Phil Jones Bass Buddy: This is a full-featured 1/3 rack-width preamp that happens to include a compressor. Other features include graphic EQ, headphone jack, DI out, and an aux input for playing along with an external audio device. There are only two controls for the comp: an on/off switch and one knob for threshold adjustment. Turning the knob clockwise raises the threshold. The preamp overall stuffs many features into a very small package, so of course there have to be some compromises in the design.
It's fairly transparent sounding, with no loss of highs or lows. The noise level is quite low. The action is very smooth at lower settings, although at higher comp settings it actually has a rubbery "dip and swell" like the Orange Squeezer. It's not a peak limiter though, with a ratio of only 3:1 it's just for moderate smoothing compression.
Most of the time there are no glitchy artifacts, although there were times when I hit it with a strong peak where there was a "tic" sound as it crossed the threshold. Other users have reported that it distorts more significantly when hit with a big signal peak, but it didn't seem so bad to me.
The construction quality is very good. It can run on either 18V DC from a proprietary power supply, or a pair of 9V batteries. I don't think it is compatible with most pedal-powering supplies.
If your primary interest is a compressor, I'd steer you to a different one that has more control over the parameters; but if your primary interest is a compact preamp with loads of features, and you were just wondering whether the comp in this one was any good, it is pretty decent for general smoothing of levels.
Price in USD: used $200 to $300, new $425
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