Today we will talk about the 14 best compressor pedals for jazz guitar in 2023.
Finding the right balance of tones is very important in jazz. Jazz guitarists must have a subtle and expressive sound, from the soft strumming of chords to the complicated solos.
When it comes to guitar effects, compressor pedals are a major contributor to the distinctive tone of jazz guitar. Jazz guitarists’ preferences may overlap with those of guitarists who play other styles, but there are still certain differences to remember while shopping for the perfect sound.
Smoothness, sustain, and quick attack are of utmost importance in jazz. The function of the compressor is to emphasize and regulate these, resulting in a coherent and consistent sound that shines through guitar parts. Also, besides a clean signal path, having plenty of headroom for loud passages like solos and soft passages is essential.
Here are The 14 Best Compressor Pedals For Jazz Guitar 2023:
Each one has been chosen for its ability to cater to the requirements of jazz guitarists and provide a balanced blend of smoothness, low noise floor, plenty of headroom, and transparency.
Let’s follow The 14 Best Compressor Pedals For Jazz Guitar 2023.
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The 14 Best Compressor Pedals For Jazz Guitar 2023
1. TC Electronic HyperGravity
TC Electronic HyperGravity offers multiband and traditional single-band compression.
HyperGravity is a Tone Print-enabled pedal based on the algorithm of System 6000 studio multiband compressor. The 6000 serves as the foundation for the Spectra digital multiband mode, which advertises its ability to improve treble tones and even top and bottom string output.
It does not have the sound of a digital stompbox; it combines analog circuitry with digital processing. For example, the Blend function combines influenced and natural tones while retaining your original signal’s powerful punch and vibe.
- Level and Sustain
The Level knob allows you to set how much of the pedal’s effect is audible in your tone. The higher you turn it, the more compression signal you’ll hear and the less pure your guitar tone will be. And Sustain control how much compression you get and how strongly the effect hits your tone.
- Spectra Mode
The Spectra mode is crisp and transparent, so it can compress your original signal without dominating it. This setting can greatly diversify your tone and compensate for any noise caused by your equipment or instruments.
- Blend and Attack
The blend gives you complete control over how the compression affects the tone. It allows you to apply a lot of compression to your audio output while keeping the dynamics, which is great. The attack rate of the effect influences how quickly it grabs hold of your signal and begins to affect it.
- Vintage Mode
The vintage mode has harsh and dark characteristics and can stress and push your signal. Even though it may be a bit much for some users, it doesn’t mean it lacks tonality, is defined and warm, and can have more texture and gain.
The pedal has true bypass and an LED that indicates when the compressor is on, and it shares the same compact design and sturdy die-cast housing as the rest of the series. The power can come from either a 9V DC source or a battery (however, with a 100mA current usage, a power supply unit would be preferable). To edit TonePrint on a computer, plug it into the small USB port and use the cord that comes with it.
- Tone Print
Tone Print contains dozens of presets, many by among the greatest names in guitar, that you can share and download directly into your HyperGravity Compressor. And it wasn’t possible to make it much simpler; you can download the preset on your iPhone and transfer it wirelessly to your pedal using Beam technology.
The HyperGravity has a greatly analog feel, refuting the myth that digital compressors aren’t up to the task. Multiband compression reduces the “sledgehammer” impact of dialing in compression, leaving certain frequencies less compressed and producing a more realistic sound.
This helps reduce the pumping that most compressors produce, though you can still use that compression type and fewer noise results from overall compression across all frequency ranges.
Setting the mix and sustain to more than 50% results in much low-end noise, something more than ground hum. This is most visible while the pedal is not used. Also, the vintage mode can be somewhat gloomy, and treble output can dominate bass; however, this can be resolved in multiband mode.
2. Keeley Compressor Plus
Keeley Compressor Plus has clean dynamics and an uncolored sound.
Keeley’s pedals have received much acclaim over the years because they work closely with their users’ requests, which has proven successful. The Keeley Compressor Plus is based on a circuit of the legendary Ross Compressor, with much lower noise and additional features such as a Tone control that lets you fine-tune the pedal with any guitar.
Whether you want to tone the highs of a plucky Telecaster or add much more sustain to your guitar, the Keeley Compressor Plus is a great choice.
- Sustain and Volume Controls
The Sustain control sets the amount and duration of gain applied to fading notes. It is very useful when you want to have leads with a higher amount of sustain but also to smooth the sounds of the chords. The volume control allows you to match compressed and dry signals and use the compressor to boost solos.
- Blend and Tone Controls
The Blend control lets you mix compressed and dry signals. It helps you to add sustain or smooth out your playing while maintaining the original dynamics. It’s also great for those who want to use the benefits of compression without sacrificing articulation.
Tone control helps you bring back high frequencies that have tended to get lost in compression.
Since humbucker pickups are more powerful than single-coil ones, using them might result in over-attenuation and a severe loss of dynamics, which is why the single-coil/Humbucker switch is there.
However, these two settings are suited for the pickup types, so if your single-coil pickups are being attenuated too quickly or too much in the first place, you should switch to humbucker mode.
- Housing And Connectivity
The Keeley Compressor Plus is a pedal that benefits from very durable housing, having a standard size for its functions. It has a true bypass circuit that ensures the signal is unaltered when not in use, which is an advantage as it offers maximum transparency. The pedal offers an Input and Output, but a battery cannot power it; it can only be used with a 9V power input that you must buy separately.
