Guitar Compressor Pedals | Top 12 Best Compressor Pedals for Guitar

Best Guitar Compressor Pedals

What is a Guitar Compressor Pedal?

Guitar compressor pedals are effects processors that reduce the dynamic range of the input signal, meaning that the natural dynamic inconsistencies that are apparent in any Guitarist’s playing are reduced. A bass compression pedal is useful for both live performances and within a recording studio environment.

Analogue vs Digital Guitar Compression Pedals

Guitar compressor pedals have traditionally used analog circuitry, and whilst most still do, as it provides a very natural sounding compression, the advancements in digital audio emulation have been exemplary, and therefore some pedals such as the Boss BC-1X actually uses digital circuitry as it’s known to reduce static noise that is caused by the analog circuitry.

However, for some, this noise creates a depth to the sound and adds character. I advise that you take a look and listen to all of the video demonstrations that we’ve supplied following each processor review.

What Does a Guitar Compressor Pedal Do?

As we’ve previously discussed, a compressor pedal for guitar guitars will help limit the dynamic range of the input signal, outputting a more limited signal.

The outputted signal is determined by a number of settings on the interface itself, which the user can adjust accordingly; The inputted settings usually specify the upper and lower dB range of inputted signal to which if this is surpassed, the signal will either be boosted (if it’s lower than a certain dB level) or limited (if it’s louder than a certain dB level).

The style of music played will also play an important factor into determining the level of compression applied, with styles such as Pop/Rock being renowned for over-compressing.

These guitar compression processors are usually used alongside other guitar effects pedals, i.e guitar loop pedals, but are placed further along in the signal path, to compress the overall signal after all other effects have been introduced.

When to use a Guitar Compressor Pedal

These pedals are typically used within a live performance setting, allowing a band to gain a balanced sound, with all instruments using compressors. Although these processors can be used within a recording studio, they are usually not, since every studio will have rack-mountable compression units which provide ultra high-quality signal compression, suitable for most instruments.

So let’s get to it, what are the best guitar compressor pedals of 2018?

Best Guitar Compression Pedals of 2018

NUX Masamune Guitar Analog Compressor and Booster Pedal – $119.99 – Buy on Amazon

Xotic SP Compressor Pedal – $131.41 – Buy on Amazon

Donner Ultimate Comp Guitar Compressor Pedal  – $37 – Buy on Amazon

JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal – $31.00 – Buy on Amazon

Wampler Ego Compressor V2 Guitar Effects Pedal – $199.97  – Buy on Amazon

MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal – $79.99 – Buy on Amazon

MXR M228 Dyna Comp Deluxe – $129.99 – Buy on Amazon

Boss CS-3 Compressor Processing Unit – $99.99 –  Buy on Amazon

Boss CP-1X Compressor Pedal – $149.99 – Buy on Amazon

KOKKO FCP2 Mini Compressor Pedal – $26.00 – Buy on Amazon

Rowin Compressor Pedal Effects Pedal – $29.99 – Buy on Amazon

Empress Effects Analog Compression Pedal for Guitar – $219.00 – Buy on Amazon




 

NUX Masamune Guitar Analog Compressor and Booster Pedal – $119.99 

NUX Masamune Analog Guitar Compressor Pedal

Features

  • Guitar Compressor & Booster Designed & Built by NUX
  • Priced towards a more Mid-Range budget
  • Sleek looking aesthetic design
  • High-quality metal chassis
  • Ideal for the guitarist who’s after both a Guitar Compressor and Booster Unit
  • The unit has 2-foot pedals controlling 2 main sections:
    • Booster: Boost, Level, Drive and Hi-Cut Controls
    • Compression: Compression Level, Blend, Sustain and Clip Controls
  • Simple to use
  • 2 LEDs that light when each section of the unit (Compressor & Booster) is engaged
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • External Footswitch Input
  • Multiple Signal Routing Functions: All explained below in Summary section, with diagrams

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Power adapter is needed for operation. This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 1.3lbs
  • Dimensions : 4.3″ x 4.3″ x 2.4″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Nux Masamune Pedal has received an average rating of 5* out of 5 stars from 1 Amazon customer review – Read these reviews here.

