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Tube compressor users?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassteban, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Does anyone use inexpensive tube compressors? I've heard that the EHX Blackfinger is noisy, but there's the discontinued ART Tube LeVeLAr(that's how they spell it, I think),Guyatone Flip Series & Bellari LA 25. Know of any others? Any input is appreciated.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    SMASH and Embellisher own / owned Black Fingers and raved about them. I know I read a few threads when I GASed for one.
  3. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I use an ART Levelar that I picked up on e-bay a few months ago (think it was about $85), and like it a lot. I use it weekly in live performance. The signal chain is: active bass-->SABDDI-->Levelar-->PA (monitors are in ear, no stage amp).

    To my ear, the unit is fairly quiet, and very transparent compared to other compressors. No "squished" sound unless you set it to hard limit (which actually works pretty good for slap) or get very aggressive with the threshold setting.

    Another thing I like about the Levelar: it provides output of up to +20dB. I set up the bass eq and sansamp to taste, adjust the threshold to limit unwanted dynamics and then set the Levelar's output control to satisfy the soundman's gain requirements. Easy and effective.

    I did replace the 12AT7 tube with an NOS JAN 5751-- more gain, less noise-- recommended upgrade. I think I paid about $12.

    BTW, watch out for trolls on this topic-- many, many opinions out there about compressors in general, tube compressors in particular, and the ART Levelar specifically. But you know what they say about opinions... ;-)
  4. Thanks, dunamis- I was particularly interested in the Art unit- cheap, simple & fairly common. And yes, I do know what they say about opinions. Absolutely true- mine often stinks.