Ovnilab Reviews

Started by Elantric, December 16, 2015, 09:19:54 AM

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I had never heard of that site before, but thanks for posting it; it has a lot of reviews of some fairly uncommon gear in one place.

Apparently this guy is a bassist and his reviews are all of compressors. For a review site, it's a basis (see what I did there?) that is as useful as it is unusual. The reviews are brief and sometimes quite brief but the guy certainly seems to know what he's talking about.

I have to copy'n'paste a passage from his "A Note to Guitarists" page: "bass typically has a much wider dynamic range than a guitar signal, as well as the extended low frequency range. So with bass it is much harder to get good/useful results from any compressor. In fact with guitar, it is positively easy--the cheapest MXR pedal will perform like a champ in most guitar roles. Sure, a golden-ears tone hound may reasonably want the best Ross clone money can buy (note: emphasis in the original!), but that's good enough for most, they will stop hunting at that point."

He also has a link to his blog, covering subjects as diverse as EHX pedals to Adidas - but mostly audio - on the Index page (but here's a direct link to what appears to be a complete i.e. short list of his blog posts: http://blog.ovnilab.com/table-of-contents/). The blog seems to have been inactive since November 2012.

I want to point out the layout of the index page: It is a simple list of clickable text hyperlinks, alphabetized in columns (up and down) and not in rows (side to side, left to right), with no pictures to avoid while scanning visually. You can read it easily, you can search it by eye very very easily. Thanks, it's greatly appreciated!


I found the reviews very comprehensive - many with relevant embedded URL links to many projects at DIY Stompboxes site


with many links to


Quote from: admsustainiac on January 08, 2016, 05:28:18 PM
I found the reviews very comprehensive...

I read every review on that site, and not only did I learn quite a lot, but it turns out that you are right; most of the reviews are reasonably comprehensive. That I originally thought otherwise was because the very first review which I read was the MXR Dyna-Comp review which was not really an in-depth look. But I was curious to see his opinion on a pedal that I began using in 1979.

There is one oddity about the reviews and that is his use of the words "limiter" and "peak limiter". Apparently he uses these terms to signify "very high ratio or infinite ratio compression".

I believe this is technically incorrect. I've always used "limiter" to signify a device that combats transient spikes in the signal chain, at an infinite ratio and with a very fast attack time, in the 50 microsecond range. It is not intended as an "effect" but rather to prevent transient spikes from interfering with the operation of a cutting head when making a master for vinyl records, or causing overs in digital equipment, which in turn cause very unpleasant distortion. 

But a very informative site nevertheless.


Here is another site with compressor reviews but these are really not comprehensive and there are far, far fewer than found on Ovnilabs.com: http://www.muzique.com/comp.htm .



The layout of the index page and the simplicity of clickable text hyperlinks, alphabetized in columns, is indeed a thoughtful design choice. It makes navigation and finding specific content efficient, especially without distracting images. The direct link to the blog posts table of contents is handy for quick access to a variety of audio-related topics.