Summary


The Nux Masamune is certainly an interesting pedal, it is named after the legendary swordsmith ‘Masamune’ of the Kamakura period, from 1185-1333. To the Japanese, the name Masamune is synonymously linked to the meaning of high-quality and finesse, making an incredibly suitable name for Nux’s pedal.


The Masamune pedal itself is a blend of two processors in one physical unit. On one side it is a guitar compressor pedal and on the other, it’s a boosting unit.


From a usability perspective, the pedal’s interface layout is very simple, with the compression settings being laid out on one side, and the booster settings being on the other side. Not only this, but the compressor and booster can be engaged/disengaged separately with the use of two separate footswitches on the front of the unit.


The Compressor section comes with the following parameter controls, to allow for in-depth personalization, which includes ‘Komp Level, Sustain, Blend and Clip Controls’.

Nux Compressor Algorithm Settings


The Booster section comes with the following parameter controls, which includes ‘Boost Level, Drive and Hi-Cut Controls’.

Nux Masamune Booster Algorithm Settings


Additionally, the unit has multiple ways in which the signal can be routed. I’ve featured a diagram below highlighting how the interface settings co-relate with the appropriate signal routing options that are available to the user/guitarist.

Nux Masamune Internal Signal Routing

Additionally, the Masamune unit also has external footswitch input, which allows for control of the unit from a different location, especially useful in an on-stage environment.


What would we improve?


Ok, so it’s clear the Nux have really done themselves proud with this unit, as it comes with a lot of useful features. However, one aspect that we think would be very useful is a memory-bank function, which saves presets for quick referral.

Additionally, it would be good to see Nux attempt to gain more feedback for the unit, especially on Amazon, as there is only 1 review currently.


Who is this pedal for?


This unit is for any guitarist who is looking for a guitar compressor pedal which also features boosting functionality, within a mid-price range. We’ve reviewed some of Nux’s other products, and we know that they’re high quality and provide immensely good value. So we don’t think you have much to lose by choosing this unit.


However, before you decide, take a look at the video demonstration of the Nux Masamune in action below:





Xotic SP Compressor Pedal – $131.41

Xotic SP Guitar Compression Pedal

Features

  • Designed & Built by Xotic
  • Small in size (Suitable for small spaces on pedal board)
  • Internal circuitry is based on the famous Ross Compression Circuit
  • Solid metal chassis
  • Simple to function
  • Capable of 10 minutes of recording loops
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Volume: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Blend: Controls the blend of wet (effected signal) and dry (raw input signal) for output
    • Hi/Mid/Lo: Control the level of compression added to the input signal
  • Green LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • True Bypass

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v battery powered (not included). It can also be powered via a 9v Power supply, which is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.57lbs
  • Dimensions : 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 3.5″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Xotic SP Compressor pedal has received an average rating of 4.5* out of 5 stars from over 107 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The Xotic SP Compressor Pedal is another unit which is marketed towards the more mid-range/premium-priced market.


The unit itself is particularly small in size, and incredibly lightwieght despite it having a good build quality, making it a suitable addition for any guitarist’s pedalboard… Particularly the guitarist who seems to be struggling on space (which is 90% of them)… We know that you much prefer your guitar loop pedals and guitar synth pedals over a compressor, but it’s important that you have a good quality compressor at the end of your signal chain.


Ok, so we’ve talked about the physical features of this pedal, but what exactly is ‘under the hood’ of this unit. Well, the internal circuitry is based on the famous Ross Compression Circuit, which has…

 “long been admired as one of the finest compressors produced.”Ross Compression Circuit Information Source


Therefore, even before looking at the video demonstration of this compressor unit in action, you know that it provides a high-quality compression… And the hugely positive Amazon rating ratio shown above also demonstrates this.


The unit has three compression settings, which can be switched between via the control switch on the front of the interface, allowing you to achieve a subtle compression to a heavily compressed ‘squashed’ sound.


What would we improve?

This pedal sounds fantastic and is incredibly portable for any guitarist. The only downside is that presets cannot be saved…. But after all, this is an analog pedal, and if we had to choose between memory patch functionality or fantastic sound quality, we would choose the latter all of the time!


