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MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal 

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Take your favorite studio compressor to the stage with the MXR M87 Bass Compressor. A complete array of controls-Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and O...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The power of a studio-grade compressor in a compact stompbox.

Take your favorite studio compressor to the stage with the MXR M87 Bass Compressor. A complete array of controls-Attack, Release, Ratio, Input, and Output-makes it easy to fine-tune your sound, from subtle peak limiting to hard squashed compression effects. Its CHT Constant Headroom Technology gives you plenty of headroom and clear performance.

The totally transparent M87 Bass Compressor allows your full dynamic range to shine through until your signal reaches the compression threshold, which is indicated by the ten highly visible gain-reduction status LEDs. It's all packed into a durable, lightweight aluminum-housing pedal that's the size of a Phase 90.

FEATURES
  • CHT Constant Headroom Technology for clear, clean performance
  • True bypass
  • 10 gain-reduction status LEDs
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MXRM87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal
 
4.1

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

77%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (11)
  • Excellent sound quality (11)
  • Responsive (10)
  • Versatile (8)
  • Good selection of effects (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (10)
  • Performances (10)
  • Home studio (9)
  • Outdoor events / games (7)
  • Professional recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Lot Of Control In a Small Package

With great control comes great power...or something like that. And while I was never able to get a terrible sound out of this unit (and I was trying to, just to...Read complete review

With great control comes great power...or something like that. And while I was never able to get a terrible sound out of this unit (and I was trying to, just to see), I could get some effects that were definitely on the excessive side. If you want to use compression as an "effect", you can get that.

But that's not what I was looking for, I wanted something transparent. And if that's what you're looking for, you do need to have an understanding of the basics of compression and how attack and release times, along with the threshold and ratio controls all work together. The manual does a fair job on explaining these concepts, and there's a ton of material out there if you want to read it. Just know that if you are new to anything other than 1 or 2 knob compresors, you're going to need to spend a little time learning how to drive this box. But once you get it, it's hard to give up the additional control the MXR Bass Compressor gives you.
During the course of an evening, I'll play with my fingers, a pick, and slap every now and then. I needed something to level things out without choking the life out of the sound. One of my bands has also moved to in-ear monitoring, so I knew I definitely needed some kind of sonic "gate keeper".

I've been looking around for a while for a compressor pedal for bass, as carrying my full rack was a little impractical for some gigs. The EBS Compressor was close, but it didn't allow enough control for my taste. When I saw that MXR had come out with a 5 knob unit, I knew I had to try it.

One of the biggest features I miss on most compressors is being able to adjust the ratio. For me, this is huge, and can make the difference between controlling the sound, or killing it. That, along with having access to the attack and release times allowed me to set up the sound I needed in about 5 minutes. A little more tweaking on the first gig, and it's been good to go.

Having LEDs to show actual gain reduction is a HUGE help on setting this little animal up. Plus, who doesn't love a few more flashing lights on their pedal board, right?
I've been buying MXR products since the late 70's, and all of those pedals are still running! When I buy a stomp box, no matter what, it's got to feel solid under my feet. The latest family of MXR Bass effects absolutely meets that requirement (I'm using their new octave divider as well). Solid connections in and out, metal knobs, and nice bright LEDs. And the bypass switch...it's my idea of what a switch should feel like. I remember reading a review of an MXR pedal in the 80's, and the reviewer commented that the feel and click of the switch was positive and satisfying..."like stepping on a cock roach!" I'm happy to report that feature is still alive and well in the current products.

One additional feature that should be mentioned is just how quiet this compressor is. I use active basses into an X2 (pre Line 6) wireless, and then hit the compressor as the first effect on my board. I can say that I can't hear any additional noise contribution from the MXR pedal. I'm not running an insane amount of compression (maybe 5dB of gain reduction), so your mileage may vary.

Changing the battery is a little cumbersome for those who still power their pedals that way. I've got Voodoo Labs power on all of my boards...so this is a non-issue.

