#1
OK, so I'm about 90% happy with my pedalboard (see sig - the G3 is in my amp's loop, used for modulation only), but my compressor pedal (Nobels CO-2) is a big weakness. It creates a lot of noise & feedback, and it's got a fairly terrible bypass so it sucks a lot of tone when I'm playing clean.

I bought it cheap because I wasn't sure how much I'd want a compressor, but I actually find myself using it quite a lot to thicken up my tone & add sustain during solos - I guess that's what they're for at the end of the day!

I'm going to be gigging soon so I want something better. Target price is always around £50 for pedals, but I can go higher if necessary - it's a guideline, not a limit. Used is OK too.

Here are the pedals I've thought about so far:

Seymour Duncan DoubleBack Compressor - Probably my favourite option as it can mix in some uncompressed tone over the compressed tone (or something like that), but is quite a large pedal to find space for. Also they're not made any more and are extremely hard to find used so it's unlikely I'll actually find one.

Electro Harmonix Soul Preacher - I think this is my second favourite, right price, solid reliable brand, nice & small to fit on my board.

Boss CS-3 - Always loads on the used market, kind of a "go to" brand for effects & one of the few my local shop actually stocks, I just never get excited about Boss pedals. I always prefer the feel of a shiny metal footswitch.

Joyo JF-10 - Nice & cheap and has the sustain controller I want, but I'm not convinced it would be much of an upgrade from what I've got. Nobody in the Joyo thread seems to have tried one.

Does anyone have experience with any of these?

Also, what else is out there? I know MXR make a couple of different compressors, but neither have the sustain knob & as additional sustain is a big part of my reason for wanting one, I've pretty much ruled them out.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention the Digitech Main Squeeze - mostly the same thoughts I have for the Boss. Any comments gratefully received.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 1, 2013,
#2
I'm a recovering compressor junkie. I'm probably going to tell you to buy something more expensive. You might not want to listen to me.

The Doubleback is ok, didn't love it. It is as you say too big for what it does, and I didn't find that it had anything to offer besides the dry blend. If you want an awesome compressor with a dry blend you want the Barber Tone Press.

The Soul Preacher is cool but it is weird and it is quite noisy. I'd say fully half of the settings you can dial in are just too weird for general use. It's got a lot of gating and breathing effect, which is cool if you want a super heavy, affected compressor tone, but as a regular solo boost or leave-it-on deal it's not very good.

The CS-3 is boring but it is good. I never bonded with mine because it sounded a bit muffled and odd on some of the more squishy settings, but for a less extreme effect and a solo boost it's really hard to argue with. The bypass isn't brilliant.

Haven't tried the Joyo.

A few I can suggest that you didn't mention are the MXR M87 Bass Compressor, the Tone Press, the EBS Multi-Comp and the Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor. All of those are very versatile, have a good bypass, do a light effect, solo boost, and heavy squish well, and are quiet (for compressors; they're all noisy to some extent). I personally use the Forest Green because it's got a really cool warmth to it, reminds me a bit of the way old ribbon mics sound. But all of those are excellent compressors. The Bass Compressor is a sleeper for sure, I don't know why they don't just make it in a different color and call that a guitar compressor. It's basically a studio compressor in a pedal. I know every compressor maker says that about their pedal, but the MXR actually has ratio, attack, and release controls and an LED readout for clipping, and it sounds great.
#3
the joyo is a fair bit more subtle than the boss. i used to think the boss was a bit noisy (and it is), but that sorta goes hand in hand with the fact that you can really squish the signal quite severely with it (which adds noise).

i'm no compressor connoisseur, though
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#4
Cheers Dave - subtlety sounds good, I don't really want it to change my tone, just help out a little. Definitely haven't ruled the Joyo out yet, but I wasn't really excited by the Boss anyway so that's probably enough for me to rule it out.

Roc8995 - Happy to listen, but not happy to spend that much extra! I know I said £50 was more of a target guideline than a limit, but I won't be spending a couple of hundred on a compressor any time soon! The Barber Tone Press is the only one you mentioned that may be affordable, a quick initial search shows them as low as $105 in the US, just none in the UK that I can see at the moment. WIll watch out for them though. Any other ideas closer to my budget?
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#5
My Japanese CS-3 isn't noisy. I don't really know why, but it's not.

The Joyo looks like it's probably an MXR Super Comp clone.

The MXR Custom Comp is pretty popular/well regarded.

Based on my personal experience I think that the CS-3 is the best budget comp, but a lot of people really hate them for some reason. Mine is always on, so maybe its perceived negative aspects don't affect me. Definitely try before you buy if you can.
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#6
CS-3s aren't noisy. On a budget I'd say that's the way to go unless you find something great used.