Who is this pedal for?

This compressor pedal is definitely for the guitarist who’s after an ultra-high quality compression unit, capable of subtle compression through to providing a very squashed sounding output. Alongside this, the other selling point is the fact that this pedal is very small, and is perfect for the guitarist who has minimal room to spare.


Before making your final decision, take a look at the video demonstration of the Xotic SP compressor in action below:





Donner Ultimate Comp Guitar Compressor Pedal  – $37

Donner Ultimate Comp Guitar Compressor Processing Unit

Features

  • Designed & Built by Donner
  • Budget-Priced Guitar Compressor Pedal
  • Built to last with Aluminium-Alloy
  • Simple Interface
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Modals: Switch between normal and treble mode
    • Tone: Controls the output tonality/color
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Comp: Controls the intensity/ratio of compression added
  • LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • True Bypass

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Power adapter is needed for operation. This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.28 kg
  • Dimensions : 4.8″ x 2.6″ x 2.4″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Donner Ultimate Comp Guitar Compressor has received an average rating of 4.2* out of 5 stars from over 183 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The Donner Ultimate Comp is a guitar compression processing unit that is marketed towards the budget-priced consumer. At just $37, this is one of the cheaper pedals featured within our list, but is that the only USP that this pedal has, or is there something more than just it’s price is a reason why you should buy it? Let’s have a look!


As always, before we go into depth about the key features of this pedal, let’s talk a little about the brand. Donner was founded in 2012 as a music equipment brand, aimed to be marketed towards the consumer who had less money to spare. They primarily create mini-sized guitar effects pedals, and over the last several years, that has become their niche within the industry.


Ok, so let’s now talk more about the “Donner Ultimate Comp” unit! Well, as you can gather, this is Donner’s effort in providing a quality compression pedal for guitarists, at an affordable price.


The pedal itself is rather simple to operate, having three main operational knobs which control the output level, compression level and tonality. Additionally, the interface also features a switch for slight EQ modification, allowing the user to choose between ‘normal’ and ‘treble’, with the treble setting making obvious adjustments to the output signal, emphasising upper-register frequencies.


Alongside the other features of this pedal, it also provides True Bypass, meaning that you won’t need to worry about the pedal interfering with your guitar signal when disengaged. Instead, it will allow for minimal interference when both engaged or disengaged.


What would we improve?

Hmm, well we would have personally liked to see user-saveable presets, but we fully understand the restrictions, with this being a budget-priced analog pedal. However, considering the price-tag we really don’t expect that to happen, as it would directly affect the price! And this unit’s price is it’s USP.


Who is this pedal for?

This guitar compressor is definitely more suited towards the guitarist who’s looking after the dollars! Being priced so low, we imagine that this will attract musicians who are either simply looking for an extremely cheap pedal that they can use for the odd gig, or a musician looking for a backup compressor unit.


None-the-less, take a look at the video demonstration of the Donner Ultimate Comp in action below to see if this compressor is suited to you:





JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal – $31.00

JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Pedal For Guitar

Features

  • Designed & Built by JOYO
  • Budget-Priced Guitar Compression Unit
  • Internal circuitry is based on the famous Ross Compression Circuit
  • Built to last with its Aluminium Alloy Chassis
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Sustain: Controls the level of sustain added to the output signal
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Attack: Controls the time period to which the compression effect is engaged on the input signal
  • LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • Battery/Power Supply Operation
  • True Bypass

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Battery Operation (included). A 9v Power adapter can also be used, this is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.29 kg
  • Dimensions : 4.7″ x 2.5″ x 1.5″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The JOYO JF-10 pedal has received an average rating of 4.1* out of 5 stars from over 1916 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The JF-10 is JOYO’s attempt at creating a budget-priced guitar compression pedal. How exactly does it fare against similarly priced competitors… Well, let’s first acknowledge the mass of positive feedback on Amazon, which is certainly a good sign.


JOYO is a fairly new music equipment manufacturing company based in the UK, establishing themselves in 2014. With that being said, they’re making a good impact within the budget-priced guitar equipment market.


