I’ve played a number of comps over the years. The one thing I’ve found in common is that “less is more”.
I’ll start with the low setting, raise it gradually while playing until I can hear it. I then back it off a little.
Note: This will not give that pop, clank, squashed “effect compression”. That is a specialized rather than generalized application.
I have not had the pleasure of playing an optical build though. One must have something to look forward to in life.
Under the heading of experiences, I had years ago a TC Electronics Sustain/Parametric EQ that was pretty amazing. I mostly used it for recording but wish I still had it. I think the original version sells for big bucks these days.
The TC Electronic Sustain + Parametric Equalizer is one of the most popular vintage guitar effects. It features sustain, gain, center (frequency) and function adjustment. Incredibly versatile, the pedal is capable of smooth, subtle compression to lengthy, otherworldly sustain.
I've had a Philosopher's Tone for years now and it does the job. The blend and treble controls are very useful for dialing it in. You can go from some gentle comp to full-on squash. It also has a knob to add distortion, but I never use it.
I have always loved the sound and feel of my Tele or Strat through a BOSS CS-2.
The CS-3 gets a little plunky for my liking, as do the Dyna Comp, Keeley and many others. Blend controls (when available) help with this, but IMO... the CS-2, when used subtly, does not need a blend. It just provides a little voodoo to the signal.
As with most stomp compressors - I find even the CS-2 is not capable of getting subtle enough for use with humbuckers (IMO of course).
Anyone out there have experience with both the Dyna Comp Deluxe and the Keeley four knob? Control-wise they seem identical. I have the DCD and love it, but can't help but wonder if the Keeley offers any improvement.
Not hugely experienced with compressors, but I use a Cali 76 CD and can get it to blend with the raw tone in a really subtle way, it doesn't seem to color the tone and I forget that it's on until I turn it off and notice it then. There's no discernable squish to my ear. It's kind of a "more" pedal when it's set that way for lack of a better word.