Good compressor?

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Good compressor?

Postby Mr. Mom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:43 am

Thinking of adding one to my line-up. Probably a pedal, but not sure. Need suggestions.

As usual price is a factor.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Sloom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:24 am

For a pedal the old Trace-Elliot SMX Compressor is a good one. High and low bands, a simple adjustment for each. Tone balance knob, i/o gains. My SMX250 head has it built-in, and it does a very nice thing I think. I set the low up 1/2-way and the high just a little, makes it fat and tight. I last saw these for under $100 on CheepList or evilbay.

I just got an Ashdown version of it, jury's still out until I get Ghiadub's old power supply here to run it. I got it to use with another head here (AMP BH420).

I had an Aphex 651- awesome rack unit, albeit in the $200+ range used. Too bad I don't still have it- as it's also got a feature for compensating highs and lows. But I traded it for a bass I thought I wanted! [smilie=fun_84.gif] (I gather you'll understand... [smilie=food-smiley-004.gif])

Mostly I use a compressor to protect my speakers from pounding lows too hard, which I am wont to do. I hear that Bag Ends are expensive to re-cone!
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby aussiemark » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:02 pm

I've been using the Aphex Punch Factory pedal for 5 years now, and love it. I set it how I like it, and leave it on all the time. It's an optical compressor, so is very transparent. Only 2 knobs to worry about - drive and level. Also has a balanced DI and ground lift built in, as well as a pad for active basses. Takes the same power input as any tip negative Boss style pedal.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Mr. Mom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:43 pm

Ask and ye shall receive.

Thanks guys! BIG help.

Keep the ideas coming!!

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Re: Good compressor?

Postby 57RIP » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:00 am

I don't really compress often live anymore. When I do I use a Punch Factory. Power wise it will actually take just about anything .
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Mr. Mom » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:49 am

Aphex Punch Factory: 2
Trace Elliot: 1

Misc.: 2
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby El Tookay » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:18 am

I have a long-simmering feud with compressors in general, but I have been found the least offensive sounding units were the Trace, BBE Opto-Stomp (used conservatively), and the EBS black label Multi-Comp. Certain basses, especially Rickenbackers, greatly benefit from some type of compression.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Nedmundo » Wed May 05, 2010 10:53 am

A little late to this thread, but another Punch Factory user here. It is transparent. You don't hear it too much until turning it up to about 7, but you'll feel it, especially playing back recordings you've made with it IMLE. I used it when I might be pushing my rig hard and want to tame transients, or when recording.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Sloom » Wed May 05, 2010 10:59 am

Also the Ashdown Dual-Band Comp is laid out just like the Trace. Don't know what else to comapre about them, but it does more or less the same thing as the trace does. The Aphex is getting good reviews here... might have to try one.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Mr. Mom » Wed May 05, 2010 1:56 pm

Yeah, the Punch Factory seems to be the one to try. It's less expensive and folks say the same good things about it: transparent and easy to use. I may have a line on one.

Did I mention it's pretty inexpensive??
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Sloom » Wed May 05, 2010 2:17 pm

So I hear it's an inexpensive unit. Priced one yet?
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Templar » Wed May 05, 2010 3:04 pm

Mr. Mom wrote:Thinking of adding one to my line-up. Probably a pedal, but not sure. Need suggestions.

As usual price is a factor.

Thanks in advance!


Apart from the price factor, how do you want it to sound? Barely noticable, just to tame transient spikes? As an effect, to sculpt a distinctive sound? Both?

Transparent is easy and cheap. +1 vote for the Punch Factory.

The "effect" aspect is a different story. Totally subjective, loads of variables involved, no best answer. There's definitely some real turkeys out there to be avoided, tho.

Good luck on your quest, hope you find what you're looking for sooner/cheaper than I did! [smilie=fun_84.gif]
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Sloom » Wed May 05, 2010 3:11 pm

Templar wrote:

The "effect" aspect is a different story. Totally subjective, loads of variables involved, no best answer...[smilie=fun_84.gif]


There now- the Trace, the one built into my amp, is definitely of this type. It does do a 'tightening' to the low end, and is not what I'd think of as 'transparent'. It's an effect. I like it, but it's not the the Aphex 651 I used to have.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby Mr. Mom » Wed May 05, 2010 4:51 pm

Templar wrote:Apart from the price factor, how do you want it to sound? Barely noticable, just to tame transient spikes? As an effect, to sculpt a distinctive sound? Both?

Transparent is easy and cheap. +1 vote for the Punch Factory.

The "effect" aspect is a different story. Totally subjective, loads of variables involved, no best answer. There's definitely some real turkeys out there to be avoided, tho.

Good luck on your quest, hope you find what you're looking for sooner/cheaper than I did! [smilie=fun_84.gif]



Good question(s). And I'm not really sure how I want the compressor to sound. Never used one before onstage. And in the studio it was an engineer that would use it.

Basically I dig my tone. Just want to tighten it up a little, if that makes sense.

The PF seems like a good place to start. I'll definitely be using the DI out on it straight to the board for starters. That DI is a big plus for me.



Plus, it's inexpensive.
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Re: Good compressor?

Postby jshilgebass » Thu May 06, 2010 3:41 pm

Bruce, check out this guy's compressor reviews...maybe it can help you in the decision process.

As for me, I've got an EBS Multi-Comp, but I might try to find me a BBE Opto-Stomp; these can be had for not much money.


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