One particular selling point of this pedal over other similar priced units, is the fact that it includes an internal 9v battery, which means that it doesn’t require a power supply to be operated, assuming that you have charged the battery previous to its use. However, we would highly recommend that you purchase a 9v power supply, as this is not included, as the battery will require charging.


Not only this, for live performances or occasions in which you don’t want to rely on the reliability of the device’s internal battery, you may want to plug the device in for 100% of its operation.


What would we improve?

As we usually say with the budget-priced guitar effects pedals that we feature within out lists, we tend to not make any improvement suggestions, as the USP is clearly its price, and any modifications to the functionality will be highly price sensitive.


Who is this pedal for?

Similarly to the Donner Ultimate Comp, and other compressor pedals that are within this price range, it is marketed towards the guitarist who wants a highly affordable, small-sized, compressor unit.

We’re particular fans of this compressor unit, and this is because it sounds fantastic! But don’t just take out word for it, we have a video demonstration directly below.


Take a look at the video demonstration of the JOYO JF-10 in action [Skip to 3:15 for the demonstration]





Wampler Ego Compression Processor for Guitar

Features

  • Handbuilt in the USA
  • High-Grade Internal Circuitry for Low Noise and High Sound Quality
  • Strong Metal-Case Alloy for Protection
  • Sustain and Guitar Compressor Pedal
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Sustain: Controls the level of compression on the input signal
    • Tone: Adjusts the output tonality
    • Attack: Controls the speed to which the compressor reacts to the input signal
    • Volume: Controls the db output volume
    • Blend: Controls the mix of wet and dry signal in the final output
  • Bright LED light when pedal is engaged
  • Runs on a 9v battery, or 9v power supply (not included)
  • True Bypass
  • Owners Manual: Wampler Ego Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4 jack output
  • 9v battery powered, AC adaptor is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs
  • Dimensions : 6.0″ x 2.0″ x 3.0″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Wampler Ego has received an average rating of 4.4* out of 5 stars from over 31 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary


The Wampler Ego is the most premium-priced pedal featuring on our list… Well, we like to accommodate for every kind of reader, and hence if you’re after a hand-built guitar compressor pedal and sustain unit that is built in the USA, then the Wampler Ego is your match!


The pedal retails at around $200, and for this price you’re getting ultra-high quality circuitry, and because of this, it sounds great! Just take a listen to the pedal demonstration video below.

As the guitarist, you have a range of interface controls, including sustain, tone, attack, volume and blend… All of which constitute to helping you achieve your ideal sound.


What would we improve?


Ok, so considering the unit’s price, there really isn’t much we can say to improve. Only, any improvements would most likely, directly affect the price; So taking this into account, knowing that the price it’s unique selling point, we can’t make any improvement suggestions.


Who is this pedal for?


The Wampler Ego is aptly named, but not for the reason you’re thinking. This pedal clearly has an ego, an elitist aura… Mainly because it simply is better than other compressors/sustain pedals featured on this list… But you’re definitely paying the price for this level of quality. If that price is ok for you, then this is your ideal processor.


Take a look at the video demonstration of the Wampler Ego in action.





 

MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal For Guitar

Features

  • Designed & Built by MXR (Jim Dunlop)
  • Mid-Priced Guitar Compression Pedal
  • Strong Metal Chassis
  • Ultra-High Quality Circuitry
  • Very simple to use with just two control knobs
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Output: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Sensitivity: Controls the compression ratio
  • LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • Powered by 9v Battery or 9V Power Supply
  • MXR Dyna Comp – Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Battery Powered (Not included) or Power adapter can also be used for operation…This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.52 kg
  • Dimensions : 5.8″ x 4.5″ x 2.8″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The MXR M102 Dyna Comp has received an average rating of 4.1* out of 5 stars from over 103 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary


The M102 Dyna Comp pedal by MXR (Jim Dunlop) is one of the legendary, industry-standard compressor pedals of the present day. The unit itself has been used by countless artists and bands, looking to achieve a high-quality compression effect for both recording and live performances.


Before we go into depth about the pedal’s key features, let’s first talk a little bit more about MXR. The brand itself has been around since 1972 and have led the way with competitors such as Boss in being pioneering the modern guitar effects pedal as we now know it.


