I took a chance on this Carl Martin Classic Opto Compressor as I was looking to find a replacement for a dbx 163A compressor and a Joe Meek VC3 preamp/compressor in a pedal format for live gigging. I love the tone of the dbx and the flexibilty of the Meek but wanted something to put on a pedal board.
I had some experience with the higher end Carl Martin pedal compressor and was impressed but I wanted to see if this low priced one could get me close to that sound. I haven't been able to A/B those two pedals beside each other, but I am very happy with the Classic Opto Compressor. There is a great variation of tone available just by rotating the GAIN knob. Even with the compression ratio set low there is still a wonderful 'thickening' of the tone.
The features are well thought out, giving my everything I was looking for as a blend of dbx tone and Joe Meek flexibility.
The pedal loses marks for handling for two reasons. 1: like the Classic Optical Envelope pedal, the paint chips just by looking at it and washers/knobs need tightened soon enough. 2: Something inside the pedal burnt out shortly after a year if use. It was a simply enough repair and the Thomann repair service was brilliant in their help and speed in getting the pedal back to me - complete with a new washer replacing one I had lost and I hadn't even asked them to do that.
Since the repair I've had zero problems with it. All in all I think it's a quality product, with an AMAZING tone and an unbeatable price.
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