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Trying to decide on a compressor...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matt Call, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, I've decided to pick up a compressor for myself. I'm having a hard time finding the one I want. I have narrowed it down substantially.

    I have to decide between:

    Aphex Punch Factory
    Demeter Compulator
    Keeley Compressor

    I've only played the Aphex. It was OK. I didn't mess around with it too much, the store was closing up. I can't really try the Demeter or the Keeley, but am very interested in both.

    I'm looking for something to bring out more harmonics and overall balance in my sound. Going direct for most gigs has made me realize the necessity of a good compressor. Especially since I've got a few solo gigs coming up.

    So... any suggestions?

    Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here. There is a lot on different compressors here. I've searched substantially, but am still unsure.


  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I've heard that the Keeley is not good for bass. I'd steer clear of that one. The Demeter is bass specific and is supposed to be great. Others to look at are the Lee Jackson Orange Masher (a TB'r mentioned this one being even more transparent than the Demeter) and the Carl Martin, which gives you much more control of the compression than the others.
  3. From what i have heard the Demeter is meant to be extremely good, but i have also heard a lot of good things about the Aphex. It just if your willing to fork out the cash or not for the Demeter. (its like $200 if im not mistaken?)
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    opaquebass, have you also considered the ebs multicomp?

    I'm not entirely clear from what you're saying whether you're looking for 'transparent' compression or compression as an 'effect' e.g. Tony Levin
  5. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    dont know the demeter nor the keeley, but the aphex works very good for me so far
  6. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado
    Transparent? The Demeter is NOT transparent. It DOES sound great! It's the one I'm going for because I want a compressor that does what some of the legendary studio comps. such as the 1176 or LA-3 - compresses and slightly colors the signal in a very pleasing way. It's not 'bass specific' (don't know where that came from) it's just one way of doing it. The Keeley does sound great on bass; I've tried one. But it IS transparent. That's why it's the standard in Nashville. If you want dynamic limiting without changing your sound at all, the Keeley's the way to go.

    One other to look at might be the Toadworks - Mr. Squishy. From what I've heard it's very similar to the Keeley for 1/2 the price.

    By comparison to all the above, the Aphex is crap. It's not bad; it's MUCH better than Boss, DOD, etc. - just not in the same league.
  7. 33degrees


    Jun 4, 2005
    what about the BBE opto comp? and it looks nice :p
  8. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, for now it looks like I'm getting an EBS multicomp.

    If I end up not liking it, I'll try the Keeley.
  9. If you end up not liking any of those, check out the EH Black Finger. :cool:

    ~ Charlie
  10. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    You're not beating a dead horse... just compressing it... try to limit the puns in your posts, and we all will respond with more warmth and smoother dynamics...


    Anyway, +1 on the EHX Black Finger...

    After months of use, I have decided I no longer really like the Digitech BassSqueeze. It's ok on my Ibanez 4-string, but if I find a good compression setting, it hisses, and still makes it sound like I'm playing through a Suck Box....

    So for now, I'm going sans-compressor... Looking into an EHX.. or maybe the Multi-comp.. maybe a rack-mount unit.
  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I've narrowed my search down to the Rane DC24 and Aphex 661. Granted, two very different units, but have heard good things about both. I kind of like the dbx units, but am really unsure about what's what when it comes to those, as there's so many of them.

    I'm kind of liking the Aphex so far, but it's a GOOD bit pricier than the Rane, so, we'll see... Have a birthday coming up, so yeah... A badassed compressor or semi-decent recliner. Gotta go with gear. :cool:
  12. I really like my new demeter. Used years EBS multi-comp but compulator suits me much better. Aphex sounded also very nice, but it didn`t have input trimmer like demeter, only the pad (12dB if I remember correctly). So I was little bit worried about my other effects overdriving Aphex to clip.

    EHX White finger was quite nice, but it was more like effect-sounding to my ears. Black finger would have been excelent but the background noise it had was too much for me.

  13. do you find the Compulator to make your tone more punchy?
    or any of the compressors that you've tried... did any stand out in making your tone more punchy?
  14. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
  15. My favourite ones were demeter and aphex. Didn`t notice so much difference when tried in a shop but when played with my rig demeter really made my sound punchier. It doesn`t cut my lows like EBS did and it`s very musical even on high settings.
    You`d better try them out and find what`s best for you.
  16. 5bassman


    May 4, 2005
    Hmmm, my Demeter is very transparent. Set the volume the same loudness on or off and it's hard to tell it's on. It just tightens thing up a bit. But it doesn't change my tone. :)
  17. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF

    That's on my list of ones I want. Between that and the Aphex 661. It's kind of expensive for a compressor, even used (the Aphex), and from what I've read on the Rane, it's a great unit at about half the price, if not less!
    I may have to hit you up for some settings if/when I get one! :cool:
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Each side is a two knob comp (attack and release are preset), so its not as hard as it looks. I don't use the gates or limiters so far. Setting the crossover correctly is key, and will determine the thresholds you need on each side since that determines how much signal goes each way.

    Basically just pick a crossover point (I think I'm using 750hz), then dial up a 2:1 ratio on each side and adjust the threshold till you get 3-6db of levelling on the highs when you slap, and 3-6db on the lows when you play your strongest fingerstyle ... then tweak crossovers points and ratios from there and see what sounds you like.

    Such a great comp. I'm still as excited about it as when I wrote that rave. Amazing sound quality.

    Also, I havn't figured it out quite yet, but the DC24 has an effects loop on each channel, so you should be able to add effects to the high side only ... where's my RAT?! :bassist:
  19. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for turning me on to the FMR Leveling Amp. I've known for years that their limter, although fantastic sounding, wasn't the best for bass. It looks as if they've addressed that limitation.
  20. jackson0321


    Apr 4, 2001
    Houston, TX
    i emailed lee jackson to ask about his orange masher

    Hi Nic

    The Orange Masher is a really cool pedal, but it will not work for you Bass.
    Bass needs a lot of headroom because of there large output pickups.
    Don't let any pedal company fool you that it will work for bass, unless
    the pedal runs on a large power supply.
    A 9v battery just can't do it without distorting the signal, I have
    always had to use rack units.

    There is a 1/3 rack compressor that is built by the old designers of
    Neve consoles that really sounds great for bass and they sell direct.
    They are really inexpensive: http://www.fmraudio.com/
    RNC1773--Really Nice Compressor

    I hope this helps