Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Demeter Compulator Pro (Compro): This is the newer, fancier version of the classic Compulator. It is essentially identical except for a few new additions, so please read that (newly-updated) Compulator review for the majority of my opinions of the tone, action, etc. Again, the new one is only improved by the addition of a few features, the tone is not different. In this review I will just focus on the new bits.
 
The biggest change is it has attack and release knobs. Many users of the original Compulator complained that the compression attack was too fast, softening or dulling their pick attack. So now that problem is solved, with the attack knob. And some of the classic rackmount studio optical compressors have very, very long release times, so the release knob here allows accurate imitation of that response. Personally I like a fast release time, and I barely crack the attack knob up above the minimum setting, so the majority of the range of these knobs is useless to me. But for those of you that want to experiment, or to emulate the slow gooey action of an LA2A or LA3A, these controls will suit you well. The minimum (fully counterclockwise) knob settings here are the same as the stock fixed settings of the original version.
 
The other change is a toggle switch on the side which engages an extra boost stage at the input. This is intended for bringing low-output instruments up into stronger compression response, or for turning the compressor into an extreme squashing effect. In that extreme squash usage, the effect is not as "rubbery" or bouncy as some other squashy compressors; it mostly just flattens your signal completely. This is good for people who want harmonics and tapping to pop out loud and clear, but most other people will want to avoid being flattened. Of course extreme compression can result in high noise levels, it's just unavoidable. There is a recessed trim pot on this pedal, just as on the original, however their functions are not the same. On the original, the trim pot adjusted your input levels, but on the new one, the trim pot adjusts the amount of boost applied when you hit the high-gain switch.
 
And that's it! Well, it's in a bigger box (the "medium" size of Diamond or Barber), and it's bright yellow. In every other regard, it is the same as the original version. Whether it is worth the higher price will depend on whether the new features are valuable to you. I know there have been many people who said the only reason they ditched their Compulator was because of the attack time--so maybe for them this pedal is exactly what they've been waiting for.
 
Price in USD: new $285 to $310, used $150 to $200
 
or on Amazon
 

 
 
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