My friend let me use his compressor for a few days and I was blown away at how much it affected everything (in a good way). I want one now but know nothing about them. So here is what im looking for, it cannot be a tone sucker, I dont want it to have tubes (thats why im not buying the one my friend has), and my budget is 200. So let me know oh wise guitarists of the universe, thanks
Start simple with a $25.00 Behringer compressor pedal. It's worth a try. I have a Behringer clone of the old MXR Compressor (Behringer DC-9) that works just as well as my original MXR but it does have a little tone shift. Nothing that a tweak on the amps EQ can't fix easily. I also have the Behringer CS-400 which gets used quite a lot live. As far as rack compressors I recommend the old Alesis 3630 but if are a newby to compressors try something simple that doesn't require knowledge of compression in ratio settings, threshold attack and release settings etc. For guitar, get something basic like the Behringer or MXR to start.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jul 24, 2014,
I respectfully disagree.

I would never personally recommend a behringer pedal, on the contrary I'd suggest everyone I care about to stay away from them.
Build quality is awful, and sound is on par with that.
If you want something really cheap get yourself a joyo.

As for rackmount compressors I love myself a 3630 for funk, but that compressor adds a considerable amount of distortion and punchyness that's not for everyone.
Think of the guitar sound in get lucky from daft punk - a sparkly amp + a single coil p/ups equipped guitar + a 3630 could get you there, though that's not what you wanna use if you want to tame the transients in your sound, or in other words if you want a really clean sound where you use the compressor to even out the levels instead of giving you a more prominent attack.

If you want to play funk or that kinda stuff get a 3630 indeed - they work for that and they go for dirt cheap, though they don't sound much good on the rest.
If you want a good sounding compressor, do yourself a favor and get yourself an FMR RNC.

Also have a look at the wikipedia article about dynamic range compression and learn how a compressor works, how the parameters affect the sound and so on... so you'll be able to achieve the sound you want instead of turning knobs until something sounds more or less good.
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I would never personally recommend a behringer pedal, on the contrary I'd suggest everyone I care about to stay away from them.
Build quality is awful, and sound is on par with that.
If you want something really cheap get yourself a joyo.

+1 to this.

Also, if this is your first step into the world of effects pedals, you might be better off spending your money on something like a Zoom G3. It's within your budget, includes a few compressors and just about every other effect you could possibly want to experiment with.
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I use a Carl Martin compressor (when I use a compressor), and it's really great. Their opto compressors are under $200. These are studio-quality compressors in a stompbox. If you want something real simple, the MXR's are pretty cool as well (and under $100).
The Diamond Compressor is fantastic
or the
Keely 4-Knob Compressor

There are two types of compressors, one that is an effect, one that does not.

Also the Boss CS-3 is a really great pedal that is on a ton of pro boards
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I second the Boss CS-3.

Boss pedals generally get quite a bit of negative criticism on this forum, some of them justifiably so, but all the ones you can see in my sig combine to give me the tones I need.

In any case, recommendations are all very well, but you need to get out and try a bunch of 'em.
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The Diamond Compressor is really great if you want a compressor that doesn't clor and compress your tone too much.

It's 10 dollars over your budget, but the Janglebox is another great compressor.

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I have a compressor fetish, I currently have four

My favourite is the Boss Bass Limiter, the LMB-3. It works fine for guitars, and has logical controls - ratio and threshold. It doesn't colour the sound, unless you use the enhancer control, which ups the treble.

The two-knob black box Behringer is also very good, and cheap. Another good one for tone is the BYOC 5-knob kit I built.

Some, like the BYOC Opti-compressor, have too much squish, and slow recovery from a heavy attack.