Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Chellee Compy: This is a boutique Ross clone from a small luthier brand. As with others in that crowded category, this one was made with high-end components and design tweaks to reduce noise and improve tone.
Controls include Attack, Sustain, Tone, Blend, Input gain, and Output volume. Four of the knobs are metal in a super cute shade of green. Most Ross types have only one knob controlling the strength of the signal feeding the compression circuit; the additional Input knob here allows more finesse over how well this pedal will work with higher or lower-output guitars. The Blend knob is set up so your output is 100% wet (no clean blend) with the knob fully to the right. The Tone knob is extremely subtle; I thought I could hear the highs being turned up or down a bit, but I could not see any change at all when viewing it on a spectrum analyzer. The Attack knob has a useful medium range, though the fastest setting was not as fast as the MXR M87 for example.
The action is fairly smooth, and typical of guitar comps, with a wide range from gentle to noticeably squeezed. It's not much of a clean peak limiter though, because of the exaggerated squish at the max setting of the Sustain knob.
Like most others of this type, the highs and lows are rolled off in a wide shallow slope; or you could say the mids are boosted in a wide slope. Guitarists who are used to the traditional versions of this circuit will like it just fine, and it works well enough on bass; but guitarists wanting bright highs, or bassists wanting fat lows, will not be thrilled. The tone is mainly clean, with modest warmth. The noise levels are about the same as in the competition for this type of pedal: better than an old original Ross or Dynacomp, but not silent, and it swells up as your sustained note decays. To be clear, it's not that the pedal itself makes any noise, just that this type (like most pedals out there) noticeably amplifies the noise that was already in your signal path.
The construction quality is very good, and it looks good cosmetically. The housing is the small MXR size, and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC. The power is boosted to 18V internally with a charge pump, which should help improve headroom (reducing distortion). The footswitch is a relay-based "true bypass", which is a good design choice for longer operational life and fewer pop noises. There is no LED for indicating the amount of compression.
Price in USD: $169 new, probably 2/3 of that used.


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