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Diamond BCP-1 Question for those of you with time in on them...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MarkM13, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA

    I'm shopping for a compressor. I've been using a Zoom MS-60b. While I like it for it's modulation effects and amp sims, the compressors are pretty lacking. I've done way too much reading at Ovnilab.com, bass-pedals.com, as well as here and thought I had decided on the G-Lab BC-1 for the following reasons:
    1. Multiple channels
    2. Uncolored
    3. Quiet
    1. The multi channel option is very attractive. I figured I'd use one as always on and the other for slapping or digging in more.
    2. After hearing demos of the Empress and Dark Glass and not digging their coloration, I decided on uncolored. But, then I heard several demos of the Diamond and was really impressed and am once again undecided.

    For those of you using the Diamond that aren't heavy handed or mighty slappers, how functional has it proven to be for general compression duties. Bongo's review mentions a fixed ratio of 3:1 and cautions it may not work for some. I'm thinking that if I were to go with it, I'd use a patch I created on the Zoom for the few songs I get to slap on. I created the patch because I play EB Cobalt flats and the it gives me some hi frequency content to compensate.
    This approach would give me the multi option of the G-lab unit. If the Diamond had a ratio knob I would have ordered it already. But...it don't...hence the question.

    Hearing the G-lab might help but, I understand it's a rare bird.

    Or maybe I'll toss both options and go with the Whirlwind OC ;)

  2. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I found it to be utterly useless as s compressor, but it made a great tone enhancer... meaning not transparent, but more like it's never squishing hard enough to exhibit the negative characteristics some associate with compression. The way I use compression, the Diamond left me wanting and I wound up throwing a limiter after it for the time I owned it because, well, it wasn't limiting! I get why some like them but there's many more versatile comps available at that price, IMO. The Diamond seems geared to those who aren't looking so much for a full feature comp, but tone box. IMO, ymmv, etc.
    Deiph and Bassist30 like this.
  3. It’s a great Compressor for people who aren’t heavy handed. I had no problems with it doing it’s job and I have a fairly light touch. If you want transparent though, it’s definitely not the box for you:). It adds its own sound which is a general fattening and what sounded like a slightly girthier low mid. It worked fine for me when I slapped as well.

    I play a passive Epi Tbird, FYI.
  4. wheelsup247

    wheelsup247 Supporting Member

    I’ve owned a Diamond BCP-1 (the yellow one), a Keeley Bassist Limiter, and an OvniFX Smoothie. The OvniFX Smoothie is my personal favorite. The other two pedals were great too; it’s just a matter of personal taste.
    willsellout likes this.
  5. MarkM13


    Mar 29, 2015
    CT - USA
    Thanks man. I thought I wanted uncolored until I heard this. The colored units I heard (Empress, Dark Glass) I didn't like. When I heard a good demo of the Diamond I literally said, "Whoa!".
    I'm not that heavy handed and play a passive BB425x or an active Bacchus Craft.
    willsellout likes this.
  6. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I had read here that the Empress was tone neutral and transparent but have not used one.

    Curious as to how others see the Empress vs. the Diamond.
    Willsellout posted a great review of these 2 plus an FEA unit.
    willsellout likes this.
  7. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Willsellout nailed it IMO. The Diamond is great compressor for folks who do not need peak limiting and want one of the warmest, fullest compression effects you can buy. I'm a finger style player, but do dig in occasionally - very occasional slap/pop - and the Diamond works quite well for me. As a bonus, it's the only pedal I've ever used that actually seems to suck background noise out of the signal as opposed to adding any.

    My other compressor, an Aguilar TLC, would seem to be a much better fit for someone looking for versatility in compression/limiting functionality, high degree of transparency, and decent control over compressor settings. It works well for signal strength/dynamics control, but is not something I would choose to add the typical voicing/tonal attributes people sometimes look for in compressor.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  8. I’ll echo what has been said. The Diamond is great for just adding some forgiveness to your playing. I've seen it mentioned in other threads that it might be more a soft knee than 3:1, but either way it is a great compressor for good old grooving bass. My basic setup is passive Jazz into the Diamond into a SABDDI. Additional dirt at times for fun, but for stay at home goovin' the Diamond is perfect.
  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    BCP-1 measured data:

