M102 Dyna Comp review by MXR

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (9 votes)
MXR: M102 Dyna Comp

Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Sound — 9
I use it with my strat, mainly for clean or bluesy sounds, or my Jackson Kelly, for thrash and legato soloing. With my strat, I set the output relatively high, and the sensitivity at max. It comes out as a smooth jazzy sound, where the notes seem to blend together without choppy picking sounds getting thrown in. When I use my Jackson (for soloing), I set the output at mid and the sens. At 3 o'clock. You get the same distortion, but with a smoother flow and longer sustain. I play a lot of Metallica, and I use it to get some of their post-Black Album smooth leads, as opposed to their earlier raw tones (which are also good, but not from using a compressor). Turn the sens. Up even higher, and it makes legato (like tapping and scale runs) feel like the most natural thing in the world. You get some feedbacking when you turn it up too high.

Overall Impression — 9
I have a Line 6 Spider III 75W, so my setup is simple: Wah->Dyna Comp->Amp. I've had this for a few months already, and it's awesome. Some compressors have an "Attack" and/or "Sustain" dial, but you can acheive basically the same thing with this ("Attack is an extra feature, it's not necessary for compression.)I've heard that the Keeley Compressor is the best one in the market, but that costs over 200 bucks, so $70-$80 for this pedal is pretty fair. Keep in mind that it is not an effect pedal - it's a compressor. It's great, and sometimes necessary, especially when recording, but if you don't know what it does, you should go to wikipedia before buying one.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's MXR. It's built like a bomb shelter. You can feel safe to dance on it on stage. I almost always use a 9V adaptor, so I don't know how long the battery life is. I would definately use it anywhere. You just gotta know when to use it, and when not. Since it's only two dials, it's easy to remember or write down your favorite configurations.

Ease of Use — 10
Two dials and an on/off stomp Switch. You tell me if that's easy to use. Alright, I'll tell you. It doesn't need a manual or tutorial. You set the output level, which is the compression threshhold, and then you set the sensitivity. It's easy to figure out some good setups.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Line 6 isn't TOO bad...but do yourself a favor and get a decent tube amp instead.
    joshjohnson1983 wrote: Absolutely not built like a bomb shelter. Almost everyone I know that has one has broken it.
    What, like with a hammer? I've heard of switches going after years of use, but I've seen Dyna Comps and Phase 90s so old and with so much use that they're only recognizable by the colour and the two or three letters you might still be able to make out. Are you sure you didn't get a faulty unit?
    Do you like the Line 6 Spider 3, as I was thinking of getting the 120W one? I read the review and there were a lot of crate and vox fan boys condemning Line 6.
    I have the Spider II and it has been really reliable and versatile. You just have to really work with sounds to find ones you like. I also recommend getting the FBV Shortboard with it. It adds a lot of presets and space to store settings. It also allows for turning effects on and off.
    concert_addict wrote: line 6 sucks. simple as that
    Oh really. Have you ever tried their analogue pedals? The big ones metal ones, not the little plastic ones with interchangeable effects? They're really good, great quality and they sound great. The variax guitars aren't great though, and their digital amps are pretty mediocre in general, but their valve combos are good.
    The spider III is awesome for its price range. Also, isn't this pretty far off topic?