Compressor Pedals

I am thinking on buying the Keely Pro Compressor Pedal. Any comments or recommendations? Here is the link:


I just bought a Cali-76 Compact Bass compressor by Origin Effects and it is incredibly awesome!! Sound, tone, and sustainability is incredible along with super quality construction.

Here is the link:


Thanks. I will look into it.


Hey @bsickels, I have the Keeley Bassist compressor on my pedalboard and it seems to work great. I really like not having to manually set attack and release, I find that really obtuse for live use. Unless you’re intending to use this in a studio setting, I’d recommend the Bassist over the Compressor Pro, it’s smaller and simpler.

I’m also curious about the TC Electronic Spectracomp pedals, I have an older version of Spectracomp built into the RH450 amp I use, but you can do cool Toneprint tweaky stuff with the Spectracomp. It’s on the list.

It seems to me like there are a lot of “good” compressors out there, it’s just a matter of what controls you want to have, or not have, for your own head to wrap around it well.


Killer thread. I was just thinking of getting into some kind of compressor pedal myself… thanks.


I have this one in mind… has everything (from a tech perspective) one may need, including wet/dry XLR DI outs, dual band compressor, line and instrument out, aux-in, headphone out, chromatic tuner… doubles great as practice amp.

Definitely is designed for a bassist, with gigs in mind (sound eng will love it).

Only cons it seems to have is pot visibility, easily fixed using some fluorescent paint, or gluing dots cut out of phosphorescent stickers.

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Looks awesome… but - I will tell you a lesson I learned from sound engineers:
The more knobs they see you have, the more skittish and distrustful they become. That’s why I always travel with espresso and small packages of candy.
That’s the way to make friends with a skittish sound engineer.


I have a hard time wrapping my head around the need for a pedal like this, honestly… there’s already EQ on your bass and your amp, the tuner display is much smaller than on a nice dedicated tuner pedal (like the TC Electronic Polytune 3, my favorite), and you’re stuck with one drive sound that you can’t swap around like you could with individual pedals.

I guess if you were running it as a preamp straight into a power amp or something, like a reviewer on Sweetwater is, it makes more sense… but I would rather save all that real estate and just run a tuner → compressor → drive into my amp.


Looks awesome… but - I will tell you a lesson I learned from sound engineers:
The more knobs they see you have, the more skittish and distrustful they become.

Heheh true… the thing with this one is you cannot screw, you set a master level and can tinker all you want, you won’t be screwing levels out of it.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the need for a pedal like this, honestly… there’s already EQ on your bass and your amp, the tuner display is much smaller than on a nice dedicated tuner pedal (like the TC Electronic Polytune 3, my favorite), and you’re stuck with one drive sound that you can’t swap around like you could with individual pedals.

For me the great thing is the dual band compressor and how is it engineered, provides a lot of flexibility, specially on stage.

The tuner does use all the unit pots backlighting to “cue” you into tuning, the display is only for EADG.

I think is good for the price too, even if you don’t use the active EQ (but could when using a passive bass) a quality compressor + another pedal will be more expensive, not taking into account the wet + dry XLR DI’s, line out, etc.

A review where all features are tested from a musician point of view:


Today I bought an old Dod FX84 compressor pedal, used. It’s in pretty good shape and came with the original box. I payed 30€ for it (roughly $40). It works perfectly and sounds pretty good. I like Dod pedals, they are always a little bit strange. In the case of the FX84, there is an unusual “hi exp” knob that controls an expander that acts only on the high frequencies. It works pretty well to control the agressivity when playing with a pick (and I do it a lot). The compression itself has a very wide range, from “nothing” to “way too much”. It’s relatively transparent, definitly not a studio compressor, but the tone and personnality of the instrument are well preserved, so that’s perfectly fine for me.

The seller has been really cool with me and he gave me a Behringer DI, not being sure it’s in working condition. I did not tried it yet but that could be good for me as the DI of my amp fried recently ! This DI has a cab emulation circuitry (that can be disabled), this might be interesting.

Fun fact : I remember I tried the FX84 at a local store when it was just released, back in the 90’s. It was the first model, the one painted like a cow (mine is the second model - different paint scheme but same circuitry). At the time I did not really understood what a compressor was made for.

here is the FX84 :

and the freebie DI :


I had totally ignored this type of pedal and now I wish I hadn’t. There’s a few combination preamp/overdrive/compressor/DI pedals now that look awesome. Primarily to me look great for running in to a DAI to provide tone shaping, however theoretically I guess if you were always playing places with PAs you wouldn’t even need an amp, just run out of their DI. Except for that hearing yourself part anyway :slight_smile:

Some look amazing for quiet practice too.

The two at the top of my list to look at right now are the TC SpectraDrive (basically, a SpectraComp, a TubeDrive, a BH550 preamp, a headphone amp with cab sim, and a DI all in a pedal), and the Ampeg SCR-DI (basically the same except instead of a compressor, it gives you tone options to sound like an Ampeg SVT.)

These would fix any problems with tone going in to a DAI, much like taking the DI out from an amp would. I am actually seriously considering the Ampeg, but that’s mostly because I already have a TC amp. Or will, when they fix it :slight_smile:


don’t know @howard … don’t you have a toneprint amp already ? (yeah I know about the 50hz issue but they will send you a working amp) not sure a Spectra Drive would do much more than the toneprint function ? if I understood well (which is not sure at all) it’s more or less the same thing ?

If I understood well, which is not sure at all, your amp could have a compressor function with the toneprint thing and that would be great. I have a TC Electronic Nova System (guitar multi effect) (which I never use, by the way) and this thing proves me TCE knows how to make digital effects well. This thing sounds impressive, really, and I’m pretty sure the Toneprint function is at least as good.

