TC Electronics SpectraComp

Key Features

  • Studio-quality multi band compressor – perfectly tuned for bass
  • TonePrint enabled
  • Ultra-small footprint

Street Price: $99

My bass player, Ethan Byrd, had been complaining about his compression pedal for a while. He was displeased with his overall sound. As I was talking with TC Electronic about some new product they had coming out. They introduced me to the new SpectraComp and asked Ethan to give it a try.

TC has been using the SpectraComp multi-band compression algorithm in their RH series and BlackSmith bass amps for years. Now, they’ve taken that compression design and dropped it into an ultra compact pedal and added their amazing TonePrint technology. Since he installed it on his pedal board, I’ve been really pleased with Ethan’s tone. I asked him some questions to get his opinion…

What was the first thing that impressed you about the SpectraComp?

The size and simplicity of the SpectraComp was the first thing that really impressed me. It has a lot of functionality inside, yet it saves me a lot of space on my board.

What have you done with the TonePrint option?

I’ve used several different tone prints since I started using the SpectraComp. Connecting the pedal up to a computer opens up even more possibilities. Once I settled on a tone print, I was able to tailor my sound even further using the tone print software.

Have you landed on a setting you like best?

For the time being I’ve settled on a modified tone print that I like. For the most part, I’ve been running with the knob between 25 to 50% just depending on what I want to hear that day.

Do you make changes during the set? If not, in what application would you imagine you’d make changes?

When it comes to compressors I’m usually a “set it and forget it” type. I may make a few minor changes during the start of a set but that’s about it. In the setting I play in I don’t need to make to many changes however if you are trying to cover a lot of different ground in a single set, the tone print option would help out tremendously.

How intuitive do you find the SpectraComp?

The pedal is fairly intuitive to me, having only one knob makes changing on the fly very easy. The tone print option makes changing settings very easy also without ever touching the pedal.

If you were to A/B the SpectraComp with your old compressor, what would you hear as difference?

The SpectraComp has a much cleaner sound than my last compressor; the multi-band compression helps to not lose a lot of tone while trying to keep a specific range from getting out of hand.

Where is the compressor in your signal chain?

I’ve got the compressor 1st in my chain right after my tuner, I haven’t settled on placement just yet but for the time being this has been a good location.

Do you ever turn it off?

Since I built my current settings, I haven’t turned the SpectrComp off, it’s a pedal I can set and never touch for the most part.

I love trying out new gear! I’m so glad we live in this era of technology… new options coming out continuously to feed our search for the right tone. TC Electronics has proven year after year to continue to create the “right stuff.” With a miniature footprint to go along with it’s $99 price tag (MSRP $148.50), the SpectraComp covers a LOT of ground for bass players.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.