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MXR M87 Ovni Labs Review

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by funnyfingers, Apr 3, 2013.


  1. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    http://www.ovnilab.com/reviews/mxrbass.shtml

    I just want to understand why comparing this as not as fat and warm is a bad thing. Isn't it a good quality that it is not coloring the sound? "So overall, is it as good? No." But yes I see it is said to be very good. Just trying to understand. There are so many other things to color your sound, I'd figure the compressor not doing so would be a very good thing.

    I played one last night and my problem is that I can't hear much of a difference on or off or with all the various settings. I hear a little difference. I see the difference in the LEDs. I would probably notice a big difference in recording with it not clipping when doing fast stuff on the high strings then coming back to the E string.

    Just wanted some thoughts.
     
  2. There he was just comparing it to FEA comps not to comps in general. Some people like tone colorers, some don't. He was just offering up the inevitable comparisons folks would have asked him for anyway.
     
  3. I love it when people answer their own questions ;)
     
  4. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    I missed it then, what is my answer:)
     
  5. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Doesn't color the sound.
     
  6. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    My real question is why is that a bad thing compared to the others that were mentioned in the real making it not as good but still a good compressor. I get that the comparison to them is not colored, but not sure why that would be a negative at all. I just want to make sure I understand all this before putting out $180 for a pedal!
     
  7. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I had the MXR and loved it a very transparent compressor does what it's supposed to do. I now have the FEA DE-CL and it is incredible adds a little cherry on top with the warmth control.
     
  8. It's not inherently a negative. It's only a negative if you want a compressor that colors your sound. Some compressors do that. Some people want compressors that do that. Not everybody does. Bongo was just stating that if you want the tonal coloration of the Urei comp, don't go looking for it in the M87.

    It has nothing to do with the quality of the M87 as a standalone unit, just as a comparison to another unit.
     
  9. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    Ok so for you the review is right on. You think it does an excellent job as a compressor, but found the FEA DE-CL does the jobs just as well, and adds "warmth" to the sound which is a good thing for you.
     
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Yes sir
     
  11. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    As I type, I am sitting outside GC waiting to buy the MXR M87. I have 2 very different basses. One is an 18v single coil, and the other is a 9v dual humbucker. I only need the comp to balance things out and nip the peaks a little between my basses. The Ovinlab review of this pedal was the primary reason I selected this pedal. I owe my entire understanding of compressors to his work.
     
  12. Well, you said that you didn't know why a lack of colouration was a bad thing, then you went on to say that your only problem was not being able to hear a difference with all the settings.

    This means, that in your case, transparency is bad. Because you said your only problem was the transparency.
     
  13. funnyfingers

    funnyfingers

    Nov 27, 2005
    Oh no quite the opposite. The transparency is great, which is why I wondered about that part of the review. The only way I know it works is the LEDs or otherwise it is just very subtle. That could be because of the volume I was playing at as well. As I said before I am sure it would help me a lot more with recording though.
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I just re-read my review to see if there was any way I could express myself more clearly.

    There is not. :)
     
  15. Ah, I misunderstood. I thought you meant it was a problem. I personally like compressors that do colour your tone a little, but I understand the desire for a totally transparent one as well.
     
  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Heh. I'm going to start a website that does reviews of your reviews of compressors. ;)
     
  17. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    I used the EBS MultiComp for years. Initially I liked the vintage setting, which definitely colored my tone... but eventually recognized that what made it appealing when practicing at home was causing some muddiness in a band mix. Went through the other settings, and finally ended up taking it off my board and playing without compression for about six months.

    And of course, I missed compression! So I got the M87, and I'm very happy with it. It meets my need, which is evening out the lively spots and the dull spots on my bass neck without adding any "character" of its own.

    As others have noted, coloration of tone is a matter of taste. With my current rig, I prefer a transparent compressor. If you start auditioning compressors that have distinct personalities, you'll find that each one brings something different to the table. I have heard a Durham Sex Drive make a cheap bass and amp sound like a million bucks because of the "character" it added to the tone.
     
  18. Schimmy

    Schimmy

    Jul 5, 2012
    Coloring / transparency is not something to be good or bad. It's a characteristic. I, for example, like when the compressor smashes the sound completely adding some warmth and that's just how i like it.

    You like it transparent, so i would suppose the M87 it's okay for you. I tried it and didn't really enjoyed it being that clean.

    Think of it as spice on your food. Some people hate it, some people can't live without. The spice doesn't make the food itself bad or good, just adds a different taste to it. Or not.
     
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In my review I compare the MXR by describing one FEA model as more "crisp and cutting", while another is more "fat and warm", while both have more control, and lower noise than the MXR. So those are ways in which I found them "better" than the MXR. In one case the FEA model has more coloration than the MXR, while another case is (arguably) more transparent--or at least demonstrates more of the kinds of articulation and clarity that people seek when talking about transparency.

    IOW, I did not suggest coloration is better than transparency. :) And even if we remove coloration vs transparency from the review, I still said the FEA's had better control and lower noise.

    Edit: to further clarify, my point right now is NOT to hammer home my opinion of "what is better". I am only trying to show that the premise of this thread was a mis-reading of what I wrote.
     
  20. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Definitely agree that the FEA is better, but the M87 has the benefit of being readily available, has a meter and is smaller in size. Now that I'm not trying to stuff everything on a Pedaltrain mini, size is less of an issue so I may go with a FEA-CL should one become available.
     

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