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Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer

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The Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer lets you balance the overall output level to get consistent, stable-sounding bass lines across the wide dynamic range of the instrument. For fine-tuning, the Boss LMB-3 has a threshold level control, as well as a ratio parameter that gives you much more flexibility in limiter level adjustment. To add more clarity, power, and presence, use the enhance control for a punchy sound that cuts.

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Many companies offer compressors in stomp boxes; howevever, for the price of a Boss pedal no one even comes close to the quality and durability. Typical Boss design--all metal case, very hard plastic knobs, rubber kick plate on top so your toe won't slip off when you're trying to actuate the pedal, non-stick rubber bottom. Runs on 9v battery or AC power via a "wall wart" plug.

This compressor has factory set Attack and Release times. You CANNOT adjust those parameters on this pedal like you can on some of the more expensive pedals and rack units. Even so, the Attack on this pedal is long enough that your attack (string pluck, pick, slap, or pop) is allowed through and you get a nice punchy thump on your note attack. The Release is factory set at a good, short time frame also allowing the compression to die quickly enough for you to play fast and still have each note get that fat, punchy attack.

The range that you get for your ratio is incredible! You can go from 1:1 which is NO compression to Infinity:1 so that every note regardless of how hard you play gets compressed. The downside of using compressors is that your playing dynamic suffer a little bit. If you like to play some things soft and some things loud...well...if your ratio is set too high, everything will come out the same volume. The Threshold on this pedal has a wide range also so that you can go from EVERYTHING crossing the threshold (and, thus, receiving compression) to only the MOST aggressively played notes crossing the threshold (so that your playing dynamics are largely left intact and you get almost NO compression on your playing). Having a high threshold setting will allow you to keep most of your playing dynamics (for example, while finger plucking) and then having compression tame the wild note attacks during aggressive playing (for example, slap style playing).

The Enhance knob acts an a frequency exciter to boost your treble a bit (after your signal has been crushed by compression) before sending it to the amp. This allows you to avoid sounding muffled and lets you keep some of the bright clarity in your sound to add definition to your notes. It helps you avoid sounding muddy and muffled and lets those higher freqs (like the ones that give you a good punch in your sound) come through. The Enhance can add a bit of hiss to your signal if it's turned up high. It's no more than the hiss that electric guitarists often have in their sound (especially if they use alot of effects). Once you start playing, you can't hear that hiss anymore. Still, just excpect to hear some hiss in your signal if you turn Enhance up beyond about 9 o'clock.

Beyond all that, this pedal can act as a bit of a volume boost too. The Level knob on this unit controls the OUTPUT level (not the input Gain) of your signal. With the right settings you can get the Ratio and Threshold to work together with the Level to provide you with a distortion-free volume boost!

In my opinion, EVERY electric bassist who wants to sound like a professional needs to have EQ and compression on their bass sound. How you EQ and how much you compress your signal is up to you and your sound engineer (if you have the pleasure of working with one)--but you NEED these 2 controls on your sound. By nature, bass is overpowering and lacks definition and needs to be tamed and shaped. Chorus, Flange, and Distortion are all fun effects to play around with on bass but you NEED a Compressor. BEFORE you toss money at all those wierd, fun, sexy effects--spend your money on EQ and compression.

