CS-3 Compression Sustainer review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (42 votes)
Boss: CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Price paid: £ 60

Purchased from: PMT Birmingham

Sound — 9
At the moment I use this with my Vox AC4TV, Ibanez TS9 Tubescreamer and a Boss DD-7 Delay pedal. The pedal is useful as a compressor/limiter most of the time for me when I'm searching for good cleans through my amp. By acting as a limiter and having tonal adjustment it is perfect for this. When seeking a more driven sound, the sustain function is again excellent and provides me with extended sustain, and again serves its purpose perfectly. Overall this doesn't massively change my sound, but importantly doesn't suck tone and is functional for what it's designed for. Ergonomics, utility and efficiency at its best in terms of what I'm looking to do whether that's clean arpeggios and stripped down/atmospheric melodies, Indie, rock or blues.

Overall Impression — 9
I play a range of styles from blues, rock, Indie, minimalistic music and it does the job. To be honest a compression/sustain pedal isn't suited to a particular style BUT in terms of what I bought it for - a limiter, or to increase sustain, change my output - this pedal does everything it should. It's easy to use, sounds great and doesn't suck tone. Perfect for what I want and does exactly what it says it should. I'm not sure if one should expect otherwise with a manufactured guitar pedal, but since this has become such a fundamental and necessary part of my setup, which I struggle to fault this thing has to get a high rating.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a compact little metal box with a very sturdy design. I can depend on it and it is very solid. I wouldn't want to test it but I'm sure that this thing could survive a helluva beating.

Ease of Use — 10
A very simply designed and set up pedal, and thus very easy to use. Level knob - obvious enough, is essentially like a volume control. Tone - this has an effect on low/high end frequencies. When rolled up high you can hear more high end frequencies and it gives a crisper sound that feels like you can hear the contact with the string. Attack / Sustain - these two knobs I use in co-operation to achieve different sounds. With the sustain knob on a low setting the pedal acts as a limiter, while rolling it up high increases sustain and the length the effect lasts for. Meanwhile I adjust the attack value depending on whether I'm playing clean / overdriven. When at a low value the pedal produces a crisper and cleaner sound, while it allows more Drive when rolled up high. There is a manual which I didn't read so much. It tells you how to look after it and change batteries etc, but to be honest in terms of settings/how to use it and so on you learn more on the job or on these forums. That said getting used to how to use a Compression/Sustain pedal can be tricky and it took me some getting used to. That is nothing on the pedal which is great and it certainly made things easier to understand. Clean, elegant and practical design. No complaints.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    gilles_frehley wrote: I think the last reviewer expected a distortion pedal or something xD
    it is a destruction pedal. yes. tone destructor \m/ yeeeah manowar rules btw
    guitarbutt1 wrote: The last reviewer is clinically retarded
    I Clinically Agree
    guitarbutt1 wrote: The last reviewer is clinically retarded
    Totally ROFL! what a turn of phrase that is.
    I get a ton of feedback at loud volumes so I use a NS-2 on high settings to cut it out, fine job done. But know the sustain sucks and its ever harder to pull off a pinched harmonic ( maybe that's just me screwing up on stage). Would this help me out for heavy metal style tone?