Low watt amps and compressors

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by DannyStereo, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have mostly 15 watt, EL84, Vox/Marshall styled amp. I do have a Bassman style amp with 6L6S that is my ‘headroom’ amp.

    My question is simple - is anyone using compressors with similar, low watt amps? I mean, the 15 watt range compresses and breaks up quick on the dial...

    If you ARE using a compressor, which one and why?

    Discuss!
     
  2. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I have a 68 custom Princeton reverb - 12 watter, bassman tone stack.

    I use compression sometimes. Mainly for increasing sustain on leads. I like compression on rhythm sometimes as well, especially cleans, but I find the squish can make it muddy with this amp. However, I've just added an eq pedal in the mix, so i'm expecting to be able to compress more liberally now.
     
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  3. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have mostly sub 5 Watt amps. Single ended ( 6V6 and 6p14p ) and push-pull ( ECC99, 6n6p and 12AU7 ) and use a compressor with all of them. While the amplifiers all naturally break up and compress, the sound of a power stage compressing is different to the sound of a compressed signal being fed into the input stage. I set the compressor to 'barely there'. Attack and level are at noon on the clock face, with sustain being set to 1:30 in 'hour hand' representation. It's subtle, but to my ears, it brings, or highlights, some sparkle and helps bring out the individual notes. I are do be wording bad trying to put what I hear into coherent sentences. It's particularly noticeable, for a subtle effect, with the wound strings. Clean playing with a plectrum brings a wonderful, near piano tone as the decay of the note is brought up a little. Chords don't smoosh, and there's little to no squishiness, just a sparkle to the proceedings.
    I notice when it's off, not when it's on. I guess I'm used to it.
    It's a Behringer CL-9 Compressor/Limiter.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I no longer use a compressor. When I got a wireless rig and went out into the crowd, it immediately got sold. Sounded great standing right in front of the amp. In the crowd it was super compressed, notes with soft edges, mushy and percussive. Haven't used one in 10 years.
    If I was a bridge pickup player mostly maybe that would be different. But I'm 90% neck pickup player.
     
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  5. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the responses y’all. For reference I play several guitars, mainly modern worship but occasionally I play out with some old friends in Seattle (think early 2000s alt rock/indie).

    amps are:
    - Bad Cat Cub II 1x12 Combo, stock Cat speaker
    - Bad Cat Cub II Head with matching 2x12 cab, stock Cat speakers
    - Fender Pro Junior IV, stock Alnico Jensen
    - Port City Dual Fifty Head into a 1x12 loaded with a Weber Silver Bell.

    Guitars are:
    - Gretsch 6120-DSV with TV Jones pickups (Classic Filter’Tron bridge, P-90 neck)
    - Gibson Les Paul Classic with TV Jones Classic Filter’Trons
    - Paul Rhoney Lil’ Stinker (P-90s)
    - Kauer Arcturus (P-90 bridge in Jazzmaster casing, Jazzmaster neck)
     
  6. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Bump?
     
  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have stopped using compressors when I went low watt.
    I am after a great full clean tone 99% of the time and with high wattage amps it was hard to get it at sane volumes without a comp.
    I get the most amazing clean tone out of low wattage amps without a comp.
     
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  8. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    I use gentle compression almost always on. CS-2 or CS-3 into Orange Tiny Terror and Vox AC15C1.
     
  9. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a boss cs3 but I usually use if for a special effect to get that 80’s compressed/chorusy sound. Wattage of amp does not matter. I’m not conditioning cleans with it. My 5w amps - they compress naturally if ran well enough.

    The CS3 is a very versatile pedal imho. It can do really subtle but can really get obvious and squashy. The tone control is a real bonus if using it as ‘better’ clean boost.
     
  10. macatt

    macatt Tele-Holic

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    I do a similar thing;
    very subtle compression. It gives me a bit more of a sophisticated sound similar to what I get in a studio. It's really only noticeable when I switch it off. I like to run it at about 3 db above unity gain and push the amp just that much.

    I turn it off for a few certain things that I need to be very clean with zero amp push.
    We mic everything through a nice large system playing live.

    S Mac
     
  11. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a CS-2, always on, set for subtle compression through a blackface Bassman combo with an Eminence Maverick dialed back to help control my volume, and to get a hint of compression out of the amp also.
     
  12. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I use a Digitech Main Squeeze with my Blues Junior. It's mainly for playing rockier solos or prior to running it through some OD to give a bit of a thicker sound on crunchy rhythm.
     
  13. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for all the responses guys. Had a rehearsal last night and I tried compression on all the time, no compressor, etc (I have a Mooer Yellow Comp) with a Fender Pro Junior IV. I liked the compressor on for clean tones, gives it that ‘pushed’ clean I like, and I was really purposeful about turning it off when I engaged dirt. I think I like that method the best, instead of comp always on or always off.
     
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  14. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I used to run, as my always on pedal, a bbe orange squash or whatever it's called. Great compressor for the money. I was using a 22 w DRRI. Since I started using my 12w tweed deluxe clone at gigs I found that I don't need it. The amp has no shortage of compression on it's own. I even bought a much more expensive compressor thinking that the cheap bbe just wasn't cutting it but the bbe actually sounds just as good, if not better, I just don't need one with that amp. Took me a while to accept that I don't NEED to run a compressor all the time.
     
  15. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I like using compressors though with some low wattage amps I use them more as boost pedal than to control dynamics. My favorite compressor is a big box Origin Effects Slide Rig. I usually leave it on all of the time. The older model had two channels so one could set up a rhythm and lead channels, so it's easy to set one channel as a safety compressor while the other channel is set for major squash and sustain. What I like a compressor for is to get more articulation with my dirt and fuzz pedals down the signal chain. For low wattage amps I will sometimes switch to an ancient MXR Dyna Comp. I used to rarely used compressor pedals until I got an older Slide Rig a few years ago.
     
  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    You know I never really got sustain out of my comps,
    mostly that plunky detailed artifact.
    Chicken picking time.
    But, hey, that is me..
     
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  17. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I go back and forth. I tried it before drives. After drives. No compressor... and it’s hard to describe what I’m hearing other than it sounds more ‘polished’ when I have it on.
     
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  18. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for this great, informative thread.
     
  19. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, played at the Oregon Jamboree this past weekend and I left the comp on the entire set. We played outdoors, and through my amps it sounded really great to be able to open them up a little and then hit it with a little compression, drive, Delay, and reverb.
     
  20. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell Tele-Meister

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    I use a Boss CS-3 with my Blues Jr mainly for a clean boost.
     
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