Another small compressor thread (becos, afterlife/ghost note, etc...?)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by edr, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    I've scoured the forums about tiny compressors and their reviews, and I think I've narrowed it down a bit.

    What I currently have:
    EHX Bass Preacher - it's cheap and it works, it fattens my tone up a bit I think, it's not bad sounding to my novice ear. It's my first comp.

    Why I want to change it out:
    Noise - it's not very quiet, which gets to be a problem when I'm using it to feed into some dirt and I want a longer sustain going in. I think it also added some weird looking high freq noise when I recorded through it for a track last year. That's easy enough for me to remove in post but why have it there to begin with?
    Rolls off the highs - when my band would do some RHCP covers, my slapping would get lost in the mix when I had the comp on, but I *think* I'd like the comp to help me with the slapping if possible. Even with more makeup gain, it wouldn't really cut through. On the other hand, the lead guitarist suggested maybe I just think about getting a boost instead and ditch compression for those moments. I don't know for sure.
    GAS - the thing I do when I procrastinate actually practicing bass :p

    So it sounds like what I'm after is:
    - sustain
    - low noise (yeah yeah I know)
    - retain my highs
    - not sure if a transparent comp is what I'm after, but I don't know if 'tone magic' is something I care about.
    - potentially always on, likely a 'set-and-forget' situation
    - ease of use, since I'm an idiot who has less of an ear for bass tone than I'd like to admit
    Oh right, and
    - small size. My board is small and I like it that way. 1590A sounds like a fantastic idea to me, but I'd be open to a slightly less tiny box if the jacks are on top instead of the sides.
    - standard boss jack 9v dc preferred

    Here's the ones I'm thinking about:

    Becos Compiq mini (One? or the full mini) - it seems like it can do everything, plus it has the LED indicators. Looks real nice. Might get the One since it has less controls for me to get confused by.

    Madbean Afterlife - not afraid of doing the build myself, I've worked out how to do the Ghost Note mod as well, since some of my basses run hot and others not so much. Concern is mainly that I just know so little about compressors to know if this one is actually the right one for me. If I build it, I might have a hard time selling it later if I don't like it.

    Pigtronix philosopher's bass mini? - I've heard it does sustain well. I forget why I moved it down on my list, actually.

    Fairfield Accountant - probably not, looks too confusing.
    Xotic Sp - too noisy? Would it play nice with my low B?
    Open to recommendations.

    Do I have any idea what I want? Am I spouting complete nonsense? Should I just look for a boost instead?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  2. loki2772

    loki2772 Supporting Member

    I currently have the Becos One and the Accountant. My vote for your previously mentioned interests is the One.
    TheLopp and Fuzzbass like this.
  3. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    I can't edit my original post anymore but - I'm not sure where I got the idea that the Xotic Sp was too noisy. Trying to find the source of where I got that impression, as I've tried out none of these pedals.
  4. BeauZooka


    Oct 2, 2007
    Seattle USA
    JHS Whitey Tighty is one you should take a look at.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    I can warmly recommend the fully customizable 3 band TC Electronic SpectraComp bass compressor.

    However in my opinion it does require of you to take the time an dial in the sort of compression you want in the Toneprint editor for it to be usable, at least I liked non of the pre-made templates or artist toneprints, but if you do take the time needed to dial in the pedal in the editor to your preferences it is no less than amazing and the possibilities almost limitless.

    It allows for parallel clean signal blend as well, as said for each of the 3 bands, and with a customizable crossover as well, and a full featured set of compression parameters for each band.

    The 1 knob being assignable to any and as many of the parameters you want, and with whichever range you wish for the individually assigned parameters.

    Personally I have my SpectraComp dialed in with a good deal of clean signal blended in for each of the 3 bands ( though slightly different amounts of clean signal for each band), just adding a nice amount of additional punch, snap and bite to my tone, but while leaving my playing dynamics almost unaffected.

    It can be as transparent as you want it to be or if should wish act mainly as a tone shaping device, changing the whole character of your signal, all depending on how you chose to dial in the vast amount of adjustable parameters the Toneprint editor offers.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  6. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    I have the Fairfield Accountant. It is a relatively simple compressor - two switches, one knob. But it has a "dirty" tonal characteristic that is an acquired taste. Mine is always on for an added edge, but YMMV.

