Well, here it is. I’ve been wanting a decent compressor pedal for a long time, and I’m too cheap to pay for a good one. I found a great thread on freestompboxes.org, though, with a schematic for a good-sounding, inexpensive compressor, and I figured I’d give it a go. Naming my first build “Ugly Mug” was a preemptive strike on my part, since I could totally screw up the enclosure and say I was just trying to live up to the name.
For my attempt, I’m fairly pleased with the results. The sound is pretty transparent. It’s a good circuit, not a tone killer like most of the cheap comps out there. In fact, I’ve found it to be transparent enough to double as a clean boost pedal. It has enough gain to drive my amp well into distortion without adding too much noise.
In case you’re interested, Small Bear Electronics and the Thaishine eBay store are great resources for parts, and there are a ton of sites out there with various schematics, such as Keen’s GeoFex and General Guitar Gadgets. I’m thinking about trying to build an octave-up pedal next.