Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Aphex 720: The "Dominator II" is a three-band limiter, meaning it divides your signal into three frequency ranges and applies limiting individually to each range, then mixes the three bands back down to one. It's a line-level rack unit which can operate in mono or stereo. The "722" model has an additional feature for stereo applications, that I have not tested.
 
It seems like it should be ideal for a bass rig, since many bassists don't want a lot of compression, they just want the bigger spikes leveled; and multi-band processing is typically more transparent, as only the offending frequencies get reduced. However the reality is this unit doesn't sound good. It is an effective limiter, but it distorts badly whenever you cross the threshold.
 
Further, the lows are rolled off, and the tone overall just sucks. It's like the low mids are gutted and castrated. After a few hours of tweaking knobs, I was able to find a setting that almost didn't suck, but it involved turning the low EQ up to max, and the high EQ down to 9:00, just to get a tone that resembled my original signal. The one good thing about this unit is it is very quiet, almost dead silent.
 
I actually bought two of these units, one last year and one now. The one last year sounded equally terrible, but I dumped it without writing a review because it looked rough cosmetically, so I figured any distortion I heard was due to it being old and abused. This one I have now is in pristine condition, and it sounds just as bad. It is from 1995, so maybe it just needs calibration, but the fact that two in a row sounded equally horrible for me means I'm not going to invest any more money to find out.
 
Price in USD: $150-$350 used, no longer available new (but it was well over $1000 new).
 
or on Amazon
 

 
 
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