CS-2 Compression Sustainer Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 04/13/2012 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: CS-2 Compression Sustainer
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.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Ease of Use: 9
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 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
CS-2 Compression Sustainer Reviewed by: TW909, on march 16, 2009
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Ease of Use: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9
CS-2 Compression Sustainer Reviewed by: Guild King, on april 13, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 125

Purchased from: a friend

Ease of Use: This is a stock CS-2, made in Japan in 1981. If you know how to use a compressor, it's fairly easy to get a good sound out of this, but even if you're new to it, it shouldn't take you more than fifteen or twenty minutes to find a good starting point. I don't have the manual for the CS-2, but it's fairly simple, with controls for level (volume), sustain (compression) and attack. The attack function effects how quickly the Compressor grabs and "squashes" the signal; if you set it high, you'll get that punchy, "clicky", country tone, and if you set it lower, you can get interesting swelling arpeggios. The sustain setting effects how squashed the signal actually is, which will determine how long notes sustain, how much/little of your dynamics come through, and how much outside noise will be amplified with your guitar signal. While you can get a good sound in a fairly short amount of time, you'll probably end up tweaking it a few times. // 8

Sound: I use the CS-2 in my regular rig- a Guild S-100 (Sorta like an SG body, built in 1970, a really solid rock and blues guitar) and a modded Fender Telecaster (humbucker in the bridge, active single coil in the neck, for a more modern, smoother pop/rock sound, over the standard twang). The CS-2 is first in the chain, followed by a DigiTech Synth Wah (monophonic guitar synth/envelope filter), a Morley Bad Horsie 2 Contour Wah, an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, an Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 (full range clean boost- simple, but great), an MXR '78 Custom Badass Distortion pedal, a Boss GE-7 Equalizer (set for a slight high midrange hump, for leads), a Boss CEB-3 Bass Chorus (I like it for gutiar), a Vintage Electro-Harmonix Small Stone phase shifter, a Boss DD-3 Digital Delay (for lead echoes), and then a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler (for sweep echo, U2-style dotted eighth rhythms, and reverse echoes). That goes into either a 1964 Fender Bandmaster (a Vintage Fender head, into a 4x12 cab), or a Carvin XV-212 (an old Carvin combo amp, all tube. The CS-2 is noisy, as are all compressors, but of all the compressors I've used (MXR Dyna-Comp, Boss CS-3, Visual Sound Route 66, etc) it's had the least issues with hiss and squealing. If the noise bothers you, buy a noise gate. Boss or MXR both make good ones. The effect is fairly subtle, but it's supposed to be- it squashes your dynamics, sustaining notes and evening your attack, which may be much more noticeable to you than anyone else. It also allows you to get good feedback, quickly and easily- and at lower volumes. I also use it in front of the DigiTech Synth Wah, to help increase the sustain of that pedal (the synth shuts off if there isn't enough signal being fed into it, so long sustained synth drones are impossible without the compressor) and in front of any overdriven/distorted lead tones for added punch and sustain. I also use it for clean playing, if I want better string-to-string definition. I love the sound of this pedal- it's warm, smooth, and keeps just enough of my dynamics intact for expressive playing. For all those who don't believe in a perfect ten, though, remember that sound is a matter of opinion. // 10

Reliability & Durability: As with all my Boss pedals, this is built rock solid. It's 30 years old, and besides some chipped paint, and a little loose rotation of the knobs it's in perfect condition. I would gig with it without a backup. // 9

Overall Impression: I play blues, jazz fusion, and my own indie/pop, and this is one of the few pedals that I use for all three styles of music. It's a great match, because it gives the subtle squeeze I wanted, and the long sustain I need. If it were stolen or lost, I would hunt down another one, because I do think these old Made In Japan Boss pedals have magic in them. I compared this pedal to both of the new MXR Dyna-Comps (the standard, and the new script), the Visual Sound Route 66, the Boss CS-3, and both the Keeley 2 and 4 knob compressors. I liked it best, due to the warmth, and organic sound. The CS-3 is sterile, though I can't explain why, and the Visual Sound and Keeley were good, but just under the mark. I also loved the Dyna-Comp, but I think I'd hold out for an original script version. It's worth noting that I'd put a CS-2 AND a Dyna-Comp on my board, because they have two distinctly different voices (like Fender and Marshall, Tubescreamers and Bluesbreakers, etc etc). // 9

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