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BBE Opto Stomp vs DOD Milk Box

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jcerio, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. jcerio

    jcerio Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    I currently have a BBE Opto Stomp - first version (I believe) with the Blue LED as described on ovnilabs. I bought back when it was one of the picks for cheap compressors and I really like it. Very transparent and does a good job of evening things out. I've been toying with buying a DOD Milkbox because of the amount of love it seems to get. They seem to go from anywhere from $70 to $85 on Reverb and Ebay. Would it be worth the bother? Is it that much better than the BBE?
  2. TerribleLiar23

    TerribleLiar23 Anti-Scientologist Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2011
    If you like transparent, the Milkbox is not a great choice. Great comp for the price, but it has its own character. Not the quietest comp either. But it is the pedal that helped me understand how to use and enjoy compressors.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  3. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    I used another comp at the same time (LMB-3), but kept the MB onboard to get that added fatness and character. But the noise was too much for me, even when used on its own. I also owned the Opto, but do not remember much about it, only that I flipped it quickly.
  4. I just picked up a cheap Milkbox (2nd version) and I like it a lot so far. I'm one of those players who doesn't really "get" compressors, and I own a couple of them (including a Carl Martin Comp/Limiter that i haven't figured out.)

    With the Milkbox, I haven't quite dialed in the right settings to "even out" my dynamics, but I do like what it adds even though I can't put my finger on what that is. It definitely can give me extra sustain, and noise hasn't been an issue at the settings I'm running.
  5. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    I used to own an Opto Stomp, and currently own a Milkbox. They're completely different animals.

    The Opto does mild "evening out" type compression well, but is not good for heavy compression or limiting. It is relatively transparent, low noise, and doesn't change or add to your tone much if at all. If you want a comp to leave on all the time and never notice it's there, stick with your Opto. Personally, I found it too bland for my taste; I like to be able to tell when my pedals are doing something. YMMV.

    The Milkbox is its own beast. It is not transparent, but has its own tonal flavor which I like. It can get pretty heavy with the compression, including an Orange Squeezer kind of dip and swell when you crank it up; unfortunately, that also raises the noise, so you have to find a balance that works for you. The Milkbox is more tweakable than the Opto; level (which also functions as a boost), compression, attack, and a "Hi Exp" treble expander knob that helps retain your high mids and highs through compression. It doesn't lose lows at all. I really like it, and use it at the end of my chain to give me a strong, bright signal going out to my amp.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  6. jeffgnr90


    Aug 4, 2011
    i prefer the milk box a lot more. If there's midrange in your tone, the milk box helps it to shine. Definitely not as transparent though. Adds a creamy/smooth to your overall tone, but no need to worry about losing any bite. If you're tone has a little bit of that to begin with, the compressor is only going to bring that out more, but in a pleasing fashion. What it really does nicely is fatten your tone while bring out your attack. With my 2016 FL jazz, fx, and superbassman 300, the comp adds to the already magical tone, helping to cut through a mix.

    Level: Unity. How I set this is play as loud as I can with the comp. off, then engage the pedal and set it to unity that way.
    Compressor: 2 oclock
    High EXP: off. As my strings deaden, i'll turn this up a little to try and recapture some of the brightness, but nothing past 11 oclock really.
    Attack: 2 o'clock

    with these setting, i dont lose any dynamics. it thickens the tone, evens out my playing somewhat, doesn't add any extra noise. There is no dip and swell either. Your bass and the pickups will influence the pedal differently of course.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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