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Need to find a good rack compressor...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by shirtforbrains, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. shirtforbrains


    Sep 5, 2005
    Any ideas on what I should use. Thanks again...
  2. tifftunes

    tifftunes Guest

    How much experience do you have with compressors?

    What do you need if for?

    Here are my suggestions for bass guitar and recording:

    FMR Audio:
    RNLA7239 (Really Nice Leveling Amp),
    RNC1773 (Really Nice Compressor)

    These are nearly the least expensive, yet compare to some very expensive units.

    Great quote from the FMR Audio website:

    "You know, it's really true: talking about audio is like dancing about architecture!"


    There is an Alesis (I forget the model #... 3630?) for $99 new, and even less used, with some mods available online... It's fine for beginners, and quite usable for bass. The built in Noise Gates alone are worth the price of admission.

    Of course, you could get snobby about your gear and spend spend spend!! If you begin with the Alesis, and use it long enough to learn how to use it, and can identify it's sonic signature, THEN you MIGHT want to upgrade to something else. However, IME/IMO, it is as good as any bass amp's built-in comp, if used appropriately, and sparingly.

    That said, if it were for me, I'd start with the FMR RNLA7239 (Really Nice Leveling Amp). It has "color" ("thick and gooey") that sounds good with bass and vocals. In fact, it's good enough, you might never find anything better at any price! YMMV, of course.
  3. tifftunes

    tifftunes Guest

    I forgot about the JoeMeek comps... They are great for bass and vocals too. More money than the FMR comps, and different sonic sig. But still well thought of.

    Also forgot to say, if resale is a concern, forget the Alesis.
  4. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: GK, EMG and D'Addario
    DBX 160, simple, efficient and clean
  5. Thanks for the info on JoeMeek, never heard of his stuff before.
  6. mralex


    Oct 29, 2010
    Your right on the Alesis # 3630, i personally really like it, i haven't tried very many Rack compressors, however this one is the best i found for the money, the noise gate is definatly worth it for sure!
    PawleeP likes this.
  7. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars

    I swear by the dbx 160A. Currently have a 163x (1/2 rack) in my board because my 160A is too good to be taken outside of the studio!! :D
  8. Symetrix 501, if you can find one. I love mine.
  9. duderasta


    Feb 25, 2010
    Lake Placid, FL
    another + for dbx, my leveling amp is an ART pro VLA also a good unit
  10. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    DBX 166

    I love it...So much I have 2.
  11. DBX 166XL, very professional sounding
  12. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I bought a 163x on eBay because I didn't want to spend a lot of money and I don't need a lot of features. I just wanted a good, transparent compressor. It does the job and doesn't mess with my tone or attack. I leave it on all the time. I know you never say never if you are a gear head, but I do not foresee the "need" to get anything else.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I bought one a couple years back for our FOH rig, never used it, and just recently stuck in my bass rig. As suggested by a fellow TBer, I use the auto-comp mode with a 4:1 ratio. The Over-Easy mode smoothes things out but can also blunt the front-end attack. I don't use the Contour as I like the low-end compression. Like to hear how others are configuring their settings.

    FWIW, I'm seeing these go on E-bay for $80-120 use.

  14. Steveaux

    Steveaux Safe-Guardian of the Stoopid Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Yup, the gate works ... as long as you don't mind the distortion and clicky artifacts. It didn't get the nickname "Dirty-six-dirty" for nothin'. I use it in my drum sub-mix. No worries about artifacts in sustained notes.

    My bass rig and PA both use dbx 166XL's.
  15. how much cash do you have?

    distresser :D
  16. Amokoma


    Feb 4, 2007
  17. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I like the alesis nanocompressor for bass. Works great in an fx loop, and does well for simulating that power tube "sag" in a hybrid head (SVT-III PRO). 4:1 is a pretty decent ratio, then a medium attack and fast release is how I usually approach compression, for starters.
  18. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    i own a lot of great compressors... as far as rack mount compressors go for bass, the dbx160a or x or xt are all a great choice for light compression... they can kinda get pinched sounding when they go into heavy gain reduction on bass...

    since you didn't mention price it's a little hard to know when to stop in the rec's... a symmetrix 501 is a good cheap option.

    i really like the Daking FET II compressor, it's got an 1176 vibe, but with some cool auto-release settings.

    an 1176 is great, but most likely some something you would want to bring to gigs... that also goes for stuff like the Federal AM864/U and Gates Sta-Level...

    I would go with the 160a or x or xt... then if i needed more control, i'd go for either a 501 or a Distressor (for the flexibility... not a big fan of the sound of those, though)..

  19. bassguppy


    Jan 8, 2003
  20. Frankie Star

    Frankie Star

    Mar 13, 2011
    The best sounding compressors I've ever recorded with have been dbx.
    I don't have a ton of experience with compression but the one thing I noticed playing through them (dbx) over all compression pedals or integrated compression in amplifiers is that it doesn't kill your tone. That's what amazes me.

    All of the other compressors out there claim that they don't do that but they do.
    I finally have decided that I will be going to a rack mounted amp and will include a dbx compressor.
    likely the DBX 166.

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