Compression and 400+

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Droog, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Hey all! So I asked about this one time in the amp forum with zero response so here we go. For those of you 400+ user's where in your signal chain to you run your compression? I thought about using the effects loop set at fully open. But then again maybey I could just run my bass straight into the comp. and then into the input of the amp. I will probobly use a dbx 160a. If it was just a stomp box then it would be easy, but being as its a rack unit and I am not sure if it accepts instrument level input, I am not certain the best way to use it.

    Also open to suggestions on compression pedals/rack units that work well with the 400+.

    Thanks guys.
  2. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    These days, a good stereo rack mount compressor with
    a noise gate, peak limiter, or expander; can cost the same
    as an average mono compression pedal that doesn't have
    1/5th the features.

    A rack mount type compressor, such as the dbx 106a
    should be used at Line Level in the effects loop.

    The input impedence won't match an instrument level signal.

    I've found compression pedals to be not as effective compared
    to rack mount units; unless the compression pedal is used
    before another pedal effect that could use a compressed signal.

    IMO compression works best with a line level signal for the
    most punch, sustain, gain, and speaker protection.

    I've used an inexpensive Behringer MDX 2200
    (left into right channel) for compression and peak limiting
    for years with not problems whatsoever.

    I prefer stereo rack mount compressor with XLR and phone I/O's
    for flexibility. I can be used for anything that needs compression:
    from vocals, to recording, to PA mixes, hey--even the home stereo!
  3. The DBX should work well. You should also look into the ART Levelar tube compressor. I have a 400+ too, and i've tried the Digitech Bass Squeeze, but I didn't like it. It had a fixed ratio which I didn't like. Right now im not using compression at all. I don't think I really need it, it sucks the tone from the tubes Or maybe it was that pedal. If anything I think the rackmount compressors are better. But I've heard great things about the EH Blackfinger Tube compressor which is a pedal. I guess you could check those out.
  4. Bass of Galt

    Bass of Galt Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    Scrotillia Falls
    I've seen it mentioned a few places on here that some cats are putting compressors in the effects loop on their amps.


    Compression and EQ for that matter - is a not a "wet/dry" effect like time (delay) based effects and thefore belong in a direct path - either directly out of your bass into your pre / amp - or after your pre before your power.

    The effect loop is appropriate for verbs, delays, flanges, chorus etc...

  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I think the most important distinction is what part of the head you want to control. Put it in front of the amp if you want to control how hard you hit the preamp tubes. For instance, if you don't want any preamp distortion at all, compress it so it works as a limiter, stopping the volume right before it hits the threshold of distortion. Or if you want a more consistant overdrive, compress the hell out of it and set the output to where it drives the preamp.

    I personally like a tube preamp section to breathe a little, so I would put the thing in the looop. That way, you can drive the pre by how hard you play, and the comp will keep your volume more consistent. I disgree with Bass of Galt (to a point); I think it's ok to run it through the loop provided that all of your signal goes through it.

    If it were me, I wouldn't use a compressor at all. Tubes naturally compress the sound a little, so I would let them do that and control my tone/dynamics with how I play, rather than let a little transistor box do it for me.
  6. I asked this exact question a while back, and the response I got, from mad subwoofer, I think, was, "You've already got 12 of the best compressors in there already!"

    There's already natural tube compression, and when I really a/b'd my 400+ with and without compression, I preferred it without. If you're looking for the different sound a compressor gives you, spend a couple hours fiddling with all the push/pull knobs and the EQ first. If you're only looking for something to protect the speakers, get a limiter or set your compressor for a limiter setting where compression only kicks in under extreme circumstances and doesn't really color your sound otherwise. Rack stuff goes in the FX loop, which is post EQ on the 400+.

  7. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003