It is not uncommon to see guitarists use compression for their overdrive channel or on their crunch. Therefore, best guitar compressor pedals will make the noise that are quieter to sound louder to get you a much cleaner signal on your guitar.
What is a compressor pedal good for?
A compressor pedal is a foot-operated device that sits in your signal chain and helps you level the dynamics of your guitar sound. It “evens out” the dynamic range of music that means when you play something very quietly when the peak is low compressor can boost up the sound making it more audible. Whereas, when you strike a string too forcefully, the high peak produced can be reduced or smoothened using the compressor for an overall pleasing and balanced sound.
Do I really need a compressor pedal?
When you are playing you would want yourself and others to listen all of that your guitar is saying, compressor makes that happen for you. Compression comes in extremely handy or rather useful for helping a quiet, finger-picked part be heard in a mix. It helps the softer parts of the music not get blown away by the louder parts on both electric and acoustic guitar.
Whether or not you need a compressor pedal depends on how clear you want your music to be when it falls in the ears of a person. We all know how important it is for sound of any music to be precise and crystal and particularly detailed for it to not lose its essence.
Therefore, if you are hoping to be particulate about your practice, I would suggest the need to buy a compressor pedal as it will only help you improve your music.
What does a compressor pedal do for acoustic guitar?
For an acoustic guitar, the compressor pedal helps in compressing the dynamic ranger much closer along with lowering transitoriness and stabilizing the volume levels. The best compressor pedal for guitars has a lot of uses and can be used in improving the volume, quality, dynamics and frequencies of the sound to get a much better experience.
Where should a compressor pedal go?
Believe it or not, it is important to give a thought on where the compressor goes in your signal chain. A good rule of thumb, in order to send a stronger, better signal to the other effects, the compressor should be placed first, prior to any overdrives or distortion.
There are some guitarists who place the compressor last to boost their signal just before it hits the preamp of their amplifier which instead leads to an increase effect of any hum or hiss introduced by other effects, in short something you don’t want. I would suggest for you to experiment and see what you like the best, but putting the compressor first is a widely recommended choice.
Best Guitar Compressor Pedals
Keeley Compressor Plus Compressor Pedal
Simplicity is the key here. It is easy to dial in the sound you want. Even with the half and half set, there is enough range in sustain and level controls to create really subtle compression. There is a single coil humbucker switch in the centre of the pedal that controls gain as well as release time which helps humbucker has more output than single coil which get overly squashed or dull sounding.
The tone control in this really emphasises the sensitive harmonics that could otherwise be lost in compression. The compressor can run via 9-volt battery or power supply the bypass is true and genuine with all Analog circuit made in Oklahoma. The product is of great value for its money and will barely disappoint you.
Xotic SP compressor pedal
This compressor will surprise you with the amount of flexibility it can give considering its small size. The compressor uses 9-volt battery or a power supply works too. There is three-position compression sustain switch which gives you low, medium and high compression. There is also a blend controller which means it will help you balance between the dry unaffected signal and the compressed signal.
Even with a slight touch, you will get a snap and high definition in the sound without getting choked which is very cool. If you are unsatisfied with the sound or want to use the compressor for a heavier guitar, you can use the switched given inside the compressor to make the sound pop. It is well built and retains the tone and a smart purchase for one.
Boss CP-1X Compressor
Boss never seems to disappoint its users. When it comes to the design this compressor is similar to boss’s other compressor model which means bullet proof housing, runs on 9-volt batteries or optional power supply and 5-year warrantee. What’s different is its powered by state-of-the-art multi-dimensional processing. The special thing about it is the LED compression meter for easy visibility of gain while playing.
Even though it is simple to use this compressor helps you control multiple interlocking parameters at once enabling a wide range of tone with minimal effort. You can use any type of guitar on this compressor and will see absolute clarity in the sound. Since it is a digital compressor, the noise produced and distortion is extremely less which is hardly found in other compressors.
