Submitted August 18, 2015 by John L in Upstate, NY
"Big compressor in a small package!"
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Compressors are a tool that I have come to really like in my guitar signal chain. Sometimes I wonder why I don't see more compressors on pro boards, but I guess that really doesn't matter. To each their own I guess. Over the years I have owned a range of compressors which have come on and off my board, including some very high end, expensive, boutique, studio quality tube based pedals. Whenever I remove a compressor I find myself missing it and go searching for the next one.
At this point in my career, I am favoring pedals with fewer controls which require less tweaking. The SP Compressor fits that bill and sounds great in any setting. I wasn't sure if I would be OK with not having access to the attack control (internal switch) and a knob for amount of compression (versus the SP's three way mini toggle), but it turns out this pedal is setup just right to get easily dialed in sounds without any fuss. Having only level and mix knobs at the ready makes it easy to adjust for different guitars/pickups. Sound wise the pedal doesn't color the tone very much. It does warm things up a bit, but not in a way that removes too much high end sparkly, which I like in my sound. Noise wise it is no worse than any other compressor, and compressors inherently amplify some noise.
What I like to use a compressor for is primarily to even out my sound and increase sustain when using mild to moderate amounts of gain. I like a transparent overdrive with some sparkle coming through, but I don't like the peaks in the signal that often happens when compression is missing. With this pedal engaged I get a very polished, almost produced sound, and I like that. My rig is a direct rig through an Ethos Overdrive and its excellent cabinet compensation output, so what I hear in my in ears is what the FOH engineer gets and - hopefully - just makes louder for the audience. I tend to have the mix control at about 1-2 o'clock and compression on medium. Adjust the level to match the guitar volume when the pedal is bypassed and I am good to go.
These little Xotic boxes are built like tanks. They are robust and have a very high quality, substantial feel to them. Great stuff and I think I'll be keeping this little compressor on my board for a very long time.
Pro and semi-pro for years, current worship leader
Classic, pop, 80s hair metal and now modern Christian (Hillsong, Chris Tomlin...)
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