The only (and I mean only) thing I'm missing on this device is a low pass function. That is, a selectable crossover point as to what the compressor is affecting. But hey, that's another knob and another switch, and more real estate.
I don't know of any other bass compressor out there that packs what I consider the equivalent of a 2U rack mount compressor into a pedal and maintains what I consider to be great quality. I've used a number of different rack mount compressors (dbx, Symetrix, UA). All great units with their own sonic signatures. But for bass, it's hard to beat the MXR unit.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointed

I had this pedal for a little over a year. Just before the warranty ended, the pedal stopped working. I sent it to Dunlop and they were very responsive, helpful, fixed the...Read complete review

I had this pedal for a little over a year. Just before the warranty ended, the pedal stopped working. I sent it to Dunlop and they were very responsive, helpful, fixed the pedal and sent it back to me (explaining it had a bad board). Three months later, the same thing happened and the manufacturer warranty is over. Maybe I just had the string of bad luck, but I won't go back to this pedal again and will search for another one. When it's working, you get great control over your tone. The other draw back is that this pedal won't pick up certain passive instruments (typically cheaper Basses).

Reviewed by 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-17

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(21 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Lot Of Control In a Small Package

By Austin Ken

from Austin, Tx

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

With great control comes great power...or something like that. And while I was never able to get a terrible sound out of this unit (and I was trying to, just to see), I could get some effects that were definitely on the excessive side. If you want to use compression as an "effect", you can get that.

But that's not what I was looking for, I wanted something transparent. And if that's what you're looking for, you do need to have an understanding of the basics of compression and how attack and release times, along with the threshold and ratio controls all work together. The manual does a fair job on explaining these concepts, and there's a ton of material out there if you want to read it. Just know that if you are new to anything other than 1 or 2 knob compresors, you're going to need to spend a little time learning how to drive this box. But once you get it, it's hard to give up the additional control the MXR Bass Compressor gives you.
During the course of an evening, I'll play with my fingers, a pick, and slap every now and then. I needed something to level things out without choking the life out of the sound. One of my bands has also moved to in-ear monitoring, so I knew I definitely needed some kind of sonic "gate keeper".

I've been looking around for a while for a compressor pedal for bass, as carrying my full rack was a little impractical for some gigs. The EBS Compressor was close, but it didn't allow enough control for my taste. When I saw that MXR had come out with a 5 knob unit, I knew I had to try it.

One of the biggest features I miss on most compressors is being able to adjust the ratio. For me, this is huge, and can make the difference between controlling the sound, or killing it. That, along with having access to the attack and release times allowed me to set up the sound I needed in about 5 minutes. A little more tweaking on the first gig, and it's been good to go.

Having LEDs to show actual gain reduction is a HUGE help on setting this little animal up. Plus, who doesn't love a few more flashing lights on their pedal board, right?
I've been buying MXR products since the late 70's, and all of those pedals are still running! When I buy a stomp box, no matter what, it's got to feel solid under my feet. The latest family of MXR Bass effects absolutely meets that requirement (I'm using their new octave divider as well). Solid connections in and out, metal knobs, and nice bright LEDs. And the bypass switch...it's my idea of what a switch should feel like. I remember reading a review of an MXR pedal in the 80's, and the reviewer commented that the feel and click of the switch was positive and satisfying..."like stepping on a cock roach!" I'm happy to report that feature is still alive and well in the current products.

One additional feature that should be mentioned is just how quiet this compressor is. I use active basses into an X2 (pre Line 6) wireless, and then hit the compressor as the first effect on my board. I can say that I can't hear any additional noise contribution from the MXR pedal. I'm not running an insane amount of compression (maybe 5dB of gain reduction), so your mileage may vary.

Changing the battery is a little cumbersome for those who still power their pedals that way. I've got Voodoo Labs power on all of my boards...so this is a non-issue.

The only (and I mean only) thing I'm missing on this device is a low pass function. That is, a selectable crossover point as to what the compressor is affecting. But hey, that's another knob and another switch, and more real estate.
I don't know of any other bass compressor out there that packs what I consider the equivalent of a 2U rack mount compressor into a pedal and maintains what I consider to be great quality. I've used a number of different rack mount compressors (dbx, Symetrix, UA). All great units with their own sonic signatures. But for bass, it's hard to beat the MXR unit.

