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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Compressors for bass rack


I like using a compressor in my rig and am finally buying one myself (after mooching someones for a while). I had a dbx 266 a few years ago but it really didn't hold up to constant gigging. I used someone else's 266 recently also. Not getting one of those. I was thinking the 166. Also considering a Behringer Composer Pro or Presonus ACP22. Any suggestions or experience with these units?
July 10, 2001 @06:14pm

If you have the budget, a Distressor from Empirical Labs sounds terrific. One of the best available. You can really tailor your sound. I currently have a pretty tight budget, so I am using an Aphex 108 dual compressor. I have a bi-amp head, so I send one side of the Aphex to my 4x10 cabinet for my Stage sound, and usually a slightly higher compression ratio through the other side of the 108 to the house board. The 108 is easy to use and soundes pretty good. It also does not cost a fortune.
What does anybody else use?
July 12, 2001 @02:07am

I've been using a Drawmer in my studio set up and I like it, though it's a bit dark sounding at times.
I haven't had much luck with the dbx stuff on my bass, though I know a lot of people use it (must be me). I used to have an Aphex (651 I think) that I liked. Sold it to get the Drawmer. The improvement was minor but noticeable.
For a low cost unit I've been hearing great things about the Presonus stuff, particularly the Blue Max (I think it is).
July 24, 2001 @11:25pm

I'll second the BlueMax recommendation. It's an extremely versatile little box. If you like to have access to a little grit, the BlueTube and BlueMax combine to make a nice one-space channel. :)
July 28, 2001 @05:05am

The distressor.. OMG what a box. damn. You kind of have to have the bank for it, but jeesh... incredible thing.
I myself just picked up a tonefactory and for the money, I really don't think you can beat it. It acts as a REALLY good preamp, a pretty darn fine compressor, and a very musical EQ. For $550, man, I don't think you can beat it!
August 22, 2001 @08:18pm
Ed Belknap

What does anybody else use?

I've actually stopped using a compressor in my live rig for 95% of the gigs I do. Microdynamics are just too important to the types of music I play. But when I do bring a compressor it's usually an old AudioArts 1200 or an equally old dbx 165A. And, provided the gig warrants a big enough amp, I like to wire up the compressor so there's a completely separate uncompressed amp & speaker...like doing parallel compression in the studio, only using the air in front of my speaker cabinets to combine the compressed & uncompressed signals instead of a mixing console.
Dontcha love resurrecting seven year old threads?
January 29, 2008 @05:11pm

I've always liked the way the dbx 160 sounds on bass. Better circuitry than the 166, single channel, not that expensive. Also, lots of lights on it, which is important.
January 29, 2008 @06:03pm