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Boss CS-3 Compressor & Sustainer Guitar Pedal Review

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Another gem from Boss, the CS-3 compressor, and sustainer combo pedal takes signals that are overly loud and compresses them into a more palatable volume level, while also managing to keep lower signals within a desired threshold. Certain styles of music sound best with a bit of compression on them to thicken and even out the sound. If you find yourself playing a lot of progressive music or rock and metal that switches between clean and distorted tones, you’re likely going to run into the problem of certain sections of your songs seeming too loud compared to others. This pedal nips that problem right in the bud.

The sustainer function is also immensely useful. Sometimes even the best guitars with the most amazing set of strings and a great amp can still leave you with chords or notes that just aren’t ringing out the way you’d like. The CS-3 can take whatever you play and help you hold onto it just a little bit longer without adding too much of a synthetic feeling. This pedal brings out exactly what’s coming out of your hands and into the amp, just with a little refinement.

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As you’d expect, the standard high-quality Boss construction abounds with the compression sustainer pedal. Its chassis includes sturdy metal, with some plastic and rubber, were needed to keep its functionality comfortable and its important components safe for travel and long term storage. As long as you take proper care of it, you’re going to be getting several decades out of your original unit without any need of replacement, and there’s still a 5-year warranty thrown in just in case anything does happen within the first. The materials are sturdy enough to take a beating, however, so there should be no problem moving this model around your studio or even taking it out to gigs.

From minimum to the maximum across the board, the four knobs control the level, tone, attack, and sustain of whatever you happen to play when the pedal is engaged. You can dial in your favored tones quite specifically, with lots of responsiveness in between the min and max levels. With this plugged in alongside your distortion and supporting clean effects, you can easily make sure you’re keeping your output at a consistent volume without any loss of dynamics. With the CS-3 at your command, the control over your sound is entirely yours.

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Review overview

Summary

The current price of the Boss CS-3 compressor and sustainer pedal is affordable, as is common with many of their models these days. Given its high-quality build and immensely useful purpose, a purchase couldn't possibly be recommended enough. It's difficult to keep control of your levels if you don't have the benefit of a huge crew helping pull the strings behind the scenes, so the fact that this pedal helps put more control into your hands is literally invaluable. If you're arranging a list of "must-have" items for your pedal board, the CS-3 is a strong contender.

Ratings in depth

  • Price / Quality
    100%
  • Sound
10 10 Perfect!