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Compression Questions...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Turtle71, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    OK, so here's the questions...

    I've spent a lot of time reading all the reviews on Ovnilab regarding compressors, and I've narrowed it down to 2 that I like.

    The MXR M87 Bass Compressor, and the Markbass Compressore.

    Some things I've noted are:

    The Markbass is a lot larger, has a 12V requirement (which is no problem for me) and of course has the tube for compression.

    The MXR is much smaller, requires only a 9V supply (which I can provide from my PP2+) and it has the LED readout.

    I have the pedalboard real estate for either, so size isn't an issue.

    Both pedals are +/- $10 of each other, so the price is comparable, both pedals are available at one of two GC's in my area, and both pedals have favorable reviews, both on Ovnilab, and elsewhere on the web.

    Has anyone actually A/B'd these two? Does one perform better? I'm not looking for deep squashing of my bass, I'm just looking to level things out a bit.

    Second question....

    I play primarily 2 basses live, one is a MIA Standard P, the other is a Parts bass P, using Duncan quarter pound pickups, the Duncan equipped bass is A LOT louder than the other, so I've been using a MXR Micro Amp to bring the level of the stock bass up to match, this has proven to work quite well.

    My question is...Do I place the compressor before the Micro Amp, knowing full well it's going to be recieving distinctly different levels based one which bass I play, or do I place the compressor after the Micro Amp, where it will recieve a more uniform input level?

    Sorry for the long winded questions.
  2. Both of them are some pretty good pedal compressors. You can't go wrong with any of them. The only notable difference for me is the tube in the Markbass, which allows you to get a slightly more "vintage-ish" compression.
    The MXR sounds a bit more neutral.
    But these are some really subtle differences.

    The place of the compressor in your signal chain really depends on your personal taste.
    For your needs, I would personally place it after the Micro Amp.
  3. I own both. For me Markbass hands down. It has a warmth it adds to my tone which I really like and also a knob layout is much easier for me to dial in useable settings. The meter on the mxr seems nice but is kinda gimmicky as I'm of the opinion you should set ur compressor with your ears anyhow. It does a good job squashing in front of my synth pedal though.
  4. jcbofa


    Apr 14, 2009
    I play all genres of worship music largely, both in sanctuaries of varying size and in arenas for conferences.

    I have not used the Markbass, but I have used both the MXR M87 and the Pigtronix Bass Compressor extensively. I generally am looking for light compression to even out levels in a live settiing, especially when the FOH isn't adept at optimum output compression settings for bass at the board.

    The MXR is a great box, and like all of their offerings, is solid gear. The visible LED meter is helpful for getting started, and the various options to tweak is great for the price. It is a little noisy for my taste but nothing I couldn't deal with by putting my tuner/mute after it in the chain.

    Contrast this with the Pigtronix, which is 18V, deadly quiet and with seemingly a bit more headroom. Its controls are simpler and sans an LED meter, consisting of volume, blend (very helpful) and threshold/ratio in the form of a sustain knob. I have no use for the grit switch, but no foul there.

    For my uses, the Pigtronix is transparent and very intuitive, and is an always-on pedal for me in live gigs. I certainly didn't get rid of the MXR, but these days the Pigrtonix wins out.

    If you are looking for an all-in-one compressor/DI combo, I would check out the Pigtronix Bass Station. Doesn't have quite the bells/whistles of Radial's BassBone (which I have and like for 2-bass applications) or the RMI BassSwitch (which I don't have, but I suspect is killer), but should be a solid Swiss-army option with the unique Pigtronix compressor option.

    Tobias 5 string -> Line 6 G50 -> Korg Pitchblack -> Pigtronix BC -> Aguilar Tone Hammer DI -> FOH and/or cab/stage amp.

    Hope that helps.
  5. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Thanks for the replies guys!

    Ultimately I decided on the MXR...

    Mostly for 2 reasons.

    After looking at them side by side, the Markbass is MASSIVE by comparison, it's like 3 MXR pedals wide...:eek: (I new it was large but...) I have the room, but there are a few more pedals I want to squeeze on this board yet so...

    Second was the 12V power supply, I do have room to hide it underneath the board, but the MXR will run just fine off of my PP2+, with no special needs...

    I am however really intrigued by the tube compression the Markbass offers, so I may eventually buy one anyway.

    I've got one more pedal inbound this week...then it's time to overhaul the board....again. :rollno::hyper::D