Compressor Quest - What is between an Accountant and Symmetry? A Horizon?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by monsterthompson, Oct 17, 2016.


  1. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Since my dirt pedal quest has been ended by snagging a couple of Dunwich pedals, I'm now hunting for the right compressor. I've owned a BCP-1, and it wasn't quite what I currently want. I've now got a Symmetry and an Accountant.

    Symmetry - I like that it isn't super noticeable as an "effect." I like the dry blend. I like the subtle warmth and density it brings. I like that it is quiet. I like that it is 9v, center negative, so it is easy to power on my Nano+ board. I wish it was just a hair brighter. I wish I could get it to squish just a bit more. I don't notice the Attack and Release controls doing much. Regardless, it is a pretty easy to set up box, and it does the thing it does very nicely.

    Accountant - I like the size. I like the simplicity. I like the standard power supply. I like it as an effect. The squish is noticeable, and that can be fun. I don't like that the noise can be high at higher compression settings. I don't like that the squish can get silly and overdriven. I do like a mild bit of overdrive from the box, and depending on which bass I use, different amounts can be triggered. I think I'd like a bit of clean blend available.

    What is in between these? Not necessarily and "effect" sound, but a little bit of coloration, squish and warmth. No uncommon power supply or crazy box size. I just recently noticed the Solid Gold FX Horizon, but there isn't much I've been able to find about it as bass effect.


    I like what I see here:
    SolidGoldFX Horizon
    The knobs include Comp, Attack, and Volume. While it is capable of light, unobtrusive compression when set to lower Comp and slower Attack, the more interesting action comes at the stronger and faster settings. It can squash quite hard, but I wouldn't recommend it as a transparent peak limiter. The attack knob has a wide useful range of time; the release time varies depending on the input and the attack, but it is generally slow.

    The tone is warm and colorful; not in an extreme effect-y way, but it has a funky and pleasant character. There is no loss of highs; the lows get rolled off some, but the low mids are so fat that I actually didn't notice the reduced lows at first, and it sounds fine on bass. Probably best for someone who wants warmth but also wants to cut mud from the signal. There's very little noise at most settings.

    There Bearfoot Evergreen has a tone knob that snagged my attention. I used to have a BBBOD, and I like how these guys do things. (guitar clip here)



    Anything else I should peek at?

    Almost forgot - My basses have some variety:
    Nash PB 63 - My go to. Wound with Chromes and loaded with a Duncan Steve Harris pickup. I like the Symmetry a lot with this bass.
    Nash JB 63 - Lower output pickups. Lean sounding. Rounds. Probably gets the least play time from me.
    Spector Euro 5 LX Alex Webster - EMG pickups and pre. Stainless rounds. A beast, though bordering on the sterile side of clean, at times. I like the warmth and squishy life the Accountant brings to this bass. It goes from a metal machine, to a more versatile tool for more rock sounding stuff.
    Spector NS Fretless - My new baby. I just started playing with this. It is loaded with Chromes and a J/MM pickup set with an OBP 3 preamp. The Accountant is nice with the lower but not low output here. The mild overdrive is sweet with it. The squish can get a little much with the mwah, which can overly soften the attack. The Symmetry adds nice thickness, but is just a hair dark for a flat wound fretless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    Driven Crane and Tom Bomb like this.
  2. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Have you tried the Cali CB? Clean blend, tons of control and is definitely noticeable but still not obtrusive. It's pricey but I think it checks all of your boxes.
     
  3. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    I had not seen that. It is pricey. But it seems to check many of the feature boxes I like. I'll give a few clips a listen. Thanks!
     
    M Sterling likes this.
  4. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    No problem!
     
  5. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Okay. I'm hearing a brightness that reminds me more of the Diamond than I want. I'm not sure how much is the compressor and how much is the bass used in each demo.
    Sandberg basses and jazz basses are each bright in their own right. Combined, they are super bright. Also, the tapping demo on the Compact unit isn't a style I'd do anyway (please, demo video folks, play some standard finger style combined with slap, tap, and pick)


    Sounds a little glassy for my tastes... even sounds like some clipping in a few places (could almost be the amp or recording being overdriven and not the compressor)


    I'm not a fan of Dingwall tone (Owned an ABZ for a while). I'd like it if it rounded off the high edge more like the Darkglass.


    Opposite, this is almost too wooly in the lows, and not tight and bright enough.


    My favorite of the clips I've found. Might not be a bad fit. Just a little "snappy" in the highs, but appropriately squishy in certain settings. I'd be inclined to take it out for a spin if I could find it used or some place local, or with a return policy.



    No slam against any of the reviewers or their styles and sounds. I'm just trying to put a pretty fine point on splitting the difference between two compressors I like and already own.
     
