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Given Up on Compressors...Is it hopeless?

Jonny D

Member
Messages
1,283
So many people so warmly recommend a good compressor pedal, and I have tried 4 or 5 compressors. I cannot find one I like. It seems to me that either they do next to nothing except clutter the floor and work exactly like a clean boost pedal, or they color the sound so heavily that I wind up sounding...well...foggy and indistinct.

I have tried...
BBE Orange Crush
MXR Dyna Comp
Demeter Compulator
Boss COmpressor
borrowed a Keeley for a few days and just didn't gel.
 

GtarLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
426
I have tried many as well.

IMO the best are:
Keeley
Barber Tone Press
Durham Sexdrive (if you call this a comp)
Bearfoot Pale Green Comp (BEST)

I recently got myself the Bearfoot and it is awesome! It is on my board now, even though I still own the others as well.

Don't give up quite yet...
 

SWEENEY

Member
Messages
320
So many people so warmly recommend a good compressor pedal, and I have tried 4 or 5 compressors. I cannot find one I like. It seems to me that either they do next to nothing except clutter the floor and work exactly like a clean boost pedal, or they color the sound so heavily that I wind up sounding...well...foggy and indistinct.

I have tried...
BBE Orange Crush
MXR Dyna Comp
Demeter Compulator
Boss COmpressor
borrowed a Keeley for a few days and just didn't gel.
I've only tried one or two and haven't gotten anything I like outa them.

Everyone that recommends compressors to me, always talks about the beautiful compressed tone etc...But I never really hear it.

I'll bet it's probably me. I tend to like less subtle effects.
 

justnick

Member
Messages
3,671
See if this helps at all. The demo is best watched to in HD as the comp settings are fairly subtle...

 

btdvox

Member
Messages
2,852
Actually the best is the Empress Cmoressor.
Followed by Diamond Compressor and Pale Green at a tie.

Diamond didn't have enough effect on tone, ie too transparent where Pale Green touched the tone In a good way, but squished just a tad, and Empress gets you either or.
 

JaminJuno

Member
Messages
119
The key to usable compression that doesn't kill your dynamics or pick attack is getting a compressor with a blend knob IMO. Never could quite bond with my Keeley, just too much squish, even on the low settings. My Wampler Ego gives me all the sustain and smoothness in a much more natural and transparent way.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,446
I stopped using them, too. I had them set so subtly it wasn't making much difference. I do use the tube comp model in the HD 500 for a boost (mainly), but for my base tone, I no longer use a compressor.

that said, I LOVED the Keeley 4-knob.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
What do you want a compressor for?
Exactly the key question. What are you looking for your compressor to do, why do you need compression?

I know for me I like compressors in a guitar signal chain, it's one of the few effects I use frequently, but I'm looking for something completely different in my guitar signal chain compressor than I'm looking for in, say, a vocal recording signal chain.

I'm looking for a guitar compressor that will color the sound -- I'm looking for a little grit, a lot of squish -- I might use it for adding some thwack to chicken picking parts, or bloom to lap steel parts, I might adjust the tone control on a compressor with a tone control for jangle....but the last thing I want in a guitar pedal compressor is a neutral, transparent, device that allows me to subtlely control peaks.... But to the OP, what are YOU looking for in a compressor?
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,545
How can you give up! When u haven't tried the TGP big two... The diamond and the PGC!
 

hour9

Member
Messages
444
Chervokas - you're describing the Pigtronix Philosophers Tone. It does all of that plus has a blend knob.
 

oneass

Member
Messages
256
try the t-rex comp nova, very transparent stuff indeed
That's what I thought too (used it for years), untill I tried the Empress compressor. Night and day!
Which doesn't mean the T-rex is not a great compressor - it is! - but the Empress can be set much more transparent, partially because of the blend knob.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
Chervokas - you're describing the Pigtronix Philosophers Tone. It does all of that plus has a blend knob.
Well, I'm not in a market for a compressor, there are tons of compressors out there that will give me what I'm looking for in a guitar pedal compressor, pretty much any modified Ross-style compressor that gives me some control over the treble works for me. I know what I want my compressor to do -- it's a special effect and I don't want it to be transparent, I want coloration -- and I can find it easily enough. I'm just asking the OP, who says he or she doesn't get it or can't find a use for a compressor, what he or she actually is trying to acheive by using a compressor in the first place. A compressor might not be the pedal he or she is looking for. Or if it is, the kind of compressor I'm looking for is almost certainly NOT the sort of pedal he's looking for, it sounds like.
 

Fulldrive-1

Senior Member
Messages
5,926
I used to use a compressor to slam my OD-9 for solos. But then I got rid of that stuff and use a Pinnacle--no compressor needed!
 






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