Not another compressor thread... Darkglass vs Empress!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by SamPerdisian, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Hi guys,

    Not really posted on here much and generally browse through for advice and topics of interest but I am looking for some user feedback.
    I am looking to get a compressor and have my eyes on the Darkglass Supersymmetry and the Empress compressor. I hear that the Darkglass sounds darker and warmer while the Empress is more transparent and wondered how true those statements are? I'm a pick player with a fairly dynamic range and can attack the strings pretty damn hard and need a comp that will even things out and retain the attack and "balls" of my tone.
    Any advice would be welcome :)
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Both of those statements are very true IME.

    The Empress is a clinical compressor. It's very tweakable and can do a lot and is one of my favorite comps.
    The SuperSymmetry is more along the lines of a tonal enhancement style comp IMO. I use mine for a vintage style tone. It's not dark persay, but it sounds like a little bit of high end is rolled off.
  3. I'm thinking I might go with the empress in that case. I play in a death metal band in drop A so I would like to retain the high end and clarity where possible. I can imagine a vintage style tone might not lend itself to well with the style of music.
    Thank you for the clarification :)
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    That's just what I happen to use it for. It can do a lot more than a vintage tone. I'm pretty sure Nolly uses one now too.

    With that said, it doesn't sound like you're looking for tonal enhancement and want something with a little more control. The Empress would do great in that role. As would the Keeley Pro.
  5. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    i prefer my compressors transparent. I use the Empress. Tone color is achieved elsewhere.
    Driven Crane likes this.
  6. I saw he used one of the Cali ones a while ago but wasn't sure on the Supersym.
    Like Steveorebob said, tone colour is achieved elsewhere and with the Darkglass amp and other pedals on the way I think the Empress will do well. I will look into the Keeley Pro though.
  7. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Had the DG. It doesn't provide much in the way of actual compression, and the adjustments don't have much range. It's nice for a bit of warmth and thickening, but I'd look elsewhere, based on the OP statements.

    The DG does offer a dry blend, which is helpful. Compression can sometimes create a sense that highs and lows are rolled off, and a dry blend helps bring them back. I've got a Smoothie, which has that feature. I know a few other pedals offer it, though other popular ones don't.
    Maiden Bass likes this.
  8. depalm


    Apr 22, 2004
    São Paulo
    Empress is a very good compressor, which gives you total control. It sports a "mix" feature for parallel compression. Sounds clean and very transparent and the leads helps you to keep everything under control.

    Empress – Compressor REVIEW |
    monsterthompson likes this.
  9. Really like my Empress. I do the "New York" aka parallel compression with 10:1 ratio, high compression but largely dry signal (25:75 wet:dry) and there is a remarkable degree of punch and presence to the tone. No way I can go back to non-parallel compression.
  10. Have you considered the Seymour Duncan bass comp? I think Alex Webster is using that one nowadays.
    DarkArchitect likes this.
  11. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    That works good as does the compressor I'm using; Cali 76 bass. I've had both. Key to both is that they have a blend so you can get you bottom end back, which gets lost on some compressors. I had a Keely Bassist for a while and it's pretty good as well, but took me a while to realize what was bugging me about it. It was loosing some of the girth in the lower freq's for me.

    I can't speak the Empress, but have heard nothing but good things about it. Nothing negative to my recollection.
    The Cali works for me b/c There's a HPF, that lets you dial back some lows as well. Between that and the blend knob, it's a pretty snazzy 1-2 punch to my tone where i like it.
  12. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i have the DG ... works just fine , w/ a tube like type sound ... both have the magic 'Mix' knob ... and have some visual feedback ...

    i also liked and had the Seymour Duncan Studio Bass ... usually found here at half the price of the others ... it does have the Mix , and a filter switch for the mixed in signal ... pretty cool ...

    as with most , you really have to play with the knobs for a while ..!!
  13. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Just for precision, the HPF on the Cali is only for the side chain that decides how the comp reacts to different frequencies. It is not a traditional HPF
    monsterthompson likes this.
  14. Thanks to all of you for giving me your thoughts and personal experiences with compressors. So far the empress is on top for what I am looking for in a compressor and have all the features I will need but I will look into the others you have all mentioned.
    Thanks again. I'd be lost without this website!
  15. +1 for the Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor, I have one and it does the job. Standard size with affordable price and knobs and a switch that makes you go hmm ;)