Sound — 9
The level controls the volume output of the CS-2 and I set it pretty high. I run it first in my chain to keep the clean and distorted tones under wraps. I find that it makes my notes cleaner with less Dynamics.The attack, I beleive, regulates the time for the compression to activate. Higher setting, quicker response. The sustain controls the duration of the compression being applied to your signal. Set it low and compression will turn off and high will keep your notes ringing with compression.
Overall Impression — 10
Great Boss quality and reliability. Clean tones are great with the compressor and it relly seperates the notes. Look around at your local guitar/pawn shops for this little blue beauty and you will be satisfied with the sound quailty as well as the ease of use. Can't go wrong with this one and might be more in your price range then the CS-3 or other newer pedals or rack units. Definetley a great pedal effect.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I got mine as a gift and it looked pretty beat-up then, but it still keeps going and I havn't had any problems with the electronics. # knobs and an input/output means nothing to confusing and few "moving" parts. The battery lasts long but AC power is the best for continuous use. I don't gig but I would probably buy a rack mount compressor for recording because this baby adds a little unwanted hum that is noticeable at high volumes/gain.
Ease of Use — 10
I got my CS-2 as a gift about 4 years ago and have had plenty of time to figure it out. 9-volt battery or AC adapter gets it started and standard 1/4 inch inputs(mono only) gets you connected. 3 knobs, one each for Level, Attack and Sustain makes for ease of use. No manual so not sure if it came with suggested settings but is very easy to add into you chain or to your pedalboard.