Best Bass Compressor Pedal For Consistent Output; 2020 Top Of The Line

Do you want to take charge of your loud signals in the areas of smoothness, volume, and output boosting?

Are you on a hunt for the best bass compressor pedal that meets your production demands at your budget?

Just because not all the models on the market are good compressors for bass, on this page, I have recommended 9 powerful bass compressor pedals in 3 main categories namely;

  • For Active Bass
  • For Slap And Kick
  • For Passive Bass

I have also made short but interesting discussions on some of the hottest topics that are mostly thrown around bass compressor pedals.

First thing first. See below for my 2020 list of the 10 leading bass compressor pedals for bassists.

My A-List Of The Best Bass Compressor Pedals 2020

Best Bass Compression Pedals

  • Full Control; Empress Bass Compressor Analog
  • Best Value; Keeley Bass Compressor Limiting Pedal
  • My Best Pick; MXR M87 Bass Compressor
  • Best Analog; Electro Harmonic Bass Preacher
  • Beginners’ Choice; TC Electronics SpectraComp
  • Studio Choice; Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor
  • Vintage Compressor; Electro Harmonix Black Finger
  • Most Dynamic; Darkglass Hyper Luminal Bass Compressor
  • Random Pick; BOSS BC-1X Bass Compressor

A smoking hot list, right? See the breakdown of each compressor as illustrated in the reviews down below.

  1. Full Control; Empress Bass Compressor Analog

Coming first on the list is Empress analog-based compressor pedal with a wide spectrum of control over signals. It is a good fit pedal for both electric and guitars, highly recommended to experts and professionals for live performances in the club and on stages.

 

Also recommended for audiophiles, the Empress pedal boasts a wide control panel that is feature-packed with output gain control, release speeds control, attack speeds, and both out gain and input gain to add color to your signals. One more great option is that you’re able to mix up your raw signals with whatever signal is compressed and that allows for more creativity. Right? See the complete features of this pedal below.

Features

  • Frequency response; 40Hz to 35, 000Hz
  • Self-noise; -101dB
  • Output impedance; 2.2Kohms
  • Input impedance; 1.0Mohms
  • Input voltage; 9VDC to 18VDC
  • Required current; 100mA
  • Power input connector; 2.1mm barrel connector
  • Mix, attack, and release speed control
  • True bypass
  • 3 compression ratios; 10:1, 4:1, and 2:1
  • Input and output gain
  • 1 ¼” input jack
  • 1 ¼” output jack
  • Weight; 1lbs

Pros

  • Real-time metering of gains; output and input
  • The smooth and stable analog signal path
  • A wide range of frequency response
  • Transparent sound
  • A lot of gain reduction
  • A versatile pedal for all rigs

Cons

  • Can be too complex to handle for a beginner

 

  1. Best Value; Keeley Bass Compressor Limiting Pedal

If you want liquid warm tones from a sturdy bass compressor pedal whether a beginner or an expert, this is the pedal for you. Keeley Bassist limiting amplifier bass compression pedal is a workhorse compression system built into a keep-it-simple-stupid box with minimal control knobs to justle about.

Other EQ Effects Pedal (KBASS)

This pedal has a studio-standard VCA internal circuitry that enables it to produce super-clean, noise-free liquid warm tones. And the great thing is this, Keeley pedal is quite affordable even to the budget makers. Once you set it up for the needed signal peak volume threshold, simply dial in your compression ratio, and this unit will take it up from there.

Features

  • Release and attack timing
  • Maximum frequency response; 20, 000Hz
  • Dual-LED threshold indicator
  • Input impedance; 1Mohm
  • Output impedance; 100ohms
  • Input voltage; 9V
  • Required current; 50mA
  • Selfnoise; -95dbv
  • Output voltage gain; +35db boost
  • Compression ratios; 4:1, 6:1, 5:1, 2:1, and 10:1
  • Footswitch
  • Threshold
  • Compression and gain

Pros

  • Easy to control for beginners
  • A lot of compression ratios
  • Quality built-in limiter that protects your PA system
  • Noiseless high gain functionality
  • Ideal for heavy-duty usage in a live performance

Cons

  • Fewer controls

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. My Best Pick; MXR M87 Bass Compressor

For we audiophiles, we love to zoom in completely into the details of our audio production. So to speak, if you’re an audiophile hunting for that compressor that gives you more control over the final aspects of your signals, whether dry or colored, this MXR M87 is the holy grail.

