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  • Pedal Type:
    Bass compression
    Batteries:
    1 x 9V
    Weight:
    14.4 oz
    Size:
    2.6" x 5.5" x 4.4"
    Price:
    $189.99
    Features:
    Take your favorite studio compressor to the stage with the MXR M87 Bass Compressor. A complete array of controls—Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and Output—makes it easy to fine-tune your sound, from subtle peak limiting to hard squashed compression effects. Its CHT™ Constant Headroom Technology gives you plenty of headroom and clear performance. This totally transparent compressor allows your full dynamic range to shine through until your signal reaches the compression threshold, which is indicated by the ten, highly visible gain-reduction status LEDs. It’s all packed into a durable, lightweight aluminum-housing pedal that’s the size of a Phase 90.

Recent Reviews

  1. Wito
    4/5,
    "Transparent & very adjustable."
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    4/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros - Transparent. Attack & Release knobs. The LEDs!!
    Cons - Even in the slowest settings the attack is still quite fast.
    This is a very usefull pedal, which can do from light compression to strong limiting. With all those knobs, it can look intimidating for those new to the compression world, but a quick look at the manual and at the ever usefull www.ovnilab.com should put you on the right track in few minutes.

    The adjustability of the attack & release time are extremely usefull to retain (or get rid of, if that's what you are for) the initial spike of each note. One important thing to note is that, even in the slowest settings, the attack is still quite (very) fast. This is not a problem for me, but it may be for others.

    Even if the compression ratio is not infinitely adjustable, the four offered ratios have been thoughtfully chosen and so far I have not missed further adjustavility.

    Last but not least, I really hope that whoever thought about including that gain-reduction status LED meter got a considerable rise on his/her payroll. It's pure genious! For an effect so difficult to adjust just by ear as compression, that extra visual confirmation of what's going on really eases things. Well done!​
    Price Paid:
    220 €
    Frellin Smesh and Dexter_Bass like this.
  2. rufus.K
    4/5,
    "good compressor"
    Build Quality:
    3/5,
    Features:
    4/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros - Perfect for bass players
    Cons - premature death on mine
    I use to leave this in my effects loop with an Aguilar AG500 and a passive J. It was nice to smoosh the hard hits and deep digs, but became erratic and stopped functioning reliably. Now it works when it wants to and other times seems to just stay in bypass, although the meters still say its compressing. Was totally happy when it was new.
    Price Paid:
    180 ish
  3. RichSnyder
    4/5,
    "One of the top compressors"
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros - The meter!
    Cons - Can be sensitive to input levels
    Many reviews out there for this pedal, I'll summarize my opinion - top notch pedal, the meter is great for setting levels, make sure you set the input levels first, very clean compression. The last part is perfect for most, but I kinda like some tone in my compression.
    Price Paid:
    $189
  4. q5bass
    4/5,
    "Nice Compressor"
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Features:
    4/5,
    Value:
    3/5,
    Pros - Transparent, no noticeable noise, LED lights, excellent peak limiting
    Cons - Pricy (but I bought mine used on Talkbass :))
    I use this primarily as a peak limiter for slapping. It is very transparent, easy to dial in as much or as little compression and peak limiting as you want. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good compressor/limiter.
    Price Paid:
    $125
  5. MuthaFunk
    4/5,
    "Transparent sound"
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros - Transparent sound. Visible gain reduction meter. Full controls. Small package. Standard Power Supply
    Cons - Fully adjustable may be too much control for the novice compressor user? Ratio not infinitely adjustable
    I have/had a number of compressors over my 17 years of playing bass and recording mixing/mastering music. Some of them are from Joe Meek, Alesis, Keeley, Aguilar, Diamond, Markbass, Presonus, DBX, Boss, and a slew of fine VST plug-ins. (I have not had a chance to try an FEA product yet)


    As this review is for the MXR M87 pedal, I'll give my impressions of it for use in a live situation and not necessarily for studio. I have a somewhat controlled technique on bass but I sometimes get carried away and tend to lean on the strings harder than I should. I've always found the use of a compressor in my live rig a must. Not just to tame my poor technique but to level out the strings on my basses. The ability of a compressor to allow all the details of the upper register to be heard live is really what attracts me to a pedal like the M87. Some others use compressor pedals for hard limiting of peaks. I use compressors in a always on type situation. Typically I set my gain reduction at -1 db when playing on the quietest of notes in the upper register and a low ratio. I'll set my attack rather slow to allow the fundamental of each pluck through and release very fast to allow the next pluck through. Whatever gain reduction the compressor ends up doing on my low B string being hammered with a slap, I don't care. I just set my make up gain to match my low B hard hits to the bypassed signal. I don't consider myself to be a compressor guru but this is how I prefer it set up in my live rig.


    The MXR M87 really excels at giving the competent user all of the control they may want. With the exception of the preset ratio settings, it's as fully functioning as many of the studio rack units I've used. To find this level of functionality and display in a pedal is unheard of until this M87 came along. The build quality is very good as well. The pots all feel solid and the overall construction is of MXR's standard high quality.


    The sound at my given settings was outstanding!! This is the most transparent compressor I've used. To my delight my basses all sounded just as they do but with the compression happening. I could not detect any audible artifacts when the compressor was coming on and off. I was able to hear some artifacts when I really drove the threshold down to get massive gain reductions but with the long attack times and short release, I don't think anyone would actually find a practical reason to run their M87 this way.


    The full frequency spectrum was easily heard as I changed between soft finger style jazz on my FBass to full out grindy hard finger funk. You can really notice the smooth transparent upper frequency passing through the M87 when slapping. The slapping proved to be especially pleasing as the levels compared to my finger style where smoothend out nicely. The use of effects also made the M87 shine through it's true to the input signal sound.


    The first time I hooked up my M87 to my Gator G-Buss power supply I could hear an abnormal amount of noise. After some words with other TB'ers I figure it could have been the "charge pump" circuitry conflicting with the switching power supply of the Gator. My old school Boss adapter corrected the problem immediately. I later hooked up the Gator power supply again and again but didn't notice any noise problems at all.... Take away what you will with that. It had me stumped.


    I personally prefer a slightly lower ratio than the lowest available preset of 4:1 on my live rig but it didn't stop me from loving the performance, sound, and convenience of this pedal. I was doing a direct comparison with my Aguilar TLC pedal and found despite all the strengths of the MXR, I still ended up preferring the TLC. I preferred it because of the color it added to my bass. Albeit a very slight color as my bass still sounded like my bass but it had an added "life" to it. Although I wasn't super happy about this when I first tried the TLC I began to appreciate it when playing live. I have read many other reviews that praise the TLC as being transparent so perhaps it may be just my TLC imparting it's own brand of love. The TLC I have adds a very slight upper mid frequency presence to the sound giving my very warm tubey sounding Mesa Scout an added attack I couldn't get with eq'ing alone. It's for this type of scenario I think many would prefer the Markbass compressore to the M87 as it imparts a blissful low end character that some basses and/or amps may benefit from. The M87 has a more tube like FEEL to the TLC but still very transparent frequency wise. This may be in part due to the somewhat short attack setting range on the M87?


    Those of you who know and like the sound of your bass and rig, but are looking for some dynamic control and nothing else, you would be perfect candidates for owning a M87. The M87 really is a rack mount quality compressor with full controls in a pedal format including a gain reduction display and a truly transparent sound
    Price Paid:
    $189.00

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