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

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


  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em... :D
     
  2. And know when to strap them to a model rocket, the Titan XII
     
    Lowendtech and Low Down Brown like this.
  3. AndyTheDude

    AndyTheDude

    Aug 12, 2007
    Ireland
    I tested the pedal a bit more today after work. I hate it even more now. The combined attack/release knob makes this pedal completely useless for anything but a crude and brutal parallel compression. Using it as a limiter to grab the biggest transients is pointless as the fast attack setting equals slow release, so grabbing the peaks couses a swell effect further down the note. Horrible. I hate every single aspect of this little pedal. I will stick to MV2 for adding weight to the note and that's a €30 plugin.
    The Cali is in the box ready to be collected by a courier on Monday. I have no plans on touching this pedal anymore. I think I'd love this compressor if I had a Pbass and was a fan of the music of the 70s. Meh
     
    Loring likes this.
  4. Loring

    Loring Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    Ontario
    Sounds like the empress is the cure...
     
  5. AndyTheDude

    AndyTheDude

    Aug 12, 2007
    Ireland
    Sadly they're very hard to find here in the EU. I will either go for Keeley Comp Pro or just drop this whole pedal idea and buy a 160A. I used to own a 160A and loved it. I don't know why I sold it.
     
    Loring likes this.
  6. Charlie Tuna

    Charlie Tuna

    Feb 21, 2005
    Key West, FL
    Just as a note, the slowest attack setting on the CB is actually faster than the fastest attack setting on many compressors, particularly optical types. I wouldn’t get hung up on the F/S labeling.
     
    PeterH and kranahan like this.
  7. ThisYouCanTrust

    ThisYouCanTrust

    Jun 10, 2019
    I prefer the non-bass version myself, but yes I'm still not a big fan of it.
    Attack must stay pretty much on its lowest setting, and ratio too.
     
  8. Adienn7

    Adienn7

    Jan 26, 2007
    only comp I've used since I started using pedals is The FEA LABs OPTIFET.. prolly should try the DECB or the Cali-76
     
    Loring likes this.
  9. Charlie Tuna

    Charlie Tuna

    Feb 21, 2005
    Key West, FL
    Opti-Fet is a great one.
     
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Who was happy to take it! :thumbsup:
     
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  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It’s definitely different. The observation others made that it grabs notes fast and really sustains them is spot on.

    If you’re in the habit of playing lyrical passages up above the 12th fret, and you like a little (for lack of a better word) “synth-y” or more legato sort of feel, the Horizon can help get that for you.

    As an “always-on just sounds good” compressor? Not IMO. This one is definitely more of an effect than it is a signal shaper. To me it’s one of those special use devices.
     
    MNoir, davelowell2 and kranahan like this.
  12. Meaculpa

    Meaculpa

    May 18, 2019
    Hey!
    Got a question!
    It is more transparent than the mxr m87?
    Would you prefer one over the another?
    I need a comp pedal with no coloration at all.
    Great review by the way, thanks.
     
  13. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    "No coloration at all" to mean would mean Empress (which of course is out of stock), or maybe the Keeley Bassist. Whether either of those is more transparent than the M87 is anyone's guess. But the M87 is good enough for Marcus Miller, so . . .

    But don't believe the hype. Buying the comp that Marcus Miller uses will in no way make you play like Marcus Miller. Any more than buying Air Jordans will give me anything greater than my current 1" vertical leap.
     
  14. Loring

    Loring Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    Ontario
    Also keep in mind - most recorded compressors are not pedals. Not sure about Marcus’ case but you might be hearing a studio tone that’s very different.
     
  15. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    No doubt. I'm sure he uses a $7,000 rack unit in the studio. I just know he has or at least had a couple of MXR boxes on his live pedalboard, the M87 and octave being a couple of them. But that might not even be true anymore.
     
    kesslari and Fuzzbass like this.
  16. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    @Meaculpa The Dedalo is more similar to the Diamond BCP-1/Diamond Bass Compressor Jr than the MXR M87.
     
    Meaculpa likes this.
  17. Meaculpa

    Meaculpa

    May 18, 2019
    Thanks guys...anyway I'm not in the search of MM tone hahaha..
    I'm looking for a transparent compressor to get my sound more even while playing with my band. I recently saw a video of a "boss vs mxr" and both sounds really good but Boss add a little of grit I'm not after that...by now lol
     
  18. Meaculpa

    Meaculpa

    May 18, 2019
    Mxr m87 is based on diamond circuit also? Didn't know that.
    Thanks for your input. So for a cleaner sterile compresor you will go with Gorila over m87?
     
  19. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Other way around. The MXR m87 is more transparent and neutral than the Dedalo or Diamond.
     
    Meaculpa likes this.
  20. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Happily trending in my own peculiar direction. Supporting Member

    Your vertical leap sounds a little ...... compressed. No side chain? Maybe blend a little more dry into the mix.
     
    kesslari and IronSpatula like this.
  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 21, 2021

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