Compressor with gain | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Compressor with gain

Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by guitarman2, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Are there many compressors with a gain knob for adding a bit of grit\dirt? List them here.
     
  2. Ti-Ron

    Ti-Ron Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    Longueuil, Québec
    From the top of my head:

    Keeley - Compressor Plus
    Fender - the bends
    Pigrtronix - Philosopher's tone

    I know it's a bit stretching but the Keeley Aria is a drive/compressor...
     
  3. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    That Aria is quite interesting. Not much control over the compressor other than a blend control, which for me is the most important feature on a compressor. I like to dial a lot of it out. Seems almost unnecessary for me to even have a compressor as I dial a lot out with a blend knob but I'm more after that feel a compressor can give you, with just a bit of snap, rather than having it be a noticeable effect.
    I'm probably not even interested in a compressor with a drive option but was just curious as to how many compressors were out there with that feature and how useful it is.
    I'm currently seriously considering the cali76 Compact Deluxe but have to decide whether I want to spend that much on a compressor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  4. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    The history of compressors is interesting. In large part, the trend has been toward achieving gain control with as little coloration as possible. Some paths opted for photocells as a way of achieving gain-control with little to no coloration, because photocells don't distort. FETs and transconductance amplifiers (OTA) can distort if not used right. Improvements to OTAs have resulted in cleaner and cleaner devices. The first transconductance amp chip that I'm aware of is the CA3080, which was used in the Dynacomp and Ross. The CA3080 starts to distort with inputs above 100mv or so. The Ross attempted to clean up some of what the basic Dynacomp design did, but still used a 3080. The Dynacomp was never overtly distorted, but it did colour the sound a wee bit. The Boss CS-2 moved to a better OTA - the BA662 - which was developed for their synths. More recently, with the CS-3, they went with an even higher-quality OTA, developed by the THAT corporation. Again, these are chips not explicitly developed for guitar pedals, but for studio gear and synths.

    One of my all-time favorite compressors is the old Univox Uni-Comp, which combines a photocell and a pair of clipping diodes on the output. I learned recently that the same strategy was often employed in broadcast studio limters, as a way of very briefly imposing a ceiling on the initial signal level, before the photocells had a chance to work their magic. Their impact was apparently so brief that you wouldn't even hear the clipping.
     
    amagras and guitarman2 like this.
  5. amagras

    amagras

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Mark modded the release time of my Dyna Comp to be faster which made it less colored and it will distort more at high compression levels. High ratio compression with fast attack and release can get close to saturation, unfortunately most pedal compressors don't have a ratio knob but there are guitar limiters which could be modded. Still I think it's better to have 2 pedals for this so you can decide which one goes first, I for example use slow attack compression after the desired tone is achieved to make rock guitars punch in power chords, placing a clipper after this will shave the transients back to where they were.
     
  6. zdogma

    zdogma Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I have both the Empress and the Cali 76 comps. Both are great, quiet compressors. The Cali has a bit more coloration, but I wouldn’t say it adds any grit. I think the Cali may be slightly easier to dial in, but I’m not sure that would justify the extra cost.
     
  7. garrettdavis275

    garrettdavis275 Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    Grande Prairie, AB
    Maxon CP9 Pro

    Soooo good.
     
  8. cboutilier

    cboutilier

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    Funny, when I use a compressor eeeeevvverybody knows it. I could care less if it colors my tone, because I build my tone around the smack of my comp.
     
    Dorian2 likes this.
  9. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Yes I used to be like that. I used to love the squish, doing the 80's chicken picken. Now I like it for just a little bit of tone enhancement, giving my tele just a bit more bite, spank and sustain without the squish.
     
  10. Chito

    Chito Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I have a compressor with a boost. It is the Strymon OB.1. That maybe something you might want to look at. I'm selling it right now so if you are interested, let me know. LOL
     
  11. neu18

    neu18

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ontario
    Neunaber neuron, maybe the other way around though, gain with comp.
     
  12. SouthamptonPdls

    SouthamptonPdls Part-time pedal builder

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    Location:
    Guelph, Ontario
    Fairfield Accountant adds a selectable amount of preamp gain. Really cool comp.
     
  13. TimH

    TimH Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    St Thomas, ON
    The volume knob on your tube amp?
     
  14. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Of course silly me. Cause know one cares how loud you have to get your amp in order to achieve that. And heaven forbid you would want to base your tone on a clean foundation thereby getting your gain from pedals.
     
  15. TimH

    TimH Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    St Thomas, ON
    Buy a smaller amp and turn your volume knob down? ;)

    It’s a bit tounge in cheek...but only a bit.
     

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