TC Electronic SpectraComp
The TC Electronic SpectraComp is the best bass compressor pedal for those who want unlimited customizable compression effects. This pedal syncs up with the Tone Print App and gives you access to many preset compression settings that you can tweak.MORE INFO
Why do you want the Best Bass Compressor Pedal?
If you want a cool effect for your bass, you should really try out the bass compressor pedal. It is definitely one of the more popular types of effects out there and all for a very good reason. It gives you a nice full warm sound and is one of those effects that is felt more than heard. In terms of bass compression goes it really brings out the low end and makes it more beefy and fatter.
If you really want to get technical, dynamic range compression is an operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds and brings up the volume of quiet sounds. In other words, think of compression as a squeezer on an audio wave that squeezes down the high end and squeezes up the low end. In other words, a compressor will even out your sound in that if you are playing too loud or soft.
Most bass compressors also have an output level knob, which increases the gain of the output signal. This prevents the bass compressor from making your audio too soft. So the idea behind this is, once you have compressed your original audio to soften the highs and boost the lows, you can re-amplify the entire processed signal once again to your desired output level.
A compressor pedal is usually made of both the bass and the guitar and sometimes a manufacturer will make one pedal for both instruments. We usually prefer standalone bass compressors because they are dedicated to handling the low-end range. However, there are definitely some exceptions.
Finding the best bass compressor pedal can be tedious because there are just so many out there that are good. Luckily for you, we have tested out many of the top brands on the market for you. We hand-selected our top picks based on taking into account performance, control options, sound quality, durability, and price.
Best Bass Compressor Pedal
- TC Electronic SpectraComp
- MXR M87 Bass Compressor
- EBS Multi Comp Bass Compressor
- Markbass Compressor Tube
- Aguilar TLC Bass Compression
1. TC Electronic SpectraComp
We think the TC Electronic SpectraComp is the best bass compressor pedal due to its ability to create limitless customizable effects. On the surface, it seems like the SpectraComp is the simplest bass compression pedal in the world. It just has a one-foot switch and one knob that mixes in the affected signal. However, when you start to peel the onion, you realize that this pedal has plenty of hidden layers of complexity.
The defining feature of this bass compression pedal is that it uses an app to dial in your desired compression settings. The Tone Print app syncs with an editor on your computer and the pedal and allows you to choose from a series of pre-set compression settings. If you want, you can even edit and create some of your own, either from scratch or by manipulating the presets.
With the Tone Print app, you can get the perfect bass tone compression sound that you want and fine-tune it to the dot. Of course, this requires some knowledge of sound engineering, but we are confident you can figure it out eventually. Finally, we believe the retail price point is just right as it is definitely affordable for the average bassist.
– Only one knob
– Syncs with the Tone Print app
– Completely customize the compression effect
– Very versatile
2. MXR M87 Bass Compressor
If you want the best bass compressor pedal that is just solid on all fronts, the MXR M87 Bass Compressor is the way to go. We love how the M87 comes loaded with output controls so that you can fine-tune your compression sound.
There is an input and output knob, as well as attack, release, and ratio knobs. This is also quite a lot of control over your compression sound. As a cherry on top, there is a series of 10 LED lights up top that show the gain reduction. This meter is quite helpful when dialing in the other adjustments and seeing how it ultimately impacts the compression. So basically, the MXR M87 is a 10 out of 10 in terms of functionality.
In terms of sound quality, we think it does a pretty standard job and gives you what a typical compressor should do. The tone ends up being fuller, warmer, and more fat. However, if you want more character and color to your tone, then you will need a tube compressor. Overall, the MXR M87 is a great basic bass compressor with good full-sounding bass and lots of controls to adjust.
– Loaded with controls
– LED lit-up gain reduction indicator
– Full warm fat tone
– Very functional
3. EBS Multi Comp Bass Compressor
The EBS Multi is the best compression pedal if you want a true dual-band compressor. This basically means that the pedal squashes highs and lows in separate circuitries. In other words, it will separately compress high frequencies and low frequencies. Then the two processed signals are mashed together and what you end up getting is a cleaner compression with a different sonic profile.
We believe that the EBS Multi is one of those pedals that if you play around with it you will never want to go back to a single-band compressor. Additionally, the controls are very easy and straightforward. There is a comp/limit knob, a gain knob, and a toggle switch in the middle that lets you choose between three types of compression types.
Setting up the EBS Multi is very simple. All you need to do is set the limiter, then the gain, and choose between Tubeism, Multi-Band, or normal. Obviously, we think the most interesting compression level is the multi-band level. It is where you get the most clean and interesting sounds.
– Multi-band compressor
– Easy and straightforward controls
– Smooth compression effect due to multi-band
– Durable and well built
4. Markbass Compressor Tube
The Markbass Compressor Tube is the best bass compression pedal if you are seeking fat warm vintage tones. If you want a tube compressor, the Markbass Compressor truly is amazing. For those who don’t know, tube compression uses different circuits than your standard optical compressor to control the gain reduction.
The result of this difference is that tube compression changes your sound more than optical compression, which sounds very transparent. The ECC 81 tube used by the Markbass gives you a fat vintage warmth that optical compressors cannot deliver.
In terms of controls, the Markbass Compressor definitely isn’t lacking in settings. There are six knobs you can tweak: gain, threshold, ratio, attack, release, and volume. These settings can really impact the character and tone of your sound. However, the most important difference between these pedals and the others is definitely the tube compression.
– High-end tube compression
– Fat vintage warm sound
– 6 control knobs
5. Aguilar TLC Bass Compression
The Aguilar TLC Compressor is another bass compressor that is quite popular in the bass community. It is a very solid and durable compressor that has great transparent compression. We really like the feel of the Aguilar. It is built solid and comes with all of the accouterments of a great bass compression pedal.
In terms of controls, the Aguilar TLC has four main knobs. There is a threshold control that varies from -30 to -10 dBu. A slope control from 1:1 to infinity. An attack knob that goes from 10ms to 100ms. And finally, the level knob which you dial into your desired output level. This is all pretty easy and intuitive to learn and tweak.
Perhaps the best part about the Aguilar TLC is the sound. It is definitely more on the transparent end of compression sounds, which is what many people want. Also, it has very low noise which is a lot better than most of its competitors. All in all, the Aguilar TLC is a great compressor pedal any bassist should add to his or her pedalboard.
– Nice transparent compression
– 4 solid control knobs
– Solid build quality and sound