Compressor Question: Boss CS-3? MXR Dyna Comp?

StormJH1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
653
So, I picked up a BOSS CS-3 on eBay, and am tempted to flip it already. I really don't want to spend more than $60 on it, but am willing to look at used MXR's or other options.

My issue with the CS-3 is that completely alters your tone, and doesn't really add the rich, full sustain I was hoping for. I do have a NS-2 Noise Suppressor, so noise shouldn't be a major concern of mine.

Anyone have any recommendations that retail for under $100? I know there are Keeley Compressors and other boxs that are $200+, but there's no way I'm spending that much for this type of effect.

Thanks!
 

2009LPGT

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,721
Reaction score
3,570
It really does not unfortunately.

There are three main ways to use a compressor 1. an effect, 2. a leveling device for evening out your volume for banging on chords and so on, and 3. a volume boost/sustainer for soloing.

As a boost and as an effect the CS3 is excellent. For subtle/transparent leveling...not so much. I have gone through a LOT of comps includeing many stupid expensive ones and the CS3 really shows well and ultimately it is what I went back to on my board.

The regular Dyna Comp will be worse for subtle, the Super Comp is maginally better but losses some of the mojo of the strait Dyna for some applications. The Custom Comp is pretty freaking great, I liked my CS3 a squeek better for what I do but the Custom Comp is awesome.

Sounds like you want something with a blend knob. It will allow you to blend your original signal with the compressed to give what your looking for. Barber Tone Press is so great and I may try that one again myself and the Wampler Ego, which was not for me but LOADS of folks love it!! Problem? Both options are out of the price range you are after.

I can't think of any lower cost comps that do subtle. They are aimed a folks looking at compression as an effect.

My personal recommendation would be 1. save you $$, try as many as you can first and buy the best of your tastings, 2. you can buy a Monte Allums upgrade kit for your CS3 for about $30-35 while your hunting that will make the CS3 much more trasnsparent and better sounding for your intended purpose. Most people like the modded pedal so much it ends their search!

Hang in there man, compression is very personal and it really is a journey you have to take for yourself. Everyone likes something different depending on their rig and tastes. Good luck!!:thumb:
 

switchback

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
374
Hey, I have used a ton of compressors myself anywhere from the Joemeek floor q to the MXR custom comp. The one quality I look for most is transparency and so I introduce you to the Grace Compressor by RedWitch its part of the Seven Sisters line and runs @ $100.00 it is a great compressor very light on pedalboard space and covers pretty much any compressor need you might want. Its worth checking out bang for buck, good luck :)
 

StormJH1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
653
Thanks to all the above (especially 2009LGPT) for the responses. Almost pulled the trigger on a new MXR Dyna Comp (on "sale" for $64.99 at GC right now, though $58 and free shipping on Amazon, I think), but I tested it out a little and I need to think about it some more. I have looked at the Custom Comp, but have not tried it out yet...

2009LGPT - Can you (or anyone else) explain how and why the MXR Custom Comp is superior to the Dyna Comp? The Custom Comp could probably be had for $100, which would be within my price range if, and only if, I were convinced it's superior to the CS-3 or cheaper MXR's. I note that also only has two knobs (Output and Sensitivity). Fewer knobs is a trademark of MXR simplicity, but it also means that I get no tonal control if I view it as too bright or muddy.



To answer the question of what I'm looking to do with it, I'm not 100% sure yet. In the past, I used the BOSS ME-30 compressor with clean tones, or in conjunction with at delay or chorus. I like the way it sounds with arppegiated rhythm parts. It adds sustain and gives that "ringing bell" like effect to your guitar tone.
 

2009LPGT

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,721
Reaction score
3,570
Well sure!

The Custom Comp has 2 internal trim pots, one for “Attack” and one for “Trim,” so it has lots of control. Most folks find a good setting for these and never touch them again anyway. You can think of these as adjustments for your particular rig. Then the outside knobs retain the standard MXR simplicity. The unit has the good chip. I forget the number but it is the one all the Dyna-Comp lovers ooz about! It’s true bypass, so no Boss buffer to deal with. Lastly, it is fuller / more transparent (I hate that f’n word but in this case I think it’s appropriate) than the Boss by a long shot. I think this is your best bet given price and of the mass produced variety. However, the CC is like $129 and for $149ish you can get the Barber Tone Press which is amazing!

Don’t off your Boss though. It is a great compressor and does some things nothing else really seems to do as well.
 

snaredrum

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
23,057
Reaction score
13,794
i had a custom comp, and couldn't gel with it. I like (apparently - it's all a learning curve, afterall) a less squashy, more sustainy compression, and the Custom Comp didn't seem to be "it". Neither did the Pigtronix Philospher's Tone Germanium, sadly.

i may just give up, but i honestly don't think i can.
 

bluesguitar65

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
Messages
901
Reaction score
592
How about a DIY Orange Squeezer compressor clone?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DVXQ0M7xkg]GGG Orange Squeezer Compressor Demo - YouTube[/ame]
 

2009LPGT

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,721
Reaction score
3,570
i had a custom comp, and couldn't gel with it. I like (apparently - it's all a learning curve, afterall) a less squashy, more sustainy compression, and the Custom Comp didn't seem to be "it". Neither did the Pigtronix Philospher's Tone Germanium, sadly.

i may just give up, but i honestly don't think i can.
I peg you as a Diamond guy Snaresy!!!
 

gibsonguitar1988

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
11,954
Reaction score
10,088
The Custom Comp and the Script RI (very different than modern version) Dyna Comp both share a CA3080 IC which is the one LPGT is talking about.