The Keeley Compressor Plus is a great pedal option whether you are an experienced or novice user. The controls are very easy to interact with and are sensitive to settings, and you’ll get results quickly and without much effort. The pedal’s construction is durable, and the internal components are well chosen, an advantage in live and band practice contexts.
It’s suitable for any music, whether you play jazz, funk, rock, or even metal, offering a range of compression from the softest to a huge boost of sustain for solos.
The pedal can provide a large noise floor even in bypass mode; some units break down faster than you’d expect. However, these problems are particular and are batch production related, so if you have problems like this, we recommend changing the pedal under warranty. These are not characteristic of the pedal, so you should not worry.
3. Xotic SP Compressor (Mini Size)
Even though it’s a pedal with a tiny casing, the amount of control the Xotic SP Compressor covers every aspect.
The Xotic SP Compressor is an OTA (Operational Transconductance Amplifier) based pedal with the design of a classic Ross Compressor. It can deliver very transparent tones and does a great job if you want to add a harmonic sparkle or smooth out your dynamics. In addition to its controls in the main, the pedal also comes with dipswitches under the hood that add extra pedal control.
The two knobs on the front of the pedal are designed to adjust volume and mix. The pedal offers a blend control that adjusts the compression level applied to your signal and has a very good range, offering very high or discrete compression. And the Volume control provides a boost of up to 15dB.
- Toggle Switch
Because the pedal is small, they had to add these 3 modes that are meant to alter the intensity of the compression, offering settings like Hi, Lo, and Mid. Usually, this function can be controlled with a knob, but it only gives you 3 positions, making it much easier to find your sound and retain your preferred setting.
- Circuit and Power
The pedal is based on a Ross compression circuit which takes care of the peaks of the output but also accentuates its complexity. This analog design gives you two basic controls like, volume and blend, making the design a breeze to operate.
Although its construction is small, they have also found room for a 9V battery compartment alongside the power input, and both are not included in the package. Also, it has a true bypass, which means you’ll get a much cleaner signal when you’re not using the pedal but also when the signal is going through it.
- Under The Hood Dipswitches
When you open the pedal, you’ll find 4 dipswitches with important settings. 1 and 2 refer to attack and release, and alternating their positions gives you more compression sounds. 3 is a high-filter cut that gives or cuts high frequencies, and 4 is an input pad that cuts out the input the pedal receives, and is especially useful if you’re using the pedal with a humbucker pickup guitar.
The Xotic SP Compressor does a great job; it highlights smooth notes without giving you the feeling that the clean tone is replacing the compression or vice versa. It has great dynamics and a wide range of compression tones, and by fiddling with the internal switches, you can add great character to your sound.
What makes the pedal a very good deal is that it is small in size, and this brings you two benefits; besides taking up a small space in the pedalboard, being small is also an advantage in terms of build quality (we can say that it copes with any drop test, and the internal components will not rust over time).
The pedal offers a small amount of noise, which would be a small drawback for some users, but by using the dipswitches, you can eliminate this problem. The main controls can be inadvertently altered quite easily when you turn the pedal on and off, but with time you will learn how not to make this mistake.
Also, the 4 dipswitches seem like controls you’ll forget about once you’ve set them, as they’re not that accessible, but it’s not something that spoils the smooth interaction between player and pedal.
4. Wampler Ego
With the Wampler Ego Compressor, you can tame the dynamics without compromising tone.
The Wampler Ego Compressor is a pedal with an OTA circuit similar to the Ross Compressor and MXR Dyna Comp, meaning it takes the sound and delivers it as clean and deep as possible. It’s a hand-built pedal with good materials, constituting a durable pedal, and you’ll have it for a lifetime. The sound is as expressive and transparent as possible, offering plenty of headroom without too much noise floor.
- Volume and Sustain
With the volume control, you can make the effect louder, softer, or even with the rest of the chain. It changes the signal level of the output from the unit. And sustain helps you extend the lifespan of your notes while you can keep them as long as you need.
- Attack and Tone
Attack modifies the speed at which the compressor starts. Using high settings, it will immediately compress the signal and give you completely different tones. Tone control adds brightness and sparkle to your sound when you increase the amount.
Using the Blend knob, you can mix uncompressed sound with compressed sound, enabling you to maintain the guitar’s natural qualities. If you are searching for a setting that will provide you with a less muddy signal and is more well-balanced, the position that matches 11 o’clock is a good option.
- Power and Housing
It can be powered by a single battery or a power supply, making its use practical. It uses a normal adaptor, so powering it up will never be an issue. Like other Wampler pedals, Ego Compressor has a great aesthetic with metallic blue chassis, lettering, and white knob, while the construction is durable and the footswitch is of good quality.
The Wampler Ego Compressor is perfect if you want a reliable pedal that will crack your sound in any situation. It’s a clean, noiseless pedal that can easily sweeten your sound while unifying it.
The most interesting part is that it doesn’t color anything; it simply takes and improves what it gets. Indeed, it’s a pedal that can be expensive, but an investment like this gives you the most authentic tones possible and won’t require any repairs, so its lifespan will be many years.
Being a pedal suitable for quiet, jazz, or pop genres, it may not have a more aggressive tone, which can be a drawback for musicians who play multiple genres.
