Am I the only one who prefers non-transparent comps


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I've been trying to find a replacement for my Dyna Comp on bass. Bass compressors to try are hard to find around me.

The only reason I am trying to replace it is because it cuts a bit more bass than I like.

Most of the comps I hear are way more transparent than I care for... I get why a bass player would like that. But for me... I guess I play and hear it like a guitarist (which is what I am, primarily). I've tried a few Ross clones that I haven't found "Squish" well enough compared to my dyna, at least not on bass.

Am I just weird? Anyone find any colorful/dirty comps on bass that they like?

*Please don't just link me to Ovnilab, I have read it in and out and am looking for a discussion :)


For readily available look at an EHX Blackfinger Optical Tube Compressor. They can give a nice clean effect, and are advertised as transparent, but but also have a nice tube warmth to them.

They have 2 x 12ax7s and are NOT Starved Plate, and run on a full 48v, for more money you may look at an Effectrode Tube Compressor if they still make them. They are/can be hard to get.

The EHX is an Optical Tube Compressor, and IMHO for $200 USD is hard to beat. You just have to make sure the tubes are quiet, as the compressor WILL Be Noisy with less than great spec tubes. I replaced the GTs with NOS Mullard I61s. Ive had this pedal since 2004.

Wle I use mine for guitar, many commenters also recommend it for Bass. Its also great for Vocals ect.



There's also the Darkglass Super Symmetry or the Diamond Bass Compressor. Both of them are more of a sound enhancer than a clinical compressor.

The Empress and Keeley Pro can do heavy squish very well in addition to being great at clinical compression.

Then there's the Cali76 TX. Great compressor with some nice color, LED metering, warm, and nice compression action.


Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
Dynacomp squish is definitely its own thing. You are right that more boutique pedals should serve that sound.

That said, I also like the colored compressors, but just a different flavor. I like the Janglebox for the brightness and evenness it gives my Ric 12.


TC Electronic SpectraComp. $99 and a whole bunch of pre-made "Artist Toneprints" that you can download and audition. One-knob control that may vary in function depending on how it is programmed. For those brave souls out there, living under the hood, TC has allowed us to access a true 3 way multiband compressor with more adjustment parameters than most people know what to do with. A truly killer little pedal with a ton of power IF you know how to tweak 3 band multi-comp. But it's not necessary. The Tone Prints created for the SpectraComp are FOR bassists BY pro bassists, so it's very likely you'll be able to find the compression that doesn't choke out the low end. Good stuff. Great stuff IMHO.


I just sold my Darkglass Super Symmetry because it was too transparent, among other things. It just sounded...boring, or like nothing was really happening (other than a minimal amount of compression and a slight rolloff in the highs). I've ordered the Keeley Comp Pro, and hope it will give me a little more bite. I know it'll compress a lot harder if I need it to. Let us know what you think of the accountant!

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