Don't know why people don't like them. They are a lot less glamorous than most of the other compressors out there.
#7
Quote by Roc8995
...

The Soul Preacher is cool but it is weird and it is quite noisy. I'd say fully half of the settings you can dial in are just too weird for general use. It's got a lot of gating and breathing effect, which is cool if you want a super heavy, affected compressor tone, but as a regular solo boost or leave-it-on deal it's not very good.

The CS-3 is boring but it is good. I never bonded with mine because it sounded a bit muffled and odd on some of the more squishy settings, but for a less extreme effect and a solo boost it's really hard to argue with. The bypass isn't brilliant.
...


Soul Preacher is the noisiest compressor I have ever tried.
Avoid it at all costs.

Boss CS-3 is decent. I like mine.
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#8
I'd check out the Visual Sound Comp 66. I have the old version (the double-pedal Route 66) and it's far better than my CS-3 (even with the Monte Allums Ultra Mod) in terms of smoothness, transparency and tone. Also, and I don't know how important this is for your rig, the bypass on Visual Sound pedals is magnificent. You've heard of the KLON Centaur's buffer? Well, Visual Sound's is at least as good.
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#9
compressor is not a thing you should be cheap on. cheap ones usually suck and are noisy.

diamond compressor is the last one you will ever buy.
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#10
Quote by greeny23
compressor is not a thing you should be cheap on. cheap ones usually suck and are noisy.

diamond compressor is the last one you will ever buy.

agreed. diamond compressor is the best. the moen uni-comp is a clone, and runs about $50.
#11
The joyo comp gets a lot of love. By all accounts it's very similar to the mxr dyna comp. I haven't tried one (but it's on the list of comps I need to try).
Obviously something like a diamond comp will trump it; but on a budget it's going to be hard to beat the joyo (although that moen might be a good alternative).

I found the boss ok, but I didn't find it to be anything special, I prefer dynacomps in the same price range
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#12
Think I've heard enough to rule out the Soul Preacher.

The Diamond has the same issues as some of the earlier suggestions - way out of budget & not easily available in the UK. It also doesn't have the sustain controller that I'd want, additional sustain is one of the biggest reasons I want a compressor, so I'm ruling out anything that doesn't provide that level of control.

I've heard the Moen clone has reliability issues, I think I'd prefer to trust a Joyo over Moen.

The Route 66 is another pedal I've considered (an extra drive option is always a good thing ), but it's another I've ruled out because I want to be able to control the sustain level I get from whatever I end up buying - that means all of the MXR compressors are ruled out as well.

So far it's still looking like Boss & Joyo are the favourite options, with Joyo having less negatives as Boss seems to create mixed opinions. I guess as nobody has commented on the Digitech, nobody has experience of it?

I still want sensible alternative suggestions, if there is anything else out there. To repeat what I said in the OP:
    • A guideline target of £50ish used, I can go over so call it an absolute max of £100. Suggesting pedals that cost 5x that amount just proves you haven't read the question.
    • Must be available in the UK
    • Must have a controller for sustain
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    #13
    n alesis NanoCompressor, as long as you're fine with having a General purpose compressor - better control over your sound, but no cool pedal switch for bypass.

    Or, if you want something made for guitar, I remember Mooer making a very nice little opto compressor.
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    #14
    ^ Interesting suggestion, but needs to be a pedal. Mooer fall into the category of "I'd prefer a Joyo".
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    #15
    I feel like short of the Diamond Comp, the MXR Custom Comp is one of the best compressors for the money (if you already like the sonund of the DynaComp, that is). Some bias may be included in this post. I freaking love that pedal.
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    #16
    you used to be able to get the tonerider compressor for £50. based on their other pedals (i haven't tried it), it might be worth a look. but they're really hard to find now, for some reason.

    Quote by greeny23

    diamond compressor is the last one you will ever buy.


    because you'll have declared bankruptcy?
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    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

    Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
    Et tu, br00tz?
    #17
    Quote by Dave_Mc
    you used to be able to get the tonerider compressor for £50. based on their other pedals (i haven't tried it), it might be worth a look. but they're really hard to find now, for some reason.

    I have seen their pedals turn up on ebay occasionally, but not very often. Never tried one yet though.


    Quote by Dave_Mc
    because you'll have declared bankruptcy?

    My thoughts exactly. I'm not exactly poor, but I have no idea how people can spend a couple of hundred on every pedal they buy. Can't help but think they must be either lying or sad folk that still live with their parents even though they should have got their own life years ago.

