I’ve said this before and I’m not afraid to repeat myself: the best thing the brand can do to develop itself is to listen to their customers. I haven’t encountered a manufacturer that would suffer from such an attitude. Vice versa, those who listen to the opinion of guitarists, usually end up producing the units that everybody loves. The reason for that is twofold: firstly, they gain trust and loyalty by respecting the feedback, and secondly, they correct the mistakes they made in the past and the newer model turns out impeccable. That’s how Diamond Pedals did with their original Compressor. It was perfect for electric guitars and worked just fine with 4 string basses, but it was still limited in the low-end. It wasn’t capable of recognizing the frequencies off 5 and 6 string basses and, thus, it had a hard time maintaining the full body of the instrument. When they gained this information from their customers and incorporated all that knowledge in a new pedal. That’s how they created their first pedal that was dedicated to bass. Their Bass Comp corrects the mistakes made by its predecessor and delivers a performance that is virtually faultless. It provides us with many useful features and gives us the possibility to even out any inaccuracies in our sound. If you want to find out more details about this unit, then keep on reading!
Some of you might already know this, but I want to tell those who don’t: Diamond Pedals is a boutique company. This means that they pay a lot of attention to the quality of each of their units and try to be innovative, resulting in the products that are cutting-edge. Bass Comp is not an exception either. Its internal components are made out of high-end materials. For instance, it has a 2% polypropylene capacitors, 1% metal film resistors and a pro audio grade opamp. They don’t care about the price of the constituents if they know the quality will pay off with the end results. The part which defines the character of the unit is Vactrol opto-isolator variable resistance path (such a mouthful), since it determines the smoothness of the attack and makes sure the decay is gradual. It’s only natural that the body follows the same quality pattern.
What’s more, Bass Comp features innovative ‘tilt’ EQ. This means that you have the ability to choose the center frequency (this time the range is expanded to suit bass), around which the frequency balance will shift. It doesn’t simply boost or cut low or high end. When it boosts bass below the tilt point, the frequencies above the center point are attenuated. The same logic is applied to when trying to accentuate treble. It sounds a bit complicated but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it really easily. Bass Comp has true bypass circuitry, which means it won’t color your signal as it bypasses the unit. Keep in mind that it needs 18V of power in order to operate. In case that isn’t an option, Diamond has provided us with the capability to utilize 9V but only with red polarity reversing cable. Otherwise, the pedal might malfunction and we definitely don’t want to ruin such a good thing.
Bass Comp leaves that sophisticated character in the internal circuitry and does its best to maintain simplicity on the outside. The controls are laid out intuitively and surprisingly, we have only three knobs and a toggle to work with. If I’m being honest I expected way more, but once you get down to business, you realize that available controls do the job perfectly.
Let’s begin with Comp. It determines the amount of compression that is applied to your clean signal. Though we don’t have separate threshold control here, the pedal is sensitive to your picking intensity and the volume of the input, so you’ll get different results if you experiment with various dynamics. I’ve defined EQ already but I’ll tell you once again that as you rotate this knob counterclockwise, frequencies below the center point are accentuated, while the ones above are attenuated. The opposite happens as you turn it clockwise. The complementary toggle enables you to select either 250Hz or 900Hz as ‘tilt’ points. The final knob we have here is Vol, which determines the level of the overall output. It will help you accentuate your bass and make sure it’s audible in the mix.
After everything we have already discussed, it would be extremely illogical to have some major complaints in the sonic region. And luckily, the team in Diamond Pedals is sensible and they wouldn’t let such a thing happen. As a result, Bass Comp is pretty sophisticated and fancy in terms of tone as well. The only complaint you’ll hear about it is the lack of Blend control, which is more of nitpicking then the actual issue. The included package of controls has a dynamic range, which means it is more than enough for the purpose of this pedal. Comp encoder responds to the dynamics of your playing and generally takes an old-school approach. What this means is that the more intense the input signal is, the stronger the subsequent compression will be. EQ is one of the selling points of this unit, since it takes care of higher frequencies without removing them completely and, thus, always retains the body of your sound. The range of the compression itself is extremely wide – at lowest settings its almost inaudible, while at higher settings it will compress the hell out of your sound. On that note, take it easy and be careful!
Diamond Pedals Bass Comp is something you’ll definitely miss if you remove it from the rig. It mightn’t be noticeable at all times, but once you turn it off, you won’t like what you’re hearing. Don’t be surprised – bass guitars benefit from compressors too, especially with such high-end models as this one. If you’re willing to spend money on a quality product, this one could be an amazing choice. Good luck!
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