DSM & Humboldt ClearComp 1078 Dynamic Threshold Compressor Pedal
A studio-like compressor/limiter at your feet! Featuring 'Dynamic Threshold' topology for transparency, low-noise & higher dynamic range.
The talented folks at DSM & Humboldt pride themselves on working "restlessly in defining a new standard on analogue pedal fabrication, and bringing some freshness into an overly saturated market." With their latest pedal, the ClearComp 1078, they've done just that — essentially squeezing a versatile, pro-grade studio compressor into a compact pedalboard-friendly unit! It's like having a super-transparent, old-school compressor right at your feet — but with some modern, player-friendly features hidden up its sleeve.
What Makes the ClearComp Special?
The beauty of the ClearComp is its uniquely-engineered 'Dynamic Threshold' topology. What does this mean, though? Well, while most compressors dynamically reduce the gain progressively as the level rises above the threshold, DSM & Humboldt's DT Topology dynamically modifies the threshold with a fixed gain reduction — achieving a natural and transparent compression effect with a lower noise floor, less colouration and a higher dynamic range.
How does the ClearComp Sound?
In our opinion, amazing! The ClearComp's unique topology makes a difference, and while transparent, it really enhances and refines your guitar tone without drastically altering the EQ. The pedal's designer, Daniel Schwartz, has admitted that he didn't use a compressor in 30 years of playing guitar — but while developing the ClearComp, he became addicted and "now, it's always on my board!"
The DSM & Humboldt ClearComp's low-noise concept even makes it usable with drive pedals placed after it in a signal chain, so you can dial-in the unit to behave like a preamp or solo boost. This is something that you can really feel under your fingers, almost "like you're playing a high-gain amp, but with a cleaner tone."
Multicolour 5-Stage LED Bargraph
This vibrant feature visualizes the resulting envelope level in real-time. For example, if you have a high compression setting, then the envelope will be flatter and therefore the light will display more solid and consistent. It doesn't indicate gain reduction like most conventional compressors, so it's more interactive in that respect!
The ClearComp boasts various tactile knobs that allow you to achieve a flexible array of compressor sounds, just like you'd find on professional studio compressors:
- Compression: Controls the input gain of the compressor, hence, the resulting overall compression. As you turn it up, the compression effect becomes more pronounced and evident.
- Ratio: Adjusts the gain reduction ratio, from slight compression (1:2) to full limiting (1:20). If you have this set high, it yields a tight and super-squashed sound — like it's in a "dynamic box".
- Attack: Controls the attack time, or in other words, the amount of time it takes for the compressor to react to your picking. Ranges from 5ms for spanky funk slaps, to 100ms for a more natural feel that increases sustain.
- Release: Adjusts the length of time the gain reduction is applied, or rather, how long the the pedal compresses for. This ranges from 30ms to 3s. A quick release setting keeps things sound tight, while a slow release gives a more breathable "TV show"-like compression sound.
- Blend: Lets you mix the compressed signal with the unaffected input signal. This is a very handy, modern feature that allows you to attain a more natural response at just the twist of a knob.
- Threshold Switch: A 3-position toggle that lets you set the starting point of the dynamic threshold, so that you can optimise the pedal to the output level of your instrument. Select 'HI' for high-output pickups or active instruments, 'MID' for regular output guitars and basses, and 'LOW' for guitars equipped with vintage single-coils. The lower the threshold, the more the compression! In DSM & Humboldt's own words, they wanted to make a compressor "that will respect your dynamics", which is the exact the point of this cool feature.
- Level: Sets the output level of the compressor.
- Voltage: 9-18V, Centre Negative DC Power Supply (Not Included)
- Current Draw: 100mA
- Dimensions (L x H x W): 120 x 57 x 65 mm
- Weight: 380g
Finance available at checkout for orders £300+