Ok, so let’s talk more about their ‘M102 Dyna Comp’ pedal… Well, let’s just say that this is one of the most popular guitar compressors of all time… And as you can see from the Amazon ratings, it certainly is


The processor is very small in size, making it ideal for a guitarist who’s struggling for space on their pedal-board.

More importantly, as you can hear from the video demonstration below, it’s clear that this pedal delivers a high-quality compression effect!


What would we improve?


So we would like to see more compression control parameters, and if you would too, then you should potentially take a look at this pedal’s older brother, the MXR M228 Dyna Comp Deluxe, which has additional color, tonality and attack parameter settings…

MXR M228 Dyna Comp Deluxe – $129.99

Dunlop M228 MXR Dyna Comp Deluxe Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal


Who is this pedal for?


Both the MXR M102 and MXR M228 are for guitarists who require a high quality, ultra-reliable compressor pedal… That’s because MXR has been developing guitar effects for so long, their quality standards are particularly good!


Therefore, for anyone who has the intention to spend anywhere from $70 – $120, the MXR dyna comp series may be the perfect units for you!


However, before deciding, take a look at the video demonstration of the MXR M102 & MXR M228  in action below:






 

Boss CS-3 Compressor Processing Unit – $99.99

Boss CS-3 Compressor Unit for Guitar

Features

  • Analog Guitar Compression Pedal
  • Designed and Built by Boss Audio
  • A reputable brand with decades of pedal-manufacturing experience
  • Low-Noise Circuitry meaning a clear audio signal
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Level: Controls the Db output volume
    • Tone: Adjusts the tonality/color of the output signal
    • Attack: Controls the speed to which the compressor reacts to the input signal
    • Comp: Controls the level of compression on the input signal
  • Red LED light when the processor is engaged
  • Runs on a 9v battery, or 9v power supply (not included)
  • Buffered Bypass
  • Includes a 5-Years Manufacturers Warranty

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4 jack output
  • 9v battery powered, AC adaptor is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight: 0.42 kg
  • Dimensions : 4″ x  3″ x 6″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Boss CS-3 has received an average rating of 3.9* out of 5 stars from over 67 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The CS-3 is a compression/sustainer processor built by none other than the legendary guitar effects pedal manufacturer Boss.


Before talking about the features of this unit, let’s quickly touch upon why this brand has achieved their legendary status, and what they bring to the guitar effects pedal industry.


So for those who don’t know much about Boss, they have been operating since 1976, and they are in fact a division of the Roland Corporation. Since this time they have seen it all, from analog to digital, and the mass of editions of each effects pedal along the way, as they add customer-requested features to models. The fantastic thing about this company is that they listen to their target market (I.E You) and hence, they’re always working on ways to make their products better… Meaning that you can have full confidence in knowing that you’re going to receive a product that has been tried, tested and products complete satisfaction, assuming you get the newest mode of course 😉 .


Now, let’s talk about the Boss CS-3. It’s a compressor/guitar sustain pedal which is part of the CS-Series and as you might of guessed, it in its third edition, of a long-timeframe of improvements, as you can see below:

  • Boss CS-1 (Issued from 1978 – 1982) [Ran on Photocoupler Technology]
  • Boss CS-2 (Issued from 1981 – 1986) [Ran on Voltage Controlled Amplifier Technology]
  • Boss CS-3 (Issued from 1986 – Present, with minor adjustments since then) [Runs on Voltage Controlled Amplifier Technology]


As you can see from the customer reviews, this sustain/compressor pedal really is popular, and for good reason… Why? Well other than the refined sound, it comes with a 5-Years Manufacturers Warranty, so it’s extremely popular with professional touring/gigging musicians through to hobbyists.


What would we improve?


Ok, so some people would say that the Boss pedals are a little ‘clunky’ looking. However, we want to eliminate that argument and in fact justify why it doesn’t need improving. Boss pride themselves on providing a 5-Years Manufacturers Warranty, and the reason why they can do this is simple! Their guitar pedals are built like tanks, and the CS-3 is no different. So we want ‘clunky’ because we want it to last!


