Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Diamond BCP-1: Diamond's CPR-1 has been very popular for quite a while with guitarists, and even works pretty well with bass; but bassists have clamored for a "better for bass" version for long enough that Diamond has now granted that wish. There are two main differences with this new version: better deep lows, and a switch that selects the center frequency of the tilting EQ between 900 Hz (standard on the CPR) and 250 Hz.
Another point is headroom--when run at 9V, the Diamond can sometimes distort if hit with a big signal spike or when used with a high-output bass. This is completely resolved by powering the pedal with higher than 9V; the CPR can take up to 18V DC, and the BCP can take up to 24V. The BCP ships with an 18V power supply, but it can be run just fine on 9V if that's more convenient for you. Be aware though that this new version runs on reverse polarity, so if you plan to use a Boss-type center-negative supply, you will need to use a polarity-reversing adapter. This adapter is packaged with the pedal.
Aside from these technical details, the sound of this pedal is fantastic. It somehow adds both clarity and subtle fatness, yet it does not mask or muddy the tone of your instrument. It does not lose either highs or lows, and the tilting EQ provides a truly useful range of tones. The noise level is very low, and in fact it seems to "clean up" the signal rather than amplifying the noise in the signal chain. Of course that will depend on your specific rig and room. The noise stays low even if you boost the treble side of the EQ. The compression action is very smooth and unobtrusive.
My only complaint is that the fixed ratio is quite low (about 3:1), so this pedal is not good for peak limiting or "utility" compression to correct uneven levels. However if the reason you want a compressor is for tone improvement, this is the pedal for you. It really gives a "fat and shiny" quality to your sound.
The construction quality is great and the footswitch is true bypass. The LED changes color to indicate signal over the threshold, which is useful. The input gain control allows good response from this pedal with both high and low-output instruments.
Price in USD: new $249, used $175-$200
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