Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

BJFE Pine Green: This pedal comes to us from a highly-regarded boutique pedal builder from Sweden. The price and rarity have kept most people from trying it out, but it really does have some very fine qualities.
 
For one, it has very little noise even at maximum compression settings. I'm very impressed by that. The attack and release times are well-chosen and do not have any weird side-effects that I have found. There is no loss of lows or highs, although the 'Body' knob can affect that. Even though the effect can be strong, it never seems processed or unnatural. It doesn't do a great job of limiting sharp spikes, so it's not really a good choice for a slapper or aggro player, but it handles boomy lows quite smoothly. It seems to work well with a wide range of input levels, from a quiet passive instrument to a hot active--although I did get it to distort with an unusually high input signal, and a low-level input will get less compression.
 
The 'Body' knob fully to the right sounds the most like the bypassed input tone; at far left it sounds more fat in the low mids, with some highs rolled off; and at noon it sounds thinner and brighter. These tonal changes are subtle, but useful. Generally I would describe the pedal's sound and action as warm and smooth. It's similar to the Demeter overall, but with a little more tonal variety and a little lower noise. I do like it better than the Demeter, but whether it's worth two to three times the price is up to how particular you are. The construction quality is typical of handmade pedals, however there are two quirks worth knowing: the paint he uses flakes off quite easily, and the circuitboard inside is completely embedded in a thick rubbery goop. If anything ever goes wrong with the circuit, you will find it nearly impossible to repair. The footswitch is true bypass.
 
Update: see my review of the Mad Professor version of this pedal. Also I will probably review the Bearfoot and any other versions that pop up, sometime in the future when I can afford to.
 
Price in USD: The last two used ones I saw on Ebay went for $600; I think they're only about $400 new, but new ones are rarely available.
 

 

 
 
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