Compressor pedal recommendations

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tazziedevil, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    Hey everyone,

    I’ve never used compression much- the few times I have tried them I found it squashed my tone down and obliterated my dynamics (I tend to use a lot of dynamics in my playing). I generally play with fairly light touch, except when I really dig in to accent notes or phrases. I play Afrobeat and Reggae, a little blues and jazz on the side occasionally.

    With both Reggae and Afrobeat, I’m playing a very rhythmic, repetitive line sometimes for 10-15 minutes per song. I’m finding now some compression would really smooth out my line and add a bit of punch.

    so I’m looking for recommendations for a pedal that is transparent, not too heavy handed and allows fine tuning on the fly.

    I live in a fairly small city and my local stocks very few bass pedals, so I don’t have the opportunity to test a bunch out live.

    I have tried the MXR m-87, and I found that my playing barely triggered the compression no matter the settings, and the Boss bass compressor (can’t remember the model number). I found it sucked a lot of tone out and was noisy. Those were the only two compressors in stock!

    any thoughts?

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Diamond Bass Comp Jr. might be right up your alley. It's my favorite because it actually adds thickness and punch the more you dig in.
    BLDavis, Eric Cioe and jebmd like this.
  3. jebmd


    May 4, 2009
    Iona, Florida
    Excellent thread with lots of insight from Scuba. The Union Tubes and Transistor could fit your needs as well, simple and affective. But there are endless choices.
    DaveTomasi likes this.
  4. ive been wanting a diamond myself,,you should check them out..
  5. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Holland, MI
    I have very little experience but I love my Diamond. Many other compressors have too many parameters and would give me option paralysis. The Diamond is pretty plug and play and it's hard to get a bad tone from. The tilt eq would seem useful in reggae bass, too.
    BLDavis likes this.
  6. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I like the accountant for the very audible stuff it does and want a rothwell for the 'invisible' stuff it is said to do...
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  7. It's the hardest type of pedal to recommend because it's so specific to the nuances of your playing. That being said, I would advise bass players not to overlook the Wampler Ego. In my experience having played many of the options in that price range the Ego is the best. I have the full size version and I think it's worth it for the added adjustability.
  8. arepa_funk

    arepa_funk Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2020
    Keeley Bassist is my go-to, can be used as limiter and clean boost as well. Magic sauce when dialed up, makes everything sound better.
  9. thumbslapper

    thumbslapper Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    San Francisco
    You didn't give a price range which is pretty important. the FEA compressors are pretty transparent and work great, but its a 6-12 month waiting list. You can find them on reverb as well for at or above market price, because they are really good. less transparent but great sounding (it imparts a sound, but its a great sound) is the Cali 76 Compact bass. both of those are in the $200 - $300 price range tho.
  10. Loring

    Loring Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    Diamond is not as transparent as say the empress... Loved my old empress and just bought the new one - even better. Plus it has a tone plus colour switch on it so if you do want to add a little colour (like the very good diamond) you can.

    The is a mega thread on here for compressors - the fav's these days seem to be the cali 76, the empress, the diamond, Keely and the LA1A. FEA also ranks really highly - but for transparent compressors - half of the ones I just mentioned could be scratched. I recommend you check out the page mentioned earlier (ovnilabs) for great reviews. Or just check our the mega thread and maybe go backwards...
  11. For what the OP describes, I'll go with others' touting the Diamond — it's not transparent, true, but mine's magiclicious and would likely pair very well with reggae and Afro-beat.

    Happy comp hunting...
    BLDavis likes this.
  12. I hate when a compressor kills my attack and brightness, or sounds overly colored.

    Therefore, I love this thing(great review): Maxon CP9 Pro+

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
  13. revd


    Apr 11, 2020
    The MXR barely triggered at max settings?

    I have to crank the Input (working here as a kind of Threshold) high, at least 3 o'clock for me, but once it kicks in with the GR lights showing action, there it is. All the parameters such as Ratio work as expected.

    Love mine, very transparent and as subtle or (nearly as) extreme as I'd like.
  14. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    Yep. Barely got any LED lights unless I went to town, slapping and playing super hard.
  15. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    So for what’s it’s worth, I found a used but basically new TC Spectracomp on Facebook marketplace for $100AUD. They retail brand new here for $200-$250 so if it doesn’t work, I can recoup my cost and try something different!
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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