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in search of a new compressor pedal

wiltel24

Member
Messages
1,056
So what is the best bang for the buck when it comes to compressors? MXR has a number of them I see. Their 'block' logo one is pretty cheap price wise, but maybe not very well liked. Trying to stay around $100 or less, new or used. Want to use it before a Skreddy Rover Fuzz, od pedals in general, to add sustain, but also for clean stuff. Don't want a noisy one, if that is possible. Any suggestions?
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,080
I've really been enjoying the Ammoon Nano I got recently. It's quiet and works good with the fuzzes and overdrives I've tried it with. The normal/treble switch helps it adapt to different pedals.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
14,226
What compressor you choose will depend on certain things. There are different types of compression applied, depending on how that compressor is designed and built. FET, OPTO, etc.
Also a compressor with a blend knob allows one to blend in the amount of compression desired with the actual signal from the rest of the gear you are using, i.e. your raw signal.

If you like a lot of squeezing from your compressor, look to a Ross type, which the MXR Dyna Comp sounds like.
If you like the compression to sound more natural, OPTO compressors or FET types using a blend dial will give you that. The compression is very subtle but still gives the guitar whatever amount of compression you desire.

Too much of any effect will ruin a natural sounding guitar signal, unless that is exactly what you want to happen.

Check youtube after looking up the different types of compression pedals available for examples of how they affect the signal.

Then there is hard knee type compression which puts a very enunciated shelving effect on the compressed sound, vs. a soft knee, or over easy type of compression effect which is more of a subtle type of compression, which allows the signal to breathe more naturally.

To make a valid and wise choice, spend some time reading up on compressors that interest you, based on performance, type of compression the pedal uses, and the cost factors.

The attack of a compressor is how fast the compression is applied to the signal. Faster attack effects the signal at lower volume levels then a slower attack.

Release is how fast or slow the compressed signal is let go of from the guitar signal. Faster release times lets go of the compressed signal more quickly then a slower release time.
 

cheapgtrs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,214
I'm not the compressor connoisseur that some are but I've been through a bunch and I really like my BBE Varicomp. It does what it's supposed to do, it's quiet and you could probably find one used for 50 bucks. Only thing I wish it had was a blend knob.
 

p.mo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,469
Noise is generally part of the equation. But you can't go wrong with a Ross-clone. 2-knobber from Keeley or a CMATmods Signacomp. I've been through a LOT of compressors. They're fundamental to my tone. If there's room on your board for a EXCELLENT albeit larger compressor pedal, my favorite is the Maxon RCP-660 tube compressor... see size reference below.

 

wiltel24

Member
Messages
1,056
How are the Mooer Yellow Comp and Donner Ultimate Compressor as compared to the MXR Dyna Comp block logo model?
 

LaceSensor1

Senior Member
Messages
3,429
One thing I listen for is how "musical" the compressor is. What I mean by this is specifically referring to the attack and release time and how these interact with your playing. I recently purchased a philosopher's tone micro and you can really "feel" the compressor kicking in, the problem is it feels like there is a very slight delay and its does not result in a "musical" feeling or sounding compressor.

Other big factors are noise and transparency(eq).

For a low noise, relatively transparent(eq), and very musical compressor I say the Wampler EGO. With that being said I have not tried the Cali76 that everyone is raving about. All compressor will effect your tone because it will bring out lower level frequencies you may not hear otherwise and will tame any large peaks. So no compressor can truly be transparent but the Wampler is the most transparent I've tried.

Stay away from the Way Huge Saffron Squeeze reissue....the controls are not intuitive, the gain knob makes things too complicated. The pedal has more "bad" sounds than good sounds and its too frustrating trying to make it sound decent.

You've only got a small handful of truly unique compressor circuits available in pedal form, the rest are simply clones with altered pot values and knob tapers. I really enjoy the Ross style compressor (Wampler Ego, Xotic SP, Way Huge Saffron Squeeze, MXR Dynacop, etc...) but I've been dying to try the Cali76 which is another beast.

