Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Tech21 CompTORTION: As the name indicates, this pedal combines compression and distortion. The first thing to note is that this unit has the same non-defeatable internal noise gate as their Bass Compactor, and that is a bad feature: it stutters and spits. The higher you turn up the compression, the higher the noise level gets, and the more obnoxious the noise gate becomes.
 
The distortion is OK but the higher you turn it up the more it rolls off the low end. So most settings of the comp and distortion are useless, especially for bass. However at low settings, say around 10:00 on both knobs, the distortion is like a nice dirty overdrive, the lows are pretty good, and the noise gate is not so offensive. At that low setting it sounds similar to their Sansamp BDDI.
 
The other potentially good sound is with the knobs cranked higher it becomes a screaming, feedback-between-the-notes, lead guitar hardcore distortion. Running it in parallel with the clean bass signal (using an external blender or mixer) was an awesome scary metal tone. But that tone is also noisy and choppy and only worthwhile when used in a parallel mix. In short, it makes a halfway decent dirty amp simulator, and an amusing feedback solo distortion, but I would not recommend it at all as a compressor.
 
The construction is good enough, in a medium-sized housing, and it runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC. The footswitch is not "true bypass", but the bypass is pretty clean.
 
Price in USD: used $30 to $130 depending on how gullible the buyer is; no longer available new.
 

 

 
 
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