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Compressor recommendations?


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If money is no object, the Keeley Compressor or Analogman Bi-Comp are pretty cool.

For less cash, the Barber Tone Press is nice, or if you don't mind some DIY, the BYOC 5-knob comp represents pretty good value, or with a little LESS DIY content, the Monte Allums or CMATmods CS-3 kits get good reviews on HC.

The Guyatone ST-2 and the DOD FX80B are also popular compressors around these parts.

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So long as you aren't looking for compressors to be a clean boost, welcome. I really don't like when people depend on them for that. They can do that in addition to what they do, but I'm not a fan of people who believe that that's what they're for.

 

Now that that's out of the way...

 

I'm a big fan of my Boss CS-2. It adds a certain character to the tone and rolls of the highs in just the right way. It can also be pretty transparent and rather squishy. It's replaced my modded CS-3.

 

That being said, the Monte Allums Opto Modded CS-3 is a great, great transparent compressor with a bit more of the tonal capabilities than the CS-2. You can get a CS-2 sound out of it, but I wouldn't say that it quite nails the tone of it. But if transparency is what you're after, it's a great bet.

 

A good cheap compressor is the DOD Milkbox, but I haven't actually gotten to spend a lot of time with it. It also gets pretty squishy, and can take off a lot of the highs in your tone in a good way as well. But I'm not sure if that's overpowering to your ears or not, or how transparent it can get. My time with it was pretty limited, and I didn't get to use it with my set up or guitars, which could be a big factor to me.

 

That's about all I can tell you on compressors. Others will probably give you some input on the Barber compressor, which I've heard great things about, the Keeley, which I've heard mixed reviews about, and Orange Squeezer and its clones/recreations.

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My favorite comp so far is the one attached to the visual sound route 66. for the money $140 you get a really good TS clone and an awesome compressor. They're supposed to release the comp in single form in Mid Jan but we'll see if that happens.

 

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Everyone says Keeley but I'm not thrilled with mine. I'm thinking of selling it and getting a Barber tone press. The Keeley has this squishiness to the sound that I don't like when the knob goes anywhere past about 11:00.

 

 

Barber is a VERY nice compressor:

 

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Wow, thank you for all the responses.

I'm mainly looking to increase sustain on my lead lines - when I take a dirty blues tone, single notes tend to fade out a little soon for my liking.

That Tone Press looks really good - I was also looking at the two different BBE ones (Opto Stomp and Orange Squash), as well as the Rocktron Big Squeeze (as I've seen some pretty good reviews on it, and it's cheap).

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mine was noisy in front of my amp (picking up some strange radio frequencies) but works beatifully in the loop.

 

 

Wait, do compressors need to be in an FX loop? I don't have one...will it be fine just in my serial effects chain if I put it with my wah?

 

And, I think I've decided to go with the BEE Opto Stomp! It sounds like it sustains and levels out the top three strings, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

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need is a funny word. I think you could put it anywhere you want. Depending of course on what your trying to compress. I found it really didn't do anything before my amp, but I wasn't using any dirt pedals at the time either.

silky smooth in the loop though.

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