MXR M87 vs. Boss LMB-3

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by THENAMEISKENNY, Jan 3, 2015.



    Dec 21, 2014
    I'm in need of a compression pedal. I will be using it in as an always on pedal so I really want to get the right one. I just want opinions. And I will give you mine. I love boss pedals, I have a couple and I have never had any problems with any of them. I like the price point o the Boss pedal, but I have heard some bad things about the enhancer on the pedal, which i won't be using the pedal for. I like the MXR and how it has LED lights to show how much/when my signal is being compressed. But the MXR is a little more pricy, but I am willing to pay more for a pedal that is better. What are your thoughts? Thanks guys
  2. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 We brake for nobody Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    The MXR has had some QC issues but a lot of people seem to like it otherwise. The Boss can be noisy, can color your tone and IME has some headroom issues. Plenty of people like and use it though.
  3. Eugene B

    Eugene B

    May 7, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsing Artist for Bergantino Audio Systems and Payson Fanned Bass Strings
    I'm using my MXR as an always-on and it's working great for me. The LED display at the top is super helpful, especially if you're not too experienced with compressors.
  4. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    I have the boss but never tried the mxr, that being said I love the boss, but it is a little noisy, and I like the "enhance" function for slap and finger style, but I use it strictly as a limiter for my envelope filter,so I keep enhance pretty low. If I had to choose, id get the mxr, I got the boss in a trade, and I've heard great things about the mxr
  5. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    Boss is cheaper coz it's cheaply made. Plastic switch.

    The MXR is solid metal, with a very strong metal switch.

    The ten LEDs really help to know how much compression is happening, I have the MXR M97 and love it. Always on. No tonal colouration.
  6. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph Supporting Member

    I've been using the LMB-3 for a few years. It absolutely works great for me for the style of music I play at the moment (Black Crowes, Kravitz, Kings of Leon, Stones, Jet....) and the way I play it (fingers, picking). When I played reggae, funk and motown stuff, still worked great. I use a slightly modified from the manual slap setting, with the Enhance knob never going above 9 oclock. I'm good with whatever color it brings, the pedal is reliable, didn't cost much and is of the usual Boss quality. I bought the pedal on a whim and had it in a drawer for about a year and a half. Even tried to sell it, but that didn't work out. I HAD to use it at one point because I was between compressors and didn't have the time to spend looking for one. Now, can't see myself playing without it. :confused:

    I have no experience with the MXR comp, but as far as I can read here, the noise problems were mostly related to the first units out of the production line and have since been corrected. It's a popular comp on the boards (see PYPB thread) and TBers seem to be satisfied with it.
    SunnBass likes this.
  7. Same here. I got one for Christmas and it hasn't been turned off since I got it. I'm not really confident in my abilities to dial in proper compression so the LEDs are a great addition. Worth the money in my opinion, but as always your mileage may vary etc...
  8. Argassab


    Dec 16, 2014
    Cayman Islands
    I wish I had the mxr instead but I have the LMB3 considering the price point when I bought it could be over 4 years. It is always on in conjunction with the vt bass deluxe. I was gonna sell it just a few months when I got it because of the hiss but when I read about turning off the Enhance all the way, I've decided to keep it. Just a thought on my end.
    Bassmike62 likes this.
  9. svtb15

    svtb15 Inactive

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    I just got the new Keeley Bassist Bass Limiter. Im Loving t....

    Bassmike62 and chris merrill like this.
  10. DieterVDW


    Sep 19, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    I used both for quite a while.

    Loved the LMB-3 . Never noticed any noise, except when you turn the 'enhance' button up -> just don't use it.
    Also easy to dial in the amount of compression.

    After upgrade to MXR was a bit disappointed. The method of dialing in compression using the input and output knobs I find cumbersome. Hard to change compression and keep a steady volume.
    Also if you want a lot of compression, you need to crank the input volume which also cranks the noise.
    In theory this should be true for every compression pedal, but for some reason on the MXR I am annoyed by it.
    Also cranking the 'release' knob influences the noise for some reason.
    Concerning coloring, I get the impression the highs are a little boosted by the MXR. I like that though.

    When using the right settings it's a great pedal, but for something costing three times what the LMB-3 costs, I would have liked better controls and less noise issues. Still use it though.

    If I had to do it again, I'd just keep the LMB-3 honestly. The MXR is beautiful with the leds and all, but I'm not hearing enough difference to justify the price I paid for it + the input/output way of setting compression & the noise annoy me.
  11. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
  12. The MXR I tried was broken on arrival. May have been a shipping thing, but pedals get kicked around and stepped on, so if it didn't make through shipping (and it was well packed)....

    The MXR was the the last of several comps I've tried, and passed on.

    My new Smoothie from Ovnilab is just great. I'm super pleased with it. Sure it cost a bit more than the OP's two choices, but less than other more complicated comps, like the FEA dual band.

    I'm getting what I like with minimal fuss. On all time. I'm just messing with where it goes in the chain. I've got it first in line, but I might move it further back to tame some spikey pedals like the envelope filter and red ripper fuzz.

    Tough to find used, but they do pop up here and again in the classifieds. I bought mine new and it was here in a couple days.

    Consider spending a little more for a great pedal.
    ToS likes this.
  13. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Mxr (if you get one that works) makes a great starter comp, but for 20$ more get an EHX black finger. Studio quality, colorless, no noise, and a great all around always on pedal.
  14. SteveV74

    SteveV74 Inactive

    Jul 24, 2012
    Ive never used an actual bass compressor, Ive used the Boss cs3 and mxr dyna comp, had good results with both, but I was going for a Peter Steele sound wich is more like a baritone guitar.
  15. Check bongo's website. The LMB-3 has a scooped sound which sucks out your highs which will obviously colour your tone. I have an active bass which seemed to overload the LMB-3 circuitry every so often so I would get a distorted note. Both of these led me to look for another compressor which ended up being the M87. The MXR M87 compresses an uncoloured tone quite effectively and can be used for limiting.
  16. i have both. i like them both. the visual feedback of the MXR is super helpful!
  17. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    The LMB-3 only scoops when you turn the enhance knob up. Most people here who use this pedal use little or none of the enhance control. For the money the LMB-3 is a great compressor/limiter.
    Winton and tfer like this.