CS-3 Compression Sustainer review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (42 votes)
Boss: CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Price paid: € 90

Purchased from: local music shop

Sound — 8
if your looking for a dramatic sound altering pedal that will make a big difference to your sound this aint the thing, it's a subtile effect, tho if you know what your doing and have used this type of effect before this is a pretty damn good one as far as compressor's go, it doesn't colour your tone or do anything other than what it's made to do and that's compress your signal (bring the lower volume levels up and the higher volumes down to match each other), with the attack up and sustain down you can achieve that country twang perfect for rockabilly and chickn' pickin' and can improve note definition in those shred solo's on the flip side it does get a a bit of hiss on the sustain side of things but almost all compressors do this (I've yet to find one that doesn't) it's otherwise great for long held notes (pariseinne walkways anyone?) the degree to which it can sustain a note ultimately depends on the guitar and how long the guitar resonates you wont get les paul sustain without a les paul but even with a bolt on it's pretty good at what it does overall there aren't many compressors better than this i've tried a few even the Keeley Compressor which seems to colour the tone a little and costs several times the price (euro 220+) and this just sounds better to me overall, and for the price it's a bargain I highly recommend it :)

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for over 11 years and play all styles, classical, metal, pop, country, funk, rock, blues, you name it and this is a useful thing to have for almost any style, that said a Compressor generally wont make much of a noticeable difference to your sound it just changes the loud/quiet dynamics and that's all it does! So if your a kid starting out that just wants to rock has to save money to get things (like I once was :)) and wanna spend your money wisely it's highly unlikely you'll find much use for one as it doesn't do much to your sound tho for the price it's possibly the best Compressor you can get so if you've tried a Compressor before know what it does and you know it's it's what your after this is defiantly a good one and I'd highly recommend it to anyone :)

Reliability & Durability — 9
it's a Boss pedal it's made of metal and very reliable, I've gigged this a good bit so I know it can take a fair bit of a kicking, it's never let me down so far and I would gig without a backup no problem, it's a highly subtile effect anyway so in the extremely highly unlikely event it did fail all I'd have to do it remove it from the pedalboard chain and i doubt anyone aside from myself would really notice a difference lol :)

Ease of Use — 8
4 control's level, tone, attack, sustain (decay) pretty self explanatory it's a very simple pedal to use, does get a bit of hiss when the sustain is cranked but this happens with almost all sustain pedals I've used it's the nature of the things but a decent noise gate will help sort this, pretty simple :)

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Not even one comment about using it with bass. I play fingerstyle bass in an Death/Thrash metal band and for a long time I used for practicing and live, my Line6 bass pod xt floorpedalwhateverhugeasfuk with Warwick Pro Fet 5.1 head. It was good to carry my sound with me when traveling light and using borrowed amps. I had dialed in my sound so it would sound just about the same when EQ set flat (Tube preamp model, LOTS of compression, some distortion pedal model) Then my warwick head died. Too poor to take it to repair if there is a chance they can't do sh*t about it, but still charge me. Bought a cheap Korean made Ampeg SVT-7 PRO which has a tube preamp. Loved the sound immediately. When cranking gain and getting that tube distortion i noticed i had found the sound i had been trying to find for years: Distorted, but super clear, loads of attack and midrange (that The Black Dahlia Murder style sound). I thought it would be ass-backwards to have my pod with a tube preamp model running into my tube preamp but only one problem: Compression. I don't want to haul with me that pod which weighs the same as my Amp just for compression and tuning. The Ampeg built in compressor wasn't gonna cut it (My Ibanez sr500 which I love has this one fault: neck pickup output volume on D-string is about half less than any other string. It's weird I know. I need a powerfull compression to balance it out and of course) to make my fingerstyle fast playing sound airtight and balance the finger click that every note sounds the same tone wise. (fast fingerpicking can sound pretty terible at high speeds, because it just does, or i suck at playing bass.) So i found the CS-3 and plugged it in. It made the distortion from the tube amp sound great and the tone snappy as hell. every note that i hit has that finger click and the sustain doesn't even need to be that hig to balance the notes to exactly same volume. the way that i use it is level and tone at 2 o'clock attack at full and sustain bout one o'clock. I wouldn't use this pedal when playing rock, because it can and it kinda does kill the soul of your playing, the thing that make each player sound unique. But for extreme metal if you are going for that mechanical "soulless" over produced sounding tone (nothing wrong with that) then here is the pedal for you. I love it. wouldn't give it up.
    I actually use two of these in my setup. One is set up with level and attack maxed out and sustain at twelve o'clock -sounds loud and twangy-, the other is set up with level at twelve o'clock, attack turned down all the way and sustain almost maxed out -sounds relaxed and smooth. Turning sustain on all the way generates all kind of noises, just step it back a bit till its okay or use a noise gate at the start of the signal chain.
    Haha. I must say, not a very good group of reviews we got for this pedal. A few of them don't have great setups and most of them don't know what it does.
    i use this for solos and for my cleans. with my hellriaser, i use both pickups and activate both coil taps, role down the volume almost all the way, and role back the tone nob. and this gives you the closest sound you will ever hear to being and acoustic. and solos are great too. but it really does have a lot of feedback.
    wayne oliver
    This pedal is amazing- play about with it for a week - then take it away- I guarantee you will wonder what has happened to your sound.