Humphrey-Modded CS-3 - A Great Compressor...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by BillyK, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    After using a Tone Press for the past few years and auditioning many of the most-desired compressors chatted about here (Keeley, FXEngineering, Diamond, more...) I figured there just isn’t a compressor that’s really going to give me what I want. I’ve been looking for a compressor that:
    - Preserves my high-end
    - Is transparent in mids and low-end as well
    - Has a range of compression from subtle (is it on?) to a musical squish (I can feel and hear it)
    - Is quiet
    - Is relatively affordable (like under $250)

    I was just about to buy a Maxon CP-9 Pro when I figured I’d take a right-hand turn and go in a totally different direction. Based on the pervasive use of the Boss CS-3 by amazing players for years/years, and influenced by the less-than-stellar reviews of the stock CS-3 by really picky gear-heads (like many of us TGP’ers), I wondered if a modded CS-3 would be the ticket - one that may avoid the common stock CS-3 shortcomings. The Humphrey Audio modded CS-3 hits that mark for me and my rig.

    The Humphrey CS-3 doesn't get talked about here, but players seem to really love it, giving it great reviews elsewhere. For me, the final word will come six months or more down the pike, but I am happy to report that I am knocked out by it now. I find the Humphrey CS-3 to be amazingly quiet, I can keep that sparkle via a now active tone control, I can control attack speed and get any flavor of compression that I want. Most of all, it just sounds “musical” to me, at a price I can easily live with ($145).

    I have yet to find a compressor that hits all of my needs right from the start, and it’s a modded Boss pedal for God’s sake!! Every other compressor had flaws for me right out of the box. I run the Humphrey CS-3 first in line and the buffered bypass is wonderfully transparent (it’s the only buffered bypass on the board).

    If you have also spent more money/time than you want to admit looking for a great, down-right musical compressor, consider the Humphrey-modded CS-3.
     
  2. strata189

    strata189 Member

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    Have one on the way!
    Mark's a hell of a nice guy to boot!:AOK


    Randall
     
  3. Prodigy

    Prodigy Senior Member

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    Meh, I think people are way too picky about compressors that are largely Ross clones anyways...
     
  4. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Randall:
    Congrats - this is an awesome compressor.

    Prodigy:
    I can appreciate that some of us can be pretty picky. The differences between my compressors seemed pretty apparent. I read somewhere that the CS-3 is not truly a straight-up Ross clone like a Keeley or Retrosonic, but I am not really sure. You might be pleasantly surprised by the Humphrey mod, who knows? I am amazed!!

    Based on requests I've received, you can check out Humphrey mods here:

    http://www.haudiomods.webs.com/

    or on eBay.

    Non-Shill Notice: I am not affiliated with Mark Humphrey or any other pedal builder, nor have I ever received incentives of any kind from any builder!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  5. scroff

    scroff Member

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    I love mine. One of the first thing my buds noticed of the bat was that the bottom was present unlike the stock version. Very nice pedal and very personal guy. He also modded my eh small clone. Oh my gosh, it is soooo lush. Guys at our jam stopped playing to see what kind of chorus i was using. Love it too.
     
  6. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    I guess it's about 2 months of full-time use now. I have yet to turn off the Humphrey-modded CS3. All of the aforementioned compressors were either returned or at least side-lined by the 2-month mark.

    SOT: I also have a Humphrey-modded MT2 that kicks major ass. After so many years of strictly boutique pedals for 2-3x the cost of these, I am loving these modded Boss pedals. What's more, I've got a OD-3 on the way now (stock). I wonder if that'll replace one of my coveted boutique OD's. =)
     
  7. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    Have any of you guys a/b'd the Humphrey CS3 w/ a Monte Allums modded DynaComp? Just curious as to how the two compare.
     
  8. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    I haven't, but the new MXR '76 DynaComp might be the benchmark to shoot for if one is thinking about DC's.
     
  9. jw112

    jw112 Member

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    spam alert:

    i'm selling mine in the emporium if anyone is interested. it really is a killer pedal.

    thanks
     
  10. gitapik

    gitapik Member

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    Well...5 years later and here I am.

    I got the Humphrey mod a couple of years ago. I sent him my CS-3...so it was an inexpensive upgrade. I was really impressed and it's been on my board ever since.

    Well...today I went to a shop with LOTS of compressors. I wanted to see what's what.

    I tried 5 of them. Brands unnamed. They were all great. Honestly: none of them were better than the modded CS-3. That's not a knock on the other brands. It's in praise of Mark and his work.

    The only thing it's missing is the Blend function. I'd like that...but still don't think it's a necessity. The mod makes the CS-3 plenty transparent enough that it can be subtle or squishy to suit my tastes.

    Also: it's great in the same setting for clean and OD. That's big for me. I love good cleans and it shines there...but it also really handles the overdriven signal beautifully.

    I'm into it. Small profile (I run a relatively small board). Great sound. I think I might find one that's "better"...but don't find the need. I'll spend my money elsewhere, for now.
     
  11. dma35079

    dma35079 Member

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    I have a Humphrey CS-3 on my board that I purchased from a friend a few years ago. I only use it to add a little sustain to my live tone. It does an excellent job and it is pretty quiet. I don't see any need to search for another.
     
  12. gitapik

    gitapik Member

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    Yeah. It's excellent for adding that controlled feedback at a lower performing volume (and louder, too...lol).
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

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