« Value vs Quality »Published on 11/16/18 at 07:37
First I'll say, this is NOT another MXR clone. MXR compressors have high gain and extremely bright sounding. The Hofner has a vintage tone which is warm and balanced. It can be cranked up to crush a clean guitar signal very effectively, but that's not necessarily where this pedal shines.
This compressor is great when placed in front of a drive pedal. If the drive is set for medium the compressor boosts it to sing with violin like sustain. I'd say its nearly as good as my 70's Rolland optical Compressor/Sustainer for this but at an excellent cost.
Clean chords will jangle without excessive coloration. The highs and lows tend to be 1:1. With Attack and sustain dialed back you can get a very neutral sound. What I like is you can have a drive pedal set for an ideal chord tone then turn the comp on for lead parts and the drive tone is still great. Same when you turn the drive off, the clean chords sound balanced without tweaking.
The Marshall Edwards Compressor I typically use is going to face some competition possibly being replaced. I Like the Marshall because its got a tone control but this Hofner isn't bad at all, at least on a short chain 5 pedal board. I haven't confirmed how much tone loss it might have on my long chain studio pedal board that has over 2 dozen pedals.
It may wind up producing a better sound when placed in front of brighter drive pedals like an OCD. I found it a perfect match for the Mad Professor Sweet Honey, Tube screamer and Marshall Blues Breaker and Governor pedals. Sounds good places in front of a Marshall's drive channel too.
I will say, you can get some AC hum is your guitar or cable aren't well shielded. Its not nearly as bad as an MXR pedal. Its not a flaw either. The compression is fairly full frequency. It doesn't roll the highs off like other comps so any hum in the high bands will come through when the sustain and gain are cranked.
This probably wont be noticeable on a guitar with Humbuckers or when a noise gate is used. I used mostly guitars using Mini Humbuckers and this compressor gets an excellent Allman Brothers tone.