Quieting a CS3 Compressor

August 8th, 2009, 03:49 PM
Wondering if the Monte Allum CS-3 Opto Plus Mod really helps silence the unit.

Would it be likely that this Mod plus a Noise Supressor pedal would take care of things.

August 9th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I run mine with a Boss ns-2.............total silence

August 9th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Is this an easy DIY to pull off? Things noisy but would rather have 1 then fry what I have.

August 9th, 2009, 08:51 PM
I did this mod to my CS-3 and was impressed with the increased clarity of tone I guess would be the best way to describe it. I didn't have any problems doing the mod and I've only done a couple BYOC kits, I'm a real amateur at it. I do have to say that a comp shouldn't be noisy. It will raise the floor level of noise going into it which could be happening to you. Is your pedal at the beginning of your chain? Try plugging guitar to pedal to amp and see if it's quieter.

August 9th, 2009, 10:17 PM
I did a mod to mine that made my CS-3 dead silent. The mod has been pulled from the original site, but fortunately can be found elsewhere. Here's a copy of the original instructions. I did mine at first WITHOUT the chip portion of the mod, and it made a huge difference. If you CAN do the chip portion, it gets even better.

FYI, don't waste any money on Monte Allums mods. There are several other, better mods out there if you really feel the need to spend money on one. But Try this one first, I bet you'll be quite pleased.

Another Boss pedal hits the chopping block!

The Boss CS-3 compressor stock is just a terrible pedal in my opinion. It is incredibly noisy; I mean it has a ton of noise! Yes compressors are high gain and noise is to be expected from them but this unit is just terrible. The noise is really over powering and can seriously take away from oneís playing. The tone is very bland and flat sounding. Not that I like using a compressor for rhythm work but when you use the stock pedal for rhythm your tone turns to mush. All the notes blend together and nothing stands out, it sounds like one big mess. There is no twang or squish that excited me when the pedal is turned on. The attack is quite boring and it just seems to lack life overall.

It should be noted all resistors part of the mod are metal film and all capacitors used for the mod are metal film (any film cap is fine though really).

The modsÖ
C4, C6, C13, C14, C17----1mF tantalum
C1, C2, C10, C16----0.1mF
C9, C13----0.047mF
D2, D3, D6----1N34A

IC1, IC2
To really lower noise the cheap stock op-amps have to go. I replace both IC1 and IC2 SIP op-amps with two stacked DIP sockets. To do this you will need to make a little conversion board. You can buy fancy little PCB from Monte Allums which makes things super easy. I stack a RC4558P and a Burr-Brown OPA2134PA. This really increases the clarity and brings the noise level way down.

R36----3K (current limiting resistor for LED)
Replace stock LED with a water clear high brightness 5mm LED.

To further reduce noise all the cheap 1/8W carbon film resistors in the signal chain could be replaced with metal film resistors. This would help bring down the noise a bit more and you might notice a slight increase in clarity along with treble response. A long process but it can be worth it.

Last Words
Was the modification worth doing? Iíd say so; the pedal is now defiantly playable and sounds pretty damn good in my opinion. It is not a super over the top compressor but it has a solid tone. I found the pedal to be one of those pedals where you love your tone when the pedal is on but the pedal is very subtle. Itís not till you turn it off do you realize how good it sounds.

The clarity has increased dramatically. Things are not dark and bland anymore. The tone has more ďlifeĒ with tighter, rounder bass and more highs. Though I still donít like compressors for rhythm playing the CS-3 does sound decent with chords now. With the increase in clarity you can hear individual strings and itís not one big mushy mess. Dynamics have also seemed to increase, the pedal responds nicely to oneís playing and it just feels a bit more interactive.

Best of all the noise has gone down a ton. No longer does this pedal sound like a 100W stack cranked up to full. There is hardly any noise at all; the noise level is the same as a low gain OD pedal I would say. Much better than stock where if you took a break from playing the noise overwhelmed you.

A pretty simple modification but well worth it. Anyways hope someone can put these modifications to good use!

August 9th, 2009, 10:56 PM
sell it and buy an mxr supercomp

August 10th, 2009, 12:40 AM
I did the Allums opto mod on my CS3 and couldn't be happier. First pedal I ever modded. Turned out great.

August 10th, 2009, 03:51 AM
Brent Mason used to use an indy-modded Boss CS3 before He got a Keeley.

August 10th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Brent Mason used to use an indy-modded Boss CS3 before He got a Keeley.

I guess I'll be forking over the $$$'s soon for the Keeley. Reverend Cheese I am sure I would burn the house down before I had that Mod down. :confused:

August 12th, 2009, 10:33 AM

If you could consider doing the Allums mod, you could do the mod I listed.

Somebody mentioned Wampler's CS-3 mod (Fat Body, Full Body? Can't recall the name) it's close to the one I posted, but is simpler. I've done it as well.
It sounds very good. In fact, all of Brian Wampler's mod sound quite excellent.
Much more effective and better thought out than anything Monte Allums does.

August 13th, 2009, 12:58 PM
sell it and buy an mxr supercomp

Maybe. I have a Dyna Comp and a CS-3 (and a couple more compressors) but I'll suggest something crazy....

Go try another CS-3.

I have had two older CS-3's that sounded like Niagra Falls was flowing behind my guitar when I kicked on those CS-3's. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF :shock: Horrible noisy pedals.

I gave the CS-3 another try about one year ago...there was a newer/used on at Guitar Center for $40. I bought it and it is much more quiet than th eother two. The CS-3 that I have now is a solid performer.

The noise levels in the three CS-3's that I have owned were so inconstistant that it's alarming when I stop and thing about it. My nephew has a newer CS-3 and his CS-3 is quiet.

Weird. Very Weird.

August 13th, 2009, 01:25 PM
I have a newish CS-3, in good shape, and although I don't usually crank the sustain (there is no noise problem with it in the 11:00 to 1:00 range), when I've turned it up just to try out different sounds, I have not experienced noise at the level some of these posts would suggest. That's with all older single coils, too.

Seems that, as the previous poster suggests, there may be some variability here.


August 14th, 2009, 05:59 AM
There certainly must be inconsistency - my CS-3 is perfectly quiet.

August 14th, 2009, 07:38 AM
The noise doesn't kill me and actually pushes some preferred gain a little but I wouldn't mind tinkering with the mods folks are talking about. I'll give one of these a run soon and let ya'll know how it worked out.