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LMB-3 or Opto Stomp? (yet another compression thread)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Double Agent, May 13, 2010.

  1. BBE Opto-Stomp

    13 vote(s)
  2. Boss LMB-3

    7 vote(s)
  3. Other (please state which one in thread)

    3 vote(s)
  4. carrots (to appease the TB carrot whores)

    3 vote(s)
  1. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I've done a lot of searching on this topic, but I can't seem to find an answer on this. I may just have to bite the bullet and guess, but I thought I would take a stab at it here and ask you guys what you think. So here goes....

    I've finally put together a pedalboard with all the main pedals I've been wanting for a long time now...got a fuzz, an octave, a filter, some modulation (phaser and chorus). I'm really happy with the tones I am getting so far. I am using the Qballs Engima for my filter and I love it, but it is a VERY loud pedal. I can tame it by using the Blend control, but that takes away from a lot of the funkiness that it offers IMO. I figured, even before I bought the Enigma, that I would need some kind of comp/limiter to tame the harsh peaks. But, I'm not sure exactly what would work best in my situation.

    My main goal is to keep my volume levels the same, or close to the same, regardless of what pedals I am using/not using. If the pedal can't do that, then it doesn't matter how good it sounds. But, I wouldn't mind adding some compression to my sound either. I only have room on my board for one more pedal. So, I can't get one of each.

    I've read Bongo's reviews a bunch of times, but I'm still not sure which way to go. My first choice has been the Opto Stomp, but I'm not 100% sure that it's the right tool for the job. Can the Opto Stomp do a decent job at smoothing out the peaks from my Enigma? Or would I be better off looking at a hard limiter like the LMB-3? Or maybe I should a compressor that has better limiting capabilities than the Opto Stomp, something like the Carl Martin Classic Opto or a Humphrey modded CS-3? Any input is welcome. Thanks.
  2. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    Carl Martin Classic Opto

    Sorry, I know that's probably not the answer you're looking for.
  3. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    The answer I'm looking for is the "right" answer. If that is the Carl Martin, I will find a way to squeeze it into my board.

    Money is a factor though. I would love to look at a Demeter Compulator, but it's just not in my budget. The Carl Martin or modded CS3 are at the top of my budget.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I dig that Carl Martin for sure. Supposedly they showed new versions of that line in much more compact pedal housings at a recent NAMM, but I haven't seen those IRL yet. It would be a not-too-difficult rehousing project if you're into that; the circuitboard is small.
  5. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Bump for more opinions, only 2 people have even voted in the poll so far. :(

    Also, it has come to my attention, thanks to another thread, that the Barge Concepts RC-3 is in the same price range as the Carl Martin Classic-Opto. So, I would be curious to hear any comparisons of these two pedals as well, specifically from a peak limiting standpoint. Anyone? Bueller?
  6. Nerotic

    Nerotic Guest

    Sep 17, 2008
    My vote went for EBS MultiComp.

    Small and pretty easy to use, plus EBS makes some high quality stuff.
    Only downside is that the two trimpots, which really makes this pedal worthwhile, are on the inside, so you can't make adjustsments without cracking it open first.
  7. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    I'd say the Aguilar TLC, because if I remember correctly it works very effectively as a limiter.
  8. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    I love my LMB-3. Bongo seems to think well of it, and honestly, I can't hear the little "click" that he talks about. It's super transparent, easy to use, and nice and cheap. I think I'd be worth getting and trying, and if you don't like it, there's always eBay.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    IMO the Carl Martin is a little bit better choice, at least partly because Barge is AWOL for the indefinite future. And yeah, nothing wrong with the LMB-3, especially considering you can get one for $50 any day of the week.
  10. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I'd get the TLC and call it a day. It's the best pedal compressor I've used by far, even over the Compulator, Multicomp and CP9 Pro+. It does a great job of taming peaks. Just set the attack to be fairly quick, with a ratio of 10:1 or so, and then adjust threshold to just barely kick in when required. Everything else will come through loud and strong. Later, when you want overall smoothing of your tone, you can drop the ratio down to 3:1, open up the attack a bit, and you've got big, fat tone without any dynamic suck. Killer, killer pedal that was meant for bass players. A lot of pros aren't raving about it for nothing in this case.
  11. Gopher Bob

    Gopher Bob

    Nov 24, 2001
    Not sure about its limiting capabilities but I like my opto stomp. I'm also a Polk county native so that should double my points or something.

    It is probably best though to get one that has stronger limiting ability.
  12. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I definitely need something works well as a limiter, which stinks because I can afford the Opto Stomp. The Carl Martin is going to be a bit of a stretch for me, the Aguilar TLC is just way too expensive for me right now. Maybe I can get a used EBS MultiComp closer to my price range, but I just can't afford to spring for a TLC.

    Or, maybe I should just get a good old, cheap Boss LMB-3 and upgrade to something better, like the TLC, when I can afford to.
  13. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    The EBS won't limit IMO. You can't control the threshold value, and the ratio is too small. This makes it hit or miss for compression in general (depending on the output of your bass), and extremely poor at limiting. A good threshold control is critical for proper limiting setup.

    Besides that, a new EBS is the exact cost of a new TLC. I just bought a used TLC here at TB, so keep your eyes open and one will pop-up for a good price. If you really want to do some limiting, get the right tool or you'll be disappointed. The LMB-3 might be your best bet for now if you can't save a bit more and watch for something used.

    Optostomp won't function well as a limiter at all.
  14. spiker


    Nov 29, 2008
    Central Coast NSW Australia
    Endorsing Artist: Puretone Bass strings
    I owned an LMB-3 for yrs. It's quite powerful and can tame any peak, you also get the enhance control included (which most people hate) which i think is great for slap, as it adds an upper mid harmonic content to your tone. Great for the Flea tone.
    You won't get silky smooth compression from an LMB-3, but you will get hard limiting with a varied threshold.

    * I sold mine and got an EBS Multicomp about 6 months ago, and haven't looked back. Smooth silky compression, just enough subtle effect to add tonal quality, without the squishy compression that ruins your tone. I don't use compression to tame any pedals though, moreso to add quality of tone and chop a lil off the top peak notes. I've even sold my sansamp as i love the EBS and Eden WT400 combination so much!

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