And for novice users, it can be a very difficult option because unless you have extensive knowledge in the compressor world, they won’t realize how the pedal alters the sound (because it’s subtle) and will feel like it’s not for them. Still, the Wampler Ego Compressor will change the game once they understand everything.
5. MXR Supercomp M132
- Attack Level
You can adjust the pedal’s “reaction time” with this knob; the volume of the sound changes as you play a note on a guitar, from loud at the beginning to soften as the note fades out.
If you turn the pedal’s volume control up, it will kick in almost as soon as you play a note, maintaining a consistent volume throughout. In keeping with the natural dynamics of your playing, a lower setting allows your note to ring out loudly before the pedal steps in.
This control is kind of like the pedal’s “strength” dial. The more you turn it up, the more the pedal will compress your signal or make your playing volume even out.
A high sensitivity is great if you want the volume to be the same, no matter how hard or soft you play. Lower sensitivity means the volume pedal won’t work as hard. It will let some changes in volume through, which can make your playing sound more natural and dynamic.
This is your volume control, and it doesn’t change how hard the pedal works to even out your volume; that’s what the sensitivity knob is for. Instead, it controls how loud the sound is once the pedal has done its job. This is helpful because compression can lower your overall volume, but you can compensate for that loss with the output knob.
- True Bypass
If you’re concerned about contaminating your tone, you can rest assured that the Supercomp M132 has a true bypass. Without the pedal engaged, the guitar signal will pass through unaltered and at full strength. This is important for guitarists who want to preserve their instrument’s natural tone while also having the option of using a compression effect.
The Supercomp M132 continues MXR’s legacy of producing pedalboard-friendly compact devices. It’s compact enough to fit on a tight pedalboard but sturdy enough to withstand live performance and touring wear and tear.
The pedal’s sturdy construction and long-lasting parts guarantee reliable operation night after night. The Supercomp M132 features a flashing LED light that illuminates whenever the effect is active.
The MXR Supercomp M132 has a light compression effect that enhances guitar rigs’ sound without masking the instrument’s natural dynamics. As promised, it does an excellent job with no hiccups or complications. This pedal offers notable value for the money compared to more expensive and complicated options.
It enhances both clean and distorted tones, making it suitable for various musical styles, from jazz to metal. Also, this pedal is perfect for live performances thanks to its rugged construction and intuitive layout. The MXR Supercomp M132 offers guitarists improved tone, increased mix visibility, and a happy medium between power and ease of use.
Some guitarists might not like the pedal because of its sharp sound when it attacks slowly. While this quality could be useful for rhythm players, it might not be ideal for lead guitarists or those looking for a more immediate attack and responsive feel.
6. Behringer CL9 (Budget)
The Behringer CL9 can operate either as a compressor or as a limiter, all in an affordable and easy-to-use package.
Behringer is famous for this kind of pedal, which come at a very low price thanks to the plastic casing. This time, the Behringer Compressor/Limiter Cl9 is a pedal you buy, and it does the job in any situation; whether you want to have it as a backup to your main rig or use it as a main, it won’t fail.
It’s a small pedal that finds its place in any pedalboard, with connectivity sockets on the left and right and 3 main controls (Attack, Sustain, and Output).
- Different Operations
It can affect your sound in various ways depending on where you position the Compressor/Limiter Cl6 in your signal chain. After your chain, it acts as a limiter and reduces your overall sound, so, with clean tones, it will be a wonderful enhancer; also, distorted sounds will pump up your total gain and generate a louder distortion while maintaining your sound level.
However, putting it at the beginning of the signal chain, like the initial pedal in the preamp section, will increase your signal.
- Housing and Power
Due to its plastic construction, the pedal requires careful use. There’s an on/off indicator light (LED) on the pedal’s control panel and a switch to maintain signal bypass. You can run this effect pedal off of a 9V battery or a DC power supply (not included).
Attack control controls how fast the compressor affects the signal; specifically, it is designed for trimming the high signals. When you set the attack to be fast (turning it to the right), it will compress the signal instantly to the set threshold, giving a nice effect for distorted tones or hand-clapping techniques because they are very fast, so a low attack time will not cope.
This control controls the total output of the affected signal. Since the Behringer Compressor/Limiter Cl9 is not a normal compressor where compression tends to lower the total volume, it will lower the volume. You can tell when you set all the pedal settings to 12 o’clock and do an on/off; you will see how much this pedal will increase the volume.
The sustain knob controls compression intensity; it determines how much the compressor reduces guitar signal gain or loudness when it reaches the threshold. In this case, the sustain knob increases compression, reducing the guitar’s dynamic range, so this can give your notes a smoother, longer sustain.
However, decreasing the sustain knob reduces compression, allowing greater dynamics and natural decay. If you want a less compressed sound or to keep your guitar’s attack and release, this can help.
The best part of this pedal is, of course, its price but also the way it gives you effortless results. It won’t ruin your tone, and even though it’s not a true bypass, it won’t affect your dry signal too much.
It finds its place in live performances or rehearsals rather than studio sessions. It offers a thicker and warmer sound but also a big and loud one. If you use the sustain knob to its fullest, you get an extreme signal boost, so its range is good.
The worst part is that due to its casing, the CL6 is fragile so it can break down quite quickly. For example, besides the fact that its circuitry can be degraded over time due to rust, it has a plastic On/Off switch, which means that over time it will become harder and harder to press, and eventually, it won’t be usable. But this may be the right solution if you are just starting and want to experience guitar effects.
