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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/mxr/dunlop/m228

MXR/Dunlop are facing stiff competition in the compressor stompbox market. They had to do something.
Sensibly, they have gone with a 2-position "attack" switch. Most users will either turn the control on other pedals to the 7:00 or 5:00 position, since the effect of changes to the setting is often difficult to hear.

I ran into Stan Cotey at NAMM, the guy who designed Fender's current line-up of pedals (and designed them from the ground up), and thanked him profusely for properly labeling the "attack" control on The Bends compressor as "Recovery", since the same control on pretty much all other compressors IS gain recovery. He was appreciative, and of like mind: call it what it IS and does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suspect that, because there are so many popular compressors out there with at least 3 controls, many end-users may have felt that there was just something missing from the Dynacomp.
 

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I suspect that, because there are so many popular compressors out there with at least 3 controls, many end-users may have felt that there was just something missing from the Dynacomp.
I love compressors, but I'm not one to tweak them. They're in the set and forget camp for me.
 
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I would like to try your Efectrode out to see what it is all about...

Also would like to try the Barber Tone Press.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I love compressors, but I'm not one to tweak them. They're in the set and forget camp for me.
I suspect many who use, and have come to rely on, compressors have a "favourite setting" that they always revert to. The controls provided, then, are not so much for monkeying around between songs, as much as being able to nail what that particular user thinks of, and wants from, a compressor.

In much the same way that computers and software tended to evolve from the Z-80/6502 fork in the road 40 years ago, stompbox compressors tended to evolve from the Dynacomp/Orange Squeezer fork in the road. The former was preferred by rock musicians for sustaining single notes, and the latter was preferred by country and studio players for keeping a lid on fast picking without losing too much presence. Although many manufacturers have opted to provide a continuously variable "attack" control (and I've recounted here before how Retro-Sonic succumbed to consumer pressure to replace a 3-position toggle switch with a pot), both EHX and MXR have wisely opted to keep gain-recovery in their compact compressors down to 3 and 2-position switches, respectively. Players who want a classic long-sustain Dynacomp would set the control on another make to 5:00, and those who want an Orange Squeezer sound would set the same control to 7:00. And few people would be able to hear differences between those settings and something around 10:00 or 2:00 because the net effect of gain recovery depends on how fast you pick. If you pick slowly, there is really no audible difference between 7:00 and 5:00.

Many stompbox compressors will result in an apparent attenuation of highs, unless they do certain tricks to keep them. Keep in mind that the majority of harmonic content sits at the initial pick attack, and as the plucked string starts to lose energy, you lose progressively more and more harmonic content. A compressor will pull the gain back for that initial pick attack, and bring the gain up as the string starts to lose energy. In effect it de-emphasizes the harmonic content and emphasizes the fundamental. The way around this that more and more pedal-makers have adopted is to blend in some of the uncompressed sound - especially top end - so that the harmonic content at the start does not appear to be as "sucked back" as it normally would.
 
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