Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Boss CS2 vs Keeley Compressor

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by aussie52, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. aussie52

    aussie52 Tele-Meister

    Dec 20, 2006
    9 out of 10 people on this forum are gonna call me crazy, but I think I'm gonna sell my Keeley compressor...

    I bought the thing a little while ago to replace my CS-2, and was pretty blown away by it at first cos its the keeley! I a 52RI tele thru it. Anyway after a bit of use I've found that the Keeley feels like its squishing things with the sustain anywhere past 10o'clock.

    I don't really like using compression on the front pickup or front/back blend, just on the back for the country chicken pickin' style, and I find the CS-2 great for that, I just haven't liked the keeley for that as much.

    Has anyone found the same thing?
  2. gtrwrks

    gtrwrks Tele-Afflicted

    May 18, 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    They are very close cousins of the same circuit - I like the CS2 better too.
  3. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

    I played with another guitar player who had the Keeley and it gave him nothing but trouble. He sent it back to them twice for repairs within a year after buying it. I have never used the Boss or the Keely myself. I use a Carl Martin and a 1970's MXR.
  4. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Do you have the 2-knob or 4-knob Keeley? If yoy have the 2-knob, the Attack control is INSIDE the pedal. Adjust the Attack controll for less squish. Makes the pedal more subtle.

    If you REALLY want a subtle compressor (or one that can be virtually transparent, sustain with NO squish) check out the Barber Tone Press.

    I'm currently A/Bing a KC & BTP. My CS-3 has already been eliminated.
  5. loudguitars

    loudguitars Tele-Meister

    Jan 1, 2008
    My band mates, I AND the sound man love the Barber Tone Press.!!!!!
    I like it much better than the CS-3. But I want a pedal to enhance my tone, not become the tone. The blend on the TP is just what I needed IMHO.
  6. guit30

    guit30 Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 24, 2007
    The Keeley is subtle, I hear the CS2 is much better for chicken pickin', also consider an Armstrong mod like Analogman's "Orange Juicer
  7. sudancat

    sudancat Tele-Holic

    Jul 27, 2004
    North Carolina
    I have the CS2 and CS3. I borrowed a Keeley to try. Excellent comp but not for what I do.Glad I didnt buy one. I like my CS2 alot better. The only other high end comp I would like to try is the Analogman Bi comp. But for now, I am totally satisfied with the Boss CS2.
  8. CLAZ

    CLAZ Tele-Meister

    Apr 4, 2007
    to me and my own opinion the are only three compressors worth your hard earned money..... the Boss CS-2 and CS-3 and the MXR Dyna Comp...the end

    the CS-2 is what I use on the job right now and I love it nice and not super squashed and pretty unaltered to the original tone IMO esp with a hot attack setting...

    The CS-3 is when you need to get that one certain tone (the Brent M. Alan Jackson session sound or Vince Gill signature Tele tone) and its right on the money and when I find myself in the situation of that style I use it just for that.

    The Dyna Comp to me is somewhere right in the middle and used for the classic country tone ala Reed etc etc....that mighty fine 70's session sound ;)

    thats all this dude knows

  9. guit30

    guit30 Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 24, 2007
    Someone should clone the CS2, listen up pedal makers
  10. rockycreeker

    rockycreeker Tele-Meister

    Mar 25, 2003
    I've had my CS-2 since I bought it new in around 1981 or 1982. It's been on my pedal board for every gig since then. Now, it's on essentially all the time -volume at 3 o'clock, compression at 9 o'clock, attack full on (all the way to the right). The only time I have it off is if I'm using a guitar with humbuckers -then I tend to notice that it may take away a bit from their sound, but with my Tele and Strat, it's perfect. :p

    It provide me with a nice boost that mixes well with overdrive. Alone it provides me with a very musical sound. You don't notice any overly squashed, gimmicky type compressor sounds. I know Mr. Keeley does good work cause I have a Boss SD-1 that he modded, but I have no desire to try out another compressor.
  11. willvis

    willvis TDPRI Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    nashville tennessee
    has anyone tried a modded Boss CS-3? Or CS-2?
    I was doing a session with a really great guitarist who was using a 4-knob Keeley in the studio (he says he still uses his CS-3 for gigs, but the Keeley has adds no distortion under the microscope in studio). Made me want a Keeley. But...I have my ancient CS-2, and I have gotten good sounds out of it over the years, from chicken picking to Lowell George-ish super squished slide sounds.
    I guess I'll just keep my CS-2 and see what happens.
    I may try a Humphries Modded CS-3.
  12. smoke

    smoke Tele-Meister

    Jun 26, 2006
    Your ears are just being honest w/ your brain, overriding your eyes. Nothing crazy about it.
  13. Rusty

    Rusty Tele-Holic

    Mar 27, 2003
    Bridge p/u
    i was glad to see this old thread revived just because i'm a cs-2 nut! :D i had a modded cs-3 for a long time (monte allums) but the cs-2 is better period...clearer/not as squished...more musical and less sterile...the cs-3 is better at that stuff when modded but still nowhere near the fidelity of the's signature squish is still way overpowering...

    the keeley to me had that "pumping sound" people complain about with compressors...couldn't get the attack i wanted within the range of controls (on the inside trim pots or the 4 knob either!), so i was VERY pleased to get the cs-2 and find a pedal that NAILED the punch/clarity that i was after...4 knob to me actually sounded too loose or grungy to me...btw our bass player had a keeley crap the bed on him a year ago...he's using my old modded cs-3 STILL and loves it...

    you got the compressor to have in my book...hang onto it and play with the sustain/level in some ways you might not have tried before -- it can definitely get clean enough to really shine in the studio...lots of great guitar tracks have been put down with that old pedal!
  14. zoppotrump

    zoppotrump Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2005
    nuernberg, germany
    i went the other way -
    my first comp was the cs-3 and i sold it pretty soon, because i did not like the sound shape it delivered. then i got me a cs-2, which i used over two years and i still consider it a superb compressor. then i orderd one of the first keeley two knob comps and that´s what i use up to now. my settings are very subtle, just to enhance the high strings a little bit, so all strings are about the same volume level. and for me the keeley is eve a bit more transparent and non sound coloring than the cs-2 , which i still have as a spare.
  15. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Holic

    Jan 30, 2010
    Up The Creek
    And now we have the CMATMODS Deluxe Compressor to consider. I love mine, it is even more inspiring than the Tone Press, which I am also keeping.
  16. Starcaster75

    Starcaster75 TDPRI Member

    Dec 12, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    I have the Ego Compressor from Wampler and I really like it. Lots of options with blend and tone knob. Produces a HiFi sound that is still warm and very full. A little pricy but worth the money. It replaced a CS-3 w. Monte Opto Mod on my board and the difference is night and day!
  17. Dana

    Dana Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Ashland, Ma
    I loved my old CS-2 but it eventually died on me :(

    I tried the Keeley two knob comp, but I didn't care for it. I constantly tweak the attack knob so having it inside the pedal didn't work for me.

    I currently use the Diamond comp, which I like a lot.
  18. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 16, 2007
    Denmark Solbjerg.
    Have the CS-3(modded for a more fat tone, but kept that more modern sound it has), LM-2, and I got my hands on an old CS-2 again....also getting a Rochester Comp(the MXR guy has risen again, nothing like those old classics)
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