Who is this pedal for?


The Boss CS-3 is definitely for the guitarist who wants a high-quality sustain/compression effect, at an affordable price considering the wealth of experience that this brand provides, getting you that excellent tone. As we’ve explained, these pedals are reliable, and so if you’re after a pedal that won’t give up the ghost whilst you’re on-stage, the Boss CS-3 is your best hope!


Take a look at the video demonstration of the Boss CS-3 in action.





Boss CP-1X Compressor Pedal – $149.99

Boss CP-1X Compressor Unit for Guitar

Features

  • Analog Guitar Compression Pedal
  • Designed and Built by Boss Audio
  • A reputable brand with decades of pedal-manufacturing experience
  • Digital Circuitry allows for near to zero noise interference.
  • MDP Technology to preserve sound quality and create accurate signal compression
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Level: Controls the Db output volume
    • Attack: Controls the speed to which the compressor reacts to the input signal
    • Ratio: Controls the level of compression on the input signal
    • Comp: Controls the blend of compressed signal and dry (input) signal
  • 16-LED Gain-Reduction display
  • Red LED light when the processor is engaged
  • Runs on a 9v battery, or 9v power supply (not included)
  • True Bypass
  • Includes a 5-Years Manufacturers Warranty

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4 jack output
  • 9v battery powered, AC adaptor is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight: 0.58 kg
  • Dimensions : 8″ x  10″ x 11″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Boss CP-1X has received an average rating of 4.3* out of 5 stars from over 9 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The Boss CP-1X is a compressor unit which utilizes Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) Technology. This technology analyses several aspects of the input signal, in real-time, and then responds by optimizing the digital processing for the source (SoundOnSound).


One of the main advantages of using this kind of pedal, which utilizes MDP, is the fact that it can provide large amounts of compression without sounding overtly unnatural.


Even though this unit incorporates more advanced technology, it is still built like a traditional Boss guitar pedal, with the thick metal chassis, making sure that it won’t get damaged… And to prove that Boss is confident about this design and build of this unit, it also comes with a 5-Year Manufacturers Warranty,


What would we improve?


Ok, so the technology behind this pedal is fantastic, and one of the reasons why this digital pedal sounds so realistic. Therefore we simply cannot improve anything with regards to it’s sound quality.


Who is this pedal for?


This guitar compressor unit is ideal for the guitarist who’s looking for a unit built to withstand years and years of gigging/live shows and recording sessions without risk of breaking. Boss are known to build pedals that keep on going, and therefore if you want ultra-high quality compression combined with reliability, this may be the unit for you!


None-the-less, take a look at the video demonstration of the CP-1X in action before you decide:





KOKKO FCP2 Mini Compressor Pedal – $26.00

Kokko KCP2 Mini Compressor Pedal For Guitar

Features

  • Designed & Built by Kokko
  • Budget-Priced Guitar Looper
  • Analog Circuitry
  • Solid Metal Chassis
  • 3 Main Functional Control Knobs
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Sustain: Controls the level of sustain effect added to the output signal
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Attack: Controls the speed to which the compressor reacts to the input signal
  • Red LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • True Bypass
  • 9v Powered

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Power adapter is needed for operation. This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.17 kg
  • Dimensions : 3.9″ x 3.0″ x 2.4″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Kokko FCP2 has received an average rating of 4.0* out of 5 stars from over 100 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The FCP2 by Kokko is another budget-priced addition to our list of guitar compressor pedals. The pedal itself is only $26, making it the second cheapest unit featured on the list.


The unit itself is fairly easy to function, as it has three control knobs on the front of the interface, controlling Sustain, Level and Attack.


Additionally, the unit has all-analog circuitry, meaning that you can achieve that warm analog sounding compression, which is a particular requirement for some guitarists. And with it providing True Bypass functionality, you can be sure that it won’t interfere with your guitar signal when disengaged… Which is especially important with compression pedals being usually placed towards the end of the signal chain.


Other than this, the unit is fairly basic, but one must expect this given that it is little more than $25.


What would we improve?