7. Boss CP-1X
The CP-1X is the pinnacle of BOSS compression pedals, boasting a modern design and musicality.
This pedal’s innovative Multi-Dimensional Processing technology allows for a sophisticated analysis of your signal’s frequencies, resulting in expressive and musically nuanced volume control across a wide range of settings. The CP-1X has powerful 18-volt internal electronics, so it can easily handle various guitars in different tunings, and a gain reduction indicator to help you visually set the appropriate compression level.
- 18-Volt Internal Circuitry
Even though it runs on a standard 9-volt power supply, the Boss CP-1X has an 18-volt internal circuitry, which increases its headroom and dynamic range. It can handle louder signals without distorting because it has more headroom, making it perfect for high-output guitars.
A wider dynamic range captures how players move, from soft touches to strong attacks. Even with high compression settings, this feature keeps your tone’s depth, giving you a clear, open sound.
- Design and Build
BOSS is known for making pedals that last a long time and are of high quality, and the CP-1X is no different. Its sturdy case is made to withstand the wear and tear of live performances and frequent travel so that players can depend on it.
Also, the CP-1X uses low-noise components and a buffered bypass to keep unwanted noise and tone loss from happening when the pedal is not in use.
- Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP)
BOSS’s Modular Delay Processing (MDP) technology is a system that analyses your playing in real-time and adjusts the sound to match. It analyses the force you strike the strings with your pick, the duration of each note, and the quality of your chords.
In other words, the pedal is responsive to your playing style rather than simply applying a universal compression setting. So, the dynamics of every note you play may be fine-tuned with the help of a compressor without losing any of their characters.
- LED Gain Reduction Indicator
This is not just a fancy light show; it shows how the compression pedal works. By monitoring this indicator, you can tell when and how much compression is happening. This visual feedback can be very helpful for players when finding the right amount of squeeze for their tone. It can help them get the most out of their dynamics without overcompressing.
The BOSS CP-1X Compressor gives you much control over how much compression you want, so when you turn it up, it sounds like a pedal steel guitar. It improves your instrument’s natural sound in more subtle settings, making it good for jazz and rock.
The pedal is easy to use because of its small size, clear connections, and tucked-away control knobs. The Footswitch has an internal spring that makes it easy and comfortable to use, whether you wear shoes or not, and also, the compartment for the batteries is easy to get to, which is a nice bonus.
Even though the CP-1X has a lot of good points, it may not be able to reduce the harshness of some guitars. Some users have noticed a harsh high-frequency edge when using a Telecaster with a Fender amp. But this problem usually goes away when the guitar’s volume is turned down.
8. Darkglass Hyper Luminal (Best Value)
The Darkglass Hyper Luminal will allow you to take your bass sound to new heights by simulating the power and precision of studio compression.
It faithfully recreates classic compression tones with its all-analog signal path and digitally modeled sidechain circuits. There are various dynamic options available right away thanks to the three standard compression models, and the pedal’s four knobs and two metal-through sensors make it easy to adjust your sound. Also, the software provides additional compression tuning options.
- Blend Knob
This knob lets you fine-tune the proportion of compressed and uncompressed sounds; it keeps the natural dynamics of your instrument playing while applying the proper degree of compression by mixing the two sounds. This option allows you to shift smoothly between compressed and unaffected parts of your tone.
- Time Knob
The Time knob affects the compression effect’s attack and release qualities. It allows you to shape the compression envelope, defining how quickly the compressor responds to changes in dynamics and how long it takes to release the compression after the signal falls below the threshold. This level of control allows for fine-tuning your notes’ sustain and decay.
- Ratio Switch
The Ratio switch provides several compression ratios, allowing you to modify the compression effect. When the signal reaches the threshold, the compression ratio changes. Options often range from modest compression ratios such as 2:1 to more dramatic ratios such as 10:1 or greater, catering to various playing styles and tastes.
- Compression Knob
It controls the level of the compression effect on the signal, letting you adjust the degree of compression you want, from mild and transparent compression to more evident and harsh compression; it is essential for striking the ideal balance of control and dynamics in your performance.
- Level Knob
The Level knob modifies the pedal’s total output volume, allowing you to compensate for any perceived loudness variations produced by compression. It ensures that your output level remains consistent regardless of whether you use high compression or more subtle settings.
- 3 Modes
Bus mode is based on mixing console bus compressors; this setting provides smooth, transparent compression to glue and balance the mix.It controls dynamics without introducing coloring or artifacts.
“FET” mode mimics a FET compressor; it provides fast attack times, firm compression, and harmonic distortion when pushed harder. With more aggressive compression, this setting may provide sustain, punch, and character to your tone.
SYM mode mimics the Super Symmetry pedal’s tone and features. This mode may offer a clear, flexible compression response for fine bass signal dynamics control.
The Hyper Luminal excels at providing transparent compression, preserving the natural dynamics and feel of your performance while regulating peaks and boosting sustain.
This pedal is suitable for various musical genres and playing styles, ranging from gentle compression for jazz and fusion to severe compression for rock and metal while its circuitry maintains minimum noise and great signal clarity even at severe compression settings.
Darkglass pedals are known for their durability, so this one is designed to resist the rigors of live performances while being small and pedalboard-friendly.
Its extensive range of settings may need considerable trial and error to realize its potential; it may take some time for consumers to establish their favorite settings and grasp how each option affects their tone.
