Throughout my journey as a guitar effects aficionado I have tried out countless options on the market. I have experimented with various sonic possibilities, be it distortion, delays, modulations and many more. I could easily say that I have encountered with almost every pedal out there, including those that are not “audible” effects. They are just tools that shape your sound to perfection and basically deliver studio quality performance right at your feet. After years of playing and exploring I finally chose to stick to latter category. As I matured, my musical taste and style change drastically and that is why I prefer tone shaping pedals for the time being. One of those is definitely a compressor – a wonderful unit that is by my side no matter where I go. It will not be an exaggeration if I say that I hardly ever perform without it. Due to such affection towards this effect, I have tried out numerous contenders in almost every price range. Today I want to introduce to you a more affordable version – a pedal that those budget-players will enjoy a great deal. Donner Ultimate Comp offers everything a good compressor should have while still maintaining low price point. Let’s see what it has in store for us!
If you have worked with cheaper pedals before, you probably know that sometimes you should take them with a grain of salt. Since they are so inexpensive the brands have to compromise one thing or another – that is the reality we all have to accept. In the case of Donner Ultimate Comp, the build quality (which is usually the easiest one to give up by the manufacturers) is quite beautiful. It is made out of Aluminum-alloy and the insides seem pretty durable as well.
This means that you will not have to worry about its constituents breaking apart with each and every performance. What is more, Ultimate Comp has true bypass circuitry, which is surprising considering its price. It does not suck any part of the frequency range which equals to keeping your original signal unaffected while the unit is inactive. One of the cool things here is definitely the design. The enclosure is featured in a blue color palette, which makes it shine, forcing the pedal to stand out in the crowd of stompboxes. It has black knobs and white writings that complete the whole look of the Ultimate Comp. On the sonic side, it has two different modes of operation – Normal and Treble. I will discuss the capabilities of each below, but for now, I will just say that they add a great deal of versatility to your compressed sounds. Since its enclosure is so freaking tiny, it would be impossible to shove a standard 9V battery in there, which is why the only powering option here is an adapter. To top it all off, there is a LED indicator, which will show you the status of the pedal even on darkest stages.
For such a small enclosure, Donner Ultimate Comp has quite a few controls, which is amazing in my opinion. This indicates on the integrity of the brand and shows what kind of results could be achieved with proper dedication and commitment. Each of these controls is intuitive and capable and will assist you in the tweaking process. The abundance of the switches does not make the unit difficult to understand or utilize. And the combination of all these factors makes the control section of Ultimate Comp a badass addition to the rest.
I want to start with the most typical encoder that you will come across in each and every effects pedal. I am talking about the Level, which modifies the volume of the effected signal. Moving on to the effect itself, Comp adjusts the amount i.e. intensity of the compression and acts as a main control for the effect. Here we do also have some tone-shaping options, which is represented with the Tone knob. It changes the color of your sound and underlines or tames higher frequencies. There is one more switch – the mode toggle moves between Normal and Treble modes. Last but not least, there is a footswitch that triggers the circuitry and activates the unit. It takes just a press of afoot to achieve beautiful compressed sounds.
Donner Compressor Sound
No matter how surprising it might be, Donner Ultimate Comp sounds almost as amazing as higher-end models. I did use the word almost, since that is how it is – it comes close enough (and we could not dare to ask more). It can add quite a bit of drive, which is a nice addition to any compressed sound. The compression itself is not too extreme – it does not remove the dynamics completely, but it is still capable of that prominent quack. The overall character of Ultimate Comp is trebly, but you could underline it even further if you wanted to with the help of the Tone knob. But if that is not enough for you, you can activate the Treble mode, which accentuates the high-frequency spectrum even more. As a result, you have the ability to let your performance shine through the darkest of days. The Normal mode is your standard compressed sound, which easily intensifies and rolls back with the help of the Comp knob. On the whole, Donner Ultimate Comp sounds amazing for what it is and performs beautifully at any setting.
To sum up everything said above, I would say that Donner Ultimate Comp is an outstanding pedal for the price. It has more than enough control to help you craft your sound, it has amazing sonic capabilities and it is rather durable. Many of you cannot even imagine to receive such quality at an affordable price. Neither did I unless I got my hands on it and tried it out myself. Those who are on the budget can purchase this fella without any regrets. And even if you are not on the budget, this might be a pretty good option to consider. Good luck!
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