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My Favorite Compressors Ever,Tumbleweed, Mirage, FX Engineering

thereeds

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
118
Hey all,

http://www.fxeng.com/

I just wanted to post this because FX Engineering, aka Montez Aldridge, makes really great compressors. It all boils down to personal opinion, but I've owned a couple of Keeleys and an Analogman large bi-comp, and I find my Tumbleweed to be better than both.

I also bought the Mirage after watching the video online, to test against the Tumbleweed, and I ended up keeping both. I generally never have more than one version of any effect (except OD), but having both covers a lot of vintage/modern ground.

I'm using them with a Nash Tele and a 65 Stone Pony. They are both super transparent and really low noise no matter how far you push them. Also I accidentally fried my Mirage and Montez fixed it for me, no cost and no problems.

If you've been searching for a compressor, but haven't found "the one", try these. Awesome products, awesome guy, check them out!
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,757
Can you compare/contrast the Tumbleweed and Mirage against each other. Also, what other comps have you owned or tried out?

I've been checking out dealers (FatSound) and the FXEng. website and did not think the Tumblewees was readily available yet?
 

WahmBoomAh

World Crass Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,608
+1 on the Mirage

after going through;
AM Orange Squeezer ....great but too gritty in color with pumping ..you gotta want that sound.
Demeter Compulator ...nice too ...hard to dial in on stage ...was always tweaking while playing.
Janglebox....seemed too much of a special effect not really a comp as I like in the studio rack flavor. Too much or too little once again ...tough to find the sweet spot
Diamond Comp ,,,, 2nd best choice ,nice ...
AYA ... nice ..either not noticable or too noticable in the pumping dept.
'Never had any 2 at the same time so no A/B was done

In general the transparent quality that preserves the note shape while it juices up the harmonics of the tone can be at odds with the speed of the compression. Too much comp with a slow attack will alter the dynamics of the attack ,,,,and that`s what a comp does by definition.
The Mirage is the only comp I`ve used that doesn`t stomp on my attack dynamics ...still leaving all the good juicy tone . Of course ...If you`re in the Ross / MXR camp you might look elsewhere , I heard the Tumbleweed is made for this ....not sure.
thanks Montez
 

Montez

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
550
...I've been checking out dealers (FatSound) and the FXEng. website and did not think the Tumblewees was readily available yet?
Fat Sound has not picked up the TW yet as I don't have the screen print graphics finished. I am building another short run of the custom paint TWs which are available now. The website has not been updated to indicate the availability. My knuckle-head webmaster(my son Sebastian) is dragging his feet on the updates.
 

jamison162

Member
Messages
7,757
Montez,

What about the comparison? Since you designed/build these, can you tell us the differences? Is one optical? Which has more compression available, etc., etc. Thanks.
 

Montez

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
550
Both are based on the same circuit as the Mirage. The Mirage is very smooth and transparent. The difference with the Tumbleweed is the optical LDR in bias of the feedback loop of the envelope sense sub-circuit. The optic slows the sense of the pick attack to delay compression a couple of additional milliseconds. This gives a percussive bite to the attack. Other changes are slightly more gain. This allows it to be overdriven to a light grown when pushed hard. It also has slightly more compression on tap. The two pedals also stack well. I prefer the Mirage pushing the Tumbleweed, and the TW pushing a dirt pedal.

OK I don't want to upset the moderators, so enough from me. There are a couple of TGPrs who have both. hopefully they will weigh in.
 

Frenster

Put your Rock Face on!
Messages
1,291
The Mirage ended my long compressor hunt. And Montez is the best. Really. As far as I'm concerned, the Mirage is what a compressor should be. Transparent, but you'd miss it if it's gone. It's almost misleading. You don't hear it because the clamp on the attack is so fast it sounds like it isn't there, but for the sustain. And no pumping.
 

TDavis

Member
Messages
746
The Mirage ended my long compressor hunt. And Montez is the best. Really. As far as I'm concerned, the Mirage is what a compressor should be. Transparent, but you'd miss it if it's gone. It's almost misleading. You don't hear it because the clamp on the attack is so fast it sounds like it isn't there, but for the sustain. And no pumping.
I agree with you. I'm really liking what it does as a tone enhancer too...just makes everything sound "bigger". Many thanks to Montez for the Mirage!
 

YETI

Member
Messages
759
...just makes everything sound "bigger".
+1. It adds a certain "life" to my rig. By far the best compressor that I have played. Wished I could have found it sooner... I have been fighting with compressors for years.

...have not tried the tubleweed. Sure its great as well.
 

thereeds

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
118
+1 to all posts. Neither compressor "colors" your tone. I had an Analogman large bi-comp and really liked the orange squeezer side, but there was a little too much noise and a little to much of an effect for me. I had a couple of Keeley compressor as well. I never really bonded with it either.

The Mirage and Tumbleweed, no noise, all they do is juice up the tone while preserving it. I know they give me different sounds, which is why I bought them both to test and keep one, but I ended up keeping them both. I have no desire anymore to find a difference compressor. Can I voice the difference? Not really. Just try them both. If you can't afford that, just try the Mirage. You won't need another comp.
 

Frenster

Put your Rock Face on!
Messages
1,291
I run my Mirage at 12v and turn the gain trim inside the box down a bit and it's great. Montez says 15v is max on these.
 

lv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,015
imo, Montez' compressors are the very best I have tried.
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
So, they're both optical, or just the Mirage?

I'm also running two comps in series these days; one always on and the other's more as a booster. Plenty of compression/sustain provided by my amps & overdrive pedals.

Really need to try both Mirage & Tumbleweed, as compression's something I've finally just begun to appreciate (after 30 years with an old Dynacomp!) and I've really gotta *feel* it for myself!

Any Canadian dealers??
 

zerocharisma

Member
Messages
419
I never considered using a compressor until I played my friend's rig where he had a Keeley compressor feeding his plexi Superlead...opened my mind a bit. Then I started to research and found out about the Mirage. Got one used here from TMock (thanks again, Travis!) and it has changed my life/tone for the better! This is one of the few pedals I have come across that will always stay on :cool:
 




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