Empress places an emphasis on tone control and transparency that you don’t see in a typical stompbox compressor.
Ottawa, Ontario-based Empress Effects doesn’t rest on its laurels. Founder and electronics wiz Steve Bragg heads up a five-person outfit that struck gold with their Superdelay, Phaser, and Multidrive pedals— stompboxes that have developed a loyal cult following. Their newest creation, the all-analog Compressor, is built to deliver studiograde performance and studio-style features in a stompbox. The design places an emphasis on tone control and transparency that you don’t see in a typical stompbox compressor.
My Kingdom for a Ratio Control
Most of the definitive stompbox compressors feature a much simpler control set than the Empress, so many guitarists may have never encountered some of the features it offers. But it can be a very intuitive pedal once you’ve dedicated a little time to exploring its potential. And the five knobs and two switches enable you to explore myriad variables, and then shape and squeeze your sound with relative ease.
Three different compression ratios—2:1, 4:1, and 10:1—can be applied using the 3-way switch at the top left of the case. An adjacent 10-level LED meter shows the amount of input volume, gain reduction, or both at the same time, depending on how you’ve set a second 3-way switch. Guitar input gain is adjusted via an Input control, and compression is shaped using Attack (the speed of the compression reaction), Release (how fast the compressor lets go of the signal), Mix (which lets you blend straight and processed signals), and Output controls. Empress even included the ability to shape the compressor signal with an outboard effect—such as a high-pass filter to keep the compressor from affecting hard-hit lower notes on a bass— via a 1/4" side-chain jack. A 9V power supply is required to run the unit, so you’ll have to ditch your batteries in favor of a wall wart.
The Empress’ New Tones
With a Fender Blacktop Telecaster and Fender ’65 Twin Reverb reissue, the Compressor’s transparency was readily apparent. But the unit’s ability to improve note definition was equally impressive. Savvy guitarists and studio engineers often use compressors to enhance note separation in chordal passages, and at the 4:1 ratio setting the Empress yielded a discernible yet subtle improvement without spoiling the magical Telecaster-meets-Twin tone. Switching to the 10:1 compression ratio left me floored at some of the poppin’ country tones that were emanating from my Twin.
The real treat of the Compressor is the effectiveness of the Attack and Release controls and how well they worked together. Their effect can be subtle if you’re accustomed to listening for things like the amount of midrange grit and high-end cut in your tone, rather than how smoothly the sustain decays. But once you get a feel for how these two controls tailor those aspects of your sound, you’ll be amazed by how you can fine-tune your tone to a stage or studio environment—or even a different guitar and amplifier combination. It’s a highly adaptable tool.
As fun as the Compressor is, it has the potential to be a little daunting to a player who hasn’t worked much with compression. Musicians who’ve invested time with home recording rigs will probably be more comfortable learning the pedal’s capabilities. But a little time spent with the instruction manual and some practice with various amp/guitar combinations at different volumes will reveal this pedal’s utility.
Empress’ blue-sparkle box is not only a great pedal compressor, it’s one of the best on the market today. The amount of control is fantastic—even if it presents a bit of a learning curve—and the tone is exceptionally transparent . Players who haven’t yet discovered what compression can do for their tone are in for a treat. Spending an hour with the Empress may leave them wondering how they lived without it.
only total control over your compression will suffice.
skip if statement here
Street $249 - Empress Effects - empresseffects.com
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
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About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.