    Quote by LaidBack
    I feel like short of the Diamond Comp, the MXR Custom Comp is one of the best compressors for the money (if you already like the sonund of the DynaComp, that is). Some bias may be included in this post. I freaking love that pedal.

    Obviously this means you haven't actually read my earlier posts which explain why I've already ruled out MXRs pedals.
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    #18
    ^ it's fair enough spending that kind of money on a pedal if it's an integral part of your sound, but if you're just mucking about with pedals for teh lulz like i am, then not so much.

    also i think most compressor pedals should have a sustain knob. for example, the sensitivity knob on an mxr is basically a sustain knob (i think).
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    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

    Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
    Et tu, br00tz?
    #19
    Judging this purely by reviews, but most descriptions I've read describe the sensitivity as more of an attack control.

    This is from a standard description (taken from the Andertons site):
    The M102 Dyna Comp is a compressor that allows you to set an output level and the sensitivity at which it kicks in

    To me, "the sensitivity at which it kicks in" reads more like attack, but I guess I could be wrong
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    #20
    Still shopping around & have found another that is in budget & has good online reviews:
    Modtone Lemon Squeeze.

    Anyone got any experience with it?
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    #21
    I've never tried it, but i think i read somewhere that modtones were just bog standard chinese-made pedals with a higher price because of fancy marketing (i.e. they're available elsewhere under a different brandname). Whether that's true, , but it has the ring of truth to it.

    i dunno about the dyna comp. i guess that could be attack.
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    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

    Quote by K33nbl4d3
    Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

    Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
    Et tu, br00tz?
    #22
    Quote by GaryBillington
    Obviously this means you haven't actually read my earlier posts which explain why I've already ruled out MXRs pedals.


    Obviously you haven't done a lot of research. The Custom Comp has two regular sized pot, outside controls: output and sensitivity. Then two internal, trimpot controls, attack and trim. The Sensitivity control is the "sustain" control. Source: I have this pedal. Also, the regular DynaComp doesn't have an Attack control. Don't get snippy. Just trying to help, dude.

    Read up: http://www.jimdunlop.com/files/manuals/CSP202_manual.pdf
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    #23
    Quote by GaryBillington

    My thoughts exactly. I'm not exactly poor, but I have no idea how people can spend a couple of hundred on every pedal they buy. Can't help but think they must be either lying or sad folk that still live with their parents even though they should have got their own life years ago.


    You obviously nailed it.

    Quote by GaryBillington
    Think I've heard enough to rule out the Soul Preacher.

    The Diamond has the same issues as some of the earlier suggestions - way out of budget & not easily available in the UK. It also doesn't have the sustain controller that I'd want, additional sustain is one of the biggest reasons I want a compressor, so I'm ruling out anything that doesn't provide that level of control.

    I've heard the Moen clone has reliability issues, I think I'd prefer to trust a Joyo over Moen.

    The Route 66 is another pedal I've considered (an extra drive option is always a good thing ), but it's another I've ruled out because I want to be able to control the sustain level I get from whatever I end up buying - that means all of the MXR compressors are ruled out as well.

    So far it's still looking like Boss & Joyo are the favourite options, with Joyo having less negatives as Boss seems to create mixed opinions. I guess as nobody has commented on the Digitech, nobody has experience of it?

    I still want sensible alternative suggestions, if there is anything else out there. To repeat what I said in the OP:
      • A guideline target of £50ish used, I can go over so call it an absolute max of £100. Suggesting pedals that cost 5x that amount just proves you haven't read the question.
      • Must be available in the UK
      • Must have a controller for sustain


      lol

      1) Joyo is about as crappily built as you'll find. Preferring one cheap brand over another is hilarious, especially when you sound like you have zero experience with any of them. Moen is at about the same quality level, and I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out they're made in the same factory. Boss's build quality is 10000000x better than any of the cheap Chinese brands that have become popular in the last few years.

      2) Get over the name of the sustain control. They all control either the compression ratio (less common) or the sensitivity of the compressor circuit. The higher the sensitivity, the longer the compression circuit is active.
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      #24
      Quote by LaidBack
      Obviously you haven't done a lot of research. The Custom Comp has two regular sized pot, outside controls: output and sensitivity. Then two internal, trimpot controls, attack and trim. The Sensitivity control is the "sustain" control. Source: I have this pedal. Also, the regular DynaComp doesn't have an Attack control. Don't get snippy. Just trying to help, dude.

      Read up: http://www.jimdunlop.com/files/manuals/CSP202_manual.pdf

      I've done plenty of research. That's how I know what I know. Everything I've read on the official MXR website describes the senstivity control as being what some other manufacturers call attack. Source: MXR.

