ABOUT THE COMPRESSOR PEDAL SHOOTOUT
I’ve been on a journey testing a wide variety of compressor pedals and I originally published my reviews on Talkbass.com. From OTA, FET, VCA, and Optical types and even Tube compressors, there are so many great options these days. There is something for everyone.
Because of my reviews, I've become known as one of the "compressor guys" for bassists. I'm pleased to know my reviews are helpful. The other better known, and probably more qualified "compressor guy" is Cyrus who operates OvniFX and is the creator of the OvniFX Smoothie Compressor. Cyrus built Ovnilab.com which is probably the definitive resource for all things related to compression devices, types of compression devices, and uses for compression. Check out his site too.
One thing is for certain. Now is a great time to be a bass or guitar player. The amount of quality gear is incredible and this definitely translates to the world of compressor pedals. There’s a lot of differences in compressors but a lot of similarities too. Some are more transparent, others definitely add color. Some are all about punch and fattening, while others focus more on letting your instrument breathe while adding sustain and presence. Many today are bundling in tonal alterations in the form of side chains, on board EQ, and dry/wet blend.Then there are the limiters and the squashers.
After all of this testing to date, I don’t know that I’ve found the holy grail of compressors, but I really like aspects of many. I just might not be a one compressor guy.
As for my personal preference, I should say I'm not into tone squishing or extreme limiting. I'm looking for just a little evening out and maybe a little bump in "oomph". I play mostly jazz, pop, rock, and worship music and have an affinity to bass guitar. I was a long time Diamond user but it's really more of a tone enhancer and I'm going for less color these days… I think. My goal with these reviews is to be as transparent as possible and not let much bias in. I’m also only using my ear to test but with multiple cabinets and several basses from a high output basses with 9 volt and 18 volt preamps to a fretless Pedulla Pentabuzz.
Hope you find these reviews helpful.
Please note, I do not endorse or represent any compressor manufacturer.
Dates for each review published on this site coordinate with the date each review was originally published on Talkbass.com in the Effects forum.
WHO AM I
Digital marketing leader by day, bassist by night.
I enjoy many forms of music and have been playing bass for more than 25 years. My music journey began with piano lessons at 8 years of age. In the fifth grade, I began studying violin which I still play to this day. I picked up the bass guitar in high school to play on the sidelines of a rather large marching band production. The rest is history. Now I'm a gear aficionado and have an affinity for quality gear, especially 5 string bass guitars and compressors. People tell me I have a good ear, which I believe comes in handy for hearing nuances in each of the compressors reviewed.
During the summer months in Michigan I enjoy boating on Lake Michigan and a variety of our many splendid inland lakes.