Testing Compressors: Cali, Smoothie, Empress, Diamond, Keeley, FEA, Darkglass, Doc Lloyd, JHS & more

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scubaduba, May 21, 2018.

  1. So, it truly gives us what we need, versus, what a manufacturer can squeeze in?

    I'm currently messing around with a Wampler (my Luthier lent me), and it is a pretty cool device. Awesome tones out of that box (currently using a Carvin SC2000 amp, GK CX410, Fender CIJ Jazz, woundrounds).

    And, being I have to give it back, I will, thereafter, be on the hunt for my own compressor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  2. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    As I've found recently, which compressor is right for you is a surprisingly personal question. It all depends on what sound you want, what other gear you're using, your playing style and musical genre, or all or none of the above, lol. It's not as cut and dry as I once thought it to be. Not all compressors are created equal. Most "compress", some "limit," but in some surprisingly different ways. Some are "transparent", and some "color" your tone, and even that will mean different things to different people. Personally, I've been through about 5 in the last month alone, and I keep looking because I'm never satisfied. Though I could make what I have now work for some time and be pretty happy. It seems my opinion about the stuff I've used and am using changes daily. Sometimes more than once a day. But you've come to the right place. Start on page one and read some reviews and let the games begin!

    Edit: If money is no object, just get an FEA or a Cali and be done with it. Otherwise, search away!
     
    Auspuff and Fuzzbass like this.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    "Need" will vary dramatically from one person to another. Maybe I want a full-featured, highly tweakable comp (and in fact I love the Stella CompIQ Pro with all those features squeezed in). Maybe you want a small box with a specific subset of features, so you're looking at a mini. However it's guaranteed that another person will want a small comp with a different subset.

    Point being, think about what you need, and use that to narrow your options.
     
    Low Down Brown and Auspuff like this.
  4. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    If you are considering the Becos Pro mini you get a ton of features in a small package. You get features that are often not included in much higher priced comps. Now that doesn't matter if they thing doesn't work and sound good. In the case of Becos products, they perform very well and sound great.
     
    imabuddha, kesslari, jdc866 and 4 others like this.
  5. It's beginning to look like the world of effects, is a lot like choosing a proper bicycle seat: You gotta' try 'em until you find one that fits your ass.
     
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    Sometimes yes.

    In the case of the Becos - absolutely.
     
    kesslari, Jim C and Low Down Brown like this.
  7. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    Erf
    I would say it's probably hard to go wrong with any of the Becos comps. I'm well past the honeymoon stage with my Stella and I'm still loving it...and still amazed at how they packed so much into a tiny space. I still say it reminds me of the JHS PnP V4, but with a whole lot more flexibility.
     
    Fuzzbass, Jim C and scubaduba like this.
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    It's the size. Man it does a lot for the size. Soundwise it couldn't replace my Bassist, but there are a LOT of controls on the Mini Becos!
     
  9. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    @mmbongo is a good guy but I think you meant @bongomania as the godfather of compressors.
     
    kesslari, Btbp, Fuzzbass and 2 others like this.
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    lol yes this is correct! I only know enough to be dangerous :) @bongomania is the one you want to listen to!
     
    Btbp, Haroldo, kesslari and 1 other person like this.
  11. Peeps, I have to eventually give my loaner Wampler back, and I am now seriously considering a Becos Stella.
     
    kesslari, Fuzzbass, imabuddha and 2 others like this.
  12. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Crap. I always you get you two bongos confused. Sorry.
     
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  13. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Two bongos of a feather rock together.
     
  14. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    This!
    So if we leave out tone magic, an equalizer option, or freq. selectable compression, one would think the evaluation would be easy.
    Compressors just attenuate the signal in a linear fashion based on amplitude. What's complicated about that!

    Turns out a whole lot.
    For me, I can feel it as much (or more), than hear one brand over another in a busy live mix.

    The test we did over the weekend might have had far different outcomes if I was blindfolded listening to a player do the same rundown as opposed to playing and listening.
    But there is a minor emotional connection to playing "with" a compressor. The way one might ever so slightly finger a note in anticipation of how spongy or stiff the signal will react. Or leaning into a note for more sustain or to lose the sharp edge.
    Very hard to describe in words.
    For those that have played through a few different brands of 100+ watt all tube amps; didn't they all "feel" a little different?
     
  15. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Brilliant observation and very true. Also true of the basses I play. I play them all a little differently based on their individual characteristics.
     
    Jim C likes this.
  16. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Patience please. Review is coming.

    Teaser: If you are thinking of buying one it would not be a bad choice.
     
  17. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Emphasis mine. This is Josh's post from the Broughton super thread. Other folks pointed it out to me, but hadn't seen it on this thread yet, although I'm having a hard time keeping up.
     
  18. tedsalt

    tedsalt

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    and then you'd have to actually obtain one of these which are typically made of unobtanium and lead to crushed dreams
     
  19. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    Hmmmm
     
    DrewinHouston likes this.
  20. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Good news! I have a Yellowsquash Iron Fist on the way.
     
    Mingus_Habens likes this.