Similarly to all of the other budget-priced units featured on this list of guitar compression pedals, we simply don’t think it would be beneficial to outline improvements as most would directly affect the purchase price, which is the USP for these highly affordable pedals.

However, when comparing this against the similarly priced JOYO JF-10, it’s clear that the JF-10 includes a battery and can, therefore, be used without needing to be plugged into a power supply all the time, whilst in operation… Where as the Kokko FCP2 requires a power supply to operate.


Who is this pedal for?


This particular compression pedal is for the guitarist who’s on a shoestring budget, so to speak. However, when taking into account the 4.0* Amazon rating from over 100 reviews, we think that it’s certainly not a bad unit to “take a chance on”.


For anyone who’s looking for a compressor unit within this budget price-range. We advise that you take a look at the JOYO JF-10, since as we’ve mentioned above, it includes a battery, unlike the Kokko FCP, which requires a power supply.


None-the-less, for most, it comes down to how the pedal sounds, so take a look at the video demonstration of the Kokko FCP2 in action below:





Rowin Compressor Pedal Effects Pedal – $29.99

Rowin Compression Pedal for Guitar

  • Designed & Built by Rowin
  • Budget-Priced Guitar Compressor Pedal
  • Built to last with Aluminium-Alloy
  • Simple Interface
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Modals: Switch between normal and treble mode
    • Tone: Controls the output tonality/color
    • Level: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Comp: Controls the intensity/ratio of compression added
  • LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • True Bypass

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 9v Power adapter is needed for operation. This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.28 kg
  • Dimensions : 4.8″ x 2.6″ x 2.4″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Donner Ultimate Comp Guitar Compressor has received an average rating of 4.2* out of 5 stars from over 183 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary

The Rowin Comp (A unit which is very similar to the Donner Ultimate Comp) is a guitar compression processing unit that is marketed towards the budget-priced consumer. At just $29.99, this is the second cheapest pedal featured within our list, but is that the only USP that this pedal has, or is there something more than just it’s price is a reason why you should buy it? Let’s have a look!


Rowin are a music company that is renowned for producing incredibly affordable guitar effects pedals, and it’s clear that the Rowin Comp is another addition to their company’s list of decent products… With it averaging a 4.2* rating from 5 Amazon reviews.


Ok, so let’s now talk more about the “Rowin Comp” unit! Well, as you can gather, this is Rowin’s effort in providing a quality compression pedal for guitarists, at an affordable price.


The pedal itself is rather simple to operate, having three main operational knobs which control the output level, compression level and tonality. Additionally, the interface also features a switch for slight EQ modification, allowing the user to choose between ‘normal’ and ‘treble’, with the treble setting making obvious adjustments to the output signal, emphasising upper-register frequencies.


Alongside the other features of this pedal, it also provides True Bypass, meaning that you won’t need to worry about the pedal interfering with your guitar signal when disengaged. Instead, it will allow for minimal interference when both engaged or disengaged.


What would we improve?

Similarly to other budget pedals, well we would have personally liked to see user-saveable presets, but we fully understand the restrictions, with this being a budget-priced analog pedal. considering the price-tag we really don’t expect that to happen, as it would directly affect the price! And this unit’s price is it’s USP.


However, we would also have liked to see that it includes a battery, similarly to the equally budget-priced JOYO JF-10… But it doesn’t… Which means that it requires a constant 9v power supply.


Who is this pedal for?

This guitar compressor is definitely more suited towards the guitarist who’s looking after the dollars! Being priced so low, we imagine that this will attract musicians who are either simply looking for an extremely cheap pedal that they can use for the odd gig, or a musician looking for a backup compressor unit.


However, when comparing this against the JOYO JF-10 which features an internal battery and some great customer ratings, we would advise that readers look more into the JF-10 as opposed to the Rowin Comp.