    I also have the Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Mini on my shelf. In one word, it is EXTREME. The compression starts where many comps stop, and the dirt knob goes from 0 to 11 in about a quarter turn. Based on what you describe, I don't think that's what you want.
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  7. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    based on what reviews I could find, the Whitey Tighty has now entered the ring. Scubaduba really liked the pulp n peel, which this is based off of (info I just learned, repeating it here in case someone sees this thread later and is unaware that the Whitey Tighty is a stripped down Pulp n Peel)

    main contenders are now:
    Becos compiq mini One
    Madbean Afterlife (with ghost note mod)
    JHS whitey Tighty
    Xotic sp, I was worried about noise. ovnilabs review said it had typical noise for a boutique ross clone, but.... idk that's still probably an improvement over what I have now! But now I'm more worried about how it will respond differently to the input levels of my different basses. Almost all are passive, but my warwick $$ somehow runs hotter than a lot of active basses.

    not considering TC spectracomp for a stupid reason: I don’t want to fiddle with software to get it sounding right. I do enough fiddling with software at work.

    the Accountant: it’s probably not the pedal I’m after but I’d love to play around with one sometime if I get the chance. Same with the pigtronix.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
    BeauZooka likes this.
  8. whoismarykelly


    Feb 12, 2004
    The Becos is great
    TheLopp, kranahan and loki2772 like this.
  9. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    Not pulling the trigger on anything yet, but I'm thinking that the Becos is probably what I'm getting. Reasons: threshold control will help it play nice with all my basses, comes with metering, and honestly I haven't been able to find anything particularly bad about it. Like, who knows if it's perfect for me or not but I don't think I could go wrong with it.
    I should note that, at the time of writing, the Becos mini pro and mini pro One are effectively the same price for US customers:

    BECOS FX CompIQ ONE Pro Compressor for Guitar and Bass (Gear Hero Exclusive)
    The compiq mini pro is way cheaper here, but they don't carry the One pro!
    BECOS FX CompIQ MINI Pro Compressor for Guitar and Bass
    both free shipping. Those are the only 2 USA distributors Becos lists.

    I might just get the one with more controls since it's the same price, but set and forget most of the controls. idk.
  10. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    That's odd - mine - the old and new versions - don't seem extreme, which is why I have two (plus the voltage thing and the switch v. knob stuff). I don't really use the grit part much, but it's a nice option. Plus, it's a blend thing where you can turn down the amount of the compressed signal with the middle knob on the older model, "blend" on the new..

    But then, I really like the US$20 Kokko compressor, also. :smug:
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  11. I own and love this for its simplicity. Set the compression ratio and the -dB cut. Knob is volume.
    TheLopp likes this.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I had the Pigtronix with the single switch grit control. It works well provided the end-user adopts the premise the usable settings reside well-below the noon position(s).

    NortyFiner likes this.
  13. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    I keep buying, selling, and then buying the Accountant over and over again. It’s a great pedal but it only does one thing, and the thing it does, it does very well.
    Rolling Thunder likes this.
  14. mobeme23

    mobeme23 Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2018
    NorCal, Coastside
    i love my Diamond Bass Comp Jr.
    Simple and effective, and i love the EQ control to fine tune my live mix.
  15. RE Afterlife...

    Madbean also offers the "4:1", which is the Afterlife with a clean blend. I have the Afterlife, and trying to figure a way to squeeze a clean blend in with it in the 1590A. The 4:1 is meant for 1590G, but I'd build it into a 1590B2, tall enough for easy Top-Jackage, and it wouldn't take up any more space side-to-side than a 1590A with its requisite side-jackage.

    You should also look at the Engineer's Thumb — Two-knob, not the 5-knob — also 1590B with top jacks.

    Another great two-knobber that seemingly should fit your needs would be the Rothwell Love Squeeze, which you can purchase or build a clone to suit.

    Top Jacks in a 1590B = same footprint as 1590A.
  16. Greg75

    Greg75 Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    The Accountant sounds great but it's more of an effect and I never thought mine was quiet. Haven't tried the Becos, which gets good reviews, though it has too many tiny knobs for me. My advice: find that tiny bit of extra space and get a Smoothie--the best comp pedal in its size or smaller of the many I have tried.
  17. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Take a look at Wampler’s Ego, there’s the full sized one, which is still on the small side, and a scaled down mini...
    Ego Compressor | Wampler Pedals
    Beyond that, another vote for the Becos.
  18. Check out the Empress Bass Compressor, it's very versatile.
    It replaced the MXR bass comp on my board because it was easier to dial in and control.
  19. edr


    Mar 28, 2019
    So today, I had excellent luck. Wandered into a guitar store I’d never seen before, and they had TONS of pedals. I did a shootout with:

    Xotic Sp
    Wampler Ego Mini
    JHS Whitey Tighty

    They ran out of the pigtronix philosopher’s bass, why would pigtronix discontinue that?

    Playing: Some kind of 5 string J bass by Nash Guitars (really good tone tbh), into a Tone Hammer 350 and some Aguilar cab, probably a 1x15 but I’m not really sure.

    Result: honestly, I’m not too sure. I think I learned that I’m not very good at evaluating these things. Gut reaction, I think I liked the SP the least but I don’t know for sure.
    I’m going to bring back my main bass (warwick rockbass corvette $$ 5) and try the shootout again when I get the chance. It’s passive but extremely high output so I imagine it would make things very different. None of these had a threshold control, so I’d be worried that it might play very differently depending on the bass.
    If I had a gig tonight and was forced to choose one of the pedals I just tried, I’d take the Whitey Tighty.
    But i also proved that I need to figure out how to effectively evaluate these things. i have no idea what I’m doing...
  20. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    My recommendation for your scenario is undoubtably one of the Becos comps.
    edr likes this.

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