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Cali76 TX-L missing low end and overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MattLou, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. MattLou


    Dec 23, 2016
    Hi all,
    I am an owner of an Origin Effects Cali76 TX-L that I've been using with my electric guitars. I started to play bass for a year, so I'm a newbie at bass playing, after 30 years playing guitars.

    I have some problems with my compressor;
    1- In all settings I tried my bass signal loses low end extremely. It is thinner and weaker.
    2- It hampers the overdrive in the signal and makes it smoother.

    Signal chain: A compressor and nothing. An ampeg micro cl stack and a sansamp bddi sometimes when I want to record.

    Axes: Fender American Jazz Bass V and Ibanez BTB 1205e prestige.


    1-Any settings should I apply before making a radical decision like buying another compressor unnecessarily (i.e.: cali76 compact bass or markbass compressore)? Or should I be very very happy with this compressor?

    2-Is it better in general, to have a dedicated bass compressor rather than the ones for electric guitars?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. You should be very VERY happy with your Cali, but you are NOT!

    Something is most definitely wrong, whether it's your Cali, MicroCL or instrument(s).

    Q1) This goes beyond settings. So you've tried the recommended settings and it still sounds weak.


    Whether you're using it at 9v or 18v, you should not be losing low end, at any setting. Have you checked out Ovnilab's FAQ section? If you read the review of your Cali, you'll see it is a highly lauded unit for bass.

    Take your Cali over to a friend's place or the local music store and try it with other instruments and gear – if you have the same thin weak tone, then there is something wrong with your unit and you should contact Origin Effects. In fact, you should contact Origin anyway.

    Q2) The Cali is one of the finest pedal comps out there, for Bass, guitar, accordion, vox, kazoo, etc... In some cases it is better to have a dedicated bass compressor, but your TX-L is fine and this is not one of those cases. If you had one of the ubiquitous Ross clones that suck low end, then yeah you should switch it up to a better bass-friendly comp. Otherwise, Studio-grade comps work great on bass.

    Did you buy it used? Maybe the seller swapped out the guts for a Dyna-Ross circuit and you got swindled.
  3. MattLou


    Dec 23, 2016
    Thank you very much for your response.
    Those are electric guitar settings suggested in the manual. I will try them all too.
    I bought it brand new from a reputable dealer, waiting for a production period. I checked it with the same unit of a friend of mine who bought it at the same time. There is nothing wrong with the unit itself, I am sure.
    In most cases the issues are related with the user, me in this case:)
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Re the loss of low end, I can only say the TX I own does not lose any low end. But if you choose a very strong compression setting (this is true of most compressors from any brand) it will reduce the height of the biggest peaks, which are often in the low end; so the lows can seem weakened. The solutions include a higher threshold, a lower ratio, a clean blend, or an inquiry into whether you sounded better in the mix with or without that change. Since you say it sounded this way "at all settings", it may be a faulty unit. Or you might be cranking too high of a signal into it; try it with a moderate-output bass and no other effects in between them, and see if that changes things.

    Re the overdrive, that is normal for almost all compressors. You could put the comp before the OD, to prevent that smearing and softening of the dirt, but then you would reduce the dynamic responsiveness of the OD. I do not use compression at the same time as overdrive.
    Matt Dean and ddnidd1 like this.
  5. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    My Cali TX-L definitely doesn't lose low end.
  6. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    After about 25 uea4s of running comp before od, this week I have found that I prefer some od's before my comp. Yeah, it's blowing my mind too.
    willsellout likes this.

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