Compressor pedal - Any recommendations?

Z

zerofive

Hi all,
I play rhythm guitar for my band and basically use just two sounds, i.e. a clean and a crunch sound.
I'm currently looking for a compressor pedal just to smooth out the sound subtly, even out the peaks and troughs etc. No serious squeezing and warping or anything.
I went to the local music store today and unfortunately customer service wasn't the order of the day and I only ended up trying three different models.
I didn't like the DigiTech I tried. It seemed very unresponsive and the settings were either extreme or non-existant. I tried another cheaper pedal which didn't do it for me either. I think it was the DOD Milk Box.
The only one I did like was the Line6 Constrictor and then it was really just the supposedly 60s style "mellow" model that seemed to give me that subtle balance.
Anyone got any recommendations as to what I should try out?
Thanks in advance. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
 

corgiears

Member
Messages
315
The best one I've tried is the Barber Ton Press compressor. High quality pedal at a reasonable cost. Pedalgeek.com usually has them.
The Keeley is supposed to be great too but it is SO pricey!
 
Z

zerofive

Thanks for the recommendation, corgiears. Looks like we only have one dealer over here in Germany for Barber products so testing may be difficult but it looks and sounds (on the samples) like quality gear.
 
Z

zerofive

Hey, I've just noticed the dealer is only a few miles from here and I have to pass that way on Thursday anyway! Superb!
 

Slipjack

Member
Messages
146
I haven't tried a whole lot of compressor pedals. But I know the MXR Dyna Comp is a great one.

Musicians Friend description:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/fg=141/g=home/search/detail/base_id/36858

Some Harmony-Central reviews:
http://www.harmony-central.com/Effects/Data/MXR/Dyna_Comp-1.html

If you go to eBay, try to get the 70's/80's model (the one WITHOUT the LED). People say that one is a little better, and usually goes at a decent price. But that's just what I've heard.

Edit: Apparently there is an easy modification you can do to the newer ones to make it more like the vintage models.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,827
Maxon CP101.

Musical...not a ton of squash, though.


S.
j
 

Tchello

Member
Messages
167
If you go for the best try the Kelley Compressor, very musical, if you are on a budget try the MXR Super Comp, very superior to the Dyna Comp.
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
11,116
Favorite would be the Maxon CP101. Great for subtle compression, can squash a little but is limited in squash. Is always very clear. BTW, I would never say the Dyna Comp is subtle...

Second would be the Keeley. It has everything from subtle smooth compression to pretty dang squashed, but always fairly clear. If need all the possibilities, this is it.
 

aeolian

Member
Messages
6,360
Originally posted by Slipjack
I haven't tried a whole lot of compressor pedals. But I know the MXR Dyna Comp is a great one.

Edit: Apparently there is an easy modification you can do to the newer ones to make it more like the vintage models.
What is the mod? I just acquired a new DynaComp. As someone said, it's not subtle. I have to turn it nearly all the way down, but it does help for some parts, and seems to bring out some degree of sparkle as well, which is not what I expected from a compressor.
 

Slipjack

Member
Messages
146
Originally posted by aeolian
What is the mod? I just acquired a new DynaComp. As someone said, it's not subtle. I have to turn it nearly all the way down, but it does help for some parts, and seems to bring out some degree of sparkle as well, which is not what I expected from a compressor.
If you can read schematics and feel comfortable with a soldering iron there are a few sites out there with their own version of dynacomp mod schematics. The most popular being "hi-fi" and "low battery simulation" mods. There is also the "ross" mod (aka the "vodka" or "vodka.com" mod for some reason), which essentially turns the dynacomp into a Ross compressor. There are many sites for this, a google search will do.

Here is one that I found, for instance:
http://www.lynx.bc.ca/~jc/pedalsDynacomp.html

You can also pay some people to mod it for you. But it'll cost more than simply buying the vintage DynaComp; I think it's the Analog Man website that charges $75.
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,366
The Janglebox is also pricey but it's a versatile pedal as far as compressors go.

It's basically a compressor with a built in EQ so you can get some of the classic compressor sounds (e.g. Dyna Comp) as well as a "jangly" sound.

You can set it so that it sounds like you just put a brand new set of strings on.

You can set some fairly fine adjustments, so it may fit your needs.

It's a pretty cool device.
 

thelionsden

Member
Messages
918
Originally posted by aeolian
What is the mod? I just acquired a new DynaComp. As someone said, it's not subtle. I have to turn it nearly all the way down, but it does help for some parts, and seems to bring out some degree of sparkle as well, which is not what I expected from a compressor.
I have had one of these since they first came out in the 70s, (Don't have my original tho... darn.) and I used to use it with the knobs at say 12.00 when I wanted kind of a spanky sound. After reading an interview of Jerry McPherson some years back he mentioned how he used one and left it on all the time with the compression almost all the way down maybe 9 o clock or less and the gain up high (I think he said all the way up, but I usually go 3 o clock) ..it gooses the front end just a little and adds a bit of smoothness and sparkle, makes some amps come to life in an almost unbelievable way..The Vox AC 15 I had sounded a bit dull on its own but with the Dyna Comp...It would light it up like a Christmas tree. Matchless C30 too. IMO the Keeley, while quieter and very good in its own way, does not do this front end "goose" as well.

Also, I may be wrong but in my perception these Dynacomps seem to get 'tired" after a while..like it starts to sound a bit less clear and defined after a long time.. And yes, I have changed the battery ;) Anybody else notice this?

Dennis
 

Ronstrat63

Member
Messages
83
I have spent a lot time trying out various compressors with different gear and I conclude that each guitar and amp seem to get along differently with different compressors. Compessors also add noise to your chain but some are quieter than others.

I have found that the Carl Martin unit sounds really good with single coilsand a cleaner fender amp. (Twin, Vibro-King etc.) However, this is a tweakyier (?) unit to use than a dynacomp.

But who cares what I think. Try em all but don't buy one unless you will spend time learning how to use it it and for god sake make sure you can bring it back if you don't love it.

Compression is an "effect" that you won't use unless you get it 100% right because there are inherant comprimises that go hand in hand with it.
 
H

hemlock

Originally posted by corgiears
The best one I've tried is the Barber Ton Press compressor. High quality pedal at a reasonable cost. Pedalgeek.com usually has them.
The Keeley is supposed to be great too but it is SO pricey!
I've only had the Tone Press a couple of months or so, but so far I love it.
 




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