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

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

  1. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Someone should do it (if they have a rack). It’s awesome. I was playing with it more today. It’s a great tone fattener. Using it in dual-band mode, you can set the crossover right where you want it so you wind up with fat low end on one side, and then the sparkling highs on the other, and then you can blend them together to taste. I’m loving it.
  2. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I’m good on vacuums. Thank you
  3. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Happily trending in my own peculiar direction. Supporting Member

    Ooh, W.
  4. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Great thread. My brain hurts. Now awaiting incoming from Australia...
    Mozztronics CO-2 Opto Compressor

    kesslari, scubaduba, kranahan and 3 others like this.
  5. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    There's a Becos Twain on Reverb for a decent price. Offers are on the table as well. No affiliation.
  6. BrettR


    Mar 30, 2021
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Off of the many suggestions from this thread, I picked up a LAB a month or so ago and love it! Most likely going to grab a Tone Druid from UT&T to go along with it.
    scubaduba and Mushroo like this.
  7. brumebat

    brumebat Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Got a Cornerstone Zefiro on the way, thanks to this thread. Coming down from Canadia.
    Loring and scubaduba like this.
  8. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Nice! That one deserves more attention.
    odarellmc, brumebat and Loring like this.
  9. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I figured I would ask this in this thread since all the compressor genius is concentrated here.

    I use a compressor for tone enhancement only, to make my sound more punchy and lively. Given that, what are the arguments for the compressor at the start vs end of the effects chain? Or should I have a "transparent" (Empress) at the start and a "Character" (Mozztronics) at the end?

    I realize it's all subjective but I'd like to hear thoughts and opinions (and facts if you got'em).
    Btbp and Lowendtech like this.
  10. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Happily trending in my own peculiar direction. Supporting Member

    Sounds reasonable.
    IronSpatula and Loring like this.
  11. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    I don't think there's a wrong answer. Personally, when I ran more than one I had the "character/fattening" compressor as far towards the end as possible, and the "clean, non-character-inducing" compressor as close to the front as possible. But I've heard of others who do the opposite. Or sometimes I ran them towards the middle, clean into character compressor, with an LBA 2020 and 2020s sandwiched in between. It's all gravy. You do you. Use your ear. You can't go wrong.
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  12. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    If you've only got one compressor on the way thanks to this thread, you're doing it wrong. There is a five compressor minimum. But a man's gotta start somewhere. Good on 'ya.
  13. 1983L2000


    Jun 1, 2010
    This is what works for me - BC front, Union LAB back.
    smeet and Fuzzbass like this.
  14. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    My PDR is last, right before my DI.
    adipaoli89 and smeet like this.
  15. Low Down Brown

    Low Down Brown

    Jan 8, 2018
    I usually go color/tone fattening up front and transparent/boost at the end. However, it usually depends on which combination of comps/preamps I'm using since I have a rotation of numerous comps and preamps I mix and match.
    odarellmc and smeet like this.
  16. davelowell2

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

    Apr 20, 2006
    I just got a Hyper Luminal black, can’t wait to try all buttons in!
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Like everything, it depends on your goals.

    Placing a “colorizing” compressor (something like a Smoothie) at the head of the chain gives you compression (i.e. limiting + sustain) plus some extra sonic sauce that then gets passed on down to the rest of your signal chain. In my case I like this type of compressor earlier in my signal chain because I see that tone enhancement and sustain as part of a core sound I’m going to build out the rest of my tone and vibe around with whatever else is on my board. Which is why I own several compressors with varying degrees of “character.” To me, they’re more a secondary ingredient rather than a seasoning in a recipe, if that makes any sense.

    Placing a very transparent compressor (a Keeley Bassist for example) at the tail end comes in handy if you’re swapping basses or punching multiple effects in and out since it can reduce the impact of any insertion gains or losses and better normalize your output level before it goes to your amp. By the same token it can also boost hiss, clicks, pops, and other noises. So I found that being careful with my settings and erring on the conservative side is usually advisable in the above scenario.

    When I’m running two compressors I’ll usually put the more colorful one early and the limiting compressor late in the chain. But that’s just me and how I do things. Your goals, gear, and playing technique will all have an impact on the best way to go about using compression. If you’re already happy with your sound, then one compressor providing that punch you want could well be all you’ll ever want. But take the above as one opinion and nothing more. As @jacoby75 noted earlier, there isn’t any absolute right or wrong answer.
    Low Down Brown and Rich67 like this.
  18. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
  19. johnsilva


    Mar 9, 2012
    @scubaduba congrats for the awesome topic you started. After an extensive reading I’m narrowing my choices to the darkglass hyperluminal and mxr m87. Meanwhile I found that mxr release the mxr m282 dyna comp, do you have any thoughts on this one comparing to the other two?
    Fuzzbass and Charlie Tuna like this.
  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Can't help but share this: a decade ago I was playing a gig where PA was used for vocals and kick drum only: guitar and bass amps were cranked onstage. Dude comes up to me, introduces himself as a fellow bassist. After a bit of chit-chat he says "You sound great up front, but could use more definition in the back of the room. I'm familiar with your SVP-Pro preamp, mind if I tweak it next set?" Odd request to say the least, but I'm a chill kind of guy so I said "sure, help yourself". The set begins, and the guy would tweak, go to the back of the room and listen carefully, tweak, and repeat. Halfway thru the set he says "There, I got you all dialed in!", so I smiled and thanked him. Eventually I look at the preamp, and the only changes he made were to the graphic EQ -- which was originally flat because I never use it, but the kicker was that it was still in bypass mode, so all his tweaking was for nothin'! Can't make this stuff up.

    I'm not being holier-than-him because I too have performed surgical adjustment of a bypassed device. :bag::facepalm:
  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 22, 2021

Share This Page