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Best Bass Compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by the_luke, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. the_luke


    Jul 3, 2005
    What do you think is THE BEST bass compressor? Basically this means the quietest, least distorting one. I don't mind whether it's stomp or rack.

    Other useful information would be... what compressor do YOU use, and which is the best in the price range roughly $200-300 US.

    I did a search on compressors here and I couldn't find a matching post.


  2. I personally love the Rane DC-24 compressor unit, You can use it to compress your signal two times, stereo or a multiband compressor (lows and highs compressed separately). It is one of the quietest units out there (if not THE quietest). A lot of studios use it for compressing everything even the masters.
  3. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    ...the Rane is a good one...
  4. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    ...oh, and a there ar those who'd say the best at any price would be Drawmer...
  5. psi


    Mar 11, 2005
    New Jersey
    DBX 160X
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    I assmume you are looking for a rack unit. I haven't used one of those in years.

    I prefer stompboxes, so I will tell you about those, in case you are interested.

    For a good, transparent, plug and play compressor, the Demeter Compulator is hard to beat. It is truly one of those 'is this thing on' compressors. It doesn't screw with your tone, like many of them do.

    For more versatility, and a much higher learning curve, the Electro Harmonix Black Finger is great. It has a lamp and an LED channel, is tube driven, and is capable of very transparent sound, or very wet sounds, if that is what you are after. But it takes some work to get the sound that you are looking for.
  7. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I will second the nomination of the Demeter Compulator. A fantastic compressor, very high quality..and quite easy to use. It is what I use on my live setup.

    As to best....this is a bit subjective. I am quite partial to my Universal Audio LA2A, as well as my TubeTech CL2A. These are just incredible compressors with phenomenal sounds. These are what I have in my studio...I would not dare gig with them (they are full of glass and cost over $3k each...)

  8. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I favour the EBS Multi Comp for 2 Band compression.
  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    I recommend checking out the BBE MaxComp. It's a rackmount with two channels and sonic maximizers built in.

    I have one in my G-K rig and it doesn;t color the sound, instead functioning in a nice, effective, but transparent manner.
  10. One more vote for the EBS. But even better: No compression.
  11. JPrisus


    Jun 8, 2005
    At any price? Empirical Labs Distressors. I have a pair in my studio, and use one on bass almost every session (DI or mic'd amp, either way). About $1400 for a single unit.

    In pedal format, the Retrospec Squeezebox is the BOMB. I'm seriously considering saving up for one. About $400. Great as a DI/preamp too.
  12. tom46n2


    Jun 16, 2005
    I use an Alesis 3630 in my rig running through the fx loop of my Demeter preamp. I also use a maximizer in between my demeter and the power amp. RTFM though. if you don't, you will likely set it wrong and think it sounds like crap. I have the compressor barely working because I love the tone of the Demeter but it serves a good function. There is virtually no tone degradation and certainly no more noise than without it. I believe this unit is in your price range, too. :bag:
  13. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    +1. My Squeezebox is the best compressor I've used... haven't had the pleasure of trying a Distressor yet. They're hard to come by, and I believe they typically go higher than $400... closer to $500 IIRC, but sound so good.

    For pedal compressors, I'm very happy with the Analogman BiComp, as well... prefer it over the Demeter.
  14. yes...
  15. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I second this. For $150-$200, you get a studio quality compressor- clean, quite and transparent.

  16. wimpy


    Aug 1, 2004
    Czech Republic
    ...I'm very very happy with this one!
  17. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Banned

    Mar 24, 2005
    I love them both for some of the things they can do.
    I hate them both for the things that they can't do.
    I hate needing to have both of these in my rack to get what I want.
    I wish someone made something that something that combined the best features that these two offer.
    Read my comments about my rig from another recent thread:

    My current setup, while working OK is quite cumbersome, and frustrating because of that.

    f92dd80f. db539965.

     My signal chain after going from a SansAmp RBI to a Rane PE 17 parametric EQ (high and low pass filters set at 8K and 35)….goes > dbx 166XL (channel 1) with only the noise gate set > Rane DC 24 – split band gate/compressor/limiter (where I bypass the noise gates, as well as the limiters, because the ones on the dbx work better) with the crossover split at about 150 Hz…lows compressed at 3.5:1….highs compressed at about 1.5:1 (split bands recombined to one) > then back into the dbx 166XL (channel 2) where I set the compressor at infinity:1 with fast attack/release to act as a limiter > amp (Stewart 2.1) > cab (Acme Low B4 II). Using the Rane DC 24, I like being able to compress the low bass differently from the upper mid to high frequencies, but I am irritated that the limiters react way too slow to even notice the fast transient peaks (a moderately hard slapped note) and have no adjustments for attack/release (I keep wondering how these limiters are of use in any application???....doesn’t a limiter by definition need to clamp down on sharp peaks close to “instantaneously”??). The attack/release on the compressors is also pre-set (“program dependent” as the manual says), which is something I wish I had manual control over. And the Rane noise gates are such that even when set at their most sensitive, they will cut off a ringing harmonic or otherwise decaying high pitched note abruptly and prematurely. By contrast, the dbx gates can be set very precisely right down to a zero noise floor with a knob to control the speed of the opening and closing of the gate….works great for bass.

    Rane DC24

    So, despite really liking the idea of split-band compression, the limitations of the Rane DC 24 make me want to dump it, and just use the dbx. The shortcoming of the dbx is that even with the adjustable attack and release times set fairly slow, I will hear pumping from time to time especially when I hit a double stop……the lower note will trigger the compressor hard and the higher note kind of drops out noticeably. I am wondering if my dbx 166XL is one of the cheaper models you warned of, and if I should go for another higher quality model of dbx…..? Ashdown now is making a reborn version of the dual band Trace Elliot pedal box compressor, but it also seems to lack the level of control I am looking for.


    Finally, I must say that in consideration off all of this, I am interested by the evolution of the “swiss army knife in a single rack space” that is being offered in the Presonus Eureka. This $500 unit provides a solid-state preamp with a tube emulation “saturation” control, parameteric EQ and a compressor that has a side-chain high pass filter (which I suppose allows the highs to go through without compression?)…..and the buzz on the bass forums is good so far. Heard of this one?


    If all of this diatribe is more than you want to think about, no worry, and no need to craft a reply. I’m just trying to find the best compression/limiting solution I can.
  18. I am with Max on this one.....best stomp compressor is the Demeter Compulator which is essentially an LA2A (the best rack mount compressor for bass in my opinion) in a box......


  19. endlessbassic


    Dec 23, 2004
    I have to weigh in with a vote for the fabled TC Electronics Sustain +Parametric EQ pedal.. tough to not get it to compress just a little bit all the time (even when 'off'), but still.. very clean, very versatile, and astounding tone. Not all that easy to find, but can be had for under $175. Well worth seeking out..

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