Spectracomp noise problem solved.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by AnthonyW, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. AnthonyW


    Apr 28, 2017
    Mudgee, NSW
    I recently bought the TC Electronics Spectracomp as I wanted a multiband compressor to play with. I had read hear that some people had problems with them being noisy and some didn't so I was pretty disappointed to find that when I plugged mine in it was quite noisy. The signal chain was: bass-->compressor-->audio interface-->headphones, so it could only be the unit producing the noise. The first thing I did was to go inside it and set the gain to 0 and the thresholds to max so the compressor was doing no processing at all, but when I hit the button the noise was there.
    It doesn't come with a power supply, so I had a look at the one I was using. It had come with a second hand pedal I had bought years ago and was unlabelled. I pulled it apart on a whim, and sure enough, it is a switch mode supply. I replaced it with one I know is linear, and the noise was gone.
    I've used this supply on a few different things over the years without a problem, but never on a digital effect. I'm guessing it't the AD - DA converters picking up switching noise from the supply.
    Whatever the case, problem solved and the compressor is fantastic. For anyone else who's had noise issues with the spectracomp, it might be worth checking your power supply before you send it back.
  2. John Stephen

    John Stephen Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    SF Bay Area
    I just got the same compressor and have the noise problem. Since I'm ignorant on electronic stuff, would you mind providing a clarification for me -- how were you able to pull apart a power supply? And are you saying you bought a different power supply, one that is linear? If so, could you provide the brand name of the linear power supply that did the trick?
    GitmoMango likes this.
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Zero noise on the stock preset from mine. It's the quietest compressor I've ever used, and it's a shame Ovnilabs refused to review it over noise issues, that as far as I can tell, don't exist.
  4. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    There’s quite a weight difference between linear & switch mode supplies. Pick it up, if it feels like a hunk of iron/copper, it’s linear. If it feels like it’s an empty plastic shell, it’s switch mode.
  5. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    imabuddha likes this.
  6. Been using my spectracomp using several different psu. A cheap caline cp-02, vitoos dc8, until recently an isolated psu by strumelectronics, none gave any noise issues. An advice given to me to check with the electrical installation in the house/venue where you plug it in, most of the times those are the culprits
  7. John Stephen

    John Stephen Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    SF Bay Area
    Wow -- them's a lot of compressors. I will read through. And also try other power supplies (like a portable rechargeable Volto battery pack I just got) and see if it's quieter. Thanks for the info.
  8. John Stephen

    John Stephen Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    SF Bay Area
    Haven't yet read all the reviews and articles posted by scubaduba (thanks for posting them), but I did try the Spectracomp compressor plugged into my Volto portable 9V power pack, and the noise is still there. The only other pedal I have (an octave pedal) doesn't have noise issues at all, with any power supply. Disappointing about the Spectracomp. Oh well, live and learn. I will read scubaduba's articles, and keep searching for a solution, which I hope is out there. I suppose I could try the linear power supply thing; maybe that's next.
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