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Testing compressors: Cali76 CB, Smoothie, Keeley Bassist, FEA Optifet, Seymour Duncan Studio Bass

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


  1. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    Are you in general compressing the lows more than the highs or vice versa?

    EDIT: Nevermind, I see that you answered it in a later post
     
    keatz likes this.
  2. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    How would you compare the transparency of the Smoothie and the SD Studio Bass? I had the latter for a while and it added a subtle thickness to my tone that didn't really gel with my dirt pedals further down the chain
     
  3. Love my Keeley Bassist
     
    scubaduba likes this.
  4. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    It's been a long time since I've used the EBS. I recall really liking the Tubesim mode. These days, I'm preferring having the ability to adjust more so the EBS hasn't been on my radar. I recall it being simple to use. Basically two dials. Hard to go wrong. But I don't remember it being all that useful of a compressor. I should probably get one again and test it. This is getting expensive.
     
  5. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Yeah, the Studio Bass does impart a thickness pretty much across the board in all settings. I personally like that. I don't consider the Smoothie or the SB transparent. They both add some flavor of coloration. The Smoothie has the tone knob which can radically change the tonal capabilities. The SB has that side chain frequency switch that really does alter the tonality. Neither are overly "wooly" though and I like both a lot. I'd be really happy with either. I put the SB in the classifieds simply because I'd like to use the cash to try some other compressors and I'm keeping the Smoothie for now. Keeping the Smoothie because I like the tone knob a little more than the side chain frequency switch in the SB. But like I said, I'd be happy with either. Both are great. The SB is certainly priced right AND has the better form factor.
     
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  6. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    The more I use it, the more I agree.
     
    pickles likes this.
  7. I run a spectra into a smoothie and it sounds awesome.
     
  8. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    A fellow Talkbass member offered to send me an EBS Multicomp to add to the test. That's pretty cool and a testimony to the kind of people here. When it arrives, I'll share some thoughts compared to these others.
     
    keatz likes this.
  9. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I used to love mine but really more as an always on warm boost.
     
  10. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    That's how I recall mine feeling when I used one several years ago. Nothing like having one in hand again to test. Some people like a little tone magic from their compressor and not much more.
     
  11. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    scubaduba likes this.
  12. Just snagged a used Diamond Bass compressor and am looking forward to giving it a try. I have read so many threads on compression/compressors and trying to wrap my head around it before purchasing one. Just this morning I decided to jump on a deal and stick with the simpler tone magic approach. Knob twiddling isn't my thing.

    Thanks for trying all these out, it is interesting reading for sure.
     
  13. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Congrats on the Diamond! It is a nice compressor for a little enhancement and thickening. Adds a nice sparkle to your tone. I do wish I had one on hand right now to directly compare against the ones I have. I had a BCP-1 for quite a while and used it for several years but ended up moving on to compressors with more variability and flexibility. Had a little trouble with some of my active basses overloading the Diamond circuit too. Going from my ear and what I remember, I'd say the Cali and Smoothie are most like the Diamond of the bunch I am currently testing. Both of those offer more compression though and control over attack. The Cali has more of the sheen of the Diamond, but the Smoothie has ore of the flexibility of the tone knob (compared to the tilt EQ on the Diamond). Neither seem to have the overall "magic" of the Diamond though in terms of tonal coloration.
     
    joel the bass player likes this.
  14. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    The EBS Multicomp is on the way to me.

    What other compressors should I continue testing? I'm tempted by the Darkglass Super Symmetry... I also have a lead on a Broughton Apex. Need to decide for which ones I'm willing to spend money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  15. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    The Darkglass is supposed to be really good. It caught my eye until I saw the price tag. :p

    The Fairfield Accountant is a neat little box, but probably/definitely the least flexible of everything you've tried, and distinctly dirty sounding (in a great way).
    The MXR M76 and/or M87 seem like they might be good.
    Wren and Cuff Gold Comp
    Pigtronix various offerings.

    I'd also be interested to hear a side-by-side comparison of the Cali76 and an actual 1176. ;)
     
  16. scubaduba

    scubaduba Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Michigan
    Maybe I should grab a MXR... I used one in the past but found the Ratio control limiting. I did really like the metering though.
     
  17. Modest_Moose

    Modest_Moose

    Dec 26, 2014
    Washington
    That's that I've been using and it's 4:1 settings not bad. I wish it's attack could be faster.
     
  18. XXL

    XXL

    Jun 14, 2007
    The Photon from Doc Lloyd Audio.
     
  19. monkeyland

    monkeyland Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: JH Audio, Curt Mangan Strings
    I'd be interested to hear how the Keeley Compressor Pro stacks up to these others.
     
    Jim C likes this.
  20. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'd definitely be interested in your thoughts on the SuperSymmetry. FWIW, reports are that it leans a little dark, but I haven't tried one myself.