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Compressor pedal with active basses

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by blackba, Jan 6, 2012.


  1. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    I have a great Diamond Bass comp. I love this pedal with my passive Fender Jazz bass, but fairly recently I picked up an active Musicman Sterling 5 string. So far I have preferred the Musicman Sterling 5 without the diamond comp. I tried adjusting the compressor way down and increasing the volume on the pedal, but still preferred it bypassed.

    Other than the Diamond I have used a Barber tone Press, Guyatone ST-2, and FMR audio RNC with passive basses with mostly good results (except for the RNC).

    So my question is anyone using a compressor with an active bass? If so which one? I know the old BBE option stomp had a switch for active basses, but the newer one doesn't.

    Hopefully Bongo chimes in. :D
     
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I used a Demeter Opto Comp with all of my basses, most of which are active.

    It depends on the tone I'm going for. In my metal band, it was usually always on. In my rock band, I use a mellower tone in a good amount of songs, and it's usually off.
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    There are comps with input level controls. Those are the ones you want. In every other case, we are just throwing a dart at a target while blindfolded, and hoping we get lucky.
     
  4. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    That makes sense. I wish the Diamond had an input level control. I will have to check your list to see what ones you recommend that do have the feature.

    I may try the FMR audio RNC again just for kicks. I still have it in PA rack, not expecting much again, but its worth a shot.
     
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Are you running the diamond in 18v or 9v? You'll get more head room out of 18v, I use it on my Ibanez BTB 676, 18v pickups. Matter of preference though.
     
  6. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    I am using the supplied 18VDC adapter. Can you share what your settings are with your ibanez bass on the Diamond?
     
  7. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    In your review of the diamond you say "The input gain control allows good response from this pedal with both high and low-output instruments." Is the volume knob the input gain control you are referring too?

    For my Jazz bass I typically had the comp knob at 11-12 oclock, EQ at 11 to 12o'clock, and volume at 10 o'clock or so, I would try to match with the volume the bypassed signal so the Comp was not giving a boost or cutting the volume.

    With my Musicman I had the comp at 7 o'clock, EQ straight up, and Volume at 2 o'clock.

    I will fiddle more with it tonight. I think the Diamond Bass comp can run on up to 24VDC, maybe I should pickup a 24V adapter (positive tip) and try it out.
     
  8. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    Played around with it more. I found that I liked the comp around 9-10 o'clock and volume around 12 o'clock. I did fiddle with my basses volume knob if I was getting too much squash to lower the input a bit. So now I am liking the Diamond better with the Musicman, it doesn't wow me though like it did with my Jazz bass.

    Going to go with the Diamond for now, but I may pickup an Empress compressor in the future and move the Diamond to my guitar rig.
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Good point, I had actually spaced out and forgotten that the Diamond has that control--and it brings up a key question: what is it about the effect that isn't sounding good to you? Too much squashing, not enough squashing, dull tone, clipping, mushy attack, or what? That's what we'll need to narrow down before considering solutions.

    Regarding the 9V/18V/24V, that's all about clipping. If clipping is not your problem, then voltage is not your solution. :)
     
  10. Essthreetee

    Essthreetee

    Aug 19, 2007
    Visalia, CA
    I use the Markbass Compressore with my Ibanez BTB1305 (active) and my MTD CRB5 (Passive) ....I like it with both.
     
  11. blackba

    blackba

    Sep 7, 2008
    Michigan, USA
    What I was hearing was dulling of the tone. I went back to using the my Ampeg SVT3pro amp, fiddled with the Diamond settings and got rid of the mushy/dull tone. With my Musicman I am less wowed by the Diamond. Whereas with my Jazz bass, I really love what the Diamond does in terms of adding a nice sheen and helping me punch through the mix.

    I think the problem I had before with my other amp setup (which is an Eden WTDI [just bought] into a Crown K1 power amp) is that I had the output volume too low on the preamp and thus I was plucking much harder than I should which intern caused everything to sound bad.

    Is the Empress much of a step up from the Diamond? I like that the Empress Compressor has more controls.
     
  12. When boosting an eq before compression, it's important to be moderate if you don't want to sacrifice tone. For example if you boost the low eq on an active bass before the compressor, it will overpower the other frequencies making it dull.

    I like to keep all eq at 0 when compressing and boosting after on the amp. Much better tone IMO.

    Also if your compressor doesn't have an input control, try using the output vol on your bass. Your ears will tell you if it works.
     
  13. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    This is what I do. The Mark Bass Tube Compressor has an input volume, and I bring it down a few notches when I play an active bass. I love this pedal other than the really bright LED light when it's turned on. I need to dim that.
     
  14. I have the EBS and the Markbass Compressore. The EBS has a small kind of dip-switch to switch between active and passive basses, the Markbass - as mentioned before - has an input control. My problem is a bit on the other side of active. My favourite Bass is an all original Fender Jazz from 1977. It has a very weak signal, so I have to set the input level on the MB nearly to max, but I have to do the same on my amp.
    No problem with both compressors on my second favourite, a 1993 G&L L2000, which I use mainly in passive mode, but which has a very very strong output.

    Dirk
     
  15. MSUsousaphone

    MSUsousaphone

    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Sorry if already mentioned.....posting quick at work.....I've been battling this for years. Love my active Status S2 Classic and will never trade it....but man it disappoints on pedals a lot. I just bought a buffer pedal. Gonna see if that fixes things. Will come back here with my findings.
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    What makes an active bass "active" is that it contains a buffer. ;)
     
  17. MSUsousaphone

    MSUsousaphone

    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Annnnnnnyways. Check out Area 51s The Box Unity Buffer. Does the trick.
     
  18. Guinness20

    Guinness20

    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Tiis is a shame, just bought a stingray 4hh and was looking forward to get a diamond bass comp :/
     
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    How so?
     
  20. I love my MXR M87 compressor on my active basses. However I've seen pros using the diamond comp with their active basses too.
     

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