The Xotic SP compressor is the perfect entry-level compressor. Having only two knobs and a three-way toggle switch on the front, the SP is incredibly easy to use. Don’t let the ease of functionality fool you though, it’s still one of the best sounding and most versatile compressors on the market. Featuring the same OTA (operational transconductance amplifier) as the coveted Ross Compressor, it provides a smooth and rounded style of compression. The controls on the front are simply a volume, blend, and a three-way dip switch. The volume is essentially acting as makeup gain while the blend sets the balance between the dry and compressed signal. The dip switch allows you to choose between three levels of “squash”, meaning you are selecting the amount of sustain and compression. If that isn’t enough for you, there are four internal dip switches. Dip switch 1 and 2 control the attack and release times, switch 3 is a high cut filter, and switch 4 is used as a pad. In addition to the surprising amount of control afforded by the parameters available on the SP Compressor, it runs off of both 9v and 18v, allowing additional headroom if the player so desires. At only $132.00, the Xotic SP Compressor is a fantastic way to save both space on your board and a few extra bucks without sacrificing any of the tone.
Walrus Audio Deep Six
Modeled off of the iconic Universal Audio 1176, the Walrus Audio Deep Six compressor offers studio-grade compression at a fraction of the size (and the price). Not unlike the Xotic SP, the Deep Six is fairly simple in its layout as newer versions have only five knobs. First is the level knob, this is simply used to set unity gain. Next is the sustain knob, which is just that, it sets the level of sustain. The blend knob determines how much compressed signal is mixed in with the dry signal, the same way the blend knob on the SP works. The attack knob controls how fast the compression reacts to the note coming through the pedal. The higher you set the attack knob the punchier of a sound you will get. Last is the tone knob. The tone on the Deep Six only controls the low end. Rolling the tone knob off lets more bass through while cranking it up cuts more low frequencies out. The Deep Six is a great way to get studio-grade, 1176 style compression on your board without breaking the bank.
Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
Based off of (that’s right, you guessed it) the UA 1176, the Cali76 offers a high-end, guitar friendly rendition of the classic UA 1176. The Cali76 has all the same controls as a standard 1176 with the addition of a “Dry” knob. What this is doing is allowing you to blend in your dry signal with the compressed signal to get a parallel compression type of effect. While there are a slew of 1176-esque pedals on the market, what really sets the Cali76 apart is how quiet it is. A common problem most players run into while using a compressor pedal is just how noisy they can be. It is not uncommon for compressor pedals to let off a nasty hiss, especially while there’s no playing going on. Although this problem is completely eliminated with the Cali76, there is