Quick Hit: Carl Martin Comp/Limiter Review

Go from Nile Rodgers to Lowell George with this simple comp.

Recorded using a Schroeder Chopper TL with Lollar Special T pickups, going into a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV miked with a Royer R-121 feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Both comp and level at noon.
Clip 2: Comp at 3 o’clock and level at 1 o’clock.


Plenty of make-up gain. Pleasing compression ratios.

Not enough control for in-depth tone tweakers. No parallel compression.


Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter


Ease of Use:



Compression might be one of the few guitar effects that can be used to improve feel almost as much as sound. From the classic MXR Dyna Comp to the grey-box Ross, compression in pedal form has been around for generations, but still can be somewhat divisive among guitarists. Carl Martin made waves with their original black box Compressor/Limiter, and the recently upgraded version is slimmer, easier to use, and tough as nails.

A good place to start with this two-knob setup is to turn the level to unity and then add comp to taste. Transparency isn’t exactly at the forefront of the new design, which, depending on your application, could be a great thing. Once the comp control gets past 9 o’clock, the walls start closing in. The real sweet spot hovers around each side of noon. On one side you have Nile Rodgers; the other is Lowell George. Overall, the sound of the compression is a bit on the dark side, and without any blend control the character of the Comp/Limiter can cover up too much of your sound. However, if compression is a core feature of your tone and you need to feel it as well as hear it, Carl Martin’s upgrades would might be a welcome addition.

Test gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Fender Modern Player Jaguar, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

Photo 1

We’re almost finished with the aging process on our project guitar. Let’s work on the fretboard, nut, and truss rod cover, and prepare the headstock for the last hurrah.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. This month we’ll continue with our relic’ing project, taking a closer look at the front side of the neck and treating the fretboard and the headstock. We’ll work on the front side of the headstock in the next part, but first we must prepare it.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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