Another Great Wampler Pedal
I own two compression pedals. The Ego Compressor by Wampler and the Black Finger by Electro-Harmonix (check out JTPedals article about best tube compressors).
Both effects pedals earn their keep. I currently use the Wampler because the Black Finger started getting noisy. Why? Probably the tubes got bumped around over the years in transit. I liked the Black Finger and the tube sound, but it took up a lot of space, started buzzing a lot and needed repairs a couple of times. The custom power source kept on falling out.
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Should you get a Compressor Pedal?
A compressor pedal isn’t necessary. But it adds sustain and can help the guitar maintain a steadier, clearer position in the mix.
After the standard pedal pack (overdrive, tuner, delay), compression may come in handy. Depending on your amp, you can get some compression from a tube amp. If you play a lot of rhythm guitar, a compressor will clean up your signal sound. If you like to add a bit more sustain on leads, compression can be a good option, too.
During solos, the Wampler increases the sustain in loud settings. And I’ll occasionally use the box to boost the volume, which usually results in a nice, fat tone.
If I’m playing rhythm parts, the Wampler adds sparkle to the guitar part. Does a good compressor add sparkle and spank? Yes, in moderation, I can hear the difference. It seems to help clean up the signal, though I allow most of the dynamics to pass unencumbered.
I avoid using the compression all the time because sometimes I’ll find myself fighting the pedal when pushing the volume levels within a phrase.
Ego Compressor and Mini Ego Compressor
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The Ego Compressor and Mini Ego Compressor both contribute to high-quality electric guitar tone and playing. Of course, like most gear, your skills and playing remain the key factor.
The blue case looks great. Wampler constructs sturdy pedals. The knobs feel solid and react well. Your options? Sustain, volume, blend, attack, and tone.
The Mini Ego Compressor employs Volume, Blend, and Sustain knobs. Instead of knobs, it uses switches for Tone and Attack. It sounds great, as well.
If you have the money to invest in your component pedal board, I believe the Wampler Ego Compressor will be money well spent.
Other Compression Pedals
Other options (in a similar price range) for compression: TC Electronic, Exotic FX Compressor, the MXR. Another possibility would be to utilize a multi-effects. Many have compressors.
My favorite multi-effects (that I don’t own): the Eventide H9 and the TC Electronic G-System. After individual reverb, delay, boost, tuner, and compression pedals, I probably would have saved money and time with the G9.
The Eventide sounds great, too. Line 6 just came out with a multi-effects that cost $1500 – the Helix. It’s tempting, but I’ve never gotten Line 6 that much. I would definitely like to check it out at Guitar Center sometime. Guitar Center? Always a dangerous proposition haha.