I got my SP Compressor today and after an hour or so of playing it I can only say: Wow!
Like many guitar players, I always had a love/hate relationship with compressor pedals: I love the added sustain and the snap and tightness but dread the loss of impact and the wimpy and cheap/ 'welcome back to the 80s'-kind of swoosh.
My solution has been the AnalogMan BiComprossor which is a really great pedal, of all the comp pedals I've tried it's by far the best and the most versatile. But still I always wished that I could get less compression and more impact from the direct sound even with low settings.
Enter the Xotic SP Compressor: It's based on the Ross, it's really quiet and it has a BLEND knob which is incredibly useful. When Massey came out with the great CT5 plug-in I immedeately thought that this would be the solution for guitar pedals - have the compression operate in parallel and be able to set the dry/wet balance.
Actually I then realized that this actually existed - the Barber Tone Press comes to mind - but I never had a chance to try any such pedal.
My first thought this morning upon checking the manual was 'Not those dreaded internal DIP switches again!'. But you know what, I won't even mess with those for the moment because the pedal sounds great with its stock setting that suits me well. And you got Blend, Gain and your choice of 'Lo/Mid/Hi' comp setting on the pedal itself.
So using it on the 'Lo' setting with the 'Blend' set at about 10 o'clock works incredibly well. There is just the right amount of subtle enhancement, added tightness and sparkle.
With Teles and Strats I also like to use compressor pedals as a gain stage before distortion or fuzzes. The 'Juicer' side of the Bicomprossor works great like that but the SP also performs beautifully.
Last but not least, the small size of this pedal is just perfect for smaller pedalboards. I do most of my live work with a Pedaltrain Mini board and of course the SP comes in very handy.
Anyway, this pedal is a keeper. Well done Xotic but I didn't expect anything else from those guys. I also love my RC Booster, it works great in the studio and say for adding a bit of fullness to the bridge PU of a Telecaster.
BTW, my last compressor purchase before the SP was the Jangle Box which I truly think is overhyped. Yes, it does the 'Byrds' thing by using extreme compression and HF boost but so does any cheap compressor with added treble. The Jangle Box is o.k for recording but I found it to be unusable in a live setting: It has a lack of meat and impact in the normal position and sounds extremely thin ans shrill in the treble position.
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