Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Eden WTDI: This is a preamp and DI, in pedal form, that also contains a compressor. The idea is to get the sound of an Eden amp in a very small package and a modest price, and generally it succeeds at that, at least for clean tones. Like the many other preamp/DI pedals on the market, it's also a good tool for getting a broader range of tones from your passive bass.
 
The compressor has only one knob, and just like most other one-knob comps that are found in a typical amp head, there is no way for a user to tell exactly what the knob does. Yes it increases the compression, but so does turning up the input gain knob. You might reasonably expect the comp knob to control the ratio, since input gain can control the threshold, but even with the comp knob at maximum it seems to have a fairly low ratio. It's really best at unobtrusive light-to-medium smoothing. If you want hard peak limiting or a fattening effect, this is not the one for you. It will certainly provide more extreme squish if you turn up the gain and comp knobs, but the tone and action become dark and muddy at that point. The hotter your instrument signal, the more it gets squashed and muddied, and of course the noise floor gets boosted some as well. But at the light-medium range, it does a really good job of evening out your signal without harming the tone at all.
 
The tone shaping section includes a simple three-band EQ, a mid-shift switch that changes the center frequency of the "Mid" knob, a bass boost switch, and an "Enhance" knob that boosts highs and lows (scooping the mids). Each of these controls offers a usefully wide range of results, and it's easy to dial in a variety of good tones. Most bass amps already have very similar controls though, so for a lot of people the EQ here will just be redundant. But if you use a setup that has no EQ, or an amp/effect that doesn't offer enough control over the mids, then this pedal will work well for you. Of course it's not as versatile as the extensive semi-parametric EQ found on Eden's heads or rack preamps.
 
The noise levels overall are quite low, but it's not totally noiseless. The inherent tone shaping (apart from the EQ) is fairly subtle, much less obvious than the coloration from other amp-simulating pedals like the Sansamps. The classic Eden heads contain a preamp tube and the WTDI does not, so that can make a difference in the tone when driving the input gain harder. Important to note, basses that happen to have especially high output can cause unpleasant clipping at the input stage of the pedal. If you want clean fidelity, you may need to turn down the level of your high-output instrument before it gets to the WTDI. If you normally have the bass knob of an onboard EQ cranked up, try turning it back down to no boost, and use the bass boost on the Eden pedal instead.
 
It has both unbalanced (instrument cable) and balanced (mic cable, DI) outputs. The DI is strong and clean; in fact the signal is the same level from both outputs. It can drive a PA-type power amp, however in order to do that you have to crank the master volume to maximum and the input gain fairly high--and this can easily result in distortion. I was not able to get adequate levels with a completely clean tone, though you may have better luck if your power amp has a low input sensitivity rating (like 0.7 to 1.0 V). Since there is only one volume level for both outputs, cranking the levels high enough to drive a power amp will mean that the signal from the second output will also be very, very high (line level), which will likely cause distortion in the venue's PA mixer or other gear you plan to use at the same time as the power amp. There are many ways to work around these issues, but you should be aware of them.
 
The construction quality is quite good, it has a rugged look and feel. It's about the same size as the Barber or Diamond "medium" pedals. It requires a 12-18V power supply, and it accepts either AC or DC. The footswitch is not "true bypass", and in fact its buffer boosts your signal level noticeably higher than unity gain; but it's a good clean boosted sound. The on/off LED is backwards from most pedals, it lights up when you bypass the effect.
 
Price in USD: $130 to $150 new, $80-$110 used
 
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