Darkglass Ultra X: opinion on incorporated compressor vs adding external compressor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Cardiorrhexis, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. DG Ultra X only

    1 vote(s)
  2. DG Ultra X with Hyper Luminal

    2 vote(s)
  1. Cardiorrhexis


    Sep 4, 2016
    I recently purchased a Darkglass Ultra X. I bought it for the distortion and the EQ but was pleasantly surprised at how well the low compressor works; even when you engage it for the clean tones. I’m just trying to figure out what type of compressor it is (BUS, FET, etc). I’m also trying to figure out if this will be enough compressor to take my DG Hyper Luminal off of my board to save space. Thoughts?
  2. My personal feeling is that if it sounds good it is good. So if you're happy with something it does, you should use it for that purpose. Even in place of a pedal that's more specifically dedicated to that function. That feeling of being pleasantly surprised at how much you like something is pretty powerful and I tend to trust it. Just try not using the Hyper Luminal for a bit. You can even unplug it and see if you miss something it does.
    Cardiorrhexis likes this.
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I really like the full-range compressor on the X-Ultra too, so much so that I sold my XU and got a Hyper Luminal. I ended up using the XU mostly for clean channel compression and EQ and wanted the extra tweakability of the HL. Doug has said the comp in the X pedals is related to the BUS compressor in the Hyper Luminal, but he has never said what the fixed attack/release parameters or ratio are.

    My only issue with the comp in the X-Ultra is that when you switch from Clean mode to Distortion mode the comp switches to only being a Low frequency compressor (there are a few demos that claimed that the full-range compressor works in both modes, but this is false- in Distortion mode the comp is always only on the Low band!). I found that the Comp setting I used in Clean mode for the full-range compressor could be too intense when switched to the Distortion as the lows could really become too big and unwieldy/congested with too much Comp dialed in. I think if you play with higher Gain tones then this would be less of an issue (I mostly used low-Gain tones on the Distortion side, which isn't really its greatest strength).

    Whether that 1-knob comp is enough for you is totally subjective. As someone who has mostly relied on various types of tubes/overdrive for compression in the past I am really enjoying having a more tweakable compressor to mess around with, but if you don't need a tweakable full-range compressor at all times and can find a Comp setting that works well for you in both Clean and Distortion modes then having a fairly pricey and power-hungry (but also super-tweakable) stand-alone comp on your board seems like a waste of space and money to me that you could use for something else!
    Zekt and Cardiorrhexis like this.