MXR M87 Bass Compressor Pedal w/ 4 Cables

The MXR M87 bass compression pedal is designed with audiophiles in mind, offering a wide spectrum of compression ratios, attack, release, and gains in a sleek, white metal pedal. At first usage, it performs like VCA due to its clean hiss-free output but in actuality, this is a FET-based unit that has been supported with a built-in CHT (constant headroom technology) to offer a plenty headroom in a very clean way.

Features

  • Frequency response range; 20Hz to 20, 000Hz
  • Compression ration ratios; 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1
  • True hardwire bypass
  • 32db gain
  • Input impedance; 1Mohm
  • Output impedance; 600ohms
  • Selfnoise; -90dB
  • Maximum input level; +14dBv
  • Maximum output level; +8.5dBv
  • Attack time; 20-800nano seconds
  • Release time; 50ms to 1.1s
  • Power supply; 9V DC
  • 1 ¼” input jack
  • 1 ¼” output jack
  • Footswitch
  • Compression and limiting
  • Gain meter display

Pros

  • Dynamic and flexible
  • It packs a wide dynamic range of settings for your bass guitar
  • Reasonable frequency response range
  • Large display of gain metrics
  • One of the best compressor pedals with a great attack release ratio
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Sleek white and aesthetic

Cons

  • It doesn’t offer a straight configuration for beginners

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Beginners’ Choice; TC Electronics SpectraComp

Are you a beginner in this compression and effects processing game of a thing? This TC Electronics SpectraComp is a power-packed mini-compressor with just one rotary control knob for you to handle. The major works have been completed in the backend with high technology circuitries and an MD3 dynamics engine built right inside of the solid metal casing that will receive all the knocks you can throw at it over a continuous rough handling period.

TC Electronic SpectraComp Bass Compressor Pedal + (2) Instrument Cables + (2) Patch Cables + K&M Cloth

But here’s the downside. Just because you don’t have all the control knobs needed doesn’t mean that all the configurations are to be done on that one and only rotary knob. TC Electronics SpectraComp does, in fact, uses a software-based Toneprint app for all the needed control. And that becomes a disadvantage when you’re standing before an audience sweeping through your laptop or your mobile phone for control.

Features

  • True bypass
  • 1 ¼” input jack
  • 1 ¼” output jack
  • Die-cast metal case
  • TonePrint app
  • One-knob control
  • Multi-band marvel compression

Pros

  • Simple one-knob control for the beginners
  • Studio-quality compression
  • Deep dynamic editing on the TonePrint software
  • Solid die-cast metal casing designed for life on the road
  • High technology components for quality sounding
  • Tight, punchy attack

Cons

  • Making configurations on the TonePrint app may not be easy

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Studio Choice; Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor

If you’re making this purchase for your studio production, this is the best compressor for slap and kick in the studio. Seymour Duncan is a powerful studio compressor for both active and passive guitars.

Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor Pedal Bass Compression Effect Pedal

This is one of the best VCA-based bass compressor pedals infused with studio standard circuitries and internals for a punchy, clean low-end tone. It applies an almost equal simplistic approach like Keeley which I have reviewed previously, but this time, Seymour Duncan gives you 4 functionalities to configure as you wish. First off, there’s the compression control to craft the ideal compression ratio for your signal which is then ramped up or down via a volume control. Finally, you can decide the amount of color you want to add to your dry signal with blend control and after that, you get to set up the attack dynamically.

