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Compressor search - fast and transparent(ish)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by HeavyJazz, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    And yes I'm fully aware of the absolutely remarkable Ovni Labs resource... So here's my question - I already have an "effecty" compressor on my board that I love, but I'd like to add a more studio-style one to the arsenal for the fast, punchy and clean attack that tends to work well with dynamic finger style play.

    I've owned the Joe Meek and it was great, but a hair soupy sounding to my ears. The Demeter Compulator Pro had a great tone too, but it was too easy to overdrive.

    After much research and reflection it seems like an FEA DE-CL would be a good choice for me, but looking at a 6-month waiting list and the speed in which the used ones disappear that's kind of a bummer option. I guess the next best choice for this genre of pedal would be the Empress or Diamond. Eh... I tried to convince myself of the 3 Leaf Audio Pwnzor because I just love the build quality of that shop, but I suspect that's not what I'm looking for.

    Am I on the right track? Clean, finger style players, what successes have you come across in your compression experiments?
  2. eeyorebass


    Jan 2, 2008
    I'm willing to bet the top two suggestions you receive will be the Empress and the MXR M87. The M87, especially, seems to go from fast to faster, and the reviews all say it is transparent.
  3. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I love my BBE for that.
  4. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    The Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter wins the gig. I'm sure the Empress is great, but when I auditioned this one it really knocked me out. I had poor history with MXR pedals so will continue to stay clear.
  5. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    TC Electronic Nova Dynamics (if you can find one) set to studio mode is highly transparent, and has adjustable attack. You can mix some of your clean uncompressed signal back in too for more transparency.
  6. GuzBaas


    Oct 10, 2008
    Origin Cali76 is the best compressor I've tried, will give exactly what you want
  7. RedMoses


    Jul 4, 2012
    Aguilar TLC is pretty transparent and its relatively affordable compared to other good quality Comps.
  8. Aaron_D


    May 9, 2010
    Tallahassee, FL
    Fast and transparent SCREAMS Aguilar TLC
  9. I'll second the M87.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I know Bongo doesn't like it, but the FMR Really Nice Compressor sounds like that to me.
  11. n747js


    Feb 21, 2013
    Great inquiry you have posed HeavyJazz77. However, I would like to inquire as to why you have chosen the FEA DE-CL over the FEA Dual Band Optical Compressor-Limiter, as I am torn between the two.
  12. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I had a Maxon CP9 pro plus for a fee years and Zi really liked it. Very transparent, easy to use, tons of headroom.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Used to have the Ibanez version of it. Pretty good, don't know if I'd call it transparent.
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Actually the "Pro +" is a completely, totally different pedal from the old regular CP9. :)
  15. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    I have an Empress, works very well in any situation I've used it in.
    Studio, live you name it , it sounds good.

    I have not tried the others mentionned in this thread so I can't compare.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh, well never mind then.

  17. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Although it looks like the OP has already made a decision, not involving FEA, I'd guess it's because the DE-CL is $80 cheaper and has, like, 7 less knobs! LOL! :D

    Ok, I know it only has 3 less knobs(4 if you count the limiter toggle switch), but you get my point.

    I'm on the waiting list for both, but I'm really leaning towards the DB-OCL. Why? I like spending money and the more knobs, the better! :hyper:

    I kid, I really like being able to control the compressor release. While I think the Adaptive Release on the DE-CL is probably super sweet, I want to have a modicum of say in the release aspect.

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