CS-3 Compression Sustainer review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (42 votes)
Boss: CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Price paid: $ 100.65

Purchased from: Matchetts Music

Sound — 8
It gives a pretty good natural sound. Of course, you can tell when it's on, but for the price, it's pretty good. I use it with an Ibanez RG470 through a Marshall AVT100. It is, though, unfortunately, quite noisy at higher sustain levels, when used with overdrive/distortion. I use a noise suppressor with it (pretty much a necessity), but assuming you use one, it's pretty good.

Overall Impression — 8
It does what it says on the tin, and is reasonably tonally transparent, for its price. The only real downside is the noise, so I would recommend using a noise gate or something if you're going to use one with distortion. Overall, though, pretty good!

Reliability & Durability — 8
Like most Boss pedals, it's built like a tank. I've had no problems, but I haven't gigged with it either, so I can't comment on how gig proof it is.

Ease of Use — 8
It has 4 knobs: level (this is a volume control), tone (adjusts the low and high frequencies in your sound), attack (the delay between when you strike the note, and the compression effect kicks in) and sustain (how long the compression lasts for; at lower levels, this works more like a limiter, stopping notes getting too loud, useful for e.g. clean funk riffing). Compression basically evens out the louder and quieter notes in your playing, making them all the same volume. Use high attack settings with an overdriven sound for e.g. solos to make long notes sustain for ages, and a lower attack setting with a clean tone for e.g. clean funk riffing. The manual is ok, but doesn't give any sample settings (you can get some from the Boss website though). It's a reasonably easy pedal to use, but the attack know takes a little while to get used to 9 but this is the same for all compression pedals).

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