Bass Compressor Pedals | 8 Best Compression Pedals for Bass 2018

Top 8 Bass Compressor Pedals

What is a Bass Compressor Pedal?

Bass compressor pedals are effects processors that reduce the dynamic range of the input signal, meaning that the natural dynamic inconsistencies that are apparent in any bassist’s playing are reduced. A bass compression pedal is useful for both live performances and within a recording studio environment.

Analogue vs Digital Bass Compression Pedals

Bass compressor pedals have traditionally used analog circuitry, and whilst most still do, as it provides a very natural sounding compression, the advancements in digital audio emulation have been exemplary, and therefore some pedals such as the Boss BC-1X actually uses digital circuitry as it’s known to reduce static noise that is caused by the analog circuitry.

However, for some, this noise creates a depth to the sound and adds character. I advise that you take a look and listen to all of the video demonstrations that we’ve supplied following each processor review.

What Does a Bass Compressor Pedal Do?

As we’ve previously discussed, a compressor pedal for bass guitars will help limit the dynamic range of the input signal, outputting a more limited signal.

The outputted signal is determined by a number of settings on the interface itself, which the user can adjust accordingly; There settings usually specify the upper and lower dB range of inputted signal to which if this is surpassed, the signal will either be boosted (if it’s lower than a certain dB level) or limited (if it’s louder than a certain dB level).

The style of music played will also play an important factor into determining the level of compression applied, with styles such as Pop/Rock being renowned for over-compressing.

These bass compression processors are usually used alongside other bass effects pedals, i.e bass octave pedals, but are placed further along in the signal path, to compress the overall signal after all other effects have been introduced.

When to Use a Bass Guitar Compressor Pedal

These pedals are typically used within a live performance setting, allowing a band to gain a balanced sound, with all instruments using compressors. Although these processors can be used within a recording studio, they are usually not, since every studio will have rack-mountable compression units which provide ultra high-quality signal compression, suitable for most instruments.

So let’s get to it, what are the best bass compressor pedals of 2018?

Best Bass Compression Pedals of 2018

MXR M87 Bass Compressor Pedal – Buy on Amazon – Editor’s Recommendation

Boss BC-1X – Bass Compressor – Buy on AmazonEditor’s 2nd Recommendation

MXR M76 Studio Compressor – Buy on Amazon

MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal – Buy on Amazon

Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor Pedal – Buy on Amazon

TC Electronic SpectraComp Bass Compressor – Buy on Amazon

Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Bass Compressor – Buy on Amazon

EBS Sweden AB EBS-Pedal-SE-MC Bass Compression Effect Pedal – Buy on Amazon

 

MXR M87 Bass Compressor PedalEditor’s Recommendation

Features
  • Lightweight Bass compression processor with true bypass
  • Sleek and Stylish aesthetics, with White Casing and Cool Blue LED when Compressor is Active
  • Durable aluminium chassis and stompbox
  • 10 bright LEDs to represent gain-reduction status
  • CHT (Constant Headroom Technology) for clean compression
  • Features an array of interface controls, with parameters for the following : Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and Output.
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 0.9 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Constant Headroom Technology which represents an internal voltage doubler so when the pedal power supply is plugged in, the voltage doubles from 9v to 18v, providing clean headroom.

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

Boss BC-1X – Bass Compressor Editor’s 2nd Recommendation

Boss BC-1X Compression pedal for bassists

Features
  • High quality multi-band digital compressor with intelligent circuitry
  • Very durable outer metal chassis
  • Range of controls, stomp-box on/off, compression level, release, ratio and threshold allowing the player to adjust settings to the micro level
  • 12 LED light for visual compression display
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 1.27 pound
  • Dimensions :5.8w x 3.5l x 2.5h inches
  • Powered on 9V battery

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

Features
  • Lightweight compression processor with true bypass
  • Durable aluminium chassis and stompbox
  • 10 LEDs to represent gain-reduction status
  • CHT (Constant Headroom Technology) for clean compression
  • The unit has interface controls for the following signal parameters : Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and Output.
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 0.9 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Constant Headroom Technology which represents an internal voltage doubler so when the pedal power supply is plugged in, the voltage doubles from 9v to 18v, providing clean headroom.

This processor is suitable for someone looking for a compressor which can be used on both guitar and bass. However, if you’re looking for a dedicated bass compressor pedal (which is highly likely) then take a look at the MXR M87.

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

MXR M102 Dyna Bass Compression Pedal
Features
  • Lightweight compression processor
  • Durable aluminium chassis and stompbox
  • Simple operation with only two variable filters: Output level and Sensitivity level
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 1.15 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.8 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor Pedal

Features
  • Low noise compressor/limiter pedal
  • Sleek black outer casing
  • Versatile sound with three-position mini toggle, blend knob, attack, compression and level knobs
  • Can help provide a mid-boost or low-end boost to cut through the mix
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 0.67 pounds
  • Dimensions : 2.6 x 5.0 x 1.5 inches
  • VCA Compressor powered by 9v battery

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

TC Electronic SpectraComp Bass Compressor

TC Electronic SpectraComp Bass Compression Processor

Features
  • Based on same multi-band dynamics engine that’s featured in the TC System 6000; Providing a natural sounding signal compression across the frequency spectrum
  • Single Knob functionality – For ease of use
  • Comes with ‘Tone-Print’ (free app and editor available for PC, Mac and iPad) to create customisable compression settings
  • True Bypass
  • 3* Year Warranty
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : Unknown
  • Dimensions : 1.9 x 3.7 x 1.9 inches
  • Powered on 9V

This particular pedal only has one knob for compression settings, which makes it very easy to use for beginners, but somewhat limiting for more experienced technologically minded musicians.

Although, the device comes with what TC Electronics call ‘Tone Print’, providing endless compression combinations that can be accessed by the free app and editor.

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

 

Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Bass Compressor

Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Compression Pedal

Features
  • Compact compressor designed specifically for Bass, by bassists
  • Tough, die-cast outer chassis
  • Attack toggle controls the timing of compression activation – Fast, Medium and Slow
  • Volume and Sustain Controls
  • True Bypass
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : Unknown
  • Dimensions :2.75w x 4.5l x 2.1h inches
  • Powered on 9V

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

EBS Sweden AB Compressor Pedal
Features
  • Multiband analog compressor pedal
  • Analog circuitry with higher dynamics and lower noise than previous versions
  • Highly compact in size
  • True Bypass
Technical Specifications
  • Weight : 1.0 pound
  • Dimensions :5.0w x 3.5l x 2.0h inches
  • Powered on 9V battery

For a demonstration of the processor, take a look at the video demonstration below:

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