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Any recommendations for a cheap compressor?


Elric

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I've got a hankering to try a compressor pedal again but wanted to limit the budget to under $100. Any recommendations? I've found a pretty good list by searching about on the net that can be had in that range:

 

DOD FX84 Milk Box

Behringer CS-100

Rocktron Big Crush

Boss CS-3

Boss CS-2

Digitech Main Squeeze

Guyatone ST-2

MXR M-132

 

Not going for any particular sound, thought it'd be fun to add one to my rig. I'd actually probably use it mostly with my POD (which has fairly weak compressors from what I hear) for recording/practicing. I don't have much experience with them other than in multifx like the POD, either but know that some consider them a great tool and figured it might be a good time to check em out, so I don't have any great expectations or preconcieved notions. :)

 

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After owning a Visual Sound Route 66 and Boss CS3, neither of which gave me the sound I was looking for, I'm currently using an MXR Super Comp (M-132). I think I paid about $65 new. I like it better than the other one's I've used, but it's still not the ultimate (for me). I'd love to check out a Keeley compressor and see what all the fuss is about, but it's out of my price range at the moment. I plan to try one of those new Behringer compressor pedals as soon as they get them in stock locally.

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I can not go by a compressor thread without talking about the Barber Tone Press. I paid $105 for mine shipped. You should be able to get one for that or less if you look around for a couple weeks. Anyhow, I've owned or extensively played Dynacomps, Keeley, Ross, DOD Milkbox, Marshall Compressor, CS-3...Barber is my absolute favorite. Now, if you want major squish I'd say grab a Dynacomp for like $60. Keeley and Analogman comps are IMO just really expensive (slightly nicer) versions of this comp. For $60 it really is a steal. However, I do not want total squish. I also want to be able to control the compression and sustain seperately. With the tone press you can dial in as little or much compression as you want...literally zero compression if that is what you want! When maxed out you can get about 90% of the squish that you could get out of a Dynacomp. The Tone Press also has an internal tone control. Set totally transparent but you can make it darker if you wish.

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Originally posted by andrewgil

I had the DOD Milkbox for a day, don't get it, you'll return it.

This is the exact opposite of most of the opinions I've heard on the Milkbox.

 

Most people here who have tried the DOD (and have a few more than 2 posts) say that it's about the best compressor you can get for that kind of money.

 

There are definitely better ones out there, but the DOD does what it's supposed to do quite inexpensively.

 

My guess is that andrewgil here didn't like the effect itself, and he probably would have felt the same way about any comp he had tried.

 

That said, there are a lot of great options out there under $100.

 

Put the Peavey CSR-2 on your list.

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Originally posted by andrewgil

sorry to the wise man, I didn't think the milk box sounds as good as a dyna or Ross clone.

Those definitely have a characteristic coloration that they add to your tone. A lot of people dislike them for exactly that reason!

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Originally posted by hangwire

fun, compressor.... let me introduce you to delay ... it may shock your fun example...
:D



It depends on what kind of tonal coloration you want from a compressor.

A lot of times specific compressors are used to help players get that FUNK or COUNTRY sound.
You may be able to outplay Michael Angelo Batio on a 6-neck guitar, but you still will need a compressor to get that chick'n pick'n going on (great example: Jerry Reed-Amos Moses.)

If you want a comp to get that sound, look at a MXR Dynacomp or a Boss CS-2. These are both smooth sounding comps ( a little loss of high-end, but a nice punch in the low-mids).

If you want clarity, look at the MXR Limiter, Ibanez CP9 (although this one will need some little modding to help restore the low-end. Stock it's a very thin sounding comp, with added high mids) or the Barber Tone Press.

Of these I like the MXR the best, since it really sounds like a top-notch studio-comp. (Urei 1176 anyone? :cool: )

And then there are the Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer-clones and Ross clones (which in itself is an improved Dynacomp circuit).

I use my comps for a little level boost and smoothing out dynamics. Currently, a modded Ibanez CP9 is on my board.

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Originally posted by phishmarisol

I can not go by a compressor thread without talking about the Barber Tone Press.

 

 

I agree, my Barber Tone Press is the best compressor I have used. Up until now, the Maxon was my favorite. I still haven't sold it, but I removed it from my board for the Tone Press. New they are $139, so I didn't mention it, but you are right, I think it is the best Pedal Compressor I have tried.

 

Jack

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Originally posted by Janglin_Jack



I agree, my Barber Tone Press is the best compressor I have used. Up until now, the Maxon was my favorite. I still haven't sold it, but I removed it from my board for the Tone Press. New they are $139, so I didn't mention it, but you are right, I think it is the best Pedal Compressor I have tried.


Jack



Cool. Checking eBay, right now. ;) As usual, my target price is starting to climb as I shop anyway. ;) I just found myself looking at EH Black Finger ad copy on their www site not more than an hour or two back, of course that's 2x the original price target we've been discussing here. :freak:

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