MXR Bass Compressor Noise

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by GregPantelides, May 27, 2017.

  1. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    Greetings all,
    So I just completed my pedal board. Got one of those Holey Board M3 series in gothic walnut which is just brilliant. My signal chain is as follows: MXR bass preamp, MXR bass octave deluxe, MXR Phase 95, Electroharmonix Freeze, Dunlop105Q Bass Wah, MXR Bass Compressor, Electroharmonix 360 looper into an ampeg pf-50t & portaflex 1x12 cab. All pedals powered through an MXR ISO Brick.

    I absolutely love this compressor. But I'm such a light touch I had to really drive the input knob on the pedal to maximum in order to get past threshold to light 3 green lights consistently. The only problem is doing this cause a good amount of hiss. So what I did was set the input on the pedal to around 70% which really tamed down the hiss. Then I dimed the gain on my mxr preamp and used about 20% more gain on my ampeg pf-50t(now around the 50% mark). Well it worked out perfectly.

    My question is why did I notice increased hiss when I turned the gain up on the compressor but not when I increased the gain from other sources? It should also be noted that my apartment is rather old and does not have a 3 prong grounded outlet so that may be part of the issue. I'm just wondering if there is an issue with the pedal?

    Best Regards,
    -Greg P
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  2. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    By maxing out the most of the gain in the first amplifier you have increased the signal to noise ratio. Every device adds its own noise to the system, having a hot signal early in the chain, where you don't have to amplify it with all of the other devices self noise later in the chain, makes it a quieter system.

    -Frank
     
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  3. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    Thanks you, Frank.
    I also hasn't consodered the signal loss inherent when utilizing multiple pedal with a passive bass. I am playing a G&L JB.

    Do you think purchasing a MXR/CAE line driver would be a good investment for my setup? I'm also considering the MXR/CAE buffer as it has low and high cuts which may work better in addressing the hiss. Although the buffer only has 6DB of boost whereas the driver has 20DB.

    Thanks again,
    -Greg

    MXR/CAE line driver:CAE BOOST/LINE DRIVER  
    MXR/CAE buffer:CAE BUFFER  
     
  4. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    I would try putting the comp at the front of the chain and see if it's less noisy when it's just compressing the signal from the bass only. With that setup I don't really think you need a buffer or line driver, I think the freeze is buffered.
     
  5. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    Thanks for the advice. My original thought was to have the compressor work on the signal at the end of the effects chain. But having it just after the bass or the preamp might work better for noise reduction. Great thinking! Oh and both the freeze and the 105Q utilize buffered bypasses.
     
  6. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    The MXR bass preamp has +10dB available with the input control and +20dB with the output control. So there should be enough gain there, with its great input impedance of 2.2Meg ohm, for just about any passive bass.

    If you are trying to lessen hiss you shouldn't add more devices that you don't need to the signal path.

    -Frank
     
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  7. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    Thanks for your advice. Ive certainly learned quite a bit. :)
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Preach! People (not necessarily the OP here) so often want to buy a pedal to reduce noise or "clean up" their signal, when actually adding pedals tends to increase both noise and mud.
     
  9. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    My only concern with putting the compressor at the start of the chain is I may not have enough gain available to get past threshold. As I had to dime the preamp in order to get past threshold before. But I will do what I love...experiment!

    Thanks,
    -Greg P
     
  10. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia
    What MXR preamp are you running? I had the M81 and it had a lot of gain, so much so I easily drove a Crest power amp with it. I can't imagine having to dime that thing just to make the signal hot enough for the comp.

    If it were me I'd place my octave pedal first, compressor somewhere after that and the preamp at the end of your signal path.

    Running thru a bunch of pedals will cause you to loose some signal but it usually manifest as a loss of top end. If you running the preamp on at the front of the pedalboad it will act as a buffer. If you have the M81 it has a internally defeatable buffer that way if your not using the pedal you can choose to run it true bypass or as a buffer.

    You may want to check your patch cables. If you have one with a short it could be robbing your signal.
     
  11. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    I have the MXR M81 Preamp.
    I'm thinking more and more the pedal may be defective. I should not have to pump so much gain through it just to get it to register on the LED bar.
     
  12. rmars

    rmars

    Jan 2, 2004
    Bettendorf, Ia
    Have you isolated the pedal to see how it works on its own?
     
  13. GregPantelides

    GregPantelides

    Jul 18, 2016
    I got the noise cleared up by putting the compressor in the number 2 spot on my chain. I'm going from my M81 preamp to the M87 and then the rest of my chain. Thank you all for everything! :)