Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by guitarman2, Aug 4, 2019.
Are there many compressors with a gain knob for adding a bit of grit\dirt? List them here.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maxon CP9 Pro
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.
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.
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
Neunaber neuron, maybe the other way around though, gain with comp.
Fairfield Accountant adds a selectable amount of preamp gain. Really cool comp.
The volume knob on your tube amp?
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.
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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