Bass OD and Compressor Recomendations for a novice.

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sgosdensgosden Frets: 218

Short;

 Any recommendations for a darkglass-esq Driver/Preamp/Di  &  a decent Compressor around £100-150 new/used?



Long;

 I've started a new project in which I'll be playing bass in a band (which I haven't done in a decade since I was in college), so want to build myself up a passable rig.

At home I just plugged the bass into a pocket POD to noodle, but that's not going to get near the sound I want for this band.

The studio we practice in I've been using the DI from a TC combo into the PA, which has been working ok. But I want a bit more.


I like the bass tone from the likes of 'Nolly' Getgood (periphery),  J-M Labadie (gojira), Amos Williams (tesseract). All use very simple (but expensive) Set ups.


I think what I'm after is quite a low ratio compressor to smooth out my erratic playing, and an OD to give me a bit of grind.

I'd love to feed an empress or Cali compressor into a B7K, straight into the PA. But I'm not made of money and don't want to throw too much in until we take off a bit.

I've played through the Boss ODB and don't like it, sounds too fizzy and like a chainsaw. I preffer something more... "Throaty"?

Any recommendations? new or used around £200-300 for both

am I better just to save and get the higher end stuff?


Also we're still months and months away from gigs so I'm not too worried on my own amp just yet / can borrow for a while.



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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 21445
    sgosden said:

    I've played through the Boss ODB and don't like it, sounds too fizzy and like a chainsaw. I preffer something more... "Throaty"?

    Any recommendations? new or used around £200-300 for both

    The ODB-3 is actually much more like a distortion than an overdrive and really isn't subtle, even with the clean blend.

    Try the BB-1X Bass Driver instead, it's *much* better, both in subtlety (it will clean up completely if you want, just to give a bit of harmonic content) and in 'naturalness' (if that's a word!). Although in the end I sold mine on as I wanted something more radical - FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz :). It can also be DI'd as it has a balanced Line Out jack.

    The LMB-3 Bass Limiter/Enhancer is also good and sounds more natural than a compressor on bass, in my experience. You don't have to use the enhancer bit if you don't like it.

    May be worth a try given their easy availability and reliability. You could put both and a TU-3 in a BCB-3 and still be under budget, I think.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 4214
    edited January 6
    Used B3K is in budget. However there's no DI on it, so you'll still need one. I personally also prefer it into a speaker sim for DI, but YMMV.

    I've had a lot of bass preamps in the past couple of years, maybe this rambling may be helpful (used with passive Jazz, recording focus) -

    Aguilar Tone Hammer DI - really like it but it doesn't do the tones you want. Good as a clean external pre or as a warm vintage sound (you can't easily switch due to volume mismatch). The higher gain is too loose for Periphery type tone.

    Boss BB1X - decent but I personally felt the Sansamp stuff did similar low gain better with more control, and massively preferred the ODB3 or Darkglass BxKs for high gain. The high gain is a little fuzzy.

    Boss ODB3 - love it personally but it is pretty full on, scoopy and fizzy. Needs a cab sim as too much high end.

    Darkglass B3K - This is the modern high gain bass tone in a box. Very easy to get the Periphery style bass distortion (to my knowledge on the albums it's B7K into impulse, with some more clean DI blended in for low end control)

    Darkglass B7K - as B3K with EQ and DI and parallel out. EQ points well chosen IMO.

    Darkglass B7K Ultra - as B7K with expanded EQ and EQ can be used with or without drive. No parallel out. 

    IME the drive sounds identical on all the BxKs with current spec, haven't used older. I prefer them with cab sim but they're fine without.

    Darkglass Vintage Ultra - A lot more mid forward and fat than the BxK range, I think it sounds better as a straight up DI (as in direct with no speaker sim) but the gain is much more 'rock' than metal. It is more throaty than the BxKs, if I'm understanding the concept. The smallest one has a different control on it, 'era' - I've not used it so don't know how much it varies from the switches on the VMT Deluxe/Ultra.

