Comp 66 review by Visual Sound

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Visual Sound: Comp 66

Price paid: C$ 120

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Sound — 10
This pedal has been mostly used with Les Paul styled guitars of all makes and pickups of all outputs from Vintage right up to high output and has worked great with all of them. Typically the pedal is run into the front of a 15W Marshall Haze, usually on the clean channel without the bright switch on. The compression effect has a wide ratio to it, you can have just the slightest bit of compression or you can get it quite heavily compressed; however either way it is quite a nice compression it really evens out the sound. There is also a built in noise gate that can be turned on or off inside the pedal that is really good, it doesn't cut in too early and it really helps keep unwanted noise to a minimum. The addition of a gain control on this pedal allows you to add a clean pre-amp boost to the signal before it is compressed should you need to squeak a bit more out of it, but it certainly isn't lacking, with the gain cranked you can start to break up a tube amps preamp section, very nice and handy little extra. 10/10 - To be honest I was surprised at how good this pedal sounded. I went out on a limb and randomly tried a Jekyll and Hyde a little over a year ago and I must say all the Visual Sound pedals I have tried since have been really nice.

Overall Impression — 10
I play lots of classic rock and many other styles, but this compressor is basically used for anything I do that is on a clean channel. I like having all the notes ring out at a similar level to me it just makes the music sound better; however care needs to be taken not to add to much compression so it sounds really squished, which this pedal can certainly do. So far the Visual Sound line has taken me for an interesting ride, I probably would have never considered the companies pedals as I really don't hear to much about them but after trying a few and buying a few I certainly keep my eye on the company to see what they are doing, and a lot of the combo pedals similar to my Jekyll and Hyde are really cool, like the Route 66 Compressor and Overdrive in one. The price of the Comp 66 was a bit more then say a Dyna Comp from MXR but it has more features and I feel it is more versatile certainly making it worth the extra few dollars. If this pedal went missing I would probably replace it for sure, I do like trying out other pedals but this compressor has worked great for a few months now, it's earned a home in my collection! 10/10 - I highly recommend that more people take a look into this pedal company, it served me well and hasn't really cost me a whole bunch of money. Basically a similar price point to MXR, they are generally a smidgen more; however they also generally have more features then an MXR.

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Reliability & Durability — 8
Well this is where I am a little concerned with Visual Sound pedals. Since I purchase mine I have always been concerned a failure point on the pedal will be the stomp switch. On Visual Sound pedals these switches are a soft switch, so essentially you can lightly tap it to engage or disengage the pedal. Naturally one would immediately think such a flimsy switch would be bound to die really fast especially when taken out on the road. I must admit I have owned my Jekyll and Hyde for close to two years now and I have had no issues with the switches, Visual Sound even guarantees them for a million "presses" so I try to forget about it. As with all the Visual Sound pedals I have had in my hands to date this guy has a nice Solid Metal case that is rugged, I have dropped a couple of my VS pedals a few times without issue. The size and shape of the pedal is a little abnormal, it is slightly larger in a sense then say an MXR pedal; however I feel the construction of them is beefier as well. It's not a bad thing, but because of their construction these pedals have a decent weight to them, combined with the solid rubber back these pedals wont really move on your floor if you don't have a pedal board. The bright LED will certainly let you know even in the darkest of settings if your pedal is on or not, which is also a nice little feature, just don't look directly into it you may go blind! 8/10 - I decreased the rating here not because of the compressor pedal; however about 10 months into owning my Jekyll and Hyde pedal it randomly up and died one day without any reason. Thankfully it was replaced for free, and it was replaced with a V2 pedal (version 2) the original one that died was a V1 so I am not sure if there was a bug in it that was fixed with the V2. It very well could have been someone that came over to my place and messed with it and didn't confess this I don't really know, all I do know is it worked one day and then it didn't the next so it was a little bit of a bummer.

Ease of Use — 9
This is a straight forward easy to use pedal with only three controls and a switch to bypass the tone control of the pedal. There is a great little instruction sheet in the box that will contain sample settings for stuff like a Dyna Ross comp or Clean Boost, other then that it doesn't give a whole lot of info on exactly how each adjustment affects the overall signal but I guess it really isn't that tricky to figure out with a little experimenting. There is no firmware or patches up download, update or edit this is a very simplistic pedal to use and it really shines through on the clean channel of an amp. 9/10 - The instructions could have come with a bit more info but it's not lacking anything serious, and the pedal works quite well without the info, but I like those little technical specs. It's not a pedal that you will change a whole bunch once you find the spot you like, but it is very versatile and easy to use.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Thank you for those impressions of the Visual 66 (comp/od). I would have liked to know if the compressor comes before or after the overdrive. That's a technical question but I think a good one. Thanks !