So far I've not found a good opto comp, I'm wondering how the strymon sounds though.
 

btjguitarman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,086
You should be able to land a used bearfoot pale green comp for between 135 and 150. V1 is the most subtle and the best one, but I had a v3 too that was quite good. V3 has more compression overall than the V1
 

broken_sound

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,320
Having only owned a handful, I'm far from a compressor connoisseur.....but I will always suggest the standard Keeley 2-knob for a great, low cost, compressor. Little to no coloration, musical compression, and extremely well built.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,446
The MXR has a lot of squash, as do the Keeley 2-knob and 4-knob. Great for country cluck, not so good as a subtle always-on sweetener. For that purpose, something with a blend knob is best. I have a Barber Tone Press Compact, which I liked more than the Wampler Ego I tried and is also substantially cheaper. You could likely get a used one for a touch over $100. Infinitely more versatile than a plain Ross style w/o blend IMO.
 

MattLeFevers

Member
Messages
2,047
How are the Mooer Yellow Comp and Donner Ultimate Compressor as compared to the MXR Dyna Comp block logo model?
I used to use a Dyna Comp (liked it, but as others have noted, those Ross-style comps have a pronounced "squish" effect) and it was very noisy. I switched to the Diamond Comp Jr (which the Mooer Yellow is a knockoff of) and love it, the optical compression is more subtle and the noise level is virtually nil.

My favorite compressor is the Diamond but if you're staying under $100 I'd go with the Mooer Yellow, by all accounts it's nearly as good.
 

insucedible

Member
Messages
82
I recently purchased a philosopher's tone micro and you can really "feel" the compressor kicking in, the problem is it feels like there is a very slight delay and its does not result in a "musical" feeling or sounding compressor.
*Exactly* the same experience. I wanted to like it so much, but went back to my Yellow Comp.

I've just recently been trying the Orange Whip but it doesn't work for me either... I find it too warm and pretty sensitive to pickup output (impedance, not volume). Back to the Yellow Comp... I like it's subtlety and EQ shape for clarity.
 

FatsoForgotso

Member
Messages
116
I second the Xotic SP Compressor. I also don't have a ton of experience with comps but I love mine. You can set a multitude of options to exactly what you need out of it without sacrificing too many frequencies. That was the biggest problem I had with my MXR, too much high/low end loss. There are levels of compression set by a switch so you can choose light, medium, or heavy compression. It has a blend knob that can be completely wet so you get to dial in the sustain you want without loosing a noticeable top/high end. The compression will sit behind the scenes and just keep going. The switches on the inside allow you to shape the bass and treble cut off points too (I forget exactly but its along the lines of a treble/bass boost...someone please correct me if I'm wrong but the setting I use does add treble compared to my MXR). Lots of youtube videos will explain those better than me haha.

Things crazy versatile and has a lot of uses for someone who uses compression a lot or a little. Used, they will be a little over $100 but I think its worth while. Small footprint too so you won't take up much precious board realty. No room for a battery if that's important to you.
 

sanfi4u

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,683
If you'll find Lumpy's Tone Shop OS-3 compressor - jump on it. It's discontinued but there's a chance to find one used for around $100 I think.

EDIT: Good news! You can get a new OS-3 Compressor for $149 now. Worth every cent IMHO.

 
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wiltel24

Member
Messages
1,056
I second the Xotic SP Compressor. I also don't have a ton of experience with comps but I love mine. You can set a multitude of options to exactly what you need out of it without sacrificing too many frequencies. That was the biggest problem I had with my MXR, too much high/low end loss. There are levels of compression set by a switch so you can choose light, medium, or heavy compression. It has a blend knob that can be completely wet so you get to dial in the sustain you want without loosing a noticeable top/high end. The compression will sit behind the scenes and just keep going. The switches on the inside allow you to shape the bass and treble cut off points too (I forget exactly but its along the lines of a treble/bass boost...someone please correct me if I'm wrong but the setting I use does add treble compared to my MXR). Lots of youtube videos will explain those better than me haha.

Things crazy versatile and has a lot of uses for someone who uses compression a lot or a little. Used, they will be a little over $100 but I think its worth while. Small footprint too so you won't take up much precious board realty. No room for a battery if that's important to you.
Thanks, leaning towards the SP. Was looking at the suggested settings and my question is about those tiny dip switches. Is there a setting that covers both single coil and HB pups? Only thing I am concerned about is having to open it up everytime I switch guitars.
 






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