CMP-509 Vintage Compressor review by Belcat

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
Belcat: CMP-509 Vintage Compressor

Price paid: £ 22

Purchased from: Gear4music

Sound — 8
Assuming that this pedal always functions properly, it sounds great. I use this with an Ibanez S420 and a Roland Cube 15X and I play metal. It does its job by increasing the sustain and smoothing out the dynamics, but even the slightest touch on the strings with create loud noises when the sustain on the pedal is set high. I only keep the sustain at 12 o'clock, so this isn't a problem. I play music from artists such as Steve Vai and Buckethead and along with Megadeth and Metallica, and the pedals is actually pretty good for that!

Overall Impression — 6
I play metal a lot and, surprisingly, this Vintage Compressor just works for me. I've been playing for five and a half years and also own a Belcat Delay pedal [which I will review when I've used it more], a DigiTech Grunge distortion pedal and a Vox PW-10 V-Wah. I like the sound of compression, but this pedal is just not reliable enough. It goes to show that you should save up more and get more reliable gear. If this was stolen, I'd hunt the thief down and return my pedal and get my money back/get it repaired.

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Reliability & Durability — 3
I would not depend on this pedal. I bought this pedal a couple of months ago and I've used this less than ten times - only two of these were in live situations. Today, the pedal started to break up my signal and make it sound weak. It also started producing an awful Overdrive that sounded like a loud of annoyed bees and this was on the clean channel. On the distortion channel, palm muted notes would sound weak and a load of noise which sounds like someone scrunching plastic would be produced with the "sound". I'll be sending this back to be repaired. One more break down and it's a refund.

Ease of Use — 7
Very easy to use. It has three knobs - level, attack and sustain. Attack is the time it takes for the compression to kick in, sustain speaks for itself and level is the volume [since the signal is compressed, it needs to be brought back up to volume]. This does not come with a manual or anything else apart from the box. The 9V battery is already in the pedal. It's not hard to dial in a decent sound, but it may take a while to noodle with all the knobs to understand what they do. A manual, however, should have been included for those new to compression.

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