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Compression Pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Triassic Ash, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Hello,

    I'm looking for a good compressor/overdrive pedal. I haven't played bass seriously in a while and have sold of most of my gear, but I am looking to get back into it and play live again, so I need to build my rig back up. I recently bught a Trace Elliot Elf with the 1x10 cab and am super happy with my tone, but know that I'll be needing a good compressor and overdrive if I'm going to sound good in a band situation.

    So, I'm at a bit of a lose trying to pick up a good pedal that can do both... my limit is $200 so keep that in mind. Oh, and one more thing I like that sound of the Trace Elliot Transit B, but I haven't had the opportunity to try one. Is that a good comp/overdrive unit, or are there better options for the money?


  2. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Keeley Bassist or Empress for transparent awesomeness, Diamond Jr for tone magic.
  3. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Vinny Vincenzo and Destroyer661 like this.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    TB member @scubaduba has an ongoing compressor thread with in-depth reviews running here. Most of TB’s compressor heads are hanging out there too. You might what to visit it and do some reading, and also ask the question there. There’s lots of good choices in your price range.
  5. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    @Triassic Ash Check out the compressor thread and ask questions. One thing is for sure. There are a lot of options.
  6. keeley-electronics-bassist-203941. mxr-mxr-m89-bass-overdrive-pedal. keeley-electronics-bassist-203941. mxr-mxr-m89-bass-overdrive-pedal.
    lizardking837, Destroyer661 and Lovep like this.
  7. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I had a Keeley bassist. You could hear it turn on and off on the tail of notes - little ticks that, although subtle, bugged me. I asked the folks at Keekey about it, they said it was normal. I returned mine.

    I’m not the biggest fan of compressors; the one I did keep is the TC Electronic Spectra Comp - The tweakability of that one works for me in certain circumstances; it hops on my board maybe 10% of the time
    gary mitchell likes this.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I noticed that no one has commented on the Transit B question...neither will I as I have no experience with same. Quite frankly, I've never been overwhelmed by the "combo packs" which incorporate several effects or products. Sure, they're convenient and competitively priced but the performance all-too-frequently leaves something to be desired IME. You can find some stellar used comps for under $100 if you do a little digging.

    My top picks

    The overdrive is a little trickier as "OD" has any number of connotations: tube, grind, hair, fuzz...the list goes on. What's your desired goal? Personally, I'm a fan of the slightly over-driven tube pre / tube power amp vibe.

  9. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    There is no pedal that exists that can do both things well for under $200 to my knowledge.

    The closest thing I can think of would be the Tech21 Bass FlyRig.
    packhowitzer and hintz like this.
  10. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    TodaysTomSawyer and kesslari like this.
  11. Planespotter


    Oct 11, 2015
    The Demeter Opto Compulator is a semi-forgotten gem. I love mine!
    Yango and Bassist30 like this.
  12. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    You are right with the price but the compressor on it is pretty bad IME. Maybe the OP would be better looking at the Zoom B3N if they want to keep everything under $200? Plus you'd have a bunch of other effects...

    FWIW, I've used the Empress for the last few years and couldn't be happier. I believe those often sell used for less than $200, and the Source Audio Aftershock is amazing for $150(I use this as well), can save three presets on the pedal without the Hub/midi setup.
  13. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland, Hardwire
    By nature, the TE Elf is going to have baked in compression, particularly if you run the gain higher. I wouldn’t bother with a comp unless you are going for something super squishy.
    Mushroo likes this.
  14. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Curious, what don’t you like about the built in compressor? Obviously it has much less functionality than a standalone comp, but it seems to work in a musical way.
    hintz likes this.
  15. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    The Keeley Bassist can be used as a Boost or a Limiter. So I guess you could use it as a boost before a Preamp/OD, or a limiter after.
  16. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    IIRC it was just one or two knobs and it was too squished no matter where I set it, plus it was noisy.

    Though it was better for low end, it reminded me of a Ross clone I guess?! Plus I like being able to adjust attack, release and ratio. My favorite compressed sound is a slow attack/quick release for a nice "snappy" tone with the initial peaks coming thru and I couldn't get that with the bass flyrig.

    The pro's for the flyrig was the Sansamp, boost, tuner and chorus and the envelope was pretty good. The cons for me were the octaver, fuzz and compression. I love the idea of a standalone multi being that small, but wish they spent a bit more time on a few things. If they update this and fix those things I wouldn't hesistate to buy another, if Darkglass made one forget about it.... I know a DG flyrig would be top notch!
    MDBass likes this.
  17. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    In short, I'm really picky!! LOL. The biggest letdown was the Octaver, I might as well accept the fact that nothing can replace my OC2
    MDBass likes this.
  18. The Rage

    The Rage

    Nov 12, 2013
    I second the idea of looking for a zoom b3n.
  19. rohi

    rohi Lead Lined Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    This may be out of OPs price range, but I’ll take any chance I get to tell someone about the Whirlwind OC-Bass — it’s an awesome compressor worth checking out. I’m not a big OD guy, but the Beta sounds awesome to me.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  20. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Compressor


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