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Monte Allums Modded CS-3

Voodoo Blues

Member
Messages
1,483
I've been using an old Boss CS-3 for as long as I can remember. I really do love the pedal, I leave it on and play it over a tubescreamer and I think it makes a guitar go from bedroom to studio. The one thing I don't like about it is the noise but I know that's just a by product of placing it before an overdrive.

Lately I've been thinking about replacing it with a Keeley 4 knob or a Tone Press but after reading about the Monte Allums mods I'm becoming quite interested in that option.

So let's hear it, who here uses this pedal and what do you think?
 

mistermikev

Member
Messages
371
I find it hard to believe that changing just a few components would make it sound like the keeley comp... but anything is possible. I have a cs-3 and a cs-2 and recently built an orange squeezer and I love the squeezer above both.
I've played the keeley 4 knob and it was off the hook. If you are handy enough with an iron to consider a mod why not go the next step and build a ross clone (keeley is based off of the ross)? Probably cost you only a cpl bux more than the mod in parts.
 

Gtrman100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,905
I've modded mine, and it does reduce the noise compared to the stock unit. Plus it's more tranparent sounding. I'm not sure if there was a problem with my mod, but it emits a low audible 'thump' when I engage it. It's not a problem, but I definitely hear it. Maybe someone else can tell you if it's typical.
 

jayn

Member
Messages
980
I've modded mine, and it does reduce the noise compared to the stock unit. Plus it's more tranparent sounding. I'm not sure if there was a problem with my mod, but it emits a low audible 'thump' when I engage it. It's not a problem, but I definitely hear it. Maybe someone else can tell you if it's typical.
I had an Allums modded OD-3 and it did the same thing. I guessed that it was because of the brighter LED, but I might be totally off-base (I can't remember why I thought that...I think I had a good reason, but it was awhile ago) :eek:. Anyway, I tried different resistor values for the resistor, or one of them, connected to the LED and it didn't go away (again, a guess) :dunno
 

j631378

Member
Messages
42
I recently did the Allums mod to my old CS-3. Although the hiss didn't disappear, it lessened somewhat. Overall, the tone, openness, and note attack "thump", were substantially improved. It is now a much better compressor in my opinion. It's worth the money, I think.
 

Voodoo Blues

Member
Messages
1,483
If I were going to get the mod I'm going to send it off to CMAT and have them do it, I'm barely qualified to plug in my guitar cables let alone solder something.

I'm not expecting for it to sound like a Keeley comp, but since I've never heard one I'd have no idea if it did. Like I said, I really do like the CS-3 as is so I'm just looking to make it a little more thicker or fuller or something. Part of the reason why I'm hesitant about getting another compressor because I'm afraid it won't sound like my CS-3.

Walter, does your CS-3 have this "thump"?

Does any have one modded by Monte Allums himself or one of his approved guys?
 

bostonwal

Member
Messages
594
I've got the Monte Allums CS-3 Opto Mod (the first version - there's now a "Plus" version) modded by CMAT. The MA CS-3 is fantastic! I've used the Keeley and the Analogman Bi-Comp and a regular CS-3 (which I thought was garbage without the mod). (Mine doesn't have a "thump") But I prefer Opto over Ross since the Opto is much more transparent. Second place was the Ross side of the AM.
 

bostonwal

Member
Messages
594
I find it hard to believe that changing just a few components would make it sound like the keeley comp... but anything is possible.
But components (and very simple, easy to find components) are the only difference between a CS-3 and a Keeley (and any other Ross clone out there).
 

Mike7

Member
Messages
572
I have a Boss CS-3, how are you setting the parameters on yours?
Mine doesn't seem to have any hiss or thump when engaging at all.
I have most of the settings at 12:00, at times I will bring the volume or whatever the first knob on the left controls to 11:00. It does boost my volume alot but the band I play in plays loud. I use it mostly to add volume on solos, or to maintain volume when using modulation effects that have the volume drop, flanger, phaser and such.
 

barkndog

Member
Messages
226
I had a stock CS3. I had CMATMODS do the opto mod and it was a significant improvement. But it was still a little too noisy and hissy for my tastes. I sold it a couple of weeks ago and now have a Barber Tone Press on my board which I think is much better.
 

daddyo

Guest
Messages
11,797
I had an Allums modded OD-3 and it did the same thing. I guessed that it was because of the brighter LED, but I might be totally off-base (I can't remember why I thought that...I think I had a good reason, but it was awhile ago) :eek:. Anyway, I tried different resistor values for the resistor, or one of them, connected to the LED and it didn't go away (again, a guess) :dunno
A smaller resistor will make the LED brighter but sometimes with a bit of a pop when engaging. I have projects that give you a choice of resistors for the LED.
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,935
I've been using an old Boss CS-3 for as long as I can remember. I really do love the pedal, I leave it on and play it over a tubescreamer and I think it makes a guitar go from bedroom to studio. The one thing I don't like about it is the noise but I know that's just a by product of placing it before an overdrive.

