Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Tech 21 Bass Compactor: You know it's bad when "noise suppression is included for your convenience" (as they proclaim in their manual). This pedal can be extremely noisy, and the noise gate function is jittery and jumpy. So if you play with any space at all between your notes, you'll hear a nasty battle between feedback-y noise and the gate trying repeatedly to clamp down. It's horrible. Well, it's kind of a cool lo-fi effect if you want to use it that way, but it sucks otherwise. This issue is not so noticeable if you turn the Comp knob down to a minimal setting, but then it isn't compressing much either.
 
The tone and frequency range are actually quite decent, apart from the issues just described. I would comment on the compression action, except I hate this pedal too much to bother. It has a two-band EQ, allowing you to boost or cut the highs or lows. The footswitch is not "true bypass", but the bypass is clean. The housing is the medium size of the Barber or Diamond, and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC.
 
Price in USD: used $50 to $80; it's discontinued but you can still find bizarrely overpriced "new" ones on the web.
 

 

 
 
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