In addition, the Darkglass Hyper Luminal is more expensive than some other compressor pedals on the market. While its quality and features justify the price for many, individuals on a limited budget may want to consider it.
9. Electro Harmonix Tone Corset
You can take control of your tone with the Electro-Harmonix Tone Corset and experience dynamic precision like never before.
Electro-Harmonix’s Tone Corset compressor pedal is an adaptable and user-friendly tool for sculpting your guitar’s dynamics in a way that doesn’t compromise its individuality. Setting the desired amount of squish is simple, thanks to separate controls for Sustain and Attack.
Turning the blend knob allows you to subtly incorporate more of your unprocessed audio. The pad switch on the Tone Corset allows for optimal performance and maximum versatility, whether you’re playing a vintage Strat or a high-output metal machine loaded with active humbuckers.
- Sustain Knob
The Sustain knob controls how much compression your guitar signal gets. When you turn the Sustain knob clockwise, the compression gets stronger. This makes the sound even and steady, letting you smooth out the peaks and valleys in the way you play, giving you more control over your overall output level, and ensuring your sound is consistent and controlled.
- Attack Knob
With the Attack knob on the Tone Corset, you can change how quickly the compression effect works. You can control how quickly the compressor kicks in after the initial attack of your guitar signal by turning the Attack knob.
Lower settings make the attack faster, which is great for keeping the transient detail and articulation when playing fast and percussive music. Higher settings make the attack slower, making for a smoother and more transparent compression effect that works well for holding notes and making the volume curve more consistent.
- Blend Knob
The Blend knob is a useful tool for mixing compressed and dry signals. This control lets you balance keeping your guitar’s natural dynamics and subtleties and getting the smoothing and sustain that compression gives you. By turning the Blend knob, you can find the right mix of compressed and dry signals, which keeps your playing expressive and lets the dynamics of your playing stand out.
- True Bypass Switch
It has true bypass switching, a useful feature that lets you keep your guitar’s original tone when not using the pedal. When the pedal is bypassed, the signal from your guitar goes through without being changed or colored; it keeps your natural tone unaltered and pure.
- Housing And Power
The Tone Corset is made to be small and easy to fit on a pedalboard, saving you space on your setup. Its solid build makes it long-lasting and reliable so musicians can use it on the road or in the studio. The pedal uses standard 9V DC power, which makes it easy to connect to most pedalboard power supplies or a separate power adapter.
The Electro Harmonix Tone Corset provides clear compression that improves your guitar’s sustain and evens its dynamics without changing your core tone. With its Attack knob, the pedal works for various playing styles, from fast and percussive to smooth and legato, making it compatible with jazz, blues, rock, and metal genres.
Even though the pedal has good compression, it only has a few options for shaping the sound of your guitar beyond compression parameters. Also, some users may find that the Attack knob’s range isn’t wide enough for extreme settings, which could be a problem for those who want specific compression responses.
10. Keeley Compressor Pro (Studio Worthy)
The Keeley Compressor Pro is a compressor/limiter that excels on stage and in the studio.
It can handle hard- and soft-knee compression, making it suitable for everything from guitar and vocals to bass and keyboards to drums. The Compressor Pro prevents damage to your amplifiers and speakers while ensuring your live performances sound polished and full.
It’s also a great studio compressor, ideal for producing audio for podcasts and videos for sharing on platforms like YouTube, thanks to its wide frequency response and low noise specifications. In addition, even at low volumes, there is sufficient sustain at home.
- Input Flexibility
The Keeley Compressor Pro easily accepts input levels between -50dBu and +10dBu. It can handle signals across various loudnesses and intensities, from the softest passage on an acoustic guitar to the loudest drum beat.
Because of its adaptability, the Compressor Pro can be used in various audio applications. Connecting passive guitar pickups (typically operating at a level between -25dBu and 2.5dBu) and using it with professional studio levels (typically operating at +4dBu) are just two examples.
- Dual Compression Modes
The Compressor Pro has two distinct compression settings: hard knee and soft knee. Once the input signal reaches the threshold set, the compressor will apply the ratio you’ve chosen to lower the volume. If you want to create a noticeable compression effect, like increasing the guitar’s sustain or squeezing down peak volumes so they don’t overload your sound system, this is the mode for you. Keeley’s “Komfort Kompression” mode, which he calls “soft-knee mode,” applies compression more gently as the signal approaches the threshold, resulting in a more natural sound.
- Auto Mode
Auto mode’s tool automatically calculates the ideal Attack and Release times using the input signal’s specifics. When the input signal goes above the threshold, the compressor starts working and continues until the signal falls below the threshold.
By automatically adjusting the attack and release times, the Auto mode can prevent the compression from smearing the pauses in your performance, even if you’re playing fast, staccato notes on an instrument like a guitar.
- 7-Segment LED Display
The amount of gain reduction being applied by the compressor is graphically represented on a 7-segment LED display, so you can easily assess the compressor’s effort. This function is invaluable when performing in front of an audience where you might not have time to adjust the volume by ear.
In addition, the Threshold LED’s dual-state design shows both when compression is applied (green) and when it is released (red). With this real-time visual feedback, you will learn how the compressor affects your playing.
In the absence of the footswitch, true bypass circuitry ensures that your signal travels unmodified from the input to the output. This is important for maintaining your tone after disengaging the pedal, as it prevents any loss of signal strength or volume.
