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Best rackmount compresor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by PeaveyPlayer, May 7, 2017.


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  1. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Looking for a clean compressor thats rackmountable

    I have a BBE maxcom but it creates a click noise when the comp kicks in
     
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    there are a lot great rackmount compressors, DBX is one of the 'standards'. but there are a lot of budget units that would be fine for bass: alesis, behringer, etc. they all do the same thing, more or less, so you quite a choice in the rack mount world (i use a dbx 163x --- probably not made anymore). many are dual channel = not a problem!

    i would google it, and i would not be afraid to buy used! good luck in your search. :thumbsup:
     
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Budget?
    What do you want it to sound like/ do: peak limiting, gentle or hard compression, tone fattening?
    How do you play: pick, fingers, slap, a combination?
    Are you deadset on just a rackmount unit, or would you be cool velcro'ing a pedal to a rack shelf?
    People still use rackmount gear live?
     
  4. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Budget is up to 300

    Peak limiting for when I also and finger style

    I'm also deadset on Rackmount

    And yes I know a few guys that still do rackmount
     
  5. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Take a look at dbx266xs. $130 at amazon.

    266xs_Front_Large_full_width.
    -Frank
     
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  6. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    I read this in the Maxcom manual a long while ago:

    "THE VCA
    At the heart of the MAXCOM lies an industry standard state-of-the-art VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier). With its excellent specifications (noise, THD, control feedthrough, linearity, slew rate and temperature stability) the precision VCA used in the MAXCOM is considered one of the best in VCA technology. The “control feedthrough” used in VCA terminology is a very critical parameter for the crosstalk of the control voltage into the audio path. Slow changes of the control voltage lead to a slow DC offset at the audio output of the VCA and are mostly in-audible. Fast controls however, will result in awkward switching noise (“clicks”)."

    I wasn't sure if they were saying that they overcame this click issue or that fast control settings will have this issue.

    -Frank
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Fast time settings will have a clicking like a distortion. The 266XS will do the same thing, but worse.
     
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  8. Yep. Yep.
     
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  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The dbx has this OverEasy threshold circuitry that they use to eliminate compression artifacts. It is commonly known as soft-knee compression by other manufacturers.

    From the manual:

    "The 266xs OverEasy compression permits extremely smooth, natural sounding compression, without artifacts, due to the gradual change of compression around the threshold. With OverEasy compression, input signals begin to gradually activate the 266xs internal gain change circuitry as they approach the THRESHOLD reference level. They do not get fully processed by the RATIO, ATTACK and RELEASE controls until they have passed somewhat above the THRESHOLD reference level. As the signal level passes the THRESHOLD level, processing increases until it is fully processed to the extent determined by the control settings."

    This feature should allow you to use fast control settings without the usual fast compression artifacts. Even tho the BBE unit "combines the concept of a “Hard Knee” compressor with the characteristics of a “Soft Knee” approach", the dbx unit may be much better at it.:thumbsup:

    -Frank
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, that system works well on the 166 and higher tier units.
     
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  11. ofajen

    ofajen Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    RNC.

    Otto
     
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  12. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Hey Cyrus,

    I see who is claiming compression before threshold is reached. It's dbx with their OverEasy explanation.;)

    "The 266xs OverEasy compression permits extremely smooth, natural sounding compression, without artifacts, due to the gradual change of compression around the threshold. With OverEasy compression, input signals begin to gradually activate the 266xs internal gain change circuitry as they approach the THRESHOLD reference level. They do not get fully processed by the RATIO, ATTACK and RELEASE controls until they have passed somewhat above the THRESHOLD reference level. As the signal level passes the THRESHOLD level, processing increases until it is fully processed to the extent determined by the control settings."

    "In OverEasy mode the threshold of compression is defined as the middle of the OverEasy
    threshold region
    , that is, “half-way” into compression."

    "The three THRESHOLD LEDs indicate the relationship of the input signal level to the threshold of compression. The green LED lights when the signal is BELOW threshold, the red LED lights when the signal is above threshold, and the yellow LED lights when the OVEREASY switch is depressed and the input signal is in the OVEREASY range."

    Threshold definition is when the compression on the signal begins. I know that they are trying to describe the OverEasy (soft-knee) behavior, but saying that threshold is in the middle of the knee is technically false. As soon as the circuitry varies gain from a 1:1 input/output relationship, it has crossed a threshold. They even have a yellow LED to indicate that the soft-knee threshold has been crossed. So the LED's are:

    Green = below threshold, no compression, ratio 1:1
    Yellow = OverEasy threshold, compression, ratio varies with input signal level between 1:1 to ratio set on front panel
    Red = hard threshold, compression, signal compressed to ratio set on front panel

    Watch the threshold LED's in the beginning of this demo:



    I asked you a long time ago who was saying that there is compression before a threshold crossing and you couldn't remember where that came from. Well dbx may have been the source.;)

    -Frank
     
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  13. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    The DBX 160a is a very musical and bass friendly compressor for live shows. It has "soft knee" compression that comes in slowly and doesn't have the noticeable engagement noted in others. I run mine around 4:1 and keep the input in the yellow flickering to red, which is optimal for the soft knee and it's sweet spot, and it's a very subtle effect. It tightens up my sound and fills out the strings, with the ability to still have control over my dynamics.

    It's part of my must have kit for gigging.
     
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  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
  15. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    image.
     
  16. You could keep an eye open for a used DC24 for about $100. The dual-band design design is particularly nice for bass. The unit has an outboard power supply; make sure to ask if it's included.

    Rane DC24
     
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  17. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
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  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    used DBX is the ticket here, they're made for PAs and like every other piece of analog gear they've been dumped by all the sound pros for digital, meaning you can get nice pro-quality stuff cheap.

    the top dog 160's are still kinda pricey (but i am seeing them on ebay for less than $300 here and there, even the older USA-made ones). the 2-channel 166 is pretty sweet and US-made versions can be had for less than that.

    the "XL" or new silver-faced "XS" are cheap even new, they're OK but not great.

    now, how are you gonna be feeding the thing? rackmount PA comps often expect to see line level signals, so sending your bass straight into it might be disappointing. if you run it after your bass amp's preamp you should be good, like in the effects loop of the bass amp.
     
  19. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Just a caution on Rane DC24's... they were released to production in 1988 so they may need to have their pots serviced and electrolytic caps replaced.

    -Frank
     
  20. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    What is down side of the 266xs?

    -Frank
     

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