None-the-less, take a look at the video demonstration of the Rowin Comp in action below to see if this compressor is suited to you:


 

Empress Effects Analog Compressor Pedal for Guitar – $219.00 

Empress Analog Compressor Pedal for Guitar

Features

  • Designed & Built by Empress Effects
  • Handmade in Canada
  • Premium-Priced Analog Compressor Unit
  • 3 Compression Ratios
  • Monophonic Input & Output
  • Side-chain Output
  • Interface controls (Left to right) include:
    • Ratio: Choose between different compression ratios
    • Input: Controls the input level
    • Attack: Controls how quickly/slowly the compressor takes effect
    • Release: Controls how quickly/slowly the compressor stops taking effect
    • Mix: Controls the mix between compressed (wet) and uncompressed (dry) sound on output
    • Output: Controls the output dB level of the processor
    • Meter: Choose between input, both or gr
  • LED that lights when the pedal is engaged
  • Requires a 9v power supply for operation

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x 1/4″ jack input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack output
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack side-chain output
  • 9v Power adapter is needed for operation. This is sold separately (Boss SYB-5 9v power adapter – Buy on Amazon)
  • Weight : 0.57 kg
  • Dimensions : 10″ x 3.0″ x 6.0″ inches

Customer Review Rating

The Empress Effects pedal has received an average rating of 4.6* out of 5 stars from over 20 Amazon customer reviews – Read these reviews here.

Summary


The Empress Effects Compressor unit is truly a premium-priced, state of the art compressor for guitar. The unit itself is actually handmade in Canada, and features an all-analog signal path, meaning that it provides a nice warm tone.


It’s clear from the reviews of this compressor alone, that it provides a high quality compression effect, with guitarists being willing to spend over $200+ in order to purchase it.


Now, another reason for this high price is because of the interface parameters which you have access to modify, which include the input level, attack, release, mix and output level… So you have the ability to really customize every part of the compression process!


Additionally, the pedal also features a 3 toggle switch, where compression ratios can be chosen and switched between 2:1, 4:1 and 10:1… So you have the ability to add a subtle, mid and severe compression to your guitar’s sound.


Another nice feature of this unit is the fact that it includes a side-chain output, so that you can possibly trigger other processors within the signal chain, which for creative purposes, is simply a nice touch!


What would we improve?


It’s apparent that this unit has a lot of functionality, and therefore we wouldn’t like to suggest adding more (such as EQ) as it may be somewhat overwhelming for a guitarist to handle. Therefore, we like this unit just as it is!


Who is this pedal for?


This unit is most certainly for the guitarist who has some spare money to spend on a ultra-high quality analog compressor unit. We imagine that this kind of processor would attract professional/gigging guitarists, who also require a unit for recording (where getting the exact guitar tonality is extremely important).

Therefore if you’re extremely picky about your guitar sound, and want to have a range of parameter controls to provide you with creative/artistic options, the Empress Effects Processor may be for you!


However,  take a look at the video demonstration of the Empress Effects Compressor in action below:


In conclusion, what Guitar Compressor Pedal do we recommend?

As always with the music effects equipment lists at Sustain Punch, we like to accommodate for every reader! And hence we realize that each person will have different requirements for a compressor unit from a functionality, budget, brand and physical/measurement perspective… Therefore we’ve tried out best to segment our recommendations based on multiple requirements that we think would be important to our readers.

We hope that you find the perfect compressor pedal for your guitar!

For the guitarist on a budget, requiring a nice-sounding guitar compressor which can be powered through both a 9v battery (included) and a power supply (not included). Check out the  JOYO JF-10 Dynamic Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal – $31.00 – Buy on Amazon

For the guitarist on a mid-priced budget, who’s looking for a well-known, tried & tested compressor pedal, with a 5-year manufacturers warranty, that they can rely on to just keep going… Check out the Boss CP-1X Compressor Pedal – $149.99 – Buy on Amazon or the Boss CS-3 Compressor Processing Unit – $99.99 –  Buy on Amazon

For the guitarist requiring a reliable, compact and portable compressor unit, without having to compromise on sound quality. Check out the MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal – $79.99 – Buy on Amazon

For the guitarist who’s after a compressor unit & booster unit in one physical device, with a multitude of personalization settings, all at a mid-range price… Check out the NUX Masamune Guitar Analog Compressor and Booster Pedal – $119.99 – Buy on Amazon

For the guitarist without a budget, who just wants the best of the best… Check out the Wampler Ego Compressor V2 Guitar Effects Pedal – $199.97  – Buy on Amazon

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