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Best Pedal Based Compressor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Martybass, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Hey all,
    Upon listening to a recording from our last gig, I've noticed I can get really quite erratic dynamically on particular songs :meh: . Now I know I should work at sorting it out through my technique and all that but I always feel it's nice to have a fallback option :D . So, I'm now looking for a pedal based compressor (dont have a rackmount or anything like that). I've heard good things about the Aphex Punch Factory and not so good things about the Boss LMB. I'd be very grateful if anyone and everyone could chuck a few ideas and opinions my way.
  2. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    Id check out the EHX Black finger too. Heard great things.

    300 volt tube plates so it should be pretty warm.
  3. OK, thanks. Will do :)
  4. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    check out the demeter compulator and the ebs... both good pedals...
  5. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002

    I just received mine a few days ago, and it's definitely a keeper. I actually like it better than the dbx 160A I used to own.
  6. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Try the Analogman Bi-CompROSSor.

  7. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    My advice:

    1) Trace Elliot SMX.
    2) Use the search function next time. :)
  8. I did. I made sure I looked around first but all I found were a few 'soandso vs soandso' threads. I wanted a fuller perspective with some accompanying opinions. I may not have been around here for that long but I've seen enough threads ending with some 'Do a search' comment to at least give it a go. However, if you can show me the thread(s) that fit what I was asking, I apologise for not taking quite the required time to find them.

    On a higher note, thanks for the responses guys :). I've looked at them all, and the demeter and the EBS are a tad out of my price range. I know it may mean skimping a bit on quality but I can't really stretch to the higher priced ones.

    Cheers all,
  9. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    For the money ($169 all over the place), I don't think you can beat the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ. I use it at my show every day, and have another one at church...nice EQ too.
  10. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I've tried the Punch Factory, Black Finger, EBS Multicomp. Of those three I lean towards the Punch Factory. I think it sounds a lot cleaner than the other pedals. The EBS has a nice "tube" option which can make for colourful overdrive. The Blackfinger, I found too noisy. It was a bit too extreme for me. I'm currently thinking about removing the compressor from my pedal chain, and using the compressor in my preamp (BBE Bmax), which I find really nice too. They've come out with a pedal version. If it sounds the same as the rack, and the price is right, it may become a classic. I would like to try the Compulator. I've heard good things about it.
  11. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Demeter Compulator.
  12. Another Compulator vote from this side of the Pacific...
  13. ingo62


    Mar 15, 2005
    Emden, Germany
    Trace Elliot SMX, a very "musical" and simple-to-use
    Dual Band-Compressor.

  14. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    If you're willing to go used, you could probably buy the Demeter on eBay for about the same price as the Aphex. I ended up getting mine for $165, but I've seen quite a few of them sell for around $140.
  15. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    It what ways do you like it better? I have always used the 160a in the studio and have thought about buying one, but the compulator also seems like a sound piece.
  16. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Hmm... I don't know if I can be very specific, as I sold the dbx nearly a year ago.

    Most of the reasons I sold the dbx are related to its functional design, not so much its sound. For example, it was difficult to use it in front of my preamp in the signal chain, because the rear input was difficult to access when the unit was racked. I also really hated the fact that it didn't have an on/off switch. Having to unplug the unit to turn off those lights got annoying very quickly.

    The Compulator is nice and simple, and does the job very well for me. The dbx was relatively simple, too, but I found it very easy to screw up my tone if I didn't set the controls quite right. The Demeter seems to sound great on most settings, except for the very very extreme compression levels.
  17. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Thanks for the input:) Being as the compulator is quite a bit cheaper than the Dbx I may just get one.
  18. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I use an old ART Levelar tube compressor-- cheap, and too good not to consider...
  19. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I own the dBX 160X, which is the 160A only older (before dBX was owned by HK I believe). I have found exactly the opposite of what you say to be true.

    First, addressing the signal chain placement: I place mine after the pre-amp and before the power amp. I do this mainly because the 160X is a studio quality compressor and thus has balanced ins/outs. My rack signal chain is completely balanced, so it fits nicely.

    Secondly, price: I bought my unit for $170.00 used- not too much more expensive than the Compulator. The 160X typically go from $150 to $200

    Thirdly, noise: - these units are completely transparent and quiet as a church mouse in the chain, so to speak.

    Fourth, on/off: I can't speak for the 160A, but the 160X has a bypass switch, and it is true bypass too. For controlling dynamics, an on/off switch really isn't needed. I use mine to control peaks and for speaker protection when I kick on certain pedals. It functions wonderfully.

    Lastly, I find that if you have a grasp of what the functions of the dBX knobs are, it is difficult to get a horrible sound from it.

    One thing of note: I have had many people tell me they like the 160X over it's new 160A cousin though, simply because it seems to have a more quality build. I don't know if it is true or not, but I thought I'd throw that in.

    Don't get me wrong-I love Demeter stuff- James and I have had several e-mail correspondences, and his pre-amp is what I use. I will probably try his pedal and compare it to the Analogman unit I want when I get to adding a "squash" box to my pedalboard. The 160X is going to be a bit more versatile than the Compulator though, considering you have more control and it is metered (I have included images for comparison). It has both hard knee and soft knee compression (that's what the "overeasy" button is for) For an "always on" compressor/limitter to control dynamics, I don't think the 160X can be beat from a "bang for the buck" perspective.


  20. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I'm hoping the Guyatone BL-2 will provide even modest compression, since I just bought one ni the classified.

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