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EMPRESS compressor vs Keeley 4 knob compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 2string1, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    I have a Keeley 4 knob comp coming,compliments from Keeley. I'm just wondering if it is as good as the Empress without all the lights?
  2. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Any opinions please....
  3. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Ok, since you asked so nicely twice, I will give you my answer. I have owned both. The Keeley comp is ross-based. Ross-based comps suck on bass. The Empress comp is far superior on bass. Hands down the winner. No contest. Not even close.
  4. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Well...Thank You... Does anyone else feel the same way?
  5. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
  6. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    All ready been there. Lots to choose from but I need real world experience with them. I have been using a rack rig since 1998 with a DBX 160A and have recently gone micro. I love the DBX and want something close to it. Seems the Empress is close. I like the indicator lights,very close to the DBX 160a. Those lights tell me a lot.
  7. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Does this EMPRESS work off a 9 volt battery?
  8. Jup it does. And it's a great compressor, the blend knob really does it.
    Keeley? Who's that? :ninja:
  9. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    About to pull the trigger,anybody care to stop me?
  10. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    On what? An Empress? They make an awesome comp.

    I've never been a fan of the Keeley stuff on bass. It's great on guitar though.
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I would choose the Empress over the Keeley every day and twice on Sundays.
  12. Empress is the way to go. Not even close.
  13. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I prefer Ross type compressors for bass, but Im probably very alone in that sentiment. I like the dip/swell they achieve and use them as a boost/effect with the added benefit of compression. I think the Keeley is great, but the empress looks very impressive. I've owned the two knob Keeley and currently use a (gasp!) MXR SuperComp. They work exactly the way I want them to but if I were in the market for something a bit more transparent, I'd look elsewhere. Apples to oranges.
  14. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    No, no it does not. At least, there is no battery hookup inside & not really room for one!

    It only needs 100ma, so I think thats about 5 hours from a battery? (the tech heads could probably help with that)
  15. 2string1


    Apr 1, 2013
    Whats that mean?
  16. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    It means you have to use an ac adapter or pedal power block to power it. No practical battery option.
  17. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I too have owned both the Keeley 4 knob and the Empress. I have also owned the Diamond comp and currently have settled on the now discontinued 3Leaf Pwnzor. The Keeley simply wasn't any good on bass. Too noisy, too much loss of low end and clearly designed for guitar use rather then bass.

    The Empress is a monster of a comp. Super clean and neutral sounding to my ear. Doesn't have the personality of the Diamond but offers a lot more control. If I was to offer up a few "negatives" about the Empress, they would be as follows:

    1. The Empress takes up a fair bit of room on a pedalboard due to the form factor.

    2. The controls can be easily moved and because the unit offers so much range in the controls, it can be hard to get it back to that perfect sweet spot quickly if you accidentally bump the controls.

    3. The comp has more tweakability then many pedal users want and it can be a bit overwhelming to dial it in.

    4. I found it to be almost a bit too subtle. This is likely because I love the "color" that the Diamond adds to my tone and missed it with the Empress. The Empress does a fantastic job of compressing but is just so transparent. This could be a huge plus for some.

    5. I simply found the 3Leaf to do everything I wanted from a comp with simpler controls and a much smaller size.

    I would seriously try the Diamond and the Empress together if possible. The Diamond requires non standard power but has a power supply included I believe. Its a simpler pedal with a very sweet tone. The Empress feels more like a studio tool to me. Both are pretty much the pinnacle of high end bass compressor pedals though. Ironically, they are both made in Canada.
  18. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Empress compressor is awesome. I don't know how I played bass without it.
  19. Crabby, I've owned an Empress and now have a Diamond, which I love, and I'd also agree with pretty much everything you say here.

    Is there anything more you can say about PWNZOR vs Diamond? I've always been curious about the PWNZOR, and now they are pretty much impossible to find, but the fact that you seem to prefer it to the Diamond makes me interested in hearing a bit more. Maybe it is worth the effort to hunt down…is it "better" than the Diamond? The Diamond is sooooo good.

  20. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    This is, indeed, the perfect list of cons about the Empress! Particularly, Nos 2,3, & 4. I really do like the Empress, but I'm still on the waiting list for an FEA Labs DBCL. I'd LOVE to try the Diamond, but I don't wanna spend anymore dough on compressors until after I get the FEA.

    I've never tried the Keeley, but from what these guys have said, I'd stay away from it.