    Manticore likes this.
  6. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto

    Jan 11, 2016
    Germany
    I stalked your profile and saw you play a Shuttle -- I used to play a 9.2 and swapped it out for a TH 500. Between the drive control on that and my dirt, I've found a compressor to be more or less unnecessary. Might be another avenue worth looking into.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  7. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Good. That's why I filled in that profile info :)
    That is my backup amp. I rarely play through it. I've owned the TH pre, and it was nice. In this case, I'm really looking for a compression pedal for an effect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
    Crazy Otto likes this.
  8. Noylin

    Noylin

    May 28, 2014
    Cuse
    I was just A/Bing these two.... the Accountant is an old fave I've owned 3 times now, I love what it does and hopefully I'll be hanging on to it for a while. But I also want a cleaner comp with parallel compression to use in different contexts. I'll be giving the SS some time, but my next thought is Cali Compact Bass... as you point out it might be brighter than you (or I) want

    Smoothie is another potential option - parallel compression and tilting tone control. Not many people seem to have a Horizon around here but it is intriguing
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    The Cali CB was what I came in here to post, but then saw all the talk about it. Take a look at the Cali76-TX. It's big and expensive but I think it does what you're looking for.

    The 3Leaf PWNZOR might be worth trying to find (they aren't made any more). It's more of a vintage voiced comp but basically does what you're looking for.

    The FEA DB-CL is another one. It's more of a clean comp, but with the the Xover you can dial it in pretty much any way you want. You can also defeat the high side, letting all the highs come through uncompressed. For me it's a great live comp.

    I also always throw out the Empress Comp. It's more on the side of clean/clinical compression but it's very tweakable and can dial in a wide array of tones.

    I really like my Super Symmetry as an effect type of comp. I fills a nice role for vintage style compression.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  10. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Cool. The 3Leaf had been on my mind at one point.

    Gave the YouTube Smoothie demo a quick listen on my phone. I'll try with my better speakers later. It seems to be in the neighborhood of what I'm after. The tilt eq seems to add versatility, along with the dry blend.

    Why do I have the feeling I'll end up with 3 or 4 compressors and liking all of them :)
     
    karla684 likes this.
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I do think you're right to be looking at the Horizon. Yes there are other good options :ninja:, but the Horizon has that fluid funky action, it immediately put a smile on my face when I started playing.
     
  12. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    It's hard to argue with anyone of your experience. The promo demo clip of the Horizon really grabs my attention, but they spend too much time showing off how it combines with their other effects.

    Ugh. Now to decide between the Horizon and "other good options" ;)
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Welcome to my world ;)

    With the exception of the Cali CB I own everything I mentioned, in addition to a few others. Yet I still want a CB and the new Basswitch Comp when it's available.
     
    moonbass-de and monsterthompson like this.
  14. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    Best thread in effects forum...:thumbsup:
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  15. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    If the Super Symmetry sound and features are to your liking but it's too dark, I'll throw in another vote for the Cali76-CB. Similar range of ratios and A/R, has a parallel blend (actually one better since it has the sidechain HPF) nice footprint and power requirements and it's voiced a lot brighter. I'd call the SS fairly dark, while the Cali76-CB is just a touch brighter than neutral. My only complaint with the CB was the metering (bicolour LED) is pretty much useless but if you set it by ear it is great.

    I currently have a Cali76-TX which is more coloured and lacks the parallel/sidechain features of the CB, and also needs 18V to work best, but also has better metering.

    I still think the CB is what you're looking for, unless you want something with more squish/more of an effect.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  16. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Very helpful.
    Regarding your last point about "unless you want something with more squish/more of an effect." This is what I'm after. Not something quite as effect-y as the Accountant, but still more than the Symmetry.

    Really helpful posts so far. Very much appreciated.
     
    Jeff Moote likes this.
  17. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California
    "A good bassist determines the direction of any band." - Ron Carter
    This.
     
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Bass and Compact Deluxe

    Since the Cali Compact seems to come with some strong suggestions, the above link has some useful text:
    In addition to testing it against the Cali TX, I also AB'd it with the SuperSymmetry, Smoothie, DECL, and M87. The most extreme difference was between the SuperSymmetry and the Cali Compact; where the SS has a dark, soft, smooth sound with a tad more low end, while the CC has a bright, hard, punchy sound with more highs. The Smoothie is a bit warmer and smoother than the CC, with MUCH more low end, and a tone control, but the CC is punchier and also better at peak limiting. The M87 has a crisp articulate sound, similar to the CC, but it is not as well constructed, and lacks the blend function. The DECL is more versatile, both functionally and tonally, while the CC has more aggressive "pop".
    What I heard in the demos and what I don't like about the Compact is the harder edge than the Symmetry. I want something brighter than the Symmetry, but I get the impression that the Compact is too far in that direction; the "bright, hard" sound, as noted. The Smoothie's warmth and smoother action is appealing to me, and the bigger low end doesn't hurt.

    The Cali does have the features I want. I just haven't heard a demo clip that lights my desire for one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  19. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I'd say it's less subtle than the SS at the highest ratio settings, but definitely not as effect-y as the Accountant as you say.

    As for it being overly bright/harsh I didn't find that but getting the A/R and input settings right for your bass(es) is key for the note envelope, at least.
     
    monsterthompson likes this.
  20. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    hmmm... maybe I need to consider the route of "when given a choice, take both."
    Perhaps there isn't a single silver bullet here. Maybe I should consider flipping my Symmetry and Accountant for a Horizon and a Smoothie. It seems like this could be a good Jekyll and Hyde pairing that improves on my current situation, but doesn't involve too much sacrificing for the sake of compromising characteristics to get one single pedal.
     
  21. 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.

     
    May 27, 2022

Share This Page