Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Best Compressor Pedal 2024? 10+ To Keep Transients @ Bay!!

What are compressor pedals good for? Why are they necessary? We reveal all...

Choosing the best compressor pedal for your pedalboard is no walk in the park.

In fact, due to the sheer volume of guitar pedals out there, it may seem overwhelming. Since compression is a milder effect than distortion, lag, or phase shifters, it frequently goes unnoticed, especially by beginning or intermediate guitarists. Nevertheless, a compressor pedal may significantly alter and improve your guitar tone when used correctly. 

Compressor pedals appeal to guitarists because they provide a more well-rounded sound with long sustain. In the recording studio, compression is employed to regulate the tempo and overall volume of the audio source. Sound engineers use it to create a more balanced sound by making the quieter and louder portions of audio signals’ quieter and louder’. In addition to harmonizing the sound, compression adds additional sustain and fattens up the tone, which sounds amazing if you’re like most guitarists.

Essentially, compressor pedals may help you regardless of the type of music you perform. To create a unique, thick sound, country guitarists sometimes combine a compression pedal with a slapback delay pedal. Blues musicians may occasionally combine a compressor pedal with a mild distortion pedal to further thicken their tone. You should note that adding the best compressor pedal to your instrument collection would be worth the investment. 

After something specific about best compression pedal? Or just want to work out whether a compression pedal is necessary extra fast? Use the menu below to get all the answers you need in 1 click…

compressor pedal being integrated as part of a pedalboard

NOTE: Interested in all type of pedals? Be sure to also check out our reviews of Good Distortion Pedals + the Best Guitar Pedals EVER!!

Yep – as you’ve no doubt guessed by that number above, there’s no shortage of compression pedals. Some are pro-grade, other aimed at beginners & there’s even a couple which are best suit an acoustic guitar opposed to electric. Mind-frying stuff!!

Thankfully though, you don’t have to turn your search for a compression pedal into a lucky dip. And that’s because we’ve actually done 95% of the legwork for you – you can thank us later! All that’s left to do is read on & we’ll reveal 10+ of the best compression pedals you can buy today…

1: Keeley compressor plus pedal

2: Origin Effects SlideRig MK2 compressor

donner compressor pedal being used by an artist

3: Donner compressor pedal

4: Wampler Ego Mini compressor guitar effects pedal

5: EarthQuaker Devices The Warden V2 optical compressor pedal

6: Fender The Bends Compressor Pedal

overview of a guitarist's pedalboard

7: Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer Pedal

8: Xotic EP Booster Mini EQ Effect Pedal

9: Walrus Audio Deep Six V3 Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal

10: Behringer CS400 Ultimate compressor/ sustain pedal

foot pressing down compressor pedal to make changes to the sound

11: MXR Studio Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal (M76)

If a compressor is one of the 1st pedals to grace your pedalboard, then a deluxe pedal may be a better bet. And we say so mainly due to the fact, it could actually work out cheaper – No joke!

Pedals that combine compression with other effects are an easy way of getting your hands on a LOT of guitar effects for a bulk-buy ‘bundle-type’ of £$€. Plus, they’re a super simple way of varying up your sound too, so really for anyone who’s new to a pedalboard there’s little excuse.

Here’s the fully-loaded compressor we think is the best you can buy as of today…

12: Fender Compugilist Compressor/Distortion Pedal

review of the best compression pedals

If you’re searching for the best compressor pedal on a tight budget, then rejoice – it is possible! And while for these figures you can’t expect anything from Origin Effects or EarthQuaker Devices, you can get a compression pedal that isn’t totally pants.

Ideal if you’re a bit ‘on the fence’ about compression & don’t want to splash the cash on a pedal with mega spec! Speaking of which, here’s our pick for the best budget compression pedal…

13: Caline CP-47 Pressure Tank compressor

While virtually all compressor pedals work with acoustic-electric guitars, there are those which suit an acoustic sound slightly better than others. All of which comes down to how the pedal compresses sound & what it does to the waveform. Complexities that we won’t bore you with now.

Instead, we’ll just get to the point & reveal what we think is the best compressor pedal for acoustic guitars…

14: JHS Whitey Tighty compressor pedal

Enjoy this best compressor pedal & keen for more? Be sure to tune into all our Guitar Pedal Reviews, as well as discover the latest on Music Production. Recently, we also did a rundown of the Best Pedalboard Power Supplies + another on the Popular Wah Pedals, which may also be a good read.

buy a compression pedal for your guitar setup

Or, if you’re here purely to learn more about compression pedals, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions…

Bass players may benefit greatly from compression on both stages and in the studio. It assists in bringing the bass guitar’s broad dynamic range under control and makes it more distinct and articulate. Quick notes will become more clear and forceful thanks to reduction, while lengthier notes will gain more sustain. When using a compressor on a bass, you should use the same “less is more” philosophy since subtlety is key. Compression prolongs the note’s life by increasing the loudness as the note decays. 