    EHX Bass Big Muff Deluxe - skip for your intended tones, too fuzzy and the mid gain tones don't have the grit of other pedals

    Hartke VXL Bass Attack - quite similar to BDDI/RBI but a little darker on the drive. The shape control is pretty extreme so may not be that useful. No way to disengage EQ as that's always on... cheap but compromised, better for one sound at a time. Pretty large. Has DI

    MXR M80 DI - Clean side nice, colour switch sounds like a clean BDDI/RBI type EQ. The distortion is pretty undynamic and a bit honky, but lots of gain. No way to disengage colour on clean blend side of distortion channel. Good value used but I wouldn't pick one over a Darkglass or Sansamp.

    Sansamp RBI - basically a BBDI with a mids control. I really like this for mid gain grit but for higher gain it is not as refined or tight as the Darkglass BxKs. Sounds very scooped on full blend, but just dial back blend to taste.

    Sansamp VT DI - lots of sounds in this, and a useable cab sim for DI. The tighter high gain sounds are very 'clanky' if that makes any sense. It can sound fatter than the BxK but I think the Vintage is tighter and more refined. Does a good bass amp impression.

    I don't really have experience with bass compressors as I've got a hardware 1176 clone/plenty of plugins.

    Long story short for Nolly tones you'll be happiest with a BxK, but you could look at the Vintage or Sansamp stuff for options. Nothing sounds like the Darkglass stuff though so if that's what you want then buy once/cry once 
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 302
    I have both Behringer Bass DI and the Hartke Bass Attack. Both sound good, but the Behringer is easier to get a good sound out of straightaway. I just got for a regular Ampeg-style sound, so no idea of drives.

    I used an Ibanez Bass Compressor years ago and thought it good. I sold it before I got my current setup 
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 218

    I think I'm going to try and get my hands on a second hand b3k to start with, and use whatever preamp DI is on borrowed amps. I'll keep my eyes out for a b7k, the new price is lots but if project gets some traction then maybe will go for it.

    I've heard a lot of good stuff about the MXR M87 so will look out for one of those .Maybe pick up a LMB-3 if there's one floating about for cheap enough. I've read that its actually ok if you leave the enhancer part alone, and that the compression goes from like 2:1 up to infinite, so is much broader than just a limiter. have also found a mark bass compressore for a decent price, though the size and power requirements are putting me off a bit.



    someone has also suggested getting a POD X3live ... though I'm not sure I can be assed with that much tweaking to get a useable sound. 

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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 218
    ICBM said:
    sgosden said:

    I've played through the Boss ODB and don't like it, sounds too fizzy and like a chainsaw. I preffer something more... "Throaty"?

    Any recommendations? new or used around £200-300 for both

    The ODB-3 is actually much more like a distortion than an overdrive and really isn't subtle, even with the clean blend.

    Try the BB-1X Bass Driver instead, it's *much* better, both in subtlety (it will clean up completely if you want, just to give a bit of harmonic content) and in 'naturalness' (if that's a word!). Although in the end I sold mine on as I wanted something more radical - FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz :). It can also be DI'd as it has a balanced Line Out jack.

    The LMB-3 Bass Limiter/Enhancer is also good and sounds more natural than a compressor on bass, in my experience. You don't have to use the enhancer bit if you don't like it.

    May be worth a try given their easy availability and reliability. You could put both and a TU-3 in a BCB-3 and still be under budget, I think.

    does it make much difference that the DI from the bb-1x is 1/4 as opposed to XLR?
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 4214
    No because you can use a TRS to XLR cable
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  • BluesyDaveBluesyDave Frets: 178
    EBS make a very good compressor that is Bass specific.
    No Darling....I've had that ages.
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  • BabonesBabones Frets: 592
    EBS multicomp is good. Rothwell Love Squeeze is also great and is dead silent.
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 218

    After a fair of reading / videos / and playing a few things in the local shop... I was going to wait for an MXR M87 and B3K to come up second hand..


