Thanks to a fellow Talkbass member who shipped me his EBS Multicomp I've been able to spend a fair amount of time with the pedal. It is an older model — not the newer "studio" edition. I'm not sure there is all that much difference though.
Some thoughts: • It is definitely not as quiet as the Smoothie or FEA or Keeley compressors • Interestingly it doesn't get more noisy as you increase the compression • Increasing the gain definitely adds to the noise floor • Even with the compression all the way up it doesn't get that squishy. The compression range is not all that wide. Not a compressor for somebody looking for a lot of limiting • Multi band mode sounds great. Nice and punchy. Nice full sound. • Tube sim mode sounds really good if you want a little extra something in your tone. A little growl. If you listen closely you'll perceive some slight breakup. Sounded really good into my Shift-Line MKIII tube preamp. If I was looking for this kind of color I'd probably never turn off the Multicomp with tubesim on. • Normal mode is boring and forgettable. It works but nothing to write home about.
It seems built well. It's not the most quiet pedal of the bunch. Possibly the most noisy actually.
To me it is more of an effect.
My initial reaction is that it would be a great aggressive fingerstyle tool. I like the way multi band sounded with slap. It's not really versatile but if you want a set and forget always on tone enhancer it is nice. A different flavor than the Cali CB for sure.
The tubesim has a different type of tonal magic than the Diamond I used to have. Where the Diamond has punch and sparkle added the Multicomp in tubesim has grunt and harmonic content added. As an effecty type compressor I like this one. No matter the setting it does always seem to add it's own coloration so I don't see this as a winner for the purists wanting an uber transparent compressor.
It's worth noting that the LED is red and serves double duty as an on/off indicator and compressor activity meter. But for the latter it's pretty useless.
The EBS in Tubesim makes for a great always on kind of effect. To my ear it seems to be adding nice grunt in the low mids.
It's very pleasing and fattens things up. With multiple earphones I can tell it isn't the most quiet of compressors so if added noise is a concern this isn't the compressor for you.
I'm still not a fan of the compression with the switch in normal mode. Nothing special there but probably fairly transparent. Multiband offers a nice full sound but Tubesim seems to retain more bottom end. I say seems to because I don't know for certain but to my ear I believe I perceive more low end.
It is easy to use with the two dials though it is really more of an effect type of compressor than a versatile compressor. It's not as lively as the Cali. In some ways it reminds me of the Smoothie in terms of feel and tone (when in multiband) though the Smoothie is definitely quieter and capable of more. The Smoothie is capable of far more compression. But the EBS sounds really nice. I'd be happy with it for what it is.
Retail price: $199