      Form the manual you linked to:
      SENSITIVITY sets the compression ratio

      Compression ratio is not the sustain controller. I may not be an expert, but as I said I've done plenty of research and I've never seen anyone describe compression ratio as the sustain controller.

      Look, I appreciate the help otherwise I wouldn't have asked here, but I'm trying to find other pedals to investigate, not to hear people's opinions about what they think their pedal does despite the official information saying something different.

      I'm not a compressor expert, I can believe they do add some extra sustain even if they don't have the control, but I want to be able to control how much it adds - if you could buy a sustainer pedal that wasn't a compressor, that would be my first choice. Unfortunately they don't exist, so I'm trying to decide what is the best option for me out there. Everything I've read about MXRs compressors says they aren't what I'm looking for. If the answer was that easy I wouldn't have needed to start a thread about this - I've got an MXR pedal, I know how good they are & they're one of the first brands I check out when I want a new pedal, they just don't make one with the spec I want in this situation.

      Quote by mmolteratx
      You obviously nailed it.

      lol

      1) Joyo is about as crappily built as you'll find. Preferring one cheap brand over another is hilarious, especially when you sound like you have zero experience with any of them. Moen is at about the same quality level, and I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out they're made in the same factory. Boss's build quality is 10000000x better than any of the cheap Chinese brands that have become popular in the last few years.

      2) Get over the name of the sustain control. They all control either the compression ratio (less common) or the sensitivity of the compressor circuit. The higher the sensitivity, the longer the compression circuit is active.

      1) Lots of people here will disagree with that. If you think I have no experience with them, you aren't paying attention. I have a Joyo pedal as one of my main drive pedals on my board, it's been there for a couple of years now & does a great job. I've also had a couple of others in the past, both sounded great & worked perfectly for the time I had them. Yes, I have zero experience with the other brands like Mooer, but then they also don't have the same reputation as Joyo for providing good pedals at a budget price.

      2) When I'm looking for a pedal that I can use to control the amount of sustain I get from it, why would I want one that doesn't have that control on it? It would help if you actually read the question before answering in future.

      And yes, I did nail it. When you post asking for recommendations with a £50ish budget & people start recommending pedals that cost £250, you have to question why they would think someone would take that advice. They obviously have no idea what the word "budget" means (and no, it doesn't mean cheap), therefore they've never had to manage one. Feel free to respond when you've grown up & know what you're talking about.

      Quote by Dave_Mc
      I've never tried it, but i think i read somewhere that modtones were just bog standard chinese-made pedals with a higher price because of fancy marketing (i.e. they're available elsewhere under a different brandname). Whether that's true, , but it has the ring of truth to it.

      i dunno about the dyna comp. i guess that could be attack.

      Thanks as always for providing the sensible answers. I figured that was probably the case with Modtone when I first spotted them, but wanted to ask about it as you don't see many around. Most of the search results about them are American rather than Chinese which made me wonder if they might be different.
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      Last edited by GaryBillington at Aug 2, 2013,
      #25
      Wow, way to be a dick. People are just suggesting things they know to be good and like, no need to decide that means they're a bad person or don't understand how a budget works. Perhaps some people can afford good stuff because they're better with a budget?

      And Matt's right about the sustain control. You totally ignored his point. You're hung up on the name of the control and ruling out pedals that actually meet your requirements because you don't know what it actually does.
      #26
      Quote by Roc8995
      Wow, way to be a dick. People are just suggesting things they know to be good and like, no need to decide that means they're a bad person or don't understand how a budget works. Perhaps some people can afford good stuff because they're better with a budget?

      Only being a dick in response to someone being a dick

      I'm just saying that if someone says what their budget is, even if they said they can be flexible & stretch it a bit, recommending something 5x that budget is pretty pointless.

      And there's nothing wrong with my ability to manage a budget, it's part of what I do for a living. I'm not exactly rich, but then I'm not exactly poor either. In the past 18 months I've probably spent the best part of 2 grand on various bits of kit. Sometimes I set a budget of around £50, sometimes around £500. It depends what I want & how much I want it. This is something I consider to be an optional extra, therefore it doesn't warrant big expenditure. That is how you manage a budget, not throwing loads of money at something because someone on the internet told you to.
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      #27
      Nobody said you couldn't manage a budget. I said that you were being a dick because you implied that spending some arbitrary amount on pedals meant that someone was a rich snob. You've solidified my point nicely by saying that people only spend money because the internet tells them to.

      Anyway, if you've got no respect for others' circumstances and don't care to listen to input then you can figure this out on your own. Clearly you're the only one here who is capable of making independent decisions. The rest of us just do what the internet tells us