The Keeley Compressor Pro is great because it can work with a wide range of audio sources, from quiet guitar parts to even more aggressive ones. The hard-knee and soft-knee compression modes offer powerful sustain or a more natural tone, depending on your musical style.
The Auto mode is great for live performances because it adjusts the attack and release times based on your playing, so you don’t have to keep changing them by hand and can focus on your music.
You can do a lot with the Compressor Pro, but getting the hang of everything it can do may take some practice. Furthermore, the Compressor Pro is more expensive than budget compressors because it is a professional-level pedal. However, those looking for high-quality compression will find its performance and adaptability worth the cost.
11. Carl Martin Andy Timmons Compressor
Carl Martin Andy Timmons Signature Compressor unlocks two compressors in one box.
Designed in tandem with legendary guitarist Andy Timmons, this pedal features two distinct compression settings, one for rhythm and one for lead, and separate output volume controls. The pedal’s substantial output level boost provides extra power for driving your amp, and its small size delivers a wide range of compression styles, from squashed signals to transparent dynamics control.
This pedal excels in all areas, making it a valuable asset for live and recorded performances, whether you need precise compression control or a flexible boost.
- Dual Preset Compression
This pedal stands out because it offers two different compression rates and level settings. This is great for guitarists who need different compression settings for their rhythm and solo parts, as they can easily toggle between them. To achieve the desired compression characteristics, guitarists can quickly switch between presets, eliminating the need to juggle multiple knobs while performing or recording.
- Fixed Threshold and Response Settings
The threshold and Response are always the same for both pedal settings. Although this may seem restrictive initially, it guarantees consistent performance and simplifies operation.
Guitarists are freed from the distraction of constantly adjusting compression settings when they instead use the time to focus on other aspects of their playing. This is an excellent feature for live performances where adjustments must be made quickly and accurately.
- Remote Switching
The addition of a 1/4″ jack for remote switching presets is helpful for guitarists who use switcher/looper pedals. This enables the pedal to fit in with more complex pedalboard configurations, allowing the user to adjust compression levels without touching the pedal. Switching remotely improves workflow efficiency, especially when quickly adjusting compression settings for intricate arrangements or performances.
- DC/DC Converter
This compressor/limiter pedal is distinguished from the competition by its use of DC/DC converter circuitry. The pedal can now function on its own internal +-12V power supply while still accepting power from a standard 9V DC 200mA power supply, thanks to the inclusion of this innovative technology.
The ability to use two different presets is a huge plus. It’s great for musicians who must switch quickly between two compression settings, such as when playing rhythm and solo parts requiring different dynamic profiles.
Because of DC/DC converter technology, the pedal can function on standard electricity without sacrificing its sound or ample headroom. Also, switching between inputs remotely is a further convenience for those who employ switcher/looper setups.
Some users may feel constrained by the fixed Threshold and Response settings and wish for more freedom for detailed tone sculpting. While the six-knob layout simplifies use, some may need more customization options. Also, a 200mA power supply could be an issue for some setups, especially those with limited pedalboard battery capacity.
12. Walrus Audio Deep Six
The addition of the Tone control makes the Walrus Audio Deep Six pedal even more powerful than its predecessors.
This updated version skillfully blends modern functions with classic stylings, thanks to user and artist feedback. The addition of a Tone knob guarantees a clean signal that will shine through any compression, from light dynamics to heavy effects.
The Deep Six V3 is a compact pedal with studio-quality compression and easy-to-use controls, making it suitable for various pickups, and the new artwork on the Deep Six V3 complements the pedal’s already impressive features, making this potent compressor pedal even more attractive.
- Polarity Correction
The Deep Six V3’s onboard polarity correction circuit is one of its best features. It ensures that polarity issues won’t be a problem, keeping the signal’s integrity even in complex pedalboard configurations.
Also, the pedal’s smart power management system doubles the internal voltage to 18 volts while keeping the current draw at an average of 8.9 mA, so you will have more headroom and makes the battery last longer.
- Level Control
The Level knob, the output volume or make-up gain, is important for adjusting the compressed signal’s final volume. Since compression works by taming the signal’s loudest components, resulting in a lower overall volume.
The Level knob is for adjusting the mix between the compressed and uncompressed signals or for giving the compressed signal a boost if necessary. This makes the pedal useful as a compressor and as a transparent booster for cutting through the mix, such as when playing solos or lead parts.
- Blend Knob
The Blend knob helps you achieve parallel or “New York” compression. This compression method combines the dry and wet signals, preserving the natural attack and dynamics of your playing while adding the advantages of compression.
For rhythm playing or when you want a more subtle compression effect, turning the Blend knob towards the dry side will allow more of your original dynamics to come through. To achieve a more heavily compressed tone with increased sustain and smoothness, ideal for legato playing, solos, or slide guitar, turn it towards the wet side to hear more compression.
- Sustain Knob
The Sustain knob on the Deep Six V3 controls the level of compression. To adjust the amount of compression applied to your signal, you can do what amounts to adjusting the compressor’s “threshold.”
By boosting the volume of the signal’s quieter components while keeping the loudest ones in check, the Sustain knob creates a longer, more pronounced sustain. This can help your notes sustain for longer and sound more uniform, which is great for genres like blues and shoegaze that rely on sustained notes and chords.
