing it back to the Becos Stella, the saturation control, wherever it occurs in the circuit, is adding a clipping section to the compressor. Just because it is part of a compressor pedal doesn't mean it's part of compression per se. Similarly (but differently!) the 'pixie dust' of an 1176 or LA-2A I would say is a wonderful side effect of the original intention. Still designed as an electronic fader finger, as it were, the technology used adds other inaccuracies which while not 'perfect' add something better than perfect in some situations!

I'll bring up the smashed digital limiting too, just because it does sound like gash. If mastering is a dark art, then that kind of limiting is floodlights in place of reference monitors! 😄

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@Jus Lukin For sure, we aren't really disagreeing, I just wanted to point out that although the shape of the waveform could be seen to be the same at any one moment, the nature of the way the amplitude is controlled definitely changes the shape of the waveform over time, in doing so changing the frequency/amplitude curve throughout, ergo changing the waveform itself to all intents and purpose.

This is damnably subtle stuff mind, and I agree also that the manner in which these things are achieved are truly different, yet to a large degree (especially in the case of subtle tube saturation) the differences in how the dynaimc range changes are made can be largely ignored, and if you ignore the saturation element then the results wrt to dynamic range are extremely similar.

But I'm picking at nits because, well ,compressor thread: the rules are I have to unintentionally fosters at least one person off by being overly pedantic or not quite agreeing. Its all meant as fun discussion though, promise :D

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I went out for 1/2 hour leaving 3 people at home in case the Becos Stella arrived. Nobody heard the postman and he left the "card of disappointment" for me. Will be able  to pick it up tomorrow.

Not happy!

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1 hour ago, 51m0n said:

@Jus Lukin For sure, we aren't really disagreeing, I just wanted to point out that although the shape of the waveform could be seen to be the same at any one moment, the nature of the way the amplitude is controlled definitely changes the shape of the waveform over time, in doing so changing the frequency/amplitude curve throughout, ergo changing the waveform itself to all intents and purpose.

This is damnably subtle stuff mind, and I agree also that the manner in which these things are achieved are truly different, yet to a large degree (especially in the case of subtle tube saturation) the differences in how the dynaimc range changes are made can be largely ignored, and if you ignore the saturation element then the results wrt to dynamic range are extremely similar.

But I'm picking at nits because, well ,compressor thread: the rules are I have to unintentionally fosters at least one person off by being overly pedantic or not quite agreeing. Its all meant as fun discussion though, promise :D

It's all good- there's just something about compression threads. We can't even stick up for them with tying ourselves in knots!

At least there are some of us here as passionate about compression as are those who love to hate it! 👍

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1 hour ago, Opticaleye said:

I went out for 1/2 hour leaving 3 people at home in case the Becos Stella arrived. Nobody heard the postman and he left the "card of disappointment" for me. Will be able  to pick it up tomorrow.

Not happy!

So where can you get them from?

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21 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

Bringing it back to the Becos Stella, the saturation control, wherever it occurs in the circuit, is adding a clipping section to the compressor.

@Jus Lukin As per manual and feature description, the saturation in Compiq Stella acts upon dry line ONLY, and that can be mixed with the compressed signal through the blend control. It is parallel compression / harmonic distortion.

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Posted (edited)

I picked the Stella up 😁. I've spent most of this afternoon acquainting myself with it's many features! I like them all. 

The build quality is excellent, the pedal has a really solid feel and is a fair bit smaller than a Boss pedal, for instance.

I had a message from Becos saying that mine was arriving with premium aluminium knobs "as a way to say thank you for placing a back-order for a new BECOS product".

The basic compressor functions work as described and I really like the sounds available and the control they give over the waveform. The tilt Eq is really nice, and not overpowering. Clockwise from centre gives a more aggressive tone I feel, but I will probably use the added fatness to the left of 12 o'clock. I love the tone of both the hard and soft knee settings and will probably use the side chain filter switch in the L position although all the positions sound great and my opinion may change as I become more familiar with the pedal.

The timing switch sounds good in both automatic positions but I will probably use it in Manual and use the attack and release knobs. 

The threshold knob has to be set fairly low to light up more than a couple of the Led's with my passive basses plugged directly into the Stella at around 4:1 on the ratio knob. This will allow plenty of adjustment for any extra gain when used in a chain of pedals though.

The tape saturation circuit will probably be of more use to me when recording as it sounds good with flatwound strings to get that slightly distorted Jamerson tone that sits nice in a mix. I decided not to remove the LoCut jumper as recommended as that affects the whole of the dry signal not just the saturation and takes away a bit from the Parallel compression feature when not using the saturation.

To summarise then, a fantastic full featured transparent compressor with added bells and whistles. Sounds punchy with regular compression settings,  great for slap and fingerstyle. Sounds really good as a limiter too with the Ratio set higher.

When set at unity gain it adds a discernible improvement to the same basic tone.  

I'm really pleased.

IMG_20190405_145900.jpg

Edited by Opticaleye
Clarification
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3 hours ago, Opticaleye said:

I picked the Stella up 😁. I've spent most of this afternoon acquainting myself with it's many features! I like them all. 

