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  1. #1

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    I'm thinking of buying a fancy compressor to round out my pedalboard. I've narrowed it down to Analogman Bicomp and Empress MKII compressor. Very different, I know. Leaning Analogman Bicomp - does anyone have it? Thoughts on the myriad of options (hi cut switch, RYCK toggle, etc.)?

    Empress looks great but transparent; I have a Mooer yellow comp (Diamond copy) that I like but seems to handle the transparent compression for me.

    Lots of other ones look good (JHS; Xotic SP; Ego; Compadre) but I'm looking for two voices and nothing else, and Bicomp seems to fit the bill...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Not familiar with the models you mention (can't try them out anywhere ...) but I am familiar with a couple of older pedals :


    Carl Martin
    TC electronic Nova Compressor
    Origin Effects SlideRIG Compact Deluxe


    and what I found to be of major importance for ME is the MIX control - all other parameters come second. I use a compressor to add a little punch to the
    initial attack of the note and to keep the amp from going into overdrive. A teeeeny bit of grit is ok bit not more....

  4. #3

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    I'm happy with my MXR Dyna Comp.
    Most days (at home practicing) it's the only pedal I use.

    That don't compress me much-mxr-jpg

  5. #4

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    analogman makes great pedals...the bi-comp combines the basic ross style comp with a dan armstrong orange squeezer type comp...so it's 2 different comps in one

    probably 75% of the comps out there are based on the old ross design...

    i'm big fan of original orange squeezer comp...but it's very basic by todays standards

    the origen effects comps are probably some of the best around these days...they now make a smaller footprint pedal version of their classic cali 76...based on the old 1176 studio rack compressor....tough comp to beat!



    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 01-29-2021 at 12:26 AM. Reason: typo-

  6. #5
    Just to muddy the waters: I’ve been really happy with my Thorpy Fat General, especially because of the blend (mix) knob, which was a revelation! I also couldn’t stand the EQ change that most compressors imparted (SP, Ross, etc.), and this instead feels like my tone, just more body and fullness.

    It has a “juicy” switch which changes the wet to dry relationship dramatically, switching between squashy and transparent. In that way it feels like two distinct “voices” to me.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I'm happy with my MXR Dyna Comp.
    Most days (at home practicing) it's the only pedal I use.

    That don't compress me much-mxr-jpg
    Don' want to hijack the thread – but a question came to my mind. As compression evens out dynamic is it a good thing to practice with a compressor? How do you gain control over your picking attack if you already mask it while practicing. Wouldn't one practice to have maximum control over dynamics and attack – and add compression to taste when perfoming or recording?

    I'm not asking out of disrespect – just curious.

  8. #7

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    +10,000 on a mix/blend control. ESPECIALLY if you're new to compression.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dvorin
    Just to muddy the waters: I’ve been really happy with my Thorpy Fat General, especially because of the blend (mix) knob, which was a revelation! I also couldn’t stand the EQ change that most compressors imparted (SP, Ross, etc.), and this instead feels like my tone, just more body and fullness.

    It has a “juicy” switch which changes the wet to dry relationship dramatically, switching between squashy and transparent. In that way it feels like two distinct “voices” to me.
    this is quite a review...

    ThorpyFX Fat General Review | Premier Guitar

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    +10,000 on a mix/blend control. ESPECIALLY if you're new to compression.
    +2. That's the best thing to come along (to compressors) since they were first invented. The Mix/blend control is indispensable. I don't use compressors, but when I did, my 2 favorites were the Barber Tone Press and the Keeley 4-knob.

  11. #10

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    I have an Allum modded Boss CS3 for the squishy country picking and a Mooer Yellow comp for the "always on" compressor. They tell me the Mooer is pretty much as good as Diamond which I've read is the gold standard for subtle, always on compressors.

  12. #11

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    As far as to what comps I have used: an old mxr, analog man orange juicer/squeezer, exotic sp comp, Wampler ego (I really like that one), a pigtronix philosopher king, and right now I am running the mini pigtronix philosopher gold. I might have some names wrong. I have checked out the kelley comp. I think I really liked it but it was expensive for me at that time. For me some sound a little cleaner then others. Which is not always a good thing. Some have more functions, which I tend to like. Unlike dirt or of, there is not a huge difference in tonality, it has to do with feel and function.

    Quote Originally Posted by guavajelly
    Don' want to hijack the thread – but a question came to my mind. As compression evens out dynamic is it a good thing to practice with a compressor? How do you gain control over your picking attack if you already mask it while practicing. Wouldn't one practice to have maximum control over dynamics and attack – and add compression to taste when perfoming or recording?

