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

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


  1. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’d definitely short list the Unit 67. I’ve got one and it’s the closest thing to a grab & go pedalboard in a small box I’ve ever encountered. Not a bad sound in it. It just sounds good with everything.

    Other good “always on” compressors to consider if you want a little more color/character (based on the ones I either currently own* or have tried**) are:
    • Ovnifx Smoothie*
    • 3Leaf Pwnzor*
    • Markbass Compressore*
    • Mad Professor Forest Green*
    • Doc Lloyd Photon Death Ray**
    Of the above I’d say: the Smoothie is the most versatile; the Compressore the most subtle; and the others fall somewhere in-between.

    They’re all good choices. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. But FWIW I’m almost always using the Unit 67 - and not just for its excellent and elegantly simple compressor stage.

    And when I’m not, I’m most likely grabbing the Smoothie if I want to use a compressor.
     
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  2. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Funny to see the Horizon interest. It wasn’t a popular device when I bought mine. It’s nice and effect-y. I ended up selling it to try other compressors that were more transparent and “utilitarian.”
     
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  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Doesn’t surprise me.

    I think it might have something to do with more people willing to explore compressors due to this thread. It’s gone a long way towards removing some of the stigma surrounding compression. At least around TB. And maybe some of us are starting to get a little jaded? :laugh:

    So most people tend to start with a transparent compressor since that’s the easiest way to get your head around using a compressor. And once you’ve got your transparent compressor preferences sorted out the next logical step is to start getting into some of the other things these boxes can do for you. Sort of like progressing from the whites to the reds when you start getting more seriously into wine.

    The Horizon is one of those compressors that offers something different. And after you’ve acquired three or more compressors, and gotten those all fully sussed out, you start looking for more specialized or non-mainstream compressors to work with. So “different” starts catching your interest.
     
  4. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    Valid points. Also, the small group of folks posting in this thread who are interested in the device don't necessarily represent a larger trend in bassists looking for this specific unit. It's a unique box and certainly worth exploring.
     
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  5. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    ... and now I just bought the Stella in the classifieds... DAMN THIS THREAD!
     
  6. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NY
    Lol
     
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  7. Uziel

    Uziel

    Sep 2, 2003
    France
    :thumbsup:
     
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  8. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    :D
     
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  9. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Hollywood
    I’m going to start a pedal building company that makes bit crushers and then bribe scubaduba to start a bit crusher thread :)
     
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  10. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NY

    Well, I can say it is very effect-y.

    Like @scubaduba said, it clamps down quickly and sustains a lot. I like it with comp and attack at minimum but that’s not enough to keep it. I’m kind of sad, I had high hopes for this pedal.

    It’s not taking the place of my UT&T LAB, how could I ever have been so silly.

    Ive already offered it to @40Hz
     
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  11. odarellmc

    odarellmc Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Chicago
    What type of bass where you using with it, I think a bass / compressor paring, is a real thing..
     
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  12. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NY
    You’re probably right. Precision/ GHS pressurewounds.
     
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  13. AndyTheDude

    AndyTheDude

    Aug 12, 2007
    Ireland
    I got delivered my cali76 CB today. I spent an hour or so testing it and sadly I have to say that I absolutely hate this pedal. I have never been so disappointed with a piece of gear as much as I am now. I have failed to find any usable setting (usable for me, of course). This comp is just too crude for me. The combined attack&release knob annoys me big time. There's a roll off of lows starting from 60Hz or so which I don't like at all.

    I can see how so many folks like it though. I've just learned that I am a clean compression guy. I will test it further tomorrow, but most likely I will send it back. I should've ordered a Keeley Pro I guess.
     
  14. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    It's not for everyone. Have you adjusted the HPF? Put it at noon and see what you think about the low end.
     
  15. I forgot to mention the VFE White Horse.

    You'll have to find one used, or build it yourself with a MadBean-VFE PCB.

    Another VFE is the Triplet — basically Dan Armstrong's Orange Squeezer, Green Ringer and Blue Clipper all in one.
     
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  16. AndyTheDude

    AndyTheDude

    Aug 12, 2007
    Ireland
    Yes, I hated it with the HPF anywhere below 3 o'clock. Even with it fully open, the roll off was there. I should add that I only tested it through headphones, maybe it's not so noticable with an amp. I just don't like it which is surprising as I use the Waves' 1176 all the time.
     
  17. Killens84

    Killens84 Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Mississippi
    I really like the Cali76-CB, but I’ve definitely noticed a rolloff below around 50Hz, regardless of the HPF setting. I wish that weren’t the case, but I still like the pedal. The Cali76-CB is the current compressor on my main board right now. It’s a compressor that seems to excel in a full band mix, but not necessarily in a “bedroom tone” setting.
     
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  18. BRILLIANT BUSINESS SAVVY.

    Wish I'd thought of that.


    @kranahan Repeat after me: "I must stop reading the thread. I must stop reading the thread. I must stop..."
     
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  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It is. Different figures trend at different times. Scan eBay to see where Joe currently falls on the spectrum. Most price hikes are short-lived and coincide with a new graphic novel series, or movie or anime release. Or sometimes after a nostalgia driven reboot of an old favorite franchise. They tend to spike and crater quickly.

    Like pedals, mint condition with the box and any candy (or better yet unopened) fetch the highest. And the very limited edition figures and sets that were primarily created for the collector crowd are the ones that best hold or build in perceived value - or at least until “the next big thing” comes along. ;)

    One of my cousin’s kids is really into it. He wants a career in animation and CGI someday. According to him some Mortal Kombat items are doing very well right now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  20. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    I was keeping them in case I had a son someday. Well I do but he is 12 now and has no interest in action figures. So doesn’t seem like much good to hold on to my Joe’s.
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 24, 2021

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