Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by guitarman2, Aug 4, 2019.
Compressor with boost? or am I way off base here
Most compressors will be able to provide an output much hotter than the input.
For many years, the CA3080, used in the Dynacomp and so many other devices, was pretty much the only choice for a transconductance amplifier (OTA). Its weakness was and is that it was not especially tolerant of higher amplitude signals. The CA3280 was better, but could also stand some improvement. Roland went ahead and got some improved OTAs made. The BA6110, which I think was used in the CS-2 is better than the 3080, but the proprietary BA662, which they used for their synths, was even better. Now they use OTAs made by THAT Corp., which are pretty much the benchmark these days.
All of which is the long way of saying that there is a reason why the Dynacomp provides coloration and saturation, and why newer ones (which I think use the LM13700) likely don't, unless pushed VERY hard. (if the image doesn't show up for you, it's at: https://www.oldcrows.net/~patchell/archives/ca3280_6.gif )
I have a Super Comp, which (if I understand right) is just a Dyna Comp with an extra knob to adjust the "Attack".
I presume that "Attack" idea is about how quickly the compressor clamps down on the signal.
I had always assumed that I could use this pedal like a clean boost, just by raising the output level, lowering the sensitivity, and maximizing the "attack" knob.
I haven't actually tried that, but I will.
It's curious to me that the MXR specs don't mention how much db I can add with the Output knob. I'm sure it's not zero.
Actually, no. But MXR is not alone in committing that particular sin, and your misunderstanding is most certainly not unique to you. It adjusts how quickly the circuit restores full gain. Stock, a Dynacomp takes a little while to restore or "recover" full gain. Great for holding notes for a long time, since the gain gets raised gradually, creating the illusion of sustain. But one of the side-effects is that while the gain is suppressed, the pick attack of any notes that follow the first one too quickly is pushed to the background. Shortening/speeding-up the "gain-recovery" time allows the attack of any immediate subsequent notes to be heard more clearly. Manufacturers who added it to the basic compression circuit pretty well all labelled it "Attack", for that reason. The first to dare to call it what it is was Fender, with their current Bends compressor pedal. When I was at NAMM last year, I felt compelled to tell pedal-unit manager Stan Cotey how pleased I was that they finally called it what it is. Made him smile.
Because that control simply adjusts the time required to restore full gain, it tends to be one of those controls that yield different audible outcomes, depending on how you pick. Leave enough space between notes, and you won't notice any audible difference between the 7:00 and 5:00 settings. Do some chicken-pickin', however, and you'll appreciate a faster gain-recovery time. I modded forum member amagras' Dynacomp to have several gain-recovery times toggle-selectable, and he finds it greatly improves the usability of the pedal.
I got a Keely Area comp and gain about a month ago and love it. It gives me just what i need and then some. Would recommend to someone who likes moderate rock, country, pop, maybe not for metal or hard rock.
It is, unlike anything else I've tried. Usefull on bass as well.
I like cleaner but had to try one. It's in the classifieds here.
DOD 515-A Sustain (Early Performer Series)
A primitive and unruly compressor, ready to get it’s hands dirty. I have one somewhere, super noisy, partly due to the design. Replacing the E Caps will likely reduce the noise a tiny bit.
It runs on 18-20 volts! More info at
DOD - 515-A (Sustain) - Effects Freak
I love the od I get from my JHS Pulp 'N Peel orange comp clone. It gives a nice sizzle and when the volume is turned up full it goes full OD. I have the 3 knob one but he came out with a 4 knob version that is an actual gain toggle switch and a screw setting for the gain on the side.
I have this video cued up at the gain demo part.
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