Price paid: $ 175
Purchased from: Direct
Sound — 9
This pedal is one of the best guitar-specific compressors out there. It works well with both single coils and humbuckers although single coils are its forte. Strats will sound like the leads on "sultans of swing", teles will sound like 1/2 the country recordings since 1975, and humbuckers will likewise sound good on single notes lines or funk chords. The juicer likes Fender voiced amps best - I use it with channel one of a CAE3+SE preamp. This is NOT a transparent pedal. It imparts a specific sonic signature that I very much like. IMO this pedal does not sound good with any substantial distortion/overdrive after it. It's intended for clean playing. It's also a bit noisier than I would like, but not so noisy it's a problem.
Overall Impression — 9
If you want a clone of the classic Orange Squeezer without the lousy form factor of the originals or the unreliability and crappy tone of the re-issues, this is the pedal to get. For country and funk players it's a bread and butter effect that everyone should have on their board (OK, OK, use a Keeley if you have to...). For rock players it's a nice texture, but not so essential.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have used this pedal on many gigs and don't bring a backup. It is well made internally and has solid jacks and pots. The enclosure is a Solid Metal brick. I've had it about a year, so I can't speak to long run reliability, but I don't expect any trouble.
Ease of Use — 8
This is an easy pedal to use - a straight Compressor (clone of the old Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer) with only one knob for output. There is an internal trim pot that determines the compression level that typically doesn't need to be adjusted. You can't really use it wrong. I recommend using it with the optional 12v adapter (as opposed to a standard 9v) to ensure you have no headroom issues.