J Rockett I.Q. Compressor Review

Here we have an interesting pedal with pre-compression equalizer on board.

The I.Q. is based on the Dynacomp. According to the manufacturer the EQ allows you to select the frequencies you want compressed harder based on how you set the gain of each. In practice, what you hear is the boosting or cutting of the frequencies like an EQ but with an overall evening out of notes played. Definitely unique.

Here are the EQ frequencies (each with 18db gain or cut): Band 1 – 100Hz Band 2 – 200Hz Band 3 – 400Hz Band 4 – 800Hz Band 5 – 1.5K Band 6 – 3.2K

These frequency points are almost identical to the MXR six band EQ pedal but probably not the ideal frequencies for bassists. That being said, it is a pleasant experience having adjustment points on a compressor and there is definitely a wide range of tone sculpting on tap.

I found I liked 100hz flat, 200hz boosted a little, 400hz flat, 800 hz. boosted a little, 1.5k boosted a little and 3.2k flat. Set that way with the mix knob at about 10:00 felt punchy and solid. I can see where the EQ could be valuable to push certain frequencies to an OD pedal post the IQ pedal or maybe even bring back frequencies post an OD pedal. As you push the EQ sliders post their center detent you will introduce more frequency specific noise (hiss, etc.) but this is to be expected. A little adjustment goes a long way.

The way the EQ reacts is different with humbuckers, my G&L MFD's, and single coils.

This isn't a set and forget pedal as you switch between basses.

Interestingly, when playing my G&L L2500 in passive mode I find it plenty big and punchy still, but I do lose a little of the high end bite or attack. I was able to bring that back with the I.Q. nicely.

You can also use the EQ to dial in some really funky tone. Try alternating each frequency point at 100% boost and the next 100% cut for creative envelopes.

Each EQ slider lights up red when pedal is activated. There is a centerpoint detent. Each slider moves with precision and quality feel.

There are only two knobs. • Volume controls the overall output of the pedal. • Mix blends the compressed signal with the dry signal. Turning it clockwise simply blends in more compression. As you increase this mix, you will also be increasing the overall volume so the Volume knob becomes important to compensate.

I found I liked the Mix knob most between 9:00 and 10:00 positions. With higher output active basses the compression felt increasingly "grabby" after the 10:30 - 11:00 mark. I noticed a fair amount of "twack" or "thud" at the initial attack past 11:00 and it squashes a lot. I can see where the IQ could really be of benefit with passive instruments as both an EQ and compressor. If you are the type that feels compressors mess with your sound too much, you might find the EQ allows you to cut some frequencies you'd prefer not be there.

You could conceivably use the IQ as just a stand alone EQ if you want. Or blend in just a little or lot of compression with the Mix knob.

The compression style is pretty smooth and quite uncolored unless of course you aggressively adjust the EQ (increasing or decreasing gain) which will certainly adjust the natural tone of your instrument. You can certainly push your tone to extreme coloration if you want.

There is no control over attack, threshold, ratio, or release. I'd recommend this J Rockett I.Q. more as a tone sculptor with compressor. That being said, it sounds nice as a compressor doing a nice job of smoothing out what is fed into it. Just don't expect a highly flexible compressor.

The I.Q. has a very solid feel. It has heft to it and is obviously well built. The knobs turn with authority and are metal. The EQ sliders themselves are plastic and do extend higher than I'd prefer. Due to the proximity of the EQ sliders and the foot switch I can see where sliders could get bumped or even broken by a foot hitting the switch. The foot switch pushes with authority and is true bypass.

The pedal itself is quite small at just 4" tall by 2.5" wide. Here's a picture comparing to other compressors for perspective.

Top mounted jacks and the I.Q. operates at 9 volts. Made in California.

The J. Rockett I.Q. is an interesting take on a compressor pedal with its individually selected frequency point adjustments. I'd really like to see J. Rockett build a Bass Guitar version with frequency points set differently but still, this is an interesting and useful pedal.

If you play with OD, this might be the compressor to check out. If you are looking for something different, a tone sculptor, or more subtle compression, this might be one to check out.

It is pretty quiet, unless EQ points pushed, and is certainly pedalboard friendly.

Retail price: $229