    Diamond BCP-1

    2.6:1 ratio
    Threshold range -33dBu to -15dBu

    depalm, Levin, blindrabbit and 3 others like this.
  10. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    +1...perfect way to describe this pedal!!
    thebreakman and FullTime Tim like this.
  11. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Which at least in part explains why I find the Opti-Fet to be a waaaay better choice for my needs ;)
    blindrabbit and willsellout like this.
  12. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    The Diamond is the only pedal I use and is always on, so i have a ton of experience with it:
    • Its fairly light/moderate compression, which is exactly what i like for live.
    • It works great for passive "Fender" type basses, really fattens up the tone, but remains clear and articulate.
    • The controls are super simple, again perfect for live. I had the MXR M87 first, but found the small knobs way to sensitive and i found myself fiddling with the knobs all night. By contrast the Diamond is much simpler.
    • It does not work as well on really hot/active basses.
    It has become part of "my sound", and can really thicken up your tone nicely without losing clarity.
    Ive been temped to try other compressors...but dont want all those knobs to mess with....if your looking for light to moderate compression, tone enhancement and plug-in and go simplicity, the Diamond will be a good fit.
    thebreakman, rugrat and hopwheels like this.
  13. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO the Diamond is on the transparent side. Many compressors dull the top end too much for my taste. The Diamond actually seems to add a little shimmer/warmth to the high mids rather than darkening the sound. I think it's best used for very light smoothing where the goal is primarily to add a little sustain, even out tone, and improve feel. I also find the EQ knob to be a nice feature. Diamond calls it a tilt EQ. Basically it simultaneously boost lows while reducing highs if you turn the knob one way, and boost highs and reduces lows if you turn it the other way. I have found the feature very useful for taming overly bright tube amps.

    If heavier squish is your goal, a unit that provides access to attack, release, and ratio parameters is generally better. If I had GAS for heavy compression, I would be tempted by the Empress, as the other Empress pedals I have used are top notch.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  14. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    As others have said, my experience with the BCP-1 was that it was an incredible tone enhancer and an okay compressor. It’s a low ratio, and what feels like a very fast attack and a moderate release. The attack speed added what felt like a percussive edge to the front of notes that I didn’t notice when the comp was off. I might be interpreting that incorrectly, but I’ve been able to duplicate the effect in the studio by manipulating attack times to be as fast as possible, hence the assumption. That percussive element was great sometimes, and unwanted other times.

    Another quirk of the BCP-1 is the odd power requirements. It’s a center-positive pedal, unlike the vast majority of the market, so you’ll need a center-positive power cable to use it. Additionally, it clips easily when only being fed 9V. I had good luck with 18V and found the best performance when using the factory wall wart power supply.

    All that said, tonally I’ve never found another pedal that does what it does. If I had room on my board I would absolutely run one as the first pedal in my circuit and would then put more of a utility compressor at the end.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I still use one. Great comp and the tilt EQ actually works to one's advantage. You may have to play with freq switch to find which setting (900 vs 250 hz) complements your rig. I run mine slightly to the bass side which can attenuate some of the more desirable mids when in the 250 position.

    blindrabbit and Planespotter like this.
  16. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I have had an Empress and consider it to be one of the most transparent compressors out there. The only reason I changed was to get an FEA Labs dual-band compressor. Very surprised that anyone would think the Empress was anything but transparent...
    blindrabbit and Al Kraft like this.
  17. Hey cool. I missed that post completely. Very cool to see the plots.
    Thanks Frank.
    Al Kraft and boomertech like this.
  18. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I listened to some of the many You Tube videos of the Diamond.
    It sounds good but I can't help but wonder if the magic isn't just EQ; not that this is bad thing.
    If it only had the ability to change the ratio, and an LED that let you know when the threshold was crossed, it would be a good choice for me.
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I’ve had other tilt EQ compressors and it’s definitely more than just a simple EQ. I wish I could quantify it in words more successfully, but suffice it to say there’s “something” happening that a lot of people find very desirable.

    The LED does change when you cross the threshold, and changes yet again when it reaches clipping. It’s honestly not all that for visual metering as you only know that the threshold has been crossed, and not what is happening now that it’s “up there.”

    As to the ability to change ratios, well... I think you’re in fine company with the number of folks who would like to see a BCP-1 with more control over the compression ratio.
  20. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Thanks for the LED correction; I've looked at so many specs, it's beginning to get blurred.

    Does the Diamond have unusual LED dynamics?
    The video sometimes looks like the indicator is active when there is no input??

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