Keeley Compressor...not impressed too?!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Bassman1, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    So, I've decided recently to build a separate pedalboard for my bass instead of using the same big one for bass and guitar. I have an Xotic SP compressor that I use for guitar, and I love it. I've used it on bass before too, and it really just sounds killer. Granted, the settings must be adjusted much differently between the two. Since this would require taking the SP off the board and messing with the internal dip switches, I decided to just get a different kind of compressor and experiment.

    So, my thoughts were to pick up the coveted Keeley Compressor Plus! I figured it would either sound great for my bass, or it would sound killer on guitar and I could use the SP just for my bass instead.

    I spent some time fiddling with settings last night and...I am not impressed! I was really surprised by this because there is so, so much hype around this pedal. And, I know that Keeley makes fantastic A Grade products. But, the compressor introduced a slightly amount of dirt to my tone both on guitar and bass. This was especially true when I used the humbucker setting (guitar has passive humbuckers and bass has active humbuckers).

    No matter how much I messed with the gain, compression, blend, etc., there was still a slight dirt on the signal with that pedal alone. I A/B'd with my SP, and this just wasn't the case with the Xotic. Am I the only one that has experienced this??? It feels almost blasphemous to instantly reject the Keeley Compressor Plus haha.

    Anyways, I'm not really looking for advice. I just figured this would be fun place to talk about this experience. If you're curious, my initial game plan now is to sell the Keeley and my Boss Bass OD that I no longer need. After, I think I will either pick up the Darkglass Hyper Luminal, Seymour Duncan Studio Bass, or Keeley Bassist. Those seem to get killer reviews.

    Happy gear experimenting!
     
  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    My first ever compression pedal is Xotic SP, and like you it has ruined other compression pedals for me. I never got the Keeley one though. But I spent a fair penny on a Pigtronix that was disappointing, I've tried MXR and Boss, two famous and widely used classic guitar compression pedals. It's no contest. Xotic SP by a landslide.
     
  3. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    That is a good way to put it. That Xotic may very well have ruined the compression game for me! Side by side, it just sounded so much more transparent and even-keeled.

    We'll see how the shopping goes for a bass compressor. If all else fails though, I might just get another one for my bass!
     
  4. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    try the Cali76 Compressor for Bass.
    Origin effects
     
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  5. Baelzebeard

    Baelzebeard Grinder of strings

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    What are you trying to get from a compression pedal? Stating the goal might get you more focused advice.

    For nice, transparent compression I have been happy with the Empress compressor on bass. I didn't like it on guitar though. It was too transparent, and it turned out I wanted something to sweeten/color the tone a little.
     
  6. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    What are your "bass" settings on the SP Comp? That may give you a bit more insight as to what features you might like on a dedicated bass compressor such as slow vs fast attack, blend control, high cut, transparency vs noticeable squash, etc.

    You might also just try and trade the Keeley Comp+ for another SP since they're pretty close value-wise :shrug: I totally understand wanting to try something different, though.
     
  7. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    I’ve meesed with a few including the Keeley and the empress has always been my favourite by far. But i haven’t tried the cali76.

    To be honest I really didn’t gel with the keeeley at all. But I only had a couple hours with it.

    I think the transparency of the empress is why I like it. I’m in the camp of , if you can hear the compressor working then it’s too much. But there’s no right or wrong. It’s all what your ears like.
     
  8. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    I had borrowed the Xotic SP compressor from a co-worker, but could not get a sound that I liked out of it. That could very well be user error though since I was trying to compress a slightly dirty "pushed" sound.

    Fast forward a few years and I got a Keeley compressor plus. Again, there is so much hype around the pedal. I have heard people say that everything just sounds better plugged into it with the knobs at noon. Again, I could not seem to get anything I liked out of it on six strings, seven strings (humbuckers or split to singles), or on my basses.

    I got a DarkGlass HyperLuminal after seeing a Rabea video on it. I am still experimenting with it. The Symmetry compressor setting on it is my favorite so far. I am really going to focus on playing a cleaner bass sound on it to see what I can get out of it. So far I like it better than the Keeley and better than what I remember of the Xotic SP. I figure that if I cannot get along with this one, I just need to stick with compressors for mixing and mastering and leave it out of my effects chain.
     
  9. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    I have the keeley, for me I put it before OD in my signal chain and that is before amp. Knobs started at noon and in humbucker mode. From there I will pull back the clean/full, to my ears is the gain you are talking about. I have this around 10 o clock, then I use level to make the on/off the same volume.I find this to be a great compressor, but it can get dirty with some settings.
     
  10. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    I guess I just have a hard time seeing how it is any more useful than a one knob boost. A boost is more linear in terms of sustain vs noise. I am still using the HyperLuminal (again, probably more as a boost than anything else), but am still not really hearing the advantage of squashing the transients. I get that a good compressor is supposed to be fairly colorless and be subtle, but all I ever felt like I was getting out of the Keeley was some dB of hiss to my sound.
     
  11. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Thats the only comp I’m actually kinda wanting to get. For guitar.
     
  12. Bassman1

    Bassman1 SS.org Regular

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    I definitely hear a more even, fatter tone on my clean channel with my Xotic SP compressor on. With bass, I also heard much of the same with far different settings.

    I guess it's all about what you're going for and what you're hoping to achieve with it. For my purposes, the Keeley just wasn't doing it.
     
  13. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    It's the best piece of gear I own.
     
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  14. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Did you try leon's 1176 settings in the fm3? /Thatguy
     
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  15. Eyelessfiend

    Eyelessfiend SS.org Regular

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    The SP is a fantastic comp. I absolutely loved it for guitar. I switched to a Deep Six for a bit cause I felt I needed more range. Now I run a Boss Bc-1x for my bass and downtuned guitars but its super subtle. No doubt have to get another SP in the future.
     
  16. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    No but I certainly will. I’m wanting it for the real pedalboard though. Maybe. The board already has enough shit on it and I’m about out of space.

    80882313-9657-44CC-8C00-CBB6F9E3F2D9.jpeg
     
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  17. Gtan7

    Gtan7 SS.org Regular

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