The build quality is excellent, the pedal has a really solid feel and is a fair bit smaller than a Boss pedal, for instance.

I had a message from Becos saying that mine was arriving with premium aluminium knobs "as a way to say thank you for placing a back-order for a new BECOS product".

The basic compressor functions work as described and I really like the sounds available and the control they give over the waveform. The tilt Eq is really nice, and not overpowering. Clockwise from centre gives a more aggressive tone I feel, but I will probably use the added fatness to the left of 12 o'clock. I love the tone of both the hard and soft knee settings and will probably use the side chain filter switch in the L position although all the positions sound great and my opinion may change as I become more familiar with the pedal.

The timing switch sounds good in both automatic positions but I will probably use it in Manual and use the attack and release knobs. 

The threshold knob has to be set fairly low to light up more than a couple of the Led's with my passive basses plugged directly into the Stella at around 4:1 on the ratio knob. This will allow plenty of adjustment for any extra gain when used in a chain of pedals though.

The tape saturation circuit will probably be of more use to me when recording as it sounds good with flatwound strings to get that slightly distorted Jamerson tone that sits nice in a mix. I decided not to remove the LoCut jumper as recommended as that affects the whole of the dry signal not just the saturation and takes away a bit from the Parallel compression feature when not using the saturation.

To summarise then, a fantastic full featured transparent compressor with added bells and whistles. Sounds punchy with regular compression settings,  great for slap and fingerstyle. Sounds really good as a limiter too with the Ratio set higher.

When set at unity gain it adds a discernible improvement to the same basic tone.  

I'm really pleased.

IMG_20190405_145900.jpg

Sounds like it's a cracking little unit, Kev, I'll have to invite myself round for a cheeky listen 😃

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4 minutes ago, Osiris said:

Sounds like it's a cracking little unit, Kev, I'll have to invite myself round for a cheeky listen 😃

You'd be welcome🙂. I may not be in this area for too much longer...

 

On the other hand, the way the housing market is, I could be here some time ☹️.

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2 minutes ago, Opticaleye said:

You'd be welcome🙂. I may not be in this area for too much longer...

 

On the other hand, the way the housing market is, I could be here some time ☹️.

I'll give you a shout when I get a couple of hours free. Cheers!

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22 hours ago, Opticaleye said:

I picked the Stella up 😁. I've spent most of this afternoon acquainting myself with it's many features! I like them all. 

The build quality is excellent, the pedal has a really solid feel and is a fair bit smaller than a Boss pedal, for instance.

I had a message from Becos saying that mine was arriving with premium aluminium knobs "as a way to say thank you for placing a back-order for a new BECOS product".

The basic compressor functions work as described and I really like the sounds available and the control they give over the waveform. The tilt Eq is really nice, and not overpowering. Clockwise from centre gives a more aggressive tone I feel, but I will probably use the added fatness to the left of 12 o'clock. I love the tone of both the hard and soft knee settings and will probably use the side chain filter switch in the L position although all the positions sound great and my opinion may change as I become more familiar with the pedal.

The timing switch sounds good in both automatic positions but I will probably use it in Manual and use the attack and release knobs. 

The threshold knob has to be set fairly low to light up more than a couple of the Led's with my passive basses plugged directly into the Stella at around 4:1 on the ratio knob. This will allow plenty of adjustment for any extra gain when used in a chain of pedals though.

The tape saturation circuit will probably be of more use to me when recording as it sounds good with flatwound strings to get that slightly distorted Jamerson tone that sits nice in a mix. I decided not to remove the LoCut jumper as recommended as that affects the whole of the dry signal not just the saturation and takes away a bit from the Parallel compression feature when not using the saturation.

To summarise then, a fantastic full featured transparent compressor with added bells and whistles. Sounds punchy with regular compression settings,  great for slap and fingerstyle. Sounds really good as a limiter too with the Ratio set higher.

When set at unity gain it adds a discernible improvement to the same basic tone.  

I'm really pleased.

IMG_20190405_145900.jpg

 

Any chance you could record a little demo? Especially illustrating the tape saturation effect... That pedal looks really interesting.

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29 minutes ago, mcnach said:

 

Any chance you could record a little demo? Especially illustrating the tape saturation effect... That pedal looks really interesting.

I'll see if I can find the time in the next few days. There are so many options I may not do it justice until I get to know it better!

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7 hours ago, Opticaleye said:

I'll see if I can find the time in the next few days. There are so many options I may not do it justice until I get to know it better!

A brief example to go on with.

There really are so many variables for getting a tape saturation tone on this pedal. There are two internal jumpers that affect the tape saturation and I've removed neither at this stage.

I've mixed a 3.5 :1 regular compression in with the tape sat. on this quick snippet, the tape sat and parallel compression both at about 50%. I used a Sandberg VS4 with worn in Fender flatwounds and passive EMG Geezer Butler pickups. The first half is the pedal bypassed and direct, the 2nd half is the Stella with Tape Sat.

 

The range of the saturation increases with a hotter input and removing jumpers for low or/and high pass might be desirable to some.

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