Darkglass Super Symmetry vs Markbass Compressore?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mushjoon, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Darkglass Super Symmetry

    14 vote(s)
  2. Markbass Compressore

    21 vote(s)
  1. mushjoon


    Oct 9, 2011
    Hi everyone.

    I'm currently in Korea where the gear market is pathetic compared to that of America and it's quite hard to find a good gear at good price.

    I was able to find both used DG Super Symmetry and Markbass Compressore for the same price ($220). I heard good things about both pedals on this forum and I don't mind having a big chunk of pedal that requires an unconventional power supply because that would be the only pedal that I would be using.

    I've also checked Ovnilab and they rated both compressors highly, making it even more difficult to choose which one to buy.

    I play finger style in a thrash metal band and my style is heavily influenced by Iron Maiden, Rush and Cliff Burton from Metallica.

    I would highly appreciate if you could recommend me a pedal from these two compressors. Thank you!
  2. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    The Markbass Compressore is a "character" driven compressor. It imparts a tube warmth to signal. The DG Super Symmetry is a Neutral sounding compressor that doesn't change your "sound" but adds neutral compression to it. If it was my choice, I would go for the Dark Glass unit because it's smaller and doesn't need some funky PSU or possible tube swap out later. If I want tube warmth, I can dial that in easily with my EQ.
    My only concern with your choice, those are two complicated compressors. Do you really need 4-5 dial compression? I use an EBS Multi Comp...it's got a 3 ways switch for character (Tube, Multi band and Normal) and it's super easy to dial in...one knob for compression and one for Gain.
    btmpancake likes this.
  3. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I think the MarkBass sounds way better.
  4. sifrancis


    Oct 29, 2012
    Mesa, Darkglass, EQD, Mantic, Source Audio, Yamaha, Delano, Hamstead Soundworks
    This is a difficult decision.
    The two pedals are similar in that I both offer a warm tone, with some thickness added in general...

    Of the two I find the Markbass to be less dark sounding, and the most versatile of the two, but this can also make it harder to dial in, particularly the interactive nature of the Gain, Threshold, and Ratio controls.
    The tube in the circuit definitely adds some that of tube-y 3D depth (spacial more than tonal) or "big-ness" to the tone.

    The Darkglass Super Symmetry, offers a similar range of controls, and whilst it has a darker tone overall the Blend control goes someway to help with this. It has a smoother feel/response in general. The Darkglass also has fabulous metering, which makes it easier to dial in.

    My experience was the inverse of GMC's above, with the Markbass Compressore being closer to "neutral" of the two tonally speaking, though again neither of the two are what I would consider tonally transparent (MXR or Empress MK1 compressor both delivering on this better).
    I don't know if this is due to different setups... but I would certainly never consider the Darkglass to be either "neutral" or "transparent" despite it's marketing. It's thick and warm character are actually some of what sets it apart from other compressors, and is what I use that pedal for.

    Both are very quiet, but the Markbass has the edge on being very quiet.

    I feel the Markbass would benefit considerably from a sidechain HPF to let the low end breathe a bit more at higher compression setting, and the Darkglass would be equally improved with a tilt style EQ for the comp letting you lean into it's thick, warmth, or boost the high end and tighten the lows for some better clarity.

    If you have the possibility to test both side-by-side I would highly recommend it.

    If you have to buy one sight-unseen:

    - The Darkglass would suit you well if you like thick and warm sounds, and would like to be able to set up the compressor quickly with good feedback, and if it's going to be "always on" then some EQ at the amp would easily help brighten things up if needed (or if you currently roll the tone on your bass down a touch, just put it wide open).

    - The Markbass will serve you if you want some of that tube-y spacial thickness and depth, with warmth but less roll-off on the high end (compared to the Darkglass), and you are familiar/comfortable with compressors, or are happy to spend some time dialling in the pedal by ear/feel (which some would argue is a better way to setup compression)

    Finally - if you can order from elsewhere, I would highly recommend getting the new Empress Bass Compressore. It covers pretty everything you could ever want from a compression pedal, from true "transparent"/"neutral" utility compression, through to tonal magic.
    Thump_N_Bloom, gypsyfelon and Dec1975 like this.
  5. I like the DarkGlass. Into my SVT or Portaflex.
  6. mushjoon


