Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Alesis Micro Limiter: This is an older 1/3 rack-width unit. It can run stereo or mono, and it works at either instrument level or line level.
 
It is actually one of the more effective limiters I've used: it honestly blocks major spikes from getting through, the attack speed is "just right" for unobtrusive but effective action, the tone is neutral, and there are no notable artifacts when the limiting kicks in. The downside is it has a similar noise level to most halfway decent pedal compressors, meaning the noise isn't bad, but it is not silent either. The lows are big and full, and the highs are OK--not exactly rolled off, but they do sound kind of congested. Expect this one to do its job without imparting any "magic" to the tone, it's a great limiter but not a fattener or a "character" effect.
 
The construction quality is OK. It runs on a 9V AC wall wart. Many of the ones I've seen on Ebay were missing the power supply, and the seller always says "any common 9V adapter will do." Not true, it needs AC not DC. The bypass sounds kind of poor unfortunately, but since it's not a stompbox you probably won't be using the bypass so much. Considering these units work so well, yet sell for very cheap, they get a big thumbs-up from me.
 
Price in USD: $10-$50 used, no longer available new.
 

 

 
 
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