Features

  • Compression ratio range; 1:1-20:1
  • Attack speed; 27ms to 8ms
  • Maximum gain; +33dBu
  • Input impedance; 1Mohm
  • Output impedance; 2.75kohms
  • Selfnoise; -110dBu
  • Current usage; 21mV
  • Weight; 0.67lbs

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • One of the best compressor bass pedals for the studio
  • Powerful VCA-based compressor pedal
  • A lot of compression ratios
  • Punchy dark sound
  • A cost-effective compressor pedal for bass guitar

Cons

  • No meter display to stay a the surface of your setups

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Vintage Compressor; Electro Harmonix Classics Black Finger

The Electro Harmonic Classics Black Finger presents a professional classic portable compression in a dark toroidal transformer-based pedal with a full swing of 300V.

Electro-Harmonix Key 9 Electric Piano Machine , Power Supply included

This compressor pedal with its fantastic sustain will shell out a sweet and warm musical tone for your acoustic guitars and basses by allowing you to add more vintage color and distortion to your sound. Here’s a sneak peek of how it does its job. First, your raw signals are driven harder into the compressor so that they get broken up into choppy distorted sounds for better compression. And once compression is done in the two 12AX7 vacuum tubes, you can proceed to add volume and gains to suit your need. Yes, as simple as that. But the sound quality you get is superior to most other so-called best bass compressor pedals.

Features

  • Dual-tube compression; 1AX7
  • 300V full swing
  • Adapter; 12VAC/1000mA
  • Post-gain control
  • Pre-gain control
  • LED/LAMP switch
  • NORM/SQSH switch
  • Automatic gain control
  • Level LED
  • Status LED
  • Compress knob

Pros

  • Quality squashed profile
  • Clean normal profile
  • Stable dual-compression circuit
  • Tight pre-gain and post-gain

Cons

  • Not the easiest to use for beginners

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Most Dynamic; Darkglass Hyper Luminal Bass Compressor

Hyper Luminal is a 9V vacuum-based compressor pedal, highly dynamic for both active and passive heavy metal. In the same box, you get 3 distinct modes of compressions namely; SYM, FET, and BUS. If you’ve ever used Darkglass’s Supersymmetry 115 GeV compressor with your instrument, well, the SYM mode of this compressor is a representation of that oldie.

Darkglass Hyper Luminal Bass Compressor Pedal

The BUS mode, on the other hand, stands for Darkglass’s Solid State Logic Bus compressor. And finally, the FET is modeled after the very ancient 1176 FET compressor. All of these three modes can be activated one after the other on a stereo-like control that makes activation easier. And finally, you can adjust the amount of compression on each mode through 4 distinct ratios of compression and even time-schedule the attack and release features. Needless to say, Hyper Luminal Bass Compressor offers a blend functionality so you can mix colored and raw signals together on the fly. See the complete features, pros, and cons below.

Features

  • BUS, FET, and SYM compression modes
  • 4-level compression ratio
  • Output gain control
  • Blend
  • Current usage; 250mA
  • Gain reduction
  • 1 ¼” input jack
  • 1 ¼” output jack
  • VCA control

Pros

  • An authentic VCA/FET-based pedal
  • 3 compressors in one useful place
  • The first hybrid compressor in history
  • Easy to use gain reduction function
  • Real-time attack and release timing

Cons

  • Price at the top end of the market

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Random Pick; BOSS BC-1X Bass Compressor

The last on the list is BOSS’s BC-1X model. A premium stompbox featuring a professional level multiband compression that is controlled on the inside by a super-intelligent circuitry to create naturally beautiful sound in all styles.

BOSS Bass Compressor Guitar Pedal (BC-1X)

The selection of hi-tech circuitry enables this cutting edge unit to dynamically respond to a wide spectrum of registers, applying just the right amount of compression for every event in real-time. This setup ensures that you don’t end up with a muddy tone or have your signals over-squeezed. Whether you’re looking for a punchy, high precision compressor bass in the studio or you’re a live performer on the lookout for a dynamic unit to make transparent and powerful heavy tones, this baby here won’t blow a hole in your wallet.

