Best 'No-Fuss' Compression Pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ComeHomeShane, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. ComeHomeShane

    ComeHomeShane Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Southern California
    I've been using the MXR M87 on stage for about 6 years. I really love its adjustability and clarity. However, it's extremely sensitive to the bass and rig that is being used. For gigs lately I've been switching between basses a lot
    more than usual, and also been playing more gigs with a backline. So I'm getting tired of needing to spend a lot of time to readjust the M87 constantly.

    I typically don't use a lot of compression; just enough to cover the 'uh oh' moments during a performance. My playing has a lot of articulation variety, so I like a slow attack with a fast release from the compression.

    'Best' is relative, of course, but please give me some feedback on any 'no fuss' low-maintenance compression pedals that you prefer to use AND why you like it.

    - Shane
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
  2. Peaveylover


    Dec 6, 2019
    Hands down Boss LM-2B. Easiest, punchiest, most aggressive and pumping comp I've ever played, but can be tamed too. Total sleeper and a total classic.
  3. Mushroo


    Apr 2, 2007
    Your tastes are exact opposite of mine. My favorite no-fuss compression pedal is the Union T&T Lab. It's an idiot-proof "squish" type optical compressor. Fast attack, slow release. It makes my P-bass sound thick and warm, like a yummy bowl of oatmeal.

    Therefore I am going to recommend to you, a compressor that wasn't my cup of tea, but I think would be right up your alley: The Doc Lloyd Photon Death Ray. The controls are simple (having a wet/dry blend is so useful), and it lets plenty of your initial attack transient through, before the compressor clamps down. I would describe the PDR's tone as "punchy" and "articulate," which I think is what you're going for.
  4. BLDavis

    BLDavis Master of Snarks. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    I'll second the Doc Lloyd. I've had one on my board for most of a year now. I don't even notice it's there till I turn it off. Then I quickly come to my senses and turn it back on.
    My other choice for the simple, set and forget comp, is the Diamond Bass Comp. I used one for about two years and only the Doc Lloyd could replace it.
    I A/B'd them side-by-side and honestly they both are great. But I like the wet/dry mix feature on the Lloyd better than the tone control on the Diamond. (BTW, I still have the Diamond, cause you just never know.)
    For the situation you describe, I really don't think you could go wrong with either one.
    Mushroo and ComeHomeShane like this.
  5. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Diamond bass comp is pretty easy to dial in.
    BLDavis, lomo, BillMason and 4 others like this.
  6. Dominic D

    Dominic D Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Winter Park, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    I was going to recommend the BBE OptoComp, but it looks like it may be discontinued.
    ComeHomeShane and scuzzy like this.
  7. AlvarHanso


    Jun 20, 2011
    That's a shame, if true. Also, a shame that they kept putting out slightly tweaked versions that never got as good as the yellow and red with the -15db pad switch. Two knobs, one switch (that I employed as a clean boost on rare occasions), and it worked like a charm. Think I still have mine somewhere...

    I'm currently using the Source Audio Ultrawave for compression, and it's an overly complicated pedal for that usage. But I have presets for clean bass, clean thicker bass, clean acoustic guitar, and then use the compression on almost every one of the crazier sounding presets that is more in line with what the pedal was designed for exploring. But, it's a great always on clean compressor, too, so until they drop a pedal devoted to it based on this, I'll probably stick with the UW as crazy as that may seem.

    Edited to add: I'm not employing the OptoStomp currently to supplement that gap when the UW is doing distortion. because I need stereo ins and outs without getting into crazy routing options.
    Dominic D likes this.
  8. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I've got one still. Two knobs and a switch, great transparent compressor.
    Dominic D likes this.
  9. blmeier7


    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    The TC SpectraComp is no fuss and sounds good, I owned one for a while before moving to an Xotic SP. The Xotic is an always on compressor for me, and it does what I need it to without changing my tone.
  10. Keeley Bassist Compressor. Easy.
  11. cmcbass

    cmcbass Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    I like the boss bc-1x. It's easy to use and sounds good to me. I use multiple different basses through it and don't have to adjust the settings often. Usually just a tweak of the output volume knob if anything. It's an always on pedal that I would certainly miss if it wasn't on my board.

    But, there are tons of different compressions and everyone has different ears and different tastes.
  12. lark_z

    lark_z Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2020

    Supposedly the same circuitry as the moustache version, but the juries still out on that. I just received mine yesterday from a fellow TB'er. Wanted a simple transparent comp. So far, so good.
    ComeHomeShane and Zooberwerx like this.
  13. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Durham sex drive
    ComeHomeShane likes this.
  14. Lowend65


    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    +1 on the Keeley Bassist Compressor. One has to try to get a bad sound out of it
  15. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I like the Keeley, but have recently acquired a BECOS Comp Pro. It’s a tiny three knob pedal and just gets the job done. I like to add compression to improve sustain, and give tone a little “girth”.
    It’s basically a Keeley as the use the same circuit, but with the BECOS you get wet dry, hard soft knee and a deep switch that gives you the same sort of range you would find on the Bassist compressor, and the option to turn it off if you want to use it with guitar, or just want less deep of a tonal palate. It’s for sure worth a look.
    Jesuguru and ComeHomeShane like this.
  16. +2 on the Keeley Bassist. It’s a recent addition and my first and only compressor pedal so I can’t compare it to any others but so far I am liking it. I have it set pretty light (I think), around 2.5:1 with threshold around noon so it only kicks in when I hit a little harder than average. Doesn’t change my sound noticeably, just evens things out a touch.
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is "no fuss" and quite good for a one knobby jobby.

    ComeHomeShane likes this.
  18. themickster


    Oct 4, 2015
    Does it leave the bottom end alone, like Boss say it does
  19. themickster


    Oct 4, 2015
    Does it leave the bottom end alone, like Boss say it does
  20. ComeHomeShane

    ComeHomeShane Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Southern California
    Thanks for the feedback everyone!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 28, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.