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which compressor is best?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Gut_Implosion, Oct 18, 2004.


  1. I'm looking at buying a compressor, either a T-Rex Comp Nova, Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter, Electro-harmonix Black Finger, or Aphex Punch Factory. I've never personally played any of these, so I don't know much except the written specs and written reviews from random people. Also, if you could suggest a better compressor in this price range, I'd appreciate it. And I need one that would work well for extended-range basses (7-strings) and tapping (I'm learning), so if I could get soem advice there too that'd be great.
     
  2. ovalsonic

    ovalsonic Guest

    Oct 11, 2004
    Montreal
    The SMX compressor by Trace Elliot is the same dual-band circuitry that appeared in their SMX series heads and preamps. Nice, simple lo and hi band compression with an "EQ balance" control that allows you to shift your sound between the hi and lo bands - a great quick tone fix!!! Quiet and reliable. These days, used prices from 70-100 clams, a great deal.
     
  3. I could never really get a good sound out of my Trace Elliot Dual Band Compressor. It always seemed to suck the life out of the tone even with minimal compression.

    I'm liking the BOSS ME-50B Natural compression setting more and more, it's more of what I'm looking for compared to the on board limiter in my SWR SM 900.
     
  4. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I am taking a real keen inerest in this thread, because I have added both a distortion and wah/boost so my speakers arew taking some abuse. I hope to releive some of this with a compressors, although I know jack about them.


    I may have a different need than you, becasue I am looing for a rackmount unit so that I can set it and forget it. Two of these keep coming up over and over: The RNC and the dbx 160A.

    Ted
     
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Ted, if you can find one used the dbx 262 is a great deal for under 100
    same interface as the 160A, although it's not as good sounding, but i like it.
     
  6. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thanks.

    Love the Sig- what Bag Ends do you use?

    Ted
     
  7. a rack unit would work for me too, cause it'd look cool to have more stuff in my rack, but how expensive would one these dbx units cost new?
     
  8. also, I was wondering wether a rack compressor would be better sounding, or would a stompbox be the way to go for the nicer sound. Just wondering, cause I know theres a lot of crap rack effects out there.
     
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I wouldn't really recommend the RNC for bass, as it can be tricky to get a sound that compresses as much as you want while not distorting. The problem is the RNC's attack and release knobs are much much faster than other comps on the market, and can literally ride a low waveform, resulting in compression.

    Now, it's certainly possible to set the RNC so that it doesn't distort on bass. And it can sound wonderful. But I wouldn't recommend it for a bass-only application.

    I also would suggest that you listen to a lot of compressors before buying anything, but particularly the dbx 266. I owned one for a time, and I'm not alone in thinking they are utter garbage.

    I think a used Drawmer DL241 or MX30 would be a great choice if price is a concern. Otherwise a new DL241 or one of the dbx 16x series would be great. Or if you really have the cash, a Distressor or Manley unit should make you grin.
     
  10. ovalsonic

    ovalsonic Guest

    Oct 11, 2004
    Montreal
    Well, this is the exact opposite of my experience. It all comes down to personal taste. I have had better results with the Trace pedal as opposed to Boss, MXR, and DBX, and my tone never suffered.
     
  11. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've seen 160A's new for about $350.00. Pricey I know, I figure I have so much invested in the rig, I don't want to skimp on any component that will basically be a full time part of it. I hear the DBX 160A is transparent so that would fit the bill for me.

    Ted
     
  12. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    I've become interested in the Aphex Expressor (661) rack mount unit. Looks like it would fit the proverbial bill. Anyone here have any "practical" experience using this unit (or its' predecessor, the 651 Expressor)?
     
  13. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    the S15-D, S12-D, and D10B-D
    i use my compressor between the preamp and poweramp for speaker protection mostly.
     
  14. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    My biggest concern for a compressor for my bass rig is that I want it to be transparent. Many higher end compressors like manleys and Drawmers are loved becasue of the way the color the sound- but I don't want that.

    It has to be transparent- is this why people recommend the 160A?

    Ted
     
  15. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm currently using a DBX 166XL and have no complaints about it. I'm sure there are better comps out there, but this one does me fine. I've been told that DBX is one of those hit or miss type of companies though.....
     
  16. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    + 1
     
  17. sricabla

    sricabla

    Jul 4, 2003
    San Francisco
    If you can find one get the Joe Meek MC2 on ebay. They sound really fine for bass that the Joe Meek is famous for.
     
  18. dunamis

    dunamis

    Aug 2, 2004
    Charlotte
    Or you could try one of these. It's a tube comp circuit-- nice and transparent-- and designed specifically for bass. Only about $80 brand new :D .
     
  19. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    The ART Levelar is the furthest thing possible from transparent. The only thing to recommend it is that it can be bypassed.
     
  20. dunamis

    dunamis

    Aug 2, 2004
    Charlotte
    ...so says Lyle... :rolleyes:

    Here's a link. Many of the compressors mentioned in this thread are reviewed.

    Note that the reviewer says the ART Levelar is "the poster child for the 'Is-it-on?' award".

    "Why?" you say?

    Well, because of it's excellent TRANSPARENCY, of course! :p