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Vick Audio R-Comp Compressor Review

There is a cult-like following for the old Ross which was really only produced for a few years. They also are pricey and hard to find. The R-Comp from Vick Audio is a reproduction of the legendary Ross Compressor. But that doesn't mean it is just another new copycat on the market.

The R-Comp compressor does tend to have that same warm (or maybe also described as "smooth") tone but one thing you will notice almost right away is how quiet it is for a Ross type circuit. It isn't until you get the compression pretty squish before you really notice much noise at all. That's a good thing, especially when you consider the other reproductions out there that can't make that claim.

There are just two knobs: Sustain and Level.

The Sustain dial controls the amount of compression which is similar to threshold on other compressors. You can dial in just a hint of compression (very nice subtlety) to all out squish. At full clockwise rotation your signal is totally squashed and the pedal is noisy but I don't suspect it is intended to really every be used in that position.

The Level dial controls your makeup gain and there is plenty on tap. The R-Comp could easily serve double duty as a boost pedal.

Slap style is killer with the R-Comp. Somehow it levels the snaps and pops yet feels dynamic.

I personally found I liked the Sustain dial set around 10:00 - 11:00 for some obvious compression but not squashed.

The R-Comp is transparent with no loss of highs or lows. However, as you increase the Sustain your signal becomes more and more compressed which of course means your highs and lows will be reigned in.

The enclosure is has a nice sparkle gloss finish that looks much better in person than the pictures you see floating around on the web.

Input and output jacks by Neutrik and are side mounted, as is the 9 volt power input. The power LED illuminates a bright white. There is no LED indicating gain reduction. Foot switch is true bypass. There is no 9-volt battery option.

It is true that Ross style compressors are known to be on the warm site and noisy. Those two traits you can count on. Somehow Vick Audio managed to significantly cut down on the noise. I suppose it is on the warm sounding side, yet neutral. However, don't think tube compressor or wooly sounding. It doesn't not really seem like your tone is colored at all.

If you like Ross style compressors I'd recommend the Vick Audio R-Comp.

Retail price: $144


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