    Then within the space of 12 hours I managed to sell a few bits that have been lingering for a while, which boosted my gear fund.. and an M87 and B7K came up for good prices...

    Seeing as a went round the houses for probably over a year messing around with different delays, instead of just paying out for the timeline I wanted... now I haven't looked at delays in almost 6 months, I've bitten the bullet and gone for the good stuff.

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 3422
    sgosden said:

    After a fair of reading / videos / and playing a few things in the local shop... I was going to wait for an MXR M87 and B3K to come up second hand..


    Then within the space of 12 hours I managed to sell a few bits that have been lingering for a while, which boosted my gear fund.. and an M87 and B7K came up for good prices...

    Seeing as a went round the houses for probably over a year messing around with different delays, instead of just paying out for the timeline I wanted... now I haven't looked at delays in almost 6 months, I've bitten the bullet and gone for the good stuff.

    Let us know what you think & how you get on with them..
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 7591
    The B3K has lower headroom than the B7K

    More drive on the 3 than on the 7, unless you max the 7 EQ and hit it with something like a compressor.

    Both awesome, just slightly different as they have different jobs.
    The govt is running like a well oiled Charlie Sheen.

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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 4214
    I don't remember that being the case at all. Give or take small adjustments (as there will be some variance in pots) all the BxKs I've had have been able to sound pretty much the same as drives.

    The 7 and 7U EQs are post distortion so won't affect the amount of drive, but the dip switches will.

    I've only had the latest spec ones so not sure if there's a difference with older ones. Or that it's just the low output on my Jazz that didn't drive enough to notice a headroom difference.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 4214
    edited January 9
    Regardless they're all pretty much plug and play modern distorted bass. You can't lose either way
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  • Ok I did test B7KU vs B3K last night, jazz bass currently with EMG J set.

    The amount of drive is pretty much identical.

    What was interesting is I couldn't exactly get the tone to match.  The B3K sounded a little bit beefier on the low end and the B7KU had a little more upper mid cut in comparison but sounded a little less big.  This is with blend 100% wet.  Compensating with the EQ got them closer but I couldn't get them to match.

    When I compared B7K (before I sent it back to get the Ultra) with the B3K I don't remember there being any difference and could get the units to sound pretty much the same.  Because of this, and because the B7KU sounded great when I first plugged it in, I never bothered to A/B again.

    I wonder if this is tolerance in the filters used for the attack and grunt switches?  Interesting none the less.  There's really not a difference you'd hear out of an isolated A/B IMO but I didn't expect to hear anything at all.
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  • sgosdensgosden Frets: 218
    sgosden said:

    After a fair of reading / videos / and playing a few things in the local shop... I was going to wait for an MXR M87 and B3K to come up second hand..


    Then within the space of 12 hours I managed to sell a few bits that have been lingering for a while, which boosted my gear fund.. and an M87 and B7K came up for good prices...

    Seeing as a went round the houses for probably over a year messing around with different delays, instead of just paying out for the timeline I wanted... now I haven't looked at delays in almost 6 months, I've bitten the bullet and gone for the good stuff.

    Let us know what you think & how you get on with them..

    a little while on from this -

    Loving the simple set up - M87 & b7k always on into desk, for main sound, and an output into a 15" combo for a bit of air moving in the room. I'll have to shell out for some bigger stage sound if we move to gigging any time soon.

    I'm still playing with the settings on the comp, I tend to need a bit more as my baby guitarist hands are getting tired after 4 hours of playing. but the darkglass is really simple to dial in, and the mid controls mean I can sit nicely in the mix with the guitar and drums. Beefing up the rhythm, but having noticed lines when needed  Im actually using a lot less drive than I had thought I'd need, so I can retain more of the note clarity, but it just gives the right amount of grit, so the low end isn't fuzzed up, but theres a nice 'clank' (strange description) on the higher register strings.


    Happy bunny. looking forward to getting some of the stuff we're writing onto tracks!

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