(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

MXR M87 Bass Compressor Pedal - Best Bass Compressor pedal in my opinion!

By Rick Everly

from Greensboro North Carolina

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

Normally I do NOT write reviews on products I buy but this one deserves it. The YouTube videos and demo's don't do this justice until you try it for yourself. I have been waiting to try this thing since it was announced at NAMM. Once again, you CAN'T fine tune compression to fit YOUR sound without having these controls (in my opinion) Other pedals force you to accept "their" compression settings with minimal flexibility. The M87 is the most flexible bass compression pedal I have found. FINALLY someone got it right. MXR did it with a great price and NOT a pricey "boutique" company.
I play multiple instruments and this review is strickly about my opinion of BASS Compression. I'm an avid rack mount compressor kind of guy. DBX 160 and 1066's to be exact. (reasonably priced with great sound) It's what I've always used on stage. With having to gig so many different stages and backline recently, I dedcided to build my ultimate pedal board so I can have MY sound with any rig. Carrying my rack full of gear is no longer a convenient option. Every Comp pedal I tried just over "squished" my signal too much for my taste or destroyed my tone. Trust me, I'm not a tone head, I even use wireless. But I am picky about my compression. Some pedals sound "ok" in low volume situations, then you get on stage at full volume and imediately realize you've made a mistake. Even the dual band pedals were coming up short. In my opinion you can't acheive proper compression for different basses without having control over attack, release, ratio, input and output! Period! The M87 has these controls so I had to try it. I AM BLOWN AWAY by the M87. It works better than any of the other pedals I've tried. The LED lights also seem to be accurate and aid in the setup. This pedal works for any style I play so far. I leave it on all the time so my fav setting is 4:1 with fairly low attack and release. Of course input and output is to taste for each instrument. I try to keep it in the -5 to -7 range for "alway's on" use. 8:1 is awesome for smooting out the "tapping style" (in my opinion) The true bypass is awesome. No noise or hiss and absolutely NO coloring when off. Very clean sounding. When playing a "slap style" it doesn't kill your high end tone like most pedals. It gives you all this control in a tiny basic MXR pedal size. Awesome when trying to keep pedalboard size to a minimum. A very versitle unit!
MXR tank built of course. The controls seem to be solid and not weak feeling at all.
All the features at this price is amazing!

(5 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Nice but needs hot input

By Snake-Lj9wb

from Henderson, NV

See all my reviews

Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

This is a nice sounding compressor but it needs a hot signal to drive it. I have a Fender Jaguar bass with DiMarzio Area J pickups and when they are wired in parallel they have just enough power to activate one light on the compressor when I'm going at it hard and the input is maxed. I had to run my bass through a preamp pedal just to get the compressor to work and now I have to turn two pedals on and off. This is the first pedal I've had this kind of problem with.
It has everything you need that I can think of. The meter is a very handy feature.
Seems pretty solid.
For this price, it should work well with all basses.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great addition to any rig!!

By Ben

from Warren, MI

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

    This compressor was exactly what I needed in a compact pedal for my board. It's kind of amazing actually how effective it is for how small of a unit it is. The versatility makes it great for recordings or live shows and to get any sound out of it you need. I play a BTB 6 string so I needed overall compression and it makes any run from Low B to high C smooth and consistent. I was a little hesitant because of the price, but it has more than paid off in it's worth and effectiveness.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Pedal. Easy to Use

    By Sgtdawg17

    from Lafayette, LA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Good Selection Of Effects
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

      This compressor is easy to setup using the supplied instruction manual. MXR has a step by step guide that explains what each knob does and how to set them. Within a few minutes, I was slapping away. The volume from finger style to slap is almost the same. The best part is, if I forget to disengage the when I go back to finger picking, it doesn't affect my signal in any way. Great compressor.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A MUST! buy!!!!!

      By Ben

      from Warren, MI

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Nothing

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Performances

      Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

      I plugged this into my bass rig and immediately it came alive! I am using a Ibanez BTB 676 through a GK 700RB and GK 4x10 and I needed something to even out my runs from Low B to High C.

