Guyatone PS-003 Compressor

Guyatone PS-003 Compressor
Ground Control to Major Tom…

There are three controls on this pedal, Level, Sustain and Brilliance. The former two being pretty much the standard controls you expect to find on a compressor pedal, the latter is more unexpected and needs a little explaining…

What the Brilliance control does, is actually enhance your guitar playing. With the control all the way anti-clockwise (minimum), you’ll be hearing lots of fret buzz, bum notes and poor timing in your playing - kind of like the very first time you picked up a guitar. As you turn the control clockwise, your playing gets better and better until at the maximum setting, you’ll be ready to go on your world tour… as soon as you can get rid of all the record company A&R men queued up at your door waving multi-million pound contracts under your nose.

Good, eh?

It would be if it were true but, in reality, it’s even better than that! The Brilliance control is actually a tone control; more precisely, it seems to work as a hi-cut filter. At maximum you get a slightly enhanced tone (compared to the bypassed tone) which is great for jangly, clean rhythms; as you turn the control down you lose treble and the tone gets softer and ‘rounder’. It’s really useful actually.

Lastly, there is a (bias?) trimpot inside but I wouldn’t advise messing around with it.

Commencing countdown, engines on…

Compressors are not going to be very high up the list of the most popular effects pedals; most people get more excited over things that mess up their sound (overdrive, distortion etc.) or add to it in an obvious way (delay, reverb etc.).

Used ‘properly’, compression is an effect that quite often, you won’t even notice is there until you turn it off. By ‘properly’, I mean using sensible levels of compression for a little dynamics control… it just so happens that most compressor pedals will go way beyond those sensible levels, into the realms of completely squashed ‘sustain for days™’.

Like most compressor pedals I’ve used, you don’t need to turn the Sustain on the PS-003 up very much for normal applications; around 9:00 on the dial works fine for me - evening out the signal nicely and already adding an extra dose of sustain.

Turning the sustain up further quickly shows this pedal in a very good light; it doesn’t appear to add any extra noise (other than the by-product of compression, which is raising of the noise floor) and there is plenty of compression on tap. Letting an open A chord ring out for example, I had to physically mute the strings as I got bored while waiting for it to fade out on its own!

Check ignition and may God's love be with you...

This is very, very good and on the same level as some of the other Guyatone pedals I love so much. If you are in need of a compressor pedal and can find one for sale - these have been discontinued for a long time - it’s certainly worth checking out.