T-Rex Squeezer: I first reviewed the Squeezer in 2007, and here in 2009 I have bought another one to see if my impressions are any different now. Partly I did this because I had said in my review that this pedal was just way too noisy, like a waterfall; but T-Rex themselves said they had no idea what I was talking about, they claim it has zero noise, and also a person I know says his is not noisy at all. So here we are.
To get the big question out of the way first, yes there is some hiss, but it's not as bad as I had said. At most settings the hiss is tolerable--about the same as a Boss CS-3. The amount of noise I heard the previous time may have been due to external forces such as the wiring and EMF in the place I lived back then. While there is only a light amount of hiss at low Gain knob settings, it gets really noticeable with the Gain around 12:00 and higher. I found that I was able to reduce the noise significantly by feeding the Squeezer a very clean and hot (high amplitude) input signal. So whether you have any problems with hiss will depend on your environment and the signal you feed it.
As for the other features, my review now is exactly the same as it was before. So since the noise was my biggest complaint, and since (as I said in the first review) it is otherwise a high fidelity pedal with smooth and versatile action and a wide frequency range, I guess you can say I have changed my mind, it's a pedal worth trying. I still have some complaints (the LED in the tube, the difficult tube access, etc.) but the sound quality is good and the compression is good, so it might be just right for some users. The footswitch is not true bypass, but it's quite clean sounding.
Here is my original '07 review, unedited:
Sighhhh... I had such high hopes. This is an expensive pedal, fairly new on the market, designed for bass, from a company with a good reputation. It uses a 12AX7 tube, and it has more controls than most other pedal comps, so I imagined it would be the ideal combination of fat warm sound and funky versatility, with (I hoped) low noise. Well, the reality is that it is just way too noisy. There is hiss even when the Gain knob is turned full off; and when the Gain and Volume controls are brought up to unity gain level, it sounds like a waterfall. On the plus side, it really is very versatile, with a super range of possible settings, and it also has a very full low end and a bright clear high end. Also, the tone is actually very crisp and "hi-fi" (except for the noise), and not at all the sort of fat/warm tone that people hope for from tubes. Interestingly, the noise does not increase/decrease as the compression level is adjusted. So they got part of the circuit right, for a versatile high-fidelity full-range compressor, but they seriously need to eliminate whatever part is causing all of the hiss. There's also a few things I don't like about the physical design of the pedal: (1) they have made it very difficult to access the tube; (2) the knobs are very close to the footswitch and they turn too easily, so you're likely to mess up your settings when switching it on/off; (3) it uses a 12VDC wall wart, which is just annoying; and (4) they installed a little orange LED in the base of the tube to light it up, which I think is tacky. I think if they redesigned this pedal without the tube, aiming for low noise, and chose a more logical power supply and improved the knob placement, they'd have a real winner. But that is not the case here.