Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by CBeeper, May 12, 2015.
Has anyone tried these two pedals? Are they in the same class?
Just to keep this thread going, because I would like to hear what users have to say. I borrowed a bunch of compressors from my best friend while he is in EP production mode and I ended up liking the Empress over the Keeley 4 knob, but mainly because of the additional feature set. Even though I have been using the Empress for almost two years now, I know I'll have to give it back soon. The Cali 76 is pretty much considered the gold standard for pedal compressors, so I've got to assume that is what Keeley is after, especially considering the price point. Otherwise, I'll get a new Empress when I have to. FWIW.
If you're doing a high-end compressor comparison I'd add in the Effectrode PC-2A.
I'm interested in this as well'.
I'd like to just throw out that I feel a Bogner Harlow can roll with the Cali 76 as another compressor option. Probably my favorite pedal on my board aside from my Ditto X2
I thought the keeley was a Ross/Dynacomp circuit with fixed compression.
The Origin I thought is an 1176 clone in pedal format.
Are you referring to the new Keeley Pro?
The Cali76 is FET based and the Keeley Pro uses a THAT Corp. chip, so they're very different inside. Both are studio grade, but one is 'Classic' and the other more modern.
I'd really like to get my hands on a Keeley Pro to compare against my Cali.
I would really like if you got the Keeley Pro too, so we can get some good feedback on the comparison.
Sorry, I was referring to the older Keeley comp. The Keeley Pro is new to me! (and from the pictures it does seem to have variable compression ratios.)
I currently have both.
Nice!! Thank you... I'll have a chance to listen when I get home.
Nice demo. I thought the Cali sounded much more open...better fidelity at all settings. I have the Cali 76 as well so I might be a little biased.
Keep in mind, thats not a standard Cali 76. Its the more expensive one. Which one im not sure. Depending on the transformer upgrade they can be really pricey!
As a matter of fact, its the TX-LP version! With a price tag close to $600, it better sound good! Lol!
To my ears the Cali sounds so much better. The Keeley does everything great and reminds me why I do not like compressors. The Cali just makes everything sound better....
I had to verify something first. In fact, I listened to that demo comparing the two yesterday to confirm this. The "power" led remains always on on the Compressor Pro I got - that's a malfunction. Sending it back. It is good. I think we have to be mindful of those demos out there as a few of those guys are being paid significantly to do them and they can be limiting. The above example does not really capture the significant tonal differences between the two from what I am hearing here. Just part of the limitations of trying to capture all of the nuances, etc. Still, there are some differences you can hear. I prefer having the Ratio setting on the Cali76 higher than in the video and dry mix knob higher too. A matter of personal preferences and what you want to get out of it.
To address the OP's original question, the two are not in the same class/league. I have the Cali76 G-P LTD and also owned the Cali76 STD. I would consider the Cali76 not only a compressor/limiter but a tonal enhancement pedal if not more than just a pedal especially when you add the independent geranium boost and parallel mix control. With the Keeley CP I do like having the soft and hard knee selector switch, but would not use the "auto" mode (guess I am not one of the "more players that will consider this setting to be satisfactory"). I would personally omit that function and add another. Possibly a mix level control, output. The Cali76 also wins out on effectiveness of the features provided. The Cali76 just sinks with my signal regardless of what Marshall-style inspired or original vintage Marshall I have used it with something many would also consider, in the words of a friend of mine that I recommended it to, "super transparent". There is a slight little something digitally going on with the CP that seems to slightly impact the body of the note. To many, the Cali76 can simply be an 'always on' pedal like an EP based preamp or some of the other "magical pedals" that are far and few between out there. It's pricey for sure. I upgraded to the G-P LTD thinking about the unused space on the left side, might as well make use of it. The CP's gain control is dependent. I would think they should be able to fit another footswitch on the pedal to be used with/out the compressor section. It is probably a third of the size of the Cali76 though and significantly cheaper. The CP perports it to be a "studio quality" compressor. I think of the Cali76 as easily being a studio quality compressor, then. Just makes everything sound better. One of those pedals that has the ability to 'inspire you to play'.
In the past, I have directly compared the Wampler Ego, Keeley 2 and 4-knob compressors, Barber Tone Press, and Diamond compressor pedals. Of these pedals, the Keeley 4-knob I liked the best. On a separate time, I played the Keeley GC-2 and Cali76STD next to each other with same setup. These pedals are not in the same league at all as the Cali76, but they are much smaller and cheaper. The only other compressor pedal I would be interested in giving a whirl based on other people's comments here is the Effectrode one.
In all reality (my reality) none of the pedal compressors I have tried can touch the Cali...the Harlow is nice boost pedal but not much of a compressor so the above demo really is like comparing apples to oranges...the Harlow sounds nice when on but the Cali kills it as a compressor and tone enhancer when it is on...not even close to me...it adds a nice refinement/polish to your tone while still mananaging to keep your dynamics and tonal characteristics intact...
The Keeley sounds like all Keeley compressors do...colored and choked to me...they put a blanket over your sound and mess with your attack...the one in the demo pretty much confirms what I have experienced everytime I have demoed a Keeley Comp...
For me the Cali tx version was an essential part of my tone as long as I played strats and teles with single coils...when I starsted playing P-90s I found it less useful and with humbuckers I actually hated what it did to my attack...
I had an early version and when I compared it to my friends newer one (same model) I found that his sounded better and more open in the high end than mine did...his buffer and transformer also sounded more noticeable and better than mine did when used at 18V...so I have to think there have been some changes and improvements to the Cali's circuit...
Mine developed a problem and so I sent it in to be fixed and also mentioned the differences between my older version and my friends newer one...they fixed the problem and checked it out and it came back sounding the same so for lack of a better explanation I chalked that up to a newer circuit revision...
Since I play hum buckers almost full-time now I sold mine and have been using an always on Okko Coca Comp. which...like the Harlow...is not much of a compressor and more of a boost but I find it way more natural sounding than the Harlow so it is my weapon of choice...
At some point in time when funds are plentiful I will get another Cali but this time with a blend knob so I can also use it with humbuckers...