The newest iteration of Wampler’s flagship compressor is a mini affair with a few convenient tweaks. Under the hood, the circuit is nearly identical—with control knobs for sustain, level, and blend along with a pair of mini toggle switches for attack and tone. For me, a good compressor is an “always on” effect that helps to give my clean sound a bit more bounce and my dirty tones more sustain. I started with both toggles off (which is equal to turning the tone knob completely counterclockwise and the attack knob to 9 o’clock) with the level and sustain at noon. I tend to start the blend knob at about 9 o’ clock and slowly move it up until I begin to hear too much squish. As with the original Ego, the range and flavors of compression are all there. From Nashville-style chicken pickin’ to smooth Larry Carlton leads, the squish-to-size ratio was heavily in my favor.
I found the attack and tone controls to be slightly lacking. But it was a very small price to pay for the added convenience and simplicity of the truncated size. Although parallel compression isn’t exactly a new concept, the blend knob was absolutely the MVP. It allowed me to not let the sheer physics of compression take over my sound and attack. At this point, I can’t imagine playing a compressor without a blend knob. With its plethora of tone-shaping options and ability to squeeze onto nearly any board, the new Mini Ego is a welcome evolution.
Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Chasing Vintage Guitars Challenger, Bogner Goldfinger 54 Phi