      From bottom to top the sound is even and crisp and clean and just great. If you are arguing with yourself because of the price like I did, once you buy it, all your doubts and arguments will quickly cease. BUY THIS PEDAL!!!

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love it!

      By Peter Tambroni

      from Chicago

      See all my reviews

      Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

      Sounds great and can be tailored to every situation.
      This is my first compressor. I am a fan of MXR but did a lot of research before buying it. Everything can be tweaked and the led display is indispensable. Highly recommended.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Doesn't last. Not worth the price.

      By Josh

      from Montana

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Short lifespan

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio

      Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

      I used this pedal about 45 gigs for 18 months. Never stomp it (finger push when needed). The thing looks brand new now. Completely dead 6 months past warranty. I see others have experienced the same.

      Nice pedal $200+ is too much for 45 gigs of coddled treatment and then broken.

      Find something heartier!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      SURPRISINGLY GOOD

      By Tom

      from Houston

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact Design
      • Excellent Sound Quality
      • Responsive
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

        I was surprised at how good this unit worked.
        I originally bought it to use at rehearsal, to smooth out my bass sound.
        But now I'm using it live, on the pedal board.
        My Hartke has built it compression, but this is far better. For a pretty modest price.
        Very impressed with MXR.

        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        most effective not affective

        By shhhhh shhhhhhhhh

        from noneofyourbusiness

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Good Selection Of Effects
        • Responsive

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Performances

          Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

          likely the best in the market for a very specific function that won't alter or color your tone in a bad way. You won't be able to tell it's working until you're in a live setting so don't trip if you're at home playing at low vol it's not going to be noticeable.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The best of its kind.

          By DrBob

          from Portland OR

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

          By far the best bass compressor I have ever used. Very versatile. When driven hard it also one of the best bass overdrive pedals I have used.

          This is a full featured compressor so take the time to learn how it works and read up on compressors. It is worth the effort as this sounds way better than any simple 1 or 2 knob pedals.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Real Nice Compressor

          By G$

          from Chicago, IL

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • Responsive

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

            Really nice compressor. I definitely appreciated the simplistic instructions included from Dunlop/MXR. A few minor tweaks and I was up and running. The input knob is a little too sensitive for my taste. Adjusting the Ratio knob beyond 8:1 is not necessary. When switching between active and passive basses you obviously will need to make some adjustments to the pedal. Overall very pleased.

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Disappointed

            By Bass Phantom

            from Seattle

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Good Selection Of Effects
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

            • Breaks Easily

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio

            Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

            I had this pedal for a little over a year. Just before the warranty ended, the pedal stopped working. I sent it to Dunlop and they were very responsive, helpful, fixed the pedal and sent it back to me (explaining it had a bad board). Three months later, the same thing happened and the manufacturer warranty is over. Maybe I just had the string of bad luck, but I won't go back to this pedal again and will search for another one. When it's working, you get great control over your tone. The other draw back is that this pedal won't pick up certain passive instruments (typically cheaper Basses).

             
            5.0

            Excellent Compressor

            By Art

            from Jackson MN

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • Excellent Sound Quality
            • Good Selection Of Effects
            • Responsive
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Performances

              Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

              Does exactly what it's suppose to.

               
              4.0

              Performs as expected!!

              By Patty

              from Denver, CO

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • Excellent Sound Quality
              • Responsive

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

                I have used this daily with no issues, or problems!

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Fragile. I'm surprised at MXR...

                By judonerd

                from chicago

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Versatile

                Cons

                • Breaks Easily

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

                Started acting up, and from what a pedal tech is saying, the power supply supply rail failed on me. Seems like there are a lot of cheap components crammed into this thing. Unfortunately, the size of the pedal may be a factor in its so-so reliability.

                 
                5.0

                Nice Pedal

                By MDuncan

                from Dracut, MA

                About Me Experienced

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact Design
                • Excellent Sound Quality
                • Responsive

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Performances

                  Comments about MXR M87 Bass Compressor Bass Effects Pedal:

                  Great pedal, best compressor stompbox for it's price range. Compression is a must if you play metal like me!

                  Displaying reviews 1-17

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