    Oct 9, 2011
    Thank you for the detail explanation! The only thing that I'm concerned with the new Empress Bass Compressor (MKII) is that there has been an issue with the LED light making clicking noise when it's getting turned off. I assume the issue has not been fixed completely yet because Empress has said that they'll fix the issue around this January (which is still not over!) , so even if I wanted to order one from a Reverb seller, I might get one from their old stock with the same problem.
    sifrancis likes this.
  7. mushjoon


    Oct 9, 2011
    I'm a pretty finicky person when it comes to building my own sound haha. If I had a rack system with a separate cab, I would have just got myself a dbx160a and be done with it. However, since I can only use the bass gear owned by a local venue, I want a compressor that allows me to have a good control of my bass tone. Threshold, Attack, Ratio, Make-up gain and Release are the "minimum" things that I'm looking for from a compressor and simple compressor pedals, even though they have their own special charm, won't just cut it.
  8. Stubbrnmule

    Stubbrnmule Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2019
    Seabeck Washington
    With full understanding that all of this is a personal choice and everyone has their opinions, I might try the Darkglass Hyper Luminal. I've done a lot of work with this compressor, comparing to others that I have such as the Cali76 and Smoothie. For a one solution compressor, the hyper luminal is pretty versatile. You can get the "darker" super symmetry sound, but also the FET and BUS modes which bring in other tasty solutions. It's a damn good compressor for sure but not for everyone.
    JoratioMumbles likes this.
  9. sifrancis


    Oct 29, 2012
    Mesa, Darkglass, EQD, Mantic, Source Audio, Yamaha, Delano, Hamstead Soundworks
    I wasn't aware of that issue - just looked it up. That's helpful to know!
    I'll check if mine always does this, though to be honest I have it always when being used, and also have it set to start up engaged which would explain why I haven't noticed this particular issue.

    Out of curiosity - what are you hoping to get out of a compressor and what are you wanting to use it for?

    Also - what is you primary setup?
  10. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    Everything GMC said about the MB Compressore is true to me. I'll say the learning curve is easier if you only play one bass or one type of string through the MB.
  11. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I would definitely buy one new
  12. misterCRUSH

    misterCRUSH It's all jazz...it's ALL jazz...

    Dec 27, 2015
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    I think that you should also consider the Hyper Luminal from Darkglass. I have it and it is an excellent, very adaptable compressor. It includes the super symmetry and two other famous compressors, all individually adaptable in many different ways.. It is the best compressor I've ever used, easily.
  13. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    I use the Markbass as a set it and leave it. And it is on all the time.
    Best tube compressor for my uses and my $$$. And been having it for years. And still great in my book.
    Mili, Nashrakh, 75Ric and 1 other person like this.
  14. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Never tried the Mark bass, but I found the Darkglass to be dark sounding.
  15. Valvehead


    Jun 21, 2020
    Owned both. Sold both. Cali76 cb baby. Hands down.
    Mili and Stubbrnmule like this.
  16. Stubbrnmule

    Stubbrnmule Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2019
    Seabeck Washington
    +1 on the Cali76CB. Excellent compressor. My top three are Cali, Hyper Luminal and Smoothie, but the Cali stays on the board most of the time.
    KJMO likes this.
  17. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    I didn't care for the Cali. My favorite is tne EBS Multicomp.
  18. ficelles

    ficelles Inactive

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I recently picked up a used Keeley Compressor Pro. Although I make my own effects pedals, this is the compressor that's ticking all the boxes for me.
  19. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    My .02:

    From that, I'd say you definitely want the Empress Bass Compressor. It's got the compression parameters you mention, and complete metering (both input level and gain reduction). In addition, there's a built-in sidechain with a variable high pass filter. You can adjust the HPF so that low notes don't cause the compressor to squash your signal. And there's also a _mix_ knob which lets you run parallel compression; that is, you can mix dry and wet signal together. IMHO, that's a complete feature set, all in one pedal.

    The "clicking" sound is no big deal, IMHO. Empress has said they'll mail out a replacement connector to all registered owners, and it's a simple installation: take out the old connector cable, plug in the new one. And the clicking only affects passive basses when there's no intervening device which buffers the bass from the compressor. It doesn't happen with preamp-equipped basses, or if there's a pedal between the bass and compressor which has a buffered output.
  20. desert_rain


    Jul 14, 2015
    I use markbass for a long time and it is remarkable for me. I play same kind of music and it fits very well. İt add samo fattines which I love.

    My Iron maiden cover from live streaming with markbass;

    chain: sh signature -> comressore -> lomenzo hyper drive( just for color) -> mesa prodigy’s di out-> computer

    No way to understand it in chain, just wanna show it fits.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    CheckBass likes this.

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