I'm a Keeley guy and don't care for optical super-transparent compression. I have the 4 knob version and if I wasn't using it I'd go for a Custom Comp or perhaps a Script Dyna (RI or original). I use a compressor for that Country thing rather than long sustain or leveling so I like a bit of squeeze in my comp. That said I want to try a Wampler again at some point with my updated rig as it's basically a Dyna with a blend feature. All of the Nashville cats that were Keeley/Dyna Comp/ROSS guys love the Ego so I need to try it.

My problem with the modern Dyna Comp and Super Comp are the noise. VERY noisy. Super Comp even worse. The Custom Comp and Script reissue Dyna Comp do not have that problem. The Custom Comp is basically a script reissue Dyna Comp but with LED and Power Jack and those internal pots but same circuit and IC.
 

StormJH1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
653
Thanks for the feedback thus far - today I ordered a MXR Custom Comp on eBay ($77 including shipping, which was about $60 better than I would have done at Guitar Center and about $30 better than Amazon). As I played around with the BOSS CS-3 some more, I don't "hate" it, but for financial reasons I should probably flip it on eBay, since I really don't want to own two compressor pedals.

I did a lot of research on the Custom Comp, and was sold ultimately by the positive reviews, as well as videos showing what it does to a clean tone. I'll update with a review of my own in a couple weeks after it's delivered.

A lot of the reviews talk about country music or "chicken pickin" tone, which, I understand what they're talking about, but that feels like too restrictive of a description. Yes, if you turn the Attack way up, it will emphasize the picking attack. But it's also normalizing the volume, adding sustain/clarity, and removing those annoying volume swells from clean passages.

Anyway, hopeful that I don't regret the purchase, but I saw enough to be fairly confident I will like the pedal. Some guitarists have it on literally all the time, as part of their tone. Coincidentally, this will also be my first pedal from MXR.
 

Blind Willie

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
488
Reaction score
517
Just got the MXR Dynacomp Script RI and I'm loving it. Don't need it for super squash; just to help with individual string volume blend.

I also find that when I transition from rhythm to lead playing I've got to pick harder to stay at the same volume. Using the MXR Dynacomp Script RI makes it easier to stay in that volume range without having to pick harder.

Finger picking is also much easier with a subtle amount of compression added.

And the MXR Dynacomp Script RI is very quiet.:)
 

Bordeaux

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
947
Reaction score
234
i had a custom comp, and couldn't gel with it. I like (apparently - it's all a learning curve, afterall) a less squashy, more sustainy compression, and the Custom Comp didn't seem to be "it". Neither did the Pigtronix Philospher's Tone Germanium, sadly.

i may just give up, but i honestly don't think i can.
Same here, I'm about to get rid of my MXR Custom Comp, just too much squash for my liking. Maybe I'm just not meant to use a compressor, the only thing I liked about it was the boost. I can get that from a Fat Boost of something along those lines.
 

Iron Broadsword

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
991
Reaction score
712
I like the CS3 better by far, but only after modding it. I did the "Fat body mod" and it became extremely transparent and very useable. Fuller, warmer, and no so splatty is the mod description but really it makes it more like a studio compressor. Can't tell when it's on but miss it when it's gone kinda thing. For about $4 worth of parts and being able to pick one of these up on craigslist for dirt cheap you can't go wrong even if it didn't sound amazing, haha.
 

StormJH1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
653
Updating my previous posts, as promised...

I just got the MXR Custom Comp in yesterday (having flipped my BOSS CS-3 for it), and LOVE it! I'm not going to preach that the Custom Comp is universally better than the CS-3, and that everyone should agree with me and spend the extra money. I just know that with my setup, the Custom Comp sounds better overall and provides a smooth finish on the underlying tone that I already liked.

I think what makes people differ so dramatically on compression pedals is that a good compressor really shouldn't make dramatic changes to your tone. It should take what's already there, kill the extreme swells, and allow you strum away almost as if you were on an acoustic, and without worrying that each note will be dramatically louder or quieter than the next.

I don't like that the MXR pedals hide the 9V battery (and the Attack) knob behind 4 Phillips screws and a backplate, but I have a OneSpot adapter anyway, and a compressor isn't something you should be playing with constantly anyway.

So, I can't say that the CS-3 was a "bad" pedal by any means, but I certainly don't regret selling it in favor of the MXR Custom Comp.
 

StormJH1

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
653
I like the CS3 better by far, but only after modding it. I did the "Fat body mod" and it became extremely transparent and very useable. Fuller, warmer, and no so splatty is the mod description but really it makes it more like a studio compressor. Can't tell when it's on but miss it when it's gone kinda thing. For about $4 worth of parts and being able to pick one of these up on craigslist for dirt cheap you can't go wrong even if it didn't sound amazing, haha.
Interesting. I don't do mods, but am interested to hear what people try to do with them. I think that hearing about what people are trying to change about the stock version of the pedals tells you a lot about what the perceived weaknesses of that pedal are.

With the CS-3, I just felt like my tone sounded too "digital" or "artificial". Maybe those aren't the right words, but I was definitely looking for more transparency.
 


Latest Threads



Top