I'm 100% pleased with the performance of this Boss pedal. Yes, I could get a better compression pedal (Markbass Compressore for example) but I'd pay nearly 3x the price of a Boss. Boss pedals are fairly inexpensive and are VERY durable! If you're just starting out as a performing bassist, don't make much money from playing, or are on a budget, I highly recommend the Boss LMB-3 compressor. Yes, they call it a Limiter but it's really a peak limiter when you crank the ratio up to Infinity. At lower settings it acts more like a compressor (and, yes, it adds sustain). A high quality compression pedal for a very competitive price!
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.I love this compressor. It's Boss bullet proof and does what many other compressors fail to do for a bass... you can actually hear the upper range of the bass (notes, not all of the harmonics and click for us low-action guys) in a loud band without blasting upper mids and having to put up with all of that click and snark. I have been playing for 28 years and have used compressors from high end studio rack units, digitals, optos, etc... and been dissatisfied with more compressors than I can remember. The Boss LMB3 Rocks! You get a fattened mid and high note range and it keeps a leash on the bottom end all with good transparency. Some of the reviews complain about hiss using the enhance feature. Keep in mind that it enhances whatever is in the high end treble range, so if you're sending it noise, it will enhance it. The workaround is good electronics and cables or just don't use it since it is silent (i.e. recording silent) when the feature is turned down. My only complaint is that this thing eats batteries so a power cable is a must, so it gets a 4 for features.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.If you understand how a limiter works, those controls are straightforward. Set the Threshold knob to a level where you want volume peaks to be dampened (you may need to experiment). Then set how strong you want your limiting. A 1:1 (full left) on the Ratio knob is no limiting, while infinity:1 (full right) means that, once the volume hits your threshold, the volume isn't damped, but shelved; it never gets any louder.Enhance is a simple knob that noticeably changes your bass tone, but understanding it requires a bit more background. Essentially, it boosts selected harmonic overtones, so that a muddy or sloppy bass tone becomes crisper, with more oomph at the bottom end. You can just turn the knob till you get a sound you like, which I find is in the 9-o'clock to noon range on the dial.The limiter is subtle and does just what it should. If you set the Threshold low and crank up the Ratio, the sound can get a little wobbly as it tries to keep up with the peaks, but at any normal setting it does what it's supposed to do. The enhancer works well too, but if you turn it much past 2-o'clock, it starts to get hissy as it brings out high-level overtones and the associated static. It could use a limiter indicator light for when it's damping peaks, but otherwise it works great at all but the most extreme settings.Overall, it helps crisp up my single 15" speaker (without tweeter) on the combo amp, and reduces sloppy sounds from too many dynamics. I run it through my amp's effects loop, not inline with my bass input, and I put it at the end of the effects chain to even out any sound bumpiness that gets introduced. I'm not a particularly good bass player, so I need what help I can get. The LMB-3 does it for me.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.I bought this a few years ago and did not have a need to use it much so it's been in a box since that time. I got it out this week to try as a boost pedal for a short bass solo for our next week's service. I had never thought to use it in our worship center before since this is the first bass solo I've done there. I adjusted the tone knob to add some more high end for the solo. The tone sounded so good, the band leader told me to leave it on all the time and use my volume knob on my bass for the solo boost. It overcame the mushy sound I have been complaining about from our PA sub-woofer and makes the bass sit better in the mix. The bonus is that it helps level out the volume between the different strings. It has moved from my storage box to my bass gig bag.Volume, Tone, Threshold & Compression ratio controls
Built like a Boss because it is one.
Hard to get the benefits I've received for less money.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.This pedal is awesome. It lets the full, essential tone of my bass come through in my live rig in a way it normally only shines in recordings. It also smooths out the extremes of my playing when I really dig in at times during live performances. It is affordable, intuitive, effective, and built like a tank (It is a Boss). Every bassist should use a compressor at the front of their live rig unless they have a built-in compressor in their amp already. My amp and Boss overdrive pedal sound like a new rig after adding this little pedal.

To respond to some repeated complaints I have seen in these reviews:

- The people who say this is not a compressor must not have read through the manual. It clearly describes the functions and controls for the compressor side of the pedal as well as the enhancer. It just doesn't say "compressor" on the pedal. The controls for compression ("ratio" & "threshold") are very responsive, and the built-in settings for "attack" and "release" are exactly how most people would have them set for common usage (unless you are trying to get an overly compressed tone as an effect). Don't be fooled; this is a bass compressor/limiter/enhancer.

- I have not found any added hiss from this pedal at any settings. People who are hearing hiss probably either have a problem somewhere in their bass, cables, or amp, or they might have the pedal settings dialed in oddly with extremes in gain or level on at least one front.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.This is the greatest bass guitar compressor ever made. Ive tried every one on the market... including the built in compressor on a few rack mount processors. You can crank it up and get the typical compressor "pop" or dial it back and it will sound natural yet still compress. This is hard to find in other units... finally someone made a transparent compressor for bass guitar!

Like everything else Boss- it's built like a tank. Im pretty sure this thing could take a direct hit from a 44 magnum and still function. Cockroaches, twinkies, and Boss stompboxes are the only things that will survive the impending 2012 mayan nuclear holocaust.

If you fingerpick really hard and are having trouble with blowing the band offstage when the song kicks in- this is your savior right here. This pedal, a quality EQ, and active pickups are all you need to get that Korn Fieldy tone. Dial it back and you wont even notice that it's on... other than the fact you wont blast everyone into the parking lot when you start slapping. If you play a wide variety of songs per set you NEED this pedal. The other night we went straight from chili peppers "Higher Ground" into slipknot "snuff", then to Aldean "My kinda party" and i didnt touch a single thing with my gear.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.I've had one of these for a while. Particularly helpful if you play 5-string, and are running through a rig not really meant to handle low-B, or (obviously) doesn't have a built-in compressor ... I run this when I'm going through my little practice amp, which is an older Hartke Kickback. Also vital if you go back and forth between plucking and slapping/popping (and again, don't have a compressor on your amp), to ensure level volume. Finally, this pedal is wonderful if you want to get a little more life out of some old strings.It's a Boss, so you know it's built like a tank. Mine looks like I dropped it from a roof 100 times, but still works as well as the day I bought it, with all the dials intact and flawless switching.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.- one of those RARE products that does what it was designed to do and does it better than most. It does not do what it was not designed to do. (duh!)

Take the time to learn how to use it and you will not be disappointed, I promise.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.Had this unit for a few years but sold it once I got an amp with a decent built-in compressor. This thing is a little noisy but works. If you are doing slap bass or need a fairly compressed sound then you need something, obviously. This will get you compression without raping your wallet. I wasn't very happy with the tone though and I'm quite surprised to hear people rave about it.
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer
.The enhancer is great and the limiter is perfect for slapping
Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer

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