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Empress Compressor vs Pwnzor vs TLC vs others.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Venom of God, Mar 2, 2013.


  1. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    Hey guys, I'm starting to think about upgrading my compressor pedal as it's the last one on my board that doesn't feel high end to me. Currently I have a monocle era BBE Opto Stomp, it's my first ever compressor and it did me fine for a couple of years, but now I'd like something with a bit more control and a pedal that teaches me how to use compression rather than doing it all for me. Also the pots are really scratchy on the BBE and I hate that :p

    I play rock and metal, with both fingers and a pick, usually with some sort of overdrive, fuzz or distortion going. No other effects. I like the look of the Empress as I think the LEDs could help me and the clean blend seems like something I'd like, but it is a little bit big (I could live with that though). The 3Leaf looks cool and I've heard good things about them too, only other one I was really considering was a TLC. I'd rather stay away from MXR after problems with both a Bass Octave Deluxe and a Pork Loin.

    Any advice on which one of these may best suit me would be most appreciated, as I'd have to order online and won't get a chance to try any that I don't buy myself.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The Empress offers significantly more control. The 3Leaf is more about broad tone fattening. The TLC is a good compromise, though I do think the lack of a threshold LED is a knock against it.
     
    Driven Crane likes this.
  3. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    Whatever Bongomania says about compressors, you need to listen to...

    My MXR works pretty well, having said that, I'm on the waiting list for the FEA Labs stuff! The Empress does look like a winner, though, well thought out and not crazy expensive. That'd be my choice if I wasn't GASing for the FEA DB-OCL.
     
    Driven Crane likes this.
  4. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
  5. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    I think I have pretty much narrowed it down to the Emperor and 3Leaf, I really do like the idea of some sort of threshold LED or metering. Which of those do you think would be more suited to heavy rock or metal? I like the idea of "broad tone fattening" when I hear it, but prior experience with such things has taught me that sometimes that can just equal mud in the mix!
     
  6. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    That looks amazing! Not really a true contender for me though due to the price, size and it requiring 18volt to get the most out of it.
     
  7. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  8. Stretchhh

    Stretchhh

    Jan 10, 2012
    WA, Australia
    3 Leaf PWNZOR is amazing. I am never going to change compressors again.
     
  9. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    What did you try before it?
     
  10. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    This is from their site:

    "Optimised for guitar but also great for
    processing recorded instruments"


    ...
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It makes sense to get that idea from those words, but I can tell you in reality he meant both treble and bass guitar, as live instruments connected directly to the pedal, as opposed to processing mixer-level signals like an 1176LN or other rack unit.

    IOW, it is also optimized for bass--he just didn't say it clearly on the site.
     
  12. Stretchhh

    Stretchhh

    Jan 10, 2012
    WA, Australia
    I was running a MXR M87 before but had tried the empress and BBE optical compress. I just find the 3Leaf had more natural tone than the empress which was my other option when upgrading. MXR can only do so much for someone's to e.
     
  13. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    Great, thanks for that! Would you say that both of them are a solid upgrade over my current BBE? The worst thing about living here is never being able to try out any 'boutique' gear!
     
  14. drea2304

    drea2304

    Feb 13, 2012
    Central IL
    I'm happy with my Markbass Compressore.
     
  15. NelsonNelson

    NelsonNelson

    Sep 25, 2011
    Markbass in my experience colors the sound way too much, then after hours of reading Bongo's compressor reviews I went with the TLC. It's truly transparent, their new case design is perfect with no bottom lip or top lip that jacks up velcro mounting or 90 degree cable use, unlike the previous version.
     
  16. Stretchhh

    Stretchhh

    Jan 10, 2012
    WA, Australia
    Both are easily an upgrade. Definitely go for the 3Leaf if you want a natural compression as that is what I was chasing when looking around.

    I reckon just take a leap of faith with either of them at prymaxevintage as you will generally get a nice discount especially if buying other pedals at the same time.
     
  17. Venom of God

    Venom of God

    Oct 8, 2007
    Australia
    Thanks for the suggestion, but MarkBass isn't really an option for me. Too big and odd power requirements!

    I've never checked that site out before, cheers for the tip! Lots of cool pedals and priced pretty well too.
     
  18. Slightly OT and out of sheer curiousity - the PWNZOR is an optical comp, the TLC is a slightly unique design, and the Empress is a...a...a...

    ...does anyone know what sort of circuit the Empress is?
     
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I can't believe I forgot to look into that. *forehead smack* It sounds and performs like a VCA though, so that's my guess.
     
  20. eeyorebass

    eeyorebass

    Jan 2, 2008
    Can't find it now, but I remember reading one review on a different site that said it was a FET based circuit.

    jeremy
     

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