Fender The Bends compressor pedal
It is nice sounding, smooth and easy to use. In addition to input-output and 9-volt power jack there are some simple controls. There is a drive control helps you get the desired amount of compression you wish to apply.
There is a recovery knob to adjust how quickly or slowly the compressor lets your signal go back to normal. The blend knob allows you to control the mix between wet and dry signals and last but not the least, a level knob that controls the overall level of the affected tone. It prevents from squashing of the core sound which is a delight. For the price asked for the product you get is really good, not just in sound but also in build.
TC Electronic HyperGravity Multiband
This pedal comes quite impressive as it comes with three different voicing mode. First is the vintage mode, second is the spectral mode and last is TCS proprietary tone print mode which allows you to load in customised sounds. All the three options are unique in its own way. The compressor reacts absolutely neutral and therefore gives you a very balanced sound. The built-in strong making it long-lasting. You have the benefit of switching from true to buffered bypass as per your likings.
The coolest thing about this is that you can edit using a Mac or a PC to create your own sound and just play it or store it in the pedal for use or even go as beyond as creating your own library in it. Its really amazing and fun to use, a must buy for those who love to experiment and explore with their music. This can give you a lot of opportunity and open mindedness, a chance with trial and error t see what suits you best, exactly what a budding artist requires.
Strymon OB-1 Optical Compressor
Get rid of the chaos and find yourself some harmony with OB-1. The compressor offers you three easy sounds for clear tone- treble, middle and flat. It can also be controlled by a foot switch. The build and layout are simple with all-Analog signal path.
There is an internal DIP switch to boost tune and a switchable true or buffered bypass. Overall it’s a good compressor for all your needs that lasts long as it runs on 9-volt batteries as well as power supply.
MXR M228 Dyna Comp Deluxe Compressor
MXR is a company that has been making compressor pedals for a decade now, it all started with Dyna Comp. throughout the years they have manufacture a number of compressors. This one, right here, features the 38 EIC circuit that’s in the original Dyna comp.
It has high headroom and will give you a choice between nice vintage or high modern tone. Whether you are in a school band or you are performing a gig this one has got you covered. The company also has mini compressor pedals which are great too for its size and can come in very handy.
Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
It is inspired by the legendary Bill Putnam designed 1176 rack mounted studio compressor. Like 1176 cali76 is a transistor-based VT compressor that gives a fast response. It runs on 9-volt adapter but for more headroom you can always use 18-volt adapter in it.
You can explore a number of controls it comes with like Dry, out, in, ratio, attack, release. The compressor not only preserves your tone but also gives a new harmonic depth to the sound. The sound is soft and light and clear as a crystal with true bypass. It is definitely worth the money.
Orange Kongpressor compressor pedal
It is a long-lasting device because of its strong build with cool graphic design. It features unique aspect to its compression style that kind of mirrors some of the classic optical compressor in past.
The controls offered here are Volume, chime, squash, release and attack that helps the sound be amazingly natural and clean. It has a charge pump built into it which doubles the voltage internally to 18-volts, making it easy to use even for high output pickups or huge guitars. It is inexpensive and made to stand the rigours of day to day gigging. If you are a beginner or someone who plays the guitar on a regular basis this is the best deal for you.
ThorpyFX The Fat General V2
It is inspired by the rare OTC 201 compression medal that offers a thick optical compression circuit. It offers a versatile design with controls like Treble that can be set for either vintage willow or bright sound, sustain, balance juicy/blend switch and knob.
The juicy set has a pre-set mix of compression to head sustain and punch to any guitar while the dry signal maintains the character. It is hand-built in England with top-notch components like burr brown op-amp lima, Panasonic camps and a unique laser-etched enclosure. What more do we need?
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best guitar compressor pedals. After purchasing a guitar compressor pedal, in order to send a stronger, better signal to the other effects, the compressor should be placed first, prior to any overdrives or distortion. If you still have any doubts or queries, feel free to comment them down below. Keep Visiting Kozy Panda for more coverage like this.