Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

T-Rex Comp-Nova: This pedal is an OTA type, like the Dyna/Ross. I reviewed it many years ago, and gave it fairly high marks, saying it has low noise and works well on bass. But over the years I began to doubt my words, because of my experience with so many other comps using the same basic circuit. So I got another one here in 2016 to re-test it. It turns out I was not wrong the first time!
It has a clean, natural sound, with minimal coloration. There is no loss of low end, no humps or scoops in the mids, and the highs roll off in a mild slope. The noise floor is fairly low, unless you crank the compression all the way up.
Knobs include Comp, Level (output volume) and Attack. The Attack knob has a wide time range, but most of that range is very slow, so any subtle adjustment of your initial note attack will have to be done near the fastest end of the knob turn. Between the slow attack and the nature of this type of comp circuit where your signal gets squeezed progressively stronger, it is no good as a hard peak limiter. But it excels at adding smoothness, some fatness, and sustain. You'll get the best results with the Comp knob near noon, depending on the output level of your instrument.
The footswitch is not "true bypass", but the bypass is transparent. There is no LED to indicate the amount of compression. The housing is the medium size of Barber and Diamond; inside the box is mostly empty space, so this would be a good candidate for re-housing in a smaller box. The construction quality is good, and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC.
Price in USD: new $199, used $80 to $130
or on Amazon

All text on this page written and owned by Cyrus J. Heiduska, 2006-2016, all rights reserved.
Copying is prohibited, but please feel free to link to this page using the link text "compressor reviews".