Pedal Review: Xotic SP Compressor

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Risewithfaith, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Risewithfaith

    Risewithfaith Member

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    This is my first real pedal review on here. I posted in an SP compressor thread last night with a short review of the SP. I only played it for an hour, at bedroom volumes, and initially I wasn't impressed and didn't like what it was doing to my low end. But, I got home from work today and was finally able to turn my amp up a bit. I played my tele w/nocaster pickups into a NOS Blues Jr. with JJ tubes.
    This is a really good compressor. I figured my disappointment was due to lower volumes, so I'm glad I was able to turn it up. I just want to highlight a few features/perks that I particularly enjoy about this pedal. For reference, I have owned a Barber Tone Press, Keeley 4-knob, and the MXR Custom Comp (which the SP is now replacing).
    1. The blend knob is really tastefully integrated into the pedal. I like it more on this pedal than I did on my Barber. It feels like it actually "blends" the clean in instead of having that odd experience of having clean tone replace compression signal.
    2. The dip switches and the compression switch really make this pedal versatile. I haven't owned a Diamond, but I have played a friend's and I was able to replicate Diamond-like compressor tones with the switches set to stock, high clean blend, and the compression switch on low. But, after just switching to the mid/high compression setting, and tweaking the attack dip switch, I was able to get very squashed Keeley compression, but without losing the high end. Which brings me to my next point.
    3. What this compressor did for my high-end is magical. It has a very EP-Booster mojo to it in the sense that it just seems to sweeten everything. Since I typically leave my compressor on full time, I really like that the pedal does this to my top end. It gives it that sparkle/chime that I love so much.
    4. The SP has some serious boost on tap. 10 o'clock is about unity and it gets loud quickly. I appreciate this amount of oomph because I like to boost my signal slightly with my compressor, and the SP only seems to get sweeter the louder it is set. It never distorted or got gritty even at high volumes.
    5. This should go without saying, but this pedal is extremely well built. It is just as tough as the EP booster and looks just as good. I love the space it saves on my board and the green LED is a nice touch.

    Overall, I think this pedal is a winner. I certainly like it a lot more than the Keeley and the Custom Comp. And I give it an edge over the Barber. Once again, I can't directly compare it to the Diamond so I won't comment on its comparison. With the clean blend, I was able to preserve my dynamics and pick attack, but with everything I love about a compressor. It made my chords and notes ring for days without feeling false, like my tele was actually sustaining that long on its own. Hopefully this review will help anyone who is on the fence or just genuinely curious. As we all know, this is just my experience with my rig. Hope some more people chime in with their experiences as more of these get shipped.
     
  2. thewordking

    thewordking Supporting Member

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    Great review. How'd you get your hands on one?
     
  3. Risewithfaith

    Risewithfaith Member

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    I got it through Mad Ape. I was genuinely impressed by how helpful they were.
     
  4. thewordking

    thewordking Supporting Member

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    Sweet. Thanks.
     
  5. dlc1953

    dlc1953 Supporting Member

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    Good review! Am waiting for it to get to some of the other Online dealers, because I got some credits to spend!
     
  6. jason41224

    jason41224 Member

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    what did you find it did to the low end that you didn't like at first? and this completely went away once you turned up? great review. i go back on forth on whether i should grab one or not.
     
  7. astainback

    astainback Supporting Member

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    Nice review!!
    I want to try one of these pedals!!
     
  8. Risewithfaith

    Risewithfaith Member

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    It felt like it was choking my low notes, but I attribute this to my low end just being choked by the lack of volume. I was playing at 10:30pm-apartment volume. And yes, once I got the amp up a little louder it was perfectly fine.
     
  9. mjgnyc

    mjgnyc Member

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    Got one on order.

    Should be here Friday. I'll mostly be using it to beef up my clean sound.
     
  10. Gtr65

    Gtr65 Member

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to give such an in-depth review.

    Can you comment as to the noise level, i.e., any perceivable hiss/noise added to the signal? That's been one of my pet peeves about compressors, at least the ones I've owned.
     
  11. Risewithfaith

    Risewithfaith Member

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    @Gtr65
    This is a pet peeve of mine as well. My Custom Comp was horrible about being noisy, but the SP didn't add any noticeable hiss or static to my signal. I even ran it completely compressed, with my amp cranked, and it was silent.
     
  12. Gtr65

    Gtr65 Member

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    That's really great to hear. This just might be the one that I can bond with and leave on most/all of the time. Thanks again---I really appreciate it!
     
  13. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the review. My Ethos order just came up, otherwise I would probably grab one right now. I love my EP Booster, and would love to have a compressor of the same quality and size right next to it.
     
  14. Jim Moulton

    Jim Moulton Member

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    You said that it reminded you in a way with the EP booster,how? Good review.
    Jim
     
  15. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Member

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    This is what I'm interested in too. I have a MXR Custom Comp on my board and have been thinking about adding an EP Booster, BUT...if the SP Compressor is all I'm thinking it will be, I'd like to kill 2 birds with one stone. I'm hoping proguitarshop.com does a review fast or Xotic gets a few more videos of their "pros" made using this little guy.
     
  16. Risewithfaith

    Risewithfaith Member

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    @Jim Moulton @JohnK24
    It reminds me of the EP in how it seems to sweeten your tone. It won't replace the EP. It's a different kind of sweet in what it does to the high end. And I ran both my EP and SP on full time and I was really liking how they sound together. They both add something nice, but different, to the overall signal.
     
  17. Release

    Release Member

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    Thanks for the review!

    Like a few of you, I'm also replacing my MXR Custom Comp with this (and it should be here on Friday).
     
  18. majorlabeldebut

    majorlabeldebut Member

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    Great review! I don't have a comp yet but I really like the looks of this one!
     
  19. JasonElGato

    JasonElGato Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the great review! All the Custom Comp users are coming out in force. I also use the Custom Comp into an EP Booster. I find the Custom Comp good but far from great. I'm very interested in the SP Comp.
     
  20. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    Another Custom Comp user here!

    Great review, I'm interested in knowing if you had the chance of trying it with humbuckers

    So far, the Custom Comp has beaten every other comp I've tried, it works well with humbuckers, gets pretty transparent with single coils and it gives me that "dyna" feeling without the over-the-top squash, just enough compression

    I might go the SP route if it delivers with humbuckers...
     

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