Aguilar TLC vs. Pigtronix PBC Philosopher Bass Compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Serpenti, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Serpenti


    Apr 20, 2016
    I'm searching for a good compressor,
    right now I'm thinking about these 2 pedals:

    - Aguilar TLC

    - Pigtronix PBC Philosopher Bass Compressor

    Wich one do you prefer, and why ?
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Ovnilabs Compressor reviews may have some great insights for you from a true compressor expert.

    I own a a Diamond Bass Compressor and the Aguilar TLC. I think many of the Pigtronix units use a special power supply (like my Diamond) to get extra headroom. They may run on less, but I'm not sure what you might lose that could be of value to you. Sorry I can't offer anything more on the Pigtronix - it wasn't something I even tried out and I have no first hand experience using it.

    The TLC runs on 9 volts (standard Boss configuration or battery) and is very transparent/clean. It does it's job without imparting any special flavor/coloration, unlike my Diamond which adds a nice depth/warmth to the tone. The Aguilar can be used for more typical compression functions or peak limiting. It does both jobs without any noticeable artifacts at least to my ear. The bypass is especially nice and clean/transparent as pedals in general go.
  3. Pacodelivery

    Pacodelivery Supporting Member

    May 25, 2014
    Hey! I've owned both. Do you want a compressor "effect" or do you want a compressor for practical reasons - ie; string leveling, peak limiting, light smoothing, etc.

    The pigtronix is fantastic at making you sound like you're playing through a compressor, and it's a great sound.

    The Aguilar is quite transparent; there's a slight sharpening of the highs, and tightening of the lows, but not much more.

    The pigtronix has the added bonus of the grit switch, which gives you a pretty cool distortion sound, I've never found anything quite like it.

    The Aguilar is still on my board, the pigtronix is gone. I run the Aggie after my filter and as a peak limiter on bass, I run it when I finger pick on guitar; it's great at both. I've run in always on before; it's good at that, but I've outgrown the need for that - now I just get natural compression from my tube head.
    StrangerDanger likes this.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    @Pacodelivery nailed it.

    The Pigtronix will give you that fat dip & swell sound with endless sustain, and the grit switch is pretty nice. However it does not do peak limiting well. It does require at least 12v to operate properly, 18v even better. If you don't need the grit switch though, look at the new Philosopher Micro which is a tiny version than runs on 9v (it has an internal voltage doubler so it runs at 18v internally) and it's cheaper.

    The TLC is a better peak limiter, but does sharpen the highs/mids.

    For me the answer was the Keeley Bassist which is a fantastic peak limiter which is what I need to tame the B string and keep from blowing speakers when I wail on it.

    All of this was part of my 'not all compressors are the same' revelation that still baffles me. Three compressors. Three totally different functions. You could probably line up 20 different compressors and get 20 totally different functions.
    Al Kraft likes this.
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