So I picked up a Keeley compressor yesterday...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Telephonic, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Telephonic

    Telephonic Tele-Meister

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    ...actually a used Keeley. After 30 years of playing I can't believe I haven't tried one out until now.

    Initial reaction was wow, that's a great tone. I started out with sustain at 9:00 and the level at 12:00 (slight boost) and it wasn't too squashed but rather added a nice even tone that just sounded well...professional. I played chords, licks, triad riffs with and without it and it just won out each time.

    I'm very happy with it (more happy I didn't pay full price but still might have now!) One thing I really like is that I don't have to work so hard at playing, which usually ended up as fret buzz. I can play a bit more relaxed, and this is a good thing because I am typically a heavy handed player, so passages and leads just got smoother.

    Clean passages were crystal clear and chimey and with an OCD thrown in with the neck pup it was downright bluesy, real nice. I read somewhere that with solid state rectifiers, a compressor can give a bit of "sag" that came only with tube rectified amps. I'm not sure if that's what I heard but it did seem to thicken up my amp in a non muddy way. Hard to describe.

    Another area where this thing shines is with .8th delay palm muted riffs. It brings them out in the mix effortlessly. I ended up leaving sustain at about 9:30 and level at around 12:30...perfect subtle addition to my tone.

    Anyhoo with all of the compression discussions lately I just thought I would throw in my "positive" experience.

    Scott
     
  2. BWNadeau

    BWNadeau Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for the info - I have been considering a used one myself, but I heard they can have some nagging quality issues.
     
  3. Al Watsky

    Al Watsky Tele-Afflicted

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    I used a Keeley 2 knob for a few years. Love it, nothing but good stuff to say.
    I haven't had a compressor on my board for about a year. Miss it.
    Had been using a MXR script from the 70's for decades the Keeley kicks its butt.
    Miss my compressor , need to find a spot for it on my mini board, space is "very" limited.
     
  4. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

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    I've never heard of these issues.... What are they?
     
  5. Big Smokey

    Big Smokey Tele-Holic

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    I use a Keeley Compressor two knob professionally, for both live and sessions. It is almost always on. It has been on my board for almost 10 years. Never a problem, always great tone.
     
  6. zoppotrump

    zoppotrump Tele-Afflicted

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    i´m using a keeley 2 knob comp for years now and i have retty much the sam settings:
    sustain 9:30 level 12:30 just to get my sound a touch fuller.
    it is always on, would replace it in a minute...
     
  7. BWNadeau

    BWNadeau Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been perusing a lot of reviews on different compressors over the past few days, and every review page always has at least one - usually more - users who comment that they've had to return their's for function issues - not much more detail than that, and whether it's true or someone slamming I can't say. I'm certainly not slamming - I am looking at a deal on a local one, and was glad to hear of the op's positive experience thus far.
     
  8. dmarg1045

    dmarg1045 Friend of Leo's

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    I bought a used two knob several weeks ago. It is excellent. Using approximately the setting you mentioned, btw, it sounds great with my Vibro Champ.
     
  9. sheltone60

    sheltone60 TDPRI Member

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    I own a pair of the two knob Keeley Compressors. I've used one of them on each of my boards for the last 5 to 10 years and have NEVER had a problem with either one of them.

    I highly recommend them and, like others have mentioned above, I leave mine on all of the time at the 9ish and 12ish settings. It really becomes a tone tool at that point, smoothing out the sound, but doesn't destroy your ability to play with dynamics either.

    As I rely heavily on an amp's power tube overdrive, I ride my guitar's volume control quite a bit. What always impresses me is how you can have the compressor on, roll off volume on the guitar, and get a clean sound with which you can hear everything perfectly.

    Good stuff.
     
  10. BWNadeau

    BWNadeau Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad to hear it - I'll probably grab the one that's listed here and try it against the CS-2 I just bought to decide.;)
     
  11. Impulse

    Impulse Tele-Meister

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    Once you roll the volume knob off, you get way below the comp's threshold so it'll function as a clean buffer pre-amp. Kind of like what an active pickup does.
     
  12. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Some great info here. I just bought mine a couple months back and still dialing it in to the sweet spot which seems to be pretty much the same as everyones comments. Just curious what order/sequence everyone places it on their boards? I've read that comp's should typically be near the front of the effect chain, especially not after fuzz or od. I have 2 od pedals....a tubescreamer and and xotic ac+ and I've been trying it before both, and also in between with the ts first. I'm not picking up a huge difference but I seem to favor the comp first. Any thoughts or comments/tips appreciated
     
  13. daveIT

    daveIT Tele-Holic

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    I've tried a bunch and keep going back to my old Boss CS-2.
     
  14. Jethro

    Jethro Tele-Afflicted

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    Bump
     
  15. Stylemaster

    Stylemaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm getting a used 2-knob one at a good price. I've always been curious about this pedal. It's one of those things so many people have had and seem to have put to good use, especially country Tele players, so it's always been on my radar. I've only used a compressor briefly - I got a cheapie Behringer at a trade show for free and it was always too "squishy" for me. Maybe I didn't understand how to use the settings, but there was no point on the attack knob that didn't noticeably attenuate the the initial signal, in a bad way.

    I did read a post from a member on another forum that implied that people use compressors (like the Keeley) to make up for their amps' shortcomings. What he wrote was that his amp was so good that he didn't need one. I hope that I don't use it that way and wind up ignoring the fact that one or all of my amps might need work by my tech (new tubes, speaker, tweaking, etc.). I've been holding out on that stuff because of money - and instead I buy a new pedal (somewhat impulsively)! I hope this wasn't an unwise choice.
     
  16. TheBigKevDogg

    TheBigKevDogg Tele-Meister

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    I have a two knob and it sounds absolutely great. One thing to remember about the 2 knob is that it has the same controls as the 4 knob, but two of them are on internal trim pots. I had to adjust the input gain on mine as it was distorting from the high output of my pedal steel guitar's pickups.
     
  17. swleamon

    swleamon Tele-Holic

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    I would love to do a side-by-side with the Keeley and the Barber.

    I have been using the Barber as an always on (essentially) sustainer on my dirt channel/chain. It's perfect for that.

    However I got a script DynaComp for my clean channel and at times I love it and others it is irritating. I can never set it and leave it. I have to reconfigure it per guitar and per volume. It is very sensitive to many factors. When it's dialed in it does it's thing. And has that sound that we've heard on countless records. Yet it's a very fickle box.
     
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