Rackmount Compressor Dilemma

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jarrcckk, Dec 26, 2013.


  1. jarrcckk

    jarrcckk

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Hello Guys, been lurking here for some years soaking up juicy bass information, but alas I have a question!

    I'm seeking some advice on an entry level rackmounted compressor. Ideally I would like something of an all rounder, capable of drums, vocals, guitar and bass etc. But also capable enough to compress bass in a live situation. I have narrowed it down to 3 choices of similar price and would appreciate some feedback please :)

    Joemeek MC 2 - http://www.joemeek.com/mc2.html.
    I have read generally positive reviews on this, including the use as a bass pre in live situations. However I am skeptical about the omission of a ratio knob, as it is all done automatically. Not sure how this omission would hinder the use in other situations, such as limiting/ brick walling applications?

    FMR Audio RNC 1773 - http://www.fmraudio.com/rnc.html - The super nice mode on this seems to be awesome, utilising 3 channels! However I hear as it is so fast, the attack times can distort low end frequencies, making it very difficult to use on kick drums / bass guitars.

    DBX 266 XS - http://www.dbxpro.com/en/products/266xs - similar price, to me seems to be a fairly standard inoffensive option.

    I am also open to any suggestions!

    Thanks Guys! :help::bassist:
  2. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    RNC...sounds good, and is small, light and affordable :)
  3. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nashville
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    The joemeek does have a ratio control, they just label it slope. It's a good unit, although the stereo function won't be useful to you. Their older stuff was better though.

    The RNC is really good. Quality components, sounds great. Nothing in it's price range comes close.

    Skip the DBX. The 166 is good, and the 160 is great, but the 266... Nah.
  4. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Meaning no disrespect, but my experience is that 'good', 'versatile' and 'inexpensive' don't go together very well. In my studio, I have (hang on, let me count 'em) 33 channels of compressors, counting an RNC (which is in the closet, unused). These range from vintage broadcast limiters (a pair of GE BA 9B's) through 'old compressor/limiters from Summit, Vac Rac and Telectronix to current products from Crane Song, Millennia, Manley. While all have a sound that I use from time to time (else they wouldn't be in the rack), the only ones that I would be willing to use on anything that comes through the studio are my Tube Tech CL-1B's. They aren't particularly inexpensive.

    In your position, I would try to find something that I liked for my bass - and if you're primarily playing live, look for something that works in that application. Then, start saving up for a CL1B...

    FYI, I don't use a compressor on live gigs, either on electric or acoustic bass.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder



    I don't use compression live either, tried it a few times for upright. Liked it, but didn't see the point of racking up something that might help a little once every 10 gigs. Then again, some bassists make compression a part of their sound so there's that.

    Agreed on the dbx stuff. I have a 166 at the studio. Not nearly as many compressors as yourself, but a CL1-B is a must have for me as well as a good 1176. I think telling the OP to save up for a CL1B is somewhat ill advised. There ain't no way I'm gonna throw a compressor that costs more than some folks' entire live rig into a van, then take it in and out of bars and clubs every night?!
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Disclosures:
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That was certainly a more polite way of putting it than I would have done. :)
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    PDX, OR
    Disclosures:
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Exactly. :)
    IMO that is true for stereo audio mixes, but not for bass guitar. There are several comps in a similar price range that I would prefer any day for bass over the RNC.
    Yes, agreed. Any of the 160, 166, or 1066 series are fine, but the 266 is crap.
  9. dukeorock

    dukeorock Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Authorized greenboy designs builder
    The ART Pro Channel 2 pre was really hot for awhile with bassists and I can see why. Super affordable pre amp that is really versatile. I mention it because I briefly gigged it as an upright pre. While not completely my cup of tea in the end, I thought the compressor was really good for live bass.
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    Along the same lines would be an older Tube Channel if the OP can find one in decent shape.

    I use live compression on my bass very infrequently, when I do it is my Compulator. I am seriously not into hauling rack stuff anymore... Aound the project studio, I use software comps. In the unlikely event I get something amazing, it's going to be mastered at a factility where there is mega-buck gear in play anyway... So my take on it is that when it comes to compression, a minimalist approach is often best.
  11. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Err..; you might want to re-read what I wrote; I suggested that he find something he likes for live gigs. The original post was only secondarily about live performance:
    While I've taken a CL1B out on a live gig once (when subbing a show that was all on ears, I brought my session rack out with me for that weekend), I wouldn't (and didn't) suggest that route to the OP.
  12. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    NEW YORK
    I wouldn't with any of them if you are using it for home recording. If live only that's a different story. It seems if you want something for home and to work with multiple needs ( vocals, bass, drums, etc) and it also seems you are on a budget. try to spend just a little more and get the PBC-6A by FMR Audio.
  13. jarrcckk

    jarrcckk

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Hey guys, thanks for all the replies. I think I will save up for a bass specific pedal if needs be, and for now either opt for an FMR RNC or wait until I can afford a PBC-6A! Thanks again guys, keep up the good work :D

Share This Page