Compressor help! Torn between Keeley and Barber.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by danut, Aug 9, 2005.


  1. danut

    danut Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Tg.Mures, Romania
    I just came to the point that I need some compression on my clean/semi-clean arpeggios and strum patterns played on the neck humbucker split, combined with the middle position single coil. (I have an Ibanez RG, with HSH pick-up configuration). They just don't cut through the live mix and I also feel my playing is sloppy and lacks presence.
    But here comes my dilemma: since I'll get a compressor, I would like to have it on all the time, which, I'm afraid, would negatively affect the dirty, high gain parts played on the bridge humbucker (SD TB-6 Distortion Trembucker). I wouldn't like extra compression on the high gain stuff, which is already compressed by the nature of distortion. I don't want to turn the compressor on and off each time I switch from dirty to clean/semi-clean, because I hate tap dancing.
    So here's my question: out of these two brands (Keeley and Barber), which do you think would better fit my need? I mean, I'd like to find a sweet spot setting where single coil clean stuff benefits from compression yet the bridge humbucker dirty stuff doesn't suffer too much.
    Can the Keeley do this if set with level at unity gain and with sustain at, say, 9 to 10 o'clock?
    Or is the Barber a better option because of its famous blend control?
    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

    Messages:
    562
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Brissie, Oz.
    I would go for the Barber because of the blend feature you mentioned...by all accounts, it works very well and would probably suit your situation more.

    What about a looper pedal so you can switch a number of effects in and out with one stomp? They're not too expensive.

    Another option is the Teese FK-1 comp which is nearly identical to the Keeley in curcuit and apparently sounds as good but slightly different...it's a lot cheaper...you could buy a looper with the change.
     
  3. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Location:
    An Alternate Reality in a Parallel Universe...
    Check out the Maxon CP101, it's a great little box!! It doesn't squash your sound but it adds an eveness to your playing and can impart more sustain. A very transparent unit, very easy to use. I used to use a Carl Martin Compressor Limiter, which I feel is one of the best, but you had more of a feeling that it was on, versus the Maxon. The Maxon, you'll play through and at first you'll think, this isn't doing anything, but once you turn it off, you'll quickly say that is the one and turn it back on!!

    TheGrooveking
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    +1 on the Maxon; I love mine.
     
  5. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,475
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Had both the Keeley and the Barber,
    Both great but prefer the Barber due to the blend feature and the cost isnt bad either.

    good luck


    richard
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB Supporting Member

    Messages:
    348
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1 Had both, still have the Barber. Really can't go wrong, but I found the Barber to be much more flexible.
     
  7. LordRiffenstein

    LordRiffenstein Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Langdorp, Belgium
    Own the Barber and absolutely love it, even use it on higher gain settings and it works well. Tried the MAxon and that's a great one as well. Tried the Keeley and it didn't live up to expectations, in fact, it turned into total mud when we used a guitar with hot P90s thru so I wonder how and if it will work with humbuckers.
     
  8. Telecaster

    Telecaster Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Den Haag, Nederland, Europa
    +1 for the Barber.
    If you really want a Keeley, get a Teese FK-1 compressor. Same quality, 70 dollars cheaper........................
     
  9. danut

    danut Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Tg.Mures, Romania
    OK guys, thaks for your inputs. I think I'll go with the Barber. Actually, even before posting this thread, I had the feeling that this one would be going to be the most recommended :cool:
     
  10. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    I'd go for the Barber, it really is going to be the best for what you want.. Plus I had the Keeley and it does get muddy and it's one of those compressors that you can tell when it's on because it comressese the hell out of your guitar.. I sold my Keeley and now have the Homebrew Comp-Retro, and it's very transparent..
     
  11. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,398
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    That wasn't my experience with the Keeley at all (I have an older 2002 version in a brushed metal box with a decal; maybe he changed them a little?). I find it can be set to be incredibly transparent, almost so much so that I can't tell it's on. Once you get the sustain set higher, it'll squish the sound up. Makes a great boost too. I think it's an outstanding pedal, though the facts show that the Barber is much cheaper and a lot of people love it.
     
  12. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

    Messages:
    1,519
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    The keeley is better with single coils, same with the dyna comp/ross and the like.

    The Barber is a different idea, even more subtle more of a boost with out so much squeeze. If you are using buckers I'd go with the Barber.
     
  13. j631378

    j631378 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    I've been using both a Barber Tone Press and a Demeter Compulator for several months now, hoping to finally make a choice between the two. Although I liked both, I just sold the Barber because it tended to squash my tone. The Demeter is an optical compressor that fills out my basic tone and adds high end sparkle. No other compressor that I've tried does both like that. The Demeter is permanently affixed to my pedal board (At least for now!)
     
  14. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    It's not on your list but... I've got an Analogman BiComprosser, and it's an f'n blast to play.

    I dig a comp as more of an effect than a function. The Bicomp kicks butt. From tons of squish and sustain, to jangly chimey cleans. No mud here.

    Since it's 2 comps, you could set one side up for your HB's and the other for your Single Coils.

    I can't recommend this pedal enough... and I've never been much of a comp guy.
     
  15. danut

    danut Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Tg.Mures, Romania
    Ok, but that requires tap-dancing, isn't it? Whereas I am especially looking to avoid that ;)
     
  16. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,453
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I think the Keeley & Analogman are a better/closer comparison (had a couple of both)...slight difference, but I thought the AM had a bit more clarity. Ended up with a Bi-Comp...the extra squash side is fun, but I don't really use it much.

    I also have a Barber, which overall I think I might like better than the AM...partly because I'm not a huge fan of squashy tone. And if it's something you want to leave on all the time, I'd say Barber. That said, you may have trouble getting the effect you want with the same settings on clean AND dirty tones.
    Greg
     
  17. Jemlite

    Jemlite Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    AAAhaaaaaa.
     
  18. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,627
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Blacksburg VA
    I know you said between the Keeley and Barber, but I've had both (and they are both very nice) but to me the best sounding compressor I've ever used is the HBE Comp Retro.
     
  19. 58lespaulman

    58lespaulman Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Homebrew Comp-Retro is my favorite also.. I've tried the Keeley and it changes your tone too much.. I want to try the barber though...
     
  20. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Member

    Messages:
    7,391
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    I've got a Barber coming tomorrow that I'm hoping will be the end of the search for me. I came darn close to getting the Homebrew, but I couldn't get over one thing (and it's the same beef I had w/ the Mosferatu): It's oriented the long way (landscape), and then has the jacks on the sides to boot. It's a total space hog! You'ld think if builders wanted to orient their pedals that way they'd at least put the jacks on the back!
    Nitpicky, I know.

    A
     

Share This Page