- Tone Control
In response to requests from both users and musicians, we have included a Tone slider in this release. It acts as a bass cut, allowing you to keep your tone clear even as the compression increases.
Compression has the potential downside of overemphasizing the low-frequency content of your signal, which may lead to a muddy or unclear tone if applied at high levels. When turned down, the Tone knob lets your signal’s frequencies through, creating a fuller, warmer sound.
Turning the Tone knob clockwise can reduce the bass in your output; because of this, the sound’s midrange and high-frequency components are better able to come through, creating a brighter and more defined overall tone than would otherwise be possible, especially helpful for music styles or genres that call for a crystal-clear or twangy tone, like funk or country.
- Attack Control
The Deep Six V3’s Attack knob lets you fine-tune the compressor’s intensity to suit instruments of varying output levels. This feature ensures that your compression is always effective and musically appropriate, whether playing a delicate fingerstyle piece on a low-output vintage guitar or shredding a high-gain solo on a modern guitar with an active pickup.
The Deep Six V3 is adaptable and can handle active, passive, humbucking, and single-coil pickup signals with equal aplomb. This means you can play various guitars and musical styles without worrying about the pedal not keeping up.
And here’s a cool extra: the Tone knob. This feature lets you fine-tune the bass cut to achieve the perfect tone without sacrificing definition. In addition, the pedal’s double internal voltage gives it plenty of volumes, meaning that your compressed sound will be natural and uncolored.
The tone knob’s limited range of motion can prevent it from providing the level of low-end clarity that some players require. Furthermore, the “squash” effect, which some users appreciate as artistic, can sound unpleasant at higher compression levels. Some users have also noted that the pedal’s tone-sucking effect becomes more pronounced with heavier overdrive or distortion effects.
13. Strymon Compadre (High-End)
Strymon Compadre is a dynamic duo of compression and boost.
The Strymon Compadre is a revolutionary pedal for guitarists because it combines studio-grade compression with a clean boost. This pedal gives you remarkable command over dynamics and volume thanks to its combination of potent analog compression and a transparent boost circuit.
The boost section can add up to 20dB of clean gain, perfect for showcasing solos or pushing your amp to new heights, and the compressor section can provide anything from subtle smoothing to intense squashing. The Compadre’s versatility and sound quality are unparalleled, thanks to its separate compression and boost controls, adaptable sidechain filter, and extensive I/O configuration.
- Compression Type Switch
The Compadre has two compressor circuits that are based on renowned studio gear. The “Studio” mode brings back the classic rackmount compression tone heard on many records, giving a smooth and clear sound. The “Squeeze” mode gives a vintage-style compression with a warm, colored sound, perfect for getting that “vintage squash” sound.
- Dry And Level Knob
It gives you more control over your tone with a Dry knob and a Level knob that work directly with the compression knob. With the Dry knob, you can mix uncompressed and compressed signals; it lets you keep the natural dynamics of your playing while still getting the benefits of compression.
Also, the Level knob lets you change the pedal’s overall output level ensuring your volume stays the same when you use the Compadre.
- Boost Knob
The Boost Knob adjusts the amount of the clean gain boost, which amplifies the guitar signal without altering the tone. Turning the Boost Knob clockwise increases the output volume of the boosted signal, which helps cut through the mix during solos and gives your sound more presence in general.
- EQ Switch
It lets you choose from three different settings to adjust the EQ of the amplified signal. In the Flat position, the amplified signal keeps its natural frequency response. This mode provides a clean, transparent boost without altering the original tonal balance of your guitar sound.
The EQ Switch’s Mid setting emphasizes the signal’s midrange frequencies, helping the band stands out more prominently in loud environments. It boosts the guitar’s midrange, making it more noticeable and audible in a live setting or recording.
In addition, switching to the Treble mode increases the signal’s treble frequencies. This setting is great for funk and country music, which both benefit from a more prominent high-end because it brightens and articulates your tone.
- Housing And Power
The Strymon Compadre needs a regular 9V DC power supply with center-negative polarity, and the pedal’s housing is strong and can take a lot of abuse in the studio or on stage. The analog buffered bypass on the Compadre is good and keeps your signal from changing and keeps your tone and signal from noise and tone loss.
- Boost Type Switch
The Boost Type switch is on the back of the pedal. It has two modes: clean and dirty. Using this switch, you can choose between different tones for the boost part of the pedal. In Clean mode, the boost section adds up to 14dB gain, greatly boosting the volume without adding distortion.
When the Boost Type switch is in the Dirty position, the boost section gives the boosted signal a gritty and slightly distorted sound; it can be useful for giving your sound a bit of aggression and bite.
The Strymon Compadre pedal stands out because it can work with MIDI, giving you more creative ways. Its dirty and clean boost is very good and offers many tonal improvements. It’s good for different types of playing because it has two different ways to compress the analog signal.
The pedal’s versatility comes from the fact that you can stack overdrive pedals while using the dirty boost. Also, the three EQ curve options let you shape the tone precisely, and the volume control lets you make changes quickly and dynamically. The Compadre is a reliable pedal that works well with various musical styles like jazz, rock, blues, and metal.
Some people may not like how little control they have over the treble boost, and there is no built-in way to switch between different presets. Also, the pedal is expensive, so if tone coloration is more important than boost and compression, you might need to consider something else.
14. Fairfield Circuitry The Accountant
Fairfield Circuitry The Accountant is a master of tonal balance.
