Subtle Compressor Recommendation

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Michael Clevenger, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Michael Clevenger

    Michael Clevenger Member

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    Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere (as I'm sure it has).

    I'm looking for a subtle always-on sort of compressor to thicken and enhance the overall tone. I'm a set it and forget it kind of player and usually play a tele into an AC15HW.

    Years ago, I had my eyes on a BearFoot Pale Green. Is that still a good fit? What other options would you recommend?
     
  2. btjguitarman

    btjguitarman Supporting Member

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    Pale green is a great fit... i feel like it’s flown under the radar a bit lately though with some of the more glamorous options. But PGC rules, especially v1 or v4. Super subtle and real pleasant. V1 and 4 have the gentlest amount of compression, and the 4 has the split T and B knobs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  3. middy

    middy Member

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    Boss CP1X. Set everything to noon, turn the ratio down to about 9:00. Just reins your dynamics in a little bit and makes everything full and even.
     
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  4. TravisE

    TravisE Supporting Member

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    Diamond’s compressor is really good for this. Also, the Enpress compressor is fantastic.

    That said, I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed in the PGC either.
     
  5. FOTM704

    FOTM704 Member

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    Look for one with a mix knob. I have an analogman compressor that is squishy when 100% wet but very subtle when I turn the mix down.

    Never tried the optical compressors, but they are supposedly a lot more transparent.

    I like the squishy sounds, though.
     
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  6. gearscrubs

    gearscrubs Supporting Member

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  7. Jim Marciano

    Jim Marciano Supporting Member

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    If you want subtle I would get something with a blend knob so you can keep your clean
    Barber tone press
    Keeley compressor plus
    Wampler ego
    Chelle compy
    Xotic sp
    Mxr dynacomp deluxe
    Pigtronix philosophers tone micro

    I had a pale green and it does sound great and it would have been perfect for me with a blend knob
     
  8. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    I've been using a Boss LMB-3 for a long time. It has what I consider sensible control, Threshold and Ratio, and ads a nice squish if turned up fairly high. The Enhance control can also be used to brighten up warm pickups. It seems to have very little effect on attack.
     
  9. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    I’ve found that the Pale Green Compressor and the Diamond fit OP’s criteria perfectly.
     
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  10. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Gold Supporting Member

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    Wampler Ego has a "blend" knob that lets you control how much of your signal is compressed and how much is unaffected... plus you can get it in the 1590A enclosure size, too (mini-pedal).
     
  11. Tabor

    Tabor Supporting Member

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    Personally, I don't like pedals marketed as compressor pedals as much for subtle compression (even those with blend controls). I have one compressor at the moment: Fairfield Accountant. It can be set subtle but I use it for a more pronounced "bloom" effect and a little bit of JFET grit. It's very simple though so that might appeal to you.

    For subtle compression I've found I prefer pedals marketed as boosts, preamps or low gain overdrives. The Atlas III for example does a great job of adding a little compression while thickening and enhancing and it's only one knob so it definitely meets your "set and forget" requirement.

    Some delay pedals will add subtle compression on your dry signal too...
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  12. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    I’m astonished no one has mentioned the Cali76 CD. Subtle always on compression is what that pedal does.
     
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  13. guitarnet70

    guitarnet70 Member

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    +1 for the Diamond. For me it was too subtle
     
  14. Junco Partner

    Junco Partner Member

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    In this same vein, I really like the Moog MF Boost with the volume way down and the gain cranked as a subtle fattening compressor. Just makes everything more punchy and alive.
     
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  15. Tabor

    Tabor Supporting Member

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    exactly! This is another one of my favorite subtle fattening compressors by a different name... That “gain” control really controls the amount of compression. Plus it can act as a volume pedal if you plug in an exp pedal... underrated sweetener imo...
     
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  16. ChipOnly

    ChipOnly Member

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    I think yr on the right track with the pale green. It's what I have been using, the new one with the split bass/treble pots.

    Diamond always a good choice but hard to go back to one tone pot. Another suggestion I would make is Keeley GC2 at low ratio, high threshold, is very subtle and transparent.
     
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  17. Riffa

    Riffa Member

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  18. Snufkinoob

    Snufkinoob Member

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    I still like the Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer circuit. Love the Fredric Effects Zesty Comp take on it.
     
  19. underwound

    underwound Supporting Member

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    Absolutely! I use this pedal on 100%. Great enhancement, especially for Strats.
     
  20. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    I had an RAF Mirage on my board for years that did this beautifully. I only kicked it off in favor of the Cali 76 Compact, which does this and so much more. That said, there are other classes of pedals to help thicken tone, especially with single coils. My favorite is the Secret Preamp, but the Supa-Trem does it as well.
     
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