Features

  • Buffered bypass
  • Input impedance; 1Mohm
  • Output impedance; 1Kohm
  • Nominal input level; -120dBu
  • Working voltage; 18V
  • Current usage; 90mA
  • 9V batteries required
  • 9V adapter
  • Weight; 1lbs

Pros

  • A sophisticated multiband compressor pedal
  • A noise-free effects processing pedal
  • Punchy, clean sound
  • Natural compression
  • Quality pedal built to last

Cons

  • Not for you if you prefer true bypass over buffered bypass

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

  1. Best Analog; Electro Harmonic Bass Preacher

If you don’t want to wrap your head around the details of controlling a highly sophisticated pedal as a bass guitar player, this is for you. Electro Harmonic Bass Preacher is another powerful bass compressor pedal that takes a minimalistic approach toward compression processing.

TC Electronic Bass Compression Effect Pedal (SPECTRACOMPBASSCOMPR)

With just two rotary knobs and a footswitch toggle to get your hands on, Electro Harmonics Bass Preacher allows you to decide how much compression you want via a responsive sustain knob and then you can balance the overall signal volume ratio on the volume control knob. Finally, the footswitch attack toggle enables a 3-level adjustment namely slow, medium, and fast so you can decide when the compression is to kick in.

Features

  • Maximum gain reduction; 21dB
  • Current usage; 33mA
  • Includes a 9V battery
  • True bypass
  • 3-way attack; slow, medium, and fast
  • 1 ¼” input jack
  • Attack footswitch toggle
  • Input impedance; 450kohms
  • Sustain and volume
  • Current usage; 33mA
  • Red activation signal light
  • Selfnoise; -10dBu

Pros

  • Warm and rich definition high
  • Simple and intuitive control interface for beginners
  • Solid construction made to last
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Limited features

Click Here To Check Price On Amazon

 

Finally, as promised, see below for my discussions on the hottest topics about the best bass compressor pedals.

Guitar VS Bass Compressor

There’s no much of a difference between the two, actually. They both perform the same function of compression. Think about the fact that Tony Levin uses a guitar compressor (Analogman Juicer) for his bass and that the majority of guitar players use the MXR M87 bass comp, which is, of course, a bass compressor. Nevertheless, though not a silver lining, the compression or release ratio of bass comps are pretty higher when compared to that of guitar compressors. Besides, it’s useless to have a low compression ratio bass comp in the real sense.

Why Do Bassists Use Compressors

Why Do Bassists Use Compressors

Let’s get this straight from the bottom up. The sole purpose of compressors is to squeeze and compress the dynamic range of a signal, reducing the volume passage space of bass signals so that your signals come out boosted having passed through a slim passage. So the reason bassists use compressors is to balance out dynamic playing styles like a slap or a kick, add a smooth glassy tone, and make the bass signal punchier to the listener. At the bottom line, bass compressor pedals will help you create a lot of headroom for your listeners. This is especially important for a stage performer or a studio producer. So if you’re asking what does a compressor pedal do for bass or is a bass compressor necessary, there you have it.

How To Set Up Yor Bass Compressor

how_to_set_up_your_bass_compressor

So, suppose you were going to give a handful of bass compressor pedals a position in your chain, what is the best position? The first. Yes, that’s right because you want to have the compression done right off the bat of your bass before adding other effects. Nevertheless, there are some specially designed bass compression pedals that are highly dynamic enough to be placed anywhere in your chain. But in my own opinion, the best place to always put your compressor pedals in a chain is right next to your bass.

Conclusion

Bass compressors are a must-have in the rig of every bassist, and most especially for the modern bassist. They simplify the process of boosting your raw bass and even allow you to create dynamic tones. But choosing from the tens of brands and the hundreds of models on the market may turn out to be daunting. To make it a walk in the park, I have handpicked, suggested, and reviewed some of the top quality models available at your budget. I can only hope that you’re finally able to decide on which of them is the best for your needs.

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