You can add precise control and tonal balance to your guitar rig with the help of The Accountant, a compact and potent compressor pedal. The Accountant’s one-of-a-kind tonal qualities and construction will help you play expressively while controlling the volume and tone.
The compression effect can be fine-tuned with this pedal’s clear knobs for compression ratio, input sensitivity, and output volume. The Accountant’s natural and transparent compression improves sustain and smooths out dynamics without altering your tone’s character.
- Ratio Switch
The three-way ratio switch gives you various ways to control the guitar’s dynamics to fit your playing style. In the down position (O), the compression ratio is set to 3:1, giving a subtle leveling of dynamics perfect for taming peak levels while keeping playing nuances.
If you want a stronger, more controlled dynamic range, you can set the compression ratio to 12:1 in the middle position (2), which tightens the signal, creating a squashing effect and is the best way to get a strong sustain. Lastly, the upper position (1) has a balanced 6:1 ratio that gives noticeable compression without being too harsh.
- Pad Switch
The pad switch allows musicians to adjust their input signal before compression. If you’re using high-output instruments or a rough playing style, the downward position (O) cuts your input by a significant 16db, which helps keep the compression from getting too high.
The middle position (1) strikes a balance with an 8db cut, which lowers your signal by a moderate amount and is useful for general playing. In the upper position (2), there is no cut (0db), so the full strength of the signal from your instrument can interact with the compressor; this is best when you want the most compression.
Its JFET is known for its warm, smooth, and analog-like qualities; its compression effect makes your instrument’s natural tone sound better. This technology gives a musical and expressive response to compression, similar to how old tube amplifiers worked.
The JFET circuitry is a good thing to consider if you want a compressor that keeps the unique sound of your instrument even when it’s being compressed hard.
- Housing And True Bypass
The Accountant’s small size and true bypass feature make it a pedal that takes up little space and sounds clear. Its small size makes it easy to fit on any pedalboard without lowering the quality of its sound or features.
In addition, the true bypass circuitry ensures that your guitar’s signal doesn’t change when you turn off the pedal, keeping the purity of your original tone. So, with The Accountant, you can enjoy a pedal that doesn’t take up too much space or change your tone when bypassed, making it a useful and effective addition to your setup.
- Volume Knob
The Volume knob on the Accountant controls your sound level after compression. Due to the dynamic leveling, the overall volume of your signal may be lower after the compression process.
By adjusting the volume knob, you can match the level of your dry signal so that when the effect is on or off, the change is smooth, and the volume stays the same during your performance. Also, you can turn up the knob to use The Accountant as a clean boost pedal to boost the volume for solos or certain parts of a song.
The Accountant is perfect for bassists who want to do more than compress their sound. Its unique JFET circuitry gives it a raw, rich tone that stands out in a mix. Users love the warm, dynamic fattening effect with a nice bite, made possible by the right pad and ratio settings.
Despite being small, it has flexible, dynamic control, can handle the outputs of different instruments, and can even boost the volume. The noises it makes naturally blend well in live settings, which adds to its unique personality.
The pedal has much going for it, but only some jazz players might like it. Its small size and few controls could make it harder to make precise changes if you want to make many changes.
Even though the three-way ratio switch gives you some options, it might give you less control than a compressor with continuous ratio control. Also, some jazz players who want only light, clear compression might find the 12:1 ratio setting too strong.
They were The 14 Best Compressor Pedals For Jazz Guitar 2023. Throughout the top, you could see several options that either respect a classic circuit and offer the most analog sound possible or incorporate vintage with modern, making the way you apply compression to your signal as complex as possible.
Certainly, the Strymon Compadre is a great choice if we’re talking modern. This pedal combines compression with boost, giving you a clean or dirty boost, suitable for jazz solos or even more aggressive genres. The Darkglass Hyper Luminal is also a modern option; it emulates the power and precision of a studio compressor with some fine controls.
It offers transparent compression and maintains the natural dynamics of your instrument, and it is also suitable for many genres, and if you want to take your tone to extremes, it has a circuit that keeps the signal as clear as possible, offering the lowest possible noise.
The Boss CP-1X is a very interesting solution because that technology analyzes what you play in much more detail, leaving you with much more control. It’s a small pedal, the connectivity is as straight as possible, and the knobs are very responsive to settings.
If you want an inexpensive solution that works well, the Behringer CL9 is the way to go. It has some plastic housing, but it doesn’t affect the tone; on the contrary (the cost of materials influences the final price, which is an advantage for users). It has a simple layout, offers two modes of operation (either you want to use it as a compressor or limiter), and won’t ruin the tone very much (if bypassed).
And suppose you want a pedal that gives you that analog feel. In that case, that can give you parallel compression that reduces sledgehammer impact, in the end, has a realistic tone; the TC Electronic HyperGravity is the solution. It has a clean layout, with several modes with their characteristics and the possibility to connect the pedal to a preset bank that offers and saves a lot of tones.
We hope this top has been helpful to you in finding the right pedal, whether it’s a modern one with smart features, a classic one that does its job well, or a cheap one; this top has them all.
Death metal enthusiast here. I am a Romanian musician and producer with over 13 years of experience in the music industry. I’ve experienced all types of Metal up until now, playing Melodic Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, and Black Metal with different bands. Learning by doing is my base principle, which is why I’ve been drawn to sound design from an early age. Read more…