    I'm not asking out of disrespect – just curious.
    I would not per say call myself a "jazz guitarist". I do utilize a lot of jazz techniques and improvisational knowledge, but I would find somethings difficult if I ended up in a straight ahead jazz setting. Also there is not much of a jazz gigging scene where I live (as compared to where I have lived in the past). Having said that, I do use a comp almost always. This is after 12 years of having no pedal but a wha. Before I became addicted to comp, I had fully developed my technique. Yes, it is very difficult to get dynamics with a comp on, but I have found that with focus I can almost get a envelope filter to work ok even after the comp. (I typically use a comp with a blend). As strange as it sounds, there were reasons why I ran an env filter after my comp. I can not remember why now. I think it had something to do with not wanting to switch pedals on and off and not having enough inserts into my looper/pedal switcher. However there was a time period when I fought the loss of dynamics by being very precise with my picking strength. I remember going to GC and when I would play some gear, I would be surprised how quiet I could get by just using my pick. What I can say is if a person develops, a solid technique, a comp will not ruin it. Not sure if that helps, but that is my experience.
    .

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    the origen effects comps are probably some of the best around these days...they now make a smaller footprint pedal version of their classic cali 76...based on the old 1176 studio rack compressor....tough comp to beat!
    The Empress is based on the 1176 as well. I have the older MK 1 big box version, and the mix knob, as well as the separate gain reduction/input level indicator LEDs are really helpful. The MK 2 adds a Tone control and is only half the size.

    I can get it to squash as well as any Ross/Dynacomp style pedal, but also do the subtle “sonic yoga mat“ thing, so it wins on versatility IMHO.

  14. #13

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    It's a good idea to have a buffer at the beginning of your effects chain (even if your effects chain is just one pedal). Compressor pedals are most often first in ones chain, so consider a compressor pedal that has a buffer in it, that is one that's not True Bypass. That way you won't need a dedicated buffer pedal on your effects board. Unfortunately, that significantly narrows done ones choices.

  15. #14

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    I don't use compression most of the time but I once went down a rabbit hole.
    I have owned the Cali 76 and the Original Empress. These are probably the best on the market in terms of functionality. If you like a simpler interface, these are not for you, but if you want full control over multiple parameters of the effect check these out.

    If you want to get really sophisticated, the latest Empress one is probably the best one out there. The Cali 76 colors your tone a lot (some people like it) making it sound like you have a low-gain boost. I wasn't into that. The Empress is completely transparent and the mkii has an extremely useful feature for compression: Sidechain High Pass Filter. Why does this matter? Guitars produce more energy in low registers than high register at the same perceived volume. If you've used a compressor without sidechain high pass, you have probably noticed that you either have to calibrate the compression threshold to the low range of the instrument or the high, but it's very difficult to do both. If you set it for the high range, then you may notice you accidentally get too much squash when you hit a lower note and an ugly pumping sound. What the sidechain hpf does is to help even out the signal going to the compressor so that you don't get this volatile response. The result is a smoother, more natural compression. To my knowledge, the empress pedals are the only guitar pedals that have this feature.
    Last edited by omphalopsychos; 02-01-2021 at 04:11 PM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I don't use compression most of the time but I once went down a rabbit hole.
    I have owned the Cali 76 and the Original Empress. These are probably the best on the market in terms of functionality. If you like a simpler interface, these are not for you, but if you want full control over multiple parameters of the effect check these out.

    If you want to get really sophisticated, the latest Empress one is probably the best one out there. The Cali 76 colors your tone a lot (some people like it) making it sound like you have a low-gain boost. I wasn't into that. The Empress is completely transparent and the mkii has an extremely useful feature for compression: Sidechain High Pass Filter. Why does this matter? Guitars produce more energy in low registers than high register at the same perceived volume. If you've used a compressor without sidechain high pass, you have probably noticed that you either have to calibrate the compression threshold to the low range of the instrument or the high, but it's very difficult to do both. If you set it for the high range, then you may notice you accidentally get too much squash when you hit a lower note. What the sidechain hpf does is to help even out the signal going to the compressor so that you don't get this volatile response. The result is a smoother, more natural compression. To my knowledge, the empress pedals are the only guitar pedals that have this feature.
    Can you please explain the side chain thing? What do you plug in there? I was looking on Empress' site and it wasn't well explained...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomems
    Can you please explain the side chain thing? What do you plug in there? I was looking on Empress' site and it wasn't well explained...



    In the MK1, they had just the sidechain effect loop. I implemented a high pass filter in there using a trs tip and a capacitor as described in the video. So many customers were applying this high pass filter that empress decided to make it into a simple switch on the front of the device. Great, responsive product design right there. Empress is top-notch.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos


    In the MK1, they had just the sidechain effect loop. I implemented a high pass filter in there using a trs tip and a capacitor as described in the video. So many customers were applying this high pass filter that empress decided to make it into a simple switch on the front of the device. Great, responsive product design right there. Empress is top-notch.
    That bass drum example at the end of the video is really cool. Probably a pain to set up live.
    Actually, it might not be very effective live.