Lately I've been thinking about replacing it with a Keeley 4 knob or a Tone Press but after reading about the Monte Allums mods I'm becoming quite interested in that option.

So let's hear it, who here uses this pedal and what do you think?
Well, here's my 2 cents :)

If you've been using the CS-3 for years and "love it in it's stock form", then don't mod it! Why? Because more than likely the mod will change (or remove) what it is about the pedal that you love in the first place.

FWIW, I own a stock CS-3, and have owned numerous other compressors - both Ross style, and Opto-style - and still own the Tone Press and Keeley, and while they are nice, I find I still prefer and use the CS-3. But I don't typically set mine the way others do, so perhaps that's why it works well for me??

I personally don't care for the Opto-styled compressors. They can be so subtle and transparent to the point where I rather just not use any compressor at all.
 

Voodoo Blues

Member
Messages
1,483
If you've been using the CS-3 for years and "love it in it's stock form", then don't mod it! Why? Because more than likely the mod will change (or remove) what it is about the pedal that you love in the first place.
That's exactly what I'm afraid of!!!!

Maybe the noise will go away if I turn down the sustain or put it behind the OD.
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,935
That's exactly what I'm afraid of!!!!

Maybe the noise will go away if I turn down the sustain or put it behind the OD.
Keep in mind that a compressor (by nature) acts sort of like a small amplifier that raises the level of quiter parts so that they are equal to louder parts, so its always best to run your compressor first in line (directly after your guitar and before any other fx pedals) if you want to keep noise to a minimum. If you run your compressor after other effects like OD's & Distortions it will elevate the noise levels of those pedals as well, thereby adding more overall noise to your rig.

Because of this "amplifying effect" a compressor has on your signal, ANY compressor is going to increase the noise level of your rig. It's not that the CS-3 is noisey in and of itself, it's just the nature of what a compressor does. So yea, if you jack up that Sustain control on the CS-3 it will increase the noise level that's already present in your rig, but so will any other compressor for that matter.

FWIW, I don't find my CS-3 to add any more noise (at equal settings) than my Tone Press, Keeley, or any other compressor I've owned.
 
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grado

Member
Messages
275
I did the Monte Allums mod on my CS3 and was very impressed.

The CS3 used to add a bit of hiss when active, actually it used to add a lot of hiss when active. After the Mod all that was gone. If I crank the sustain to full I can just barely hear a bit of added noise.

I can't really compare it to any high end compressors but it does what I want out it and it does it well.
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,935
Other then noise, how does it compare to the other compressors you own/ed?
I typically use a compressor as an "always on" box and set it for very minimal effect. I like a bit of leveling, added sustain and fullness - but not so much as to squash the signal. Most compressors tend to clamp down your signal on the pick attack which results in less volume and a spongey feel. To get around that, what works for me is to set the Volume control on the compressor way up and keep the Sustain control dialed way back.

When used the way I use it, I just find the Boss unit to feel and sound more natural than anything else I've tried. The way it captures the attack and immediately blooms - sounds and feels more organic and natural to me. It's a VERY difficult thing to describe and articulate, but something that is very obvious when I play through it.

I still have the Tone Press & Keeley units and pull them out every now and then just to see if my taste has changed or ears hear something different :), but every time I wind up going back to using the CS-3.

As far as the Opto-styled compressors go, I guess I just find them almost too transparent in both tone and feel to the point where I'd rather use no compressor at all.
 
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Voodoo Blues

Member
Messages
1,483
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, but can someone tell me what the "attack" knob is for? What "attach" is it refering too? Playing style? Pick-ups?
 

Axekisser

Member
Messages
1,156
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, but can someone tell me what the "attack" knob is for? What "attach" is it refering too? Playing style? Pick-ups?
Attack controls how fast the gain-control element responds to the signal. I think the attack knob on the CS-3 really adjusts the threshold of compression.
 




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