As you might know I’m a very big fan of the Ampeg sound. my bass amp is an Ampeg and when I do studio work I use Ampeg modeling. well, yeah, you’ve heard my Precision into an Ampeg on the covers, you know it’s my thing … but I’ve been pretty unimpressed by this Ampeg preamp. the sound routing is just weird, no real logic. it sounds OK but not very good, and I won’t spend much money for this …

Don’t know if it’s available worldwide but I have a Behringer BDI21 preamp, this thing is a copy of the BDDI, it costs almost nothing and sounds great. I modified mine a bit but even stock it was cool. For the price it’s a must have, I’m really not sure the pricey Ampeg preamp would not do much more.

just my 2 cents, 'hope it helps.


Yeah you nailed why I wouldn’t personally get a SpectraDrive myself - I basically already have one in my amp (whenever it gets back). But if I didn’t and were looking for this type of pedal, the SpectraDrive is a really solid contender.

Your opinion of the Ampeg preamp is super interesting to me though. Thanks for sharing that. The videos sounded pretty good to me, but I don’t have access to a real SVT :slight_smile:

The Ampeg runs about $150 used. Not cheap, but also not Darkglass or ToneHammer spendy either.

I have effects covered as well (Zoom B1on) and also have an active bass with lots and lots of onboard tone options. I don’t actually need one of these myself. All the same I kind of want one as I want a dedicated DI pedal anyway and they look fun for quiet practice (which I also have covered in several ways but a little tone-shaping preamp seems fun.)

And $35 for the BDI21 is incredible, yeah.


well at some point it’s a matter of taste but … it does not sound bad, but does it really add something interesting ? not sure … I personnaly think my $50 old Line6 soundcard sounds better, and at some point that’s a problem.

That’s the point, dear friend. what’s a “real SVT” ? Ampeg released a ton of versions year after year. To the purists, the real thing is the SVT-VR, which is some kind of heavily boosted B15. This thing is wonderful for clean tones. Then they released the SVT-CL, which is probably my favorite (works well for saturated tones). Then they released a ton of SVTs from rack-mount format to full solid-state (which I’d love to try because it could be my thing).

SVT is a range, not a model. I don’t know how anybody can claim that “this thing sounds like a SVT” as there are a ton of SVT sounds. I did not hear what is for me a “SVT sound” from the Ampeg preamp, but maybe it sounds like a SVT version I never heard. possible.

a no-brainer. this thing gives really good Ampeg sounds for almost no money.


Yeah that’s just crazy. Those guys are really nailing the “cheap but good” part of the market.

And thanks again for the detailed reply, your opinion is super helpful here.


I’m glad if it helps ! just my opinion anyway


It does help. I really like both the Ampeg and G-K sounds and the amp and cab modeling on my B1on is actually what got me thinking about this stuff in the first place.

What would actually probably be a good idea for me would be to just upgrade my B1on to a used B3n. I love the little B1on to death but it has one serious drawback that especially sucks for amp modeling - NO KNOBS. It’s super versatile but you basically have to edit the effects chains offline. The B3n fixes that by being more like three actual pedals with knobs.

The Zoom amp and cab models may not be totally authentic but they at least sound good. But not having live-tweakable knobs on an amp sim is just frustrating.

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yeah I’m more an Ampeg guy but I really like the old GK amps (those over-powered class AB amps … lovely :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: … one day I will have one, I promise !). never tried the current versions so I can’t tell about them.

at some point it’s a kind of religion, I know Fender/Ampeg works well for me so I’m kinda stuck with that. but there are lots of interesting stuff other than that. we’ll agree about Yamaha basses, and probably about GK amps. Darkglass are really great too but very expensive. (can’t affort that, and it’s hard to legitimate such prices)

maybe. I did not tried those models so I can’t tell much. what I can say is that for a model to another, there may be some noticeable differences. for exemple I own two Line6 modeling preamps : a Toneport UX1 and a Pod HD 500. The Pod HD 500 is more recent and waaaaay better (way more expensive too). But for some reason the Ampeg B15 modeling of the UX1 (with Pod Farm) sounds impressive to me. So I still use this really old and crappy UX1, that’s what you ear on my covers and I think it does not sound bad. Again a matter of taste, but to me this B15 modeling on the UX1 sounds freaking good, I love it. Not sure exactly if it’s the same thing on the Pod V1, V2, Bass Pod , Pod XT, Pod XT Bass … like the SVT there are so much version that it’s hard to know. so I keep this old crappy UX1.

I speak way too much. What I want to say is that you can’t be sure you’ll find the same sounds on a B3n that what you have with your B1on. Maybe it will be the same, maybe better, maybe worst.

My guideline : if your find something that sounds really good for your : KEEP IT.

we don’t care much about being authentic or not. when you record a line (again I’m a studio guy) you just want the thing to sound good.

yeah, sure. same with the old UX1. I have some presets and that’s fine, but again it’s for studio work. I won’t use a non-knob thing on stage.


Yeah that’s so true. Like, I would say the B1on might be the best money I have ever spent on gear, period. It’s sort of like the digital effects unit equivalent for what your BDI21 is to preamps. It’s something like $50 new (if you can still find them) and has a real mixed bag of effects; the factory combo presets are half garbage, but the individual effects are mostly really good. Plus a nice drum machine, tuner and looper. The only drawback of the thing is its crappy UI. So if I upgrade to get the better UI, it’s a gamble on the effects themselves.

A relatively safe gamble if I buy used, as they seem to hold their value, but still.

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if it sounds good to you, keep it :slight_smile: even if you switch to another unit with pots, this thing might be really userful in studio !