Second, compression complements country guitarists’ usage of finger-style or hybrid playing (guitar pick and fingers) quite well. Playing finger-style electric guitar, especially rhythm guitar, is challenging since various strings played with various fingers can readily have slight loudness and dynamics changes. The issue is resolved by a compressor pedal’s ability to balance out the dynamics of the various strings.

The best compressor pedal is a practical tool for controlling dynamics. Additionally, it’s a flexible effect that may change the tone and transients of an instrument, as many artists and audio engineers are aware. 

A “sustain” control and a “level” control are typically found on compressor pedals. Whereas the setup allows us to change the effect’s overall volume, sustain governs how much compression you desire. 

Depending on how your compressor is set up, it could also contain tone and attack settings (or ratio, threshold, onslaught, and discharge capabilities if it’s set up more like a studio compressor). Succinctly it’s a YES for compressor pedal. You will see what a difference compressor pedals will make to your performances, and then there will be no going back!

Although sustain is frequently increased using compressors in the guitar community, that sought sound quality is typically not the main goal of a compressor pedal. A compressor’s task is maintaining the output level constant even when the input level drops. It is this that makes the compressor’s sustain rise. 

The distance between the weakest and highest notes is narrowed using a compressor. It accomplishes this by lowering the volume of the loudest tones. The loudest notes are what we consider while adjusting the amplifier’s level. Some type of gain make-up is necessary to maintain the original signal when the strongest notes are compressed back to lower closer to average.

Compression is always the best starting point when trying to balance out your playing. Yes, compressors can be good for tapping if only you have a hang of it. Having it on your side is incredibly wonderful, even if it isn’t a magic solution, and you will still need to use your fingers to perform the task. 

Use a compressor pedal to improve the consistency of your tapping and legato lines. They will make all the notes you perform louder on average, making them sound more consonant. You’ll still need to refine your technique to get the greatest tone possible. 

You may now begin to see how a compressor can facilitate your tapping. A compressor will assist you in balancing out the energy differences between the tapped or pulled-off notes and the remainder of the line. This is conceivable (and extremely frequent).

YES, he does. Guitarists are notorious for assembling enormous collections of pedals, performing for entertainment, or headlining a significant event. Accordingly, a guitarist with John Mayer‘s skill level would have such a huge assortment of guitar effects pedals. If you don’t yet have one already, you should undoubtedly be working towards getting one. 

In various YouTube videos, Mayer or his instrument tech shows off a portion of his pedal arsenal. On Instagram, Mayer periodically posts pictures of his pedalboards. He uses a lot of overdrive pedals on his guitar, as most of you would anticipate. Since overdrive pedals vary so greatly in terms of tone and reaction from one another, most guitarists never actually find the ideal overdrive pedal.

One doesn’t need a metal with the pedal. Voila! That rhymed!  

Why would you compress a sound that is already compressed? For a few causes, a compressor is frequently forgotten as a pedal for metal tones. The primary cause is because humbucker pickups and high gain distortion already provide a naturally condensed sound. It follows that increasing the compression will not much improve the tone. 

Second, a compressor with a high output distorted pedal or amp can overwhelm a tone and make it sound murky by pushing the distortion too far. Although a compressor helps smooth out the bottom end, it can also add a lot of extraneous noise, making a tone seem excessively buried (particularly if you prefer tight mids).

Gary Moore significantly influenced the development of the blues. His great musical skills and performances made a mark in the music industry. He combined hard rock, shred guitar, and glam rock with the classic blues genre. He blended the essential components of the blues with these vastly different genres in a wholly original way. In the early 1980s, Gary Moore and Joe Dantzig (the creator of Hamer guitars) ultimately figured out how to get this tone. 

They disassembled the instrument and found that they flipped the pickups’ electromagnetic polarity. When they chose the instrument’s two pickups simultaneously, it created an “out of phase” sound akin to a single-coil guitar. 

Throughout his career, Moore employed the Tube Screamer. He mostly employed the TS9, yet he eventually also began utilising the TS10. Reissues of the TS9 are widely available; however, the TS10 is no longer available.

Compression is an odd thing to describe.

We suppose you could call it a tighter, more rounded sound, as that’s essentially what a compression pedal does. It takes the full waveform & compresses it down. So by that we mean, it reduces the height of the highs & the depth of the lows. All of which creates a tight & bouncy sound, that’s ideal for Indie Rock & Funk.

Still baffled? Take a listen to the used of compression below…

YouTube video