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Boss CS-3 compressor is fuzzy

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jonathanhughes, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I have a Boss BS-3 Compression Sustainer that had hadn't touched for a couple years. I hooked it up to play around and it's now making a fuzz sound, as if the signal has been split and one half passes through the compressor, and the other half goes through a fuzz circuit. It does this whether it running off batteries or the adaptor.

    Here's a clip of how it sounds:

    I've searched, and seen that some people have the same problem, but I've seen no solutions. Any idea what might be causing this, and if it's repairable?

  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Compression will do that, especially cheap compressors. Not much you can do except pretend you don't hear it. You would never hear it in a band context anyway.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Lousy answer, Jimmy. Fuzz is not a normal part of compressors in general, and cheapness is not an indicator of the ones that will have unwanted distortion.

    The CS-3 is an extreme squasher though, so it can sound distorted at many settings. Depends on the rest of the gear. If the fuzz still happens with the Sustain knob set low (like 9:00 or 10:00), then there is probably something wrong with it that needs cleaning or repair. A bad opamp, or other component gone bad, or even just a loose wire or dirty jack.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes, thank you, Captain Compressor ;) But I'm familiar with Boss compressors and the ones I've tried have done exactly that at higher settings.
  5. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    You two, don't make me turn this car around!
  6. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    I had the same problem with mine. It hissed like an angry cat. There was another compressor post a while back and the following site was mentioned: http://www.ovnilab.com/reviews/bosscs3.shtml

    After reading his reviews, I decided to sell my CS-3 and upgrade to a Markbass Compressore. He mentions that you can have the CS-3 modded to clean up most of the noise, but I chose to spend the money on a new, better reviewed compressor.
  7. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    The guy who wrote that site is bongomania, the poster above. Just FYI.

  8. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    Pardon me. His site is amazing. I didn't intend to limit credit due.
  9. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    The sound it's making is definitely normal for this compressor (or any compressor, for that matter), and it's not just a matter of it being hissy (if you listen to the clip I posted, you can hear a very obvious fuzz). It never made the sound until recently. There's definitely something wrong with it. I'll open it up and see if there's anything obvious, but that seems unlikely. It's probably a particular component which could very well cost more than the thing is worth.

    Thanks, Bongomania!
  10. MattBacc


    Oct 26, 2016

    I had the same problem and found the solution!

    An idiot sold me that pedal with that malfunction without letting me test it before buying so I had to figure how to fix it ...
    So, the buzz is created because the pedal is underfed: it gets less than 9 V. It is also accompanied with a dim light on the led. There are two cases:
    - You are using a battery and battery is dying.
    - You are using a power supply and there is some issue in the pedal for which the 9 V are not arriving entirely to the circuit. In this case, try to use a new battery without using the power supply. It should work.
    To have it working also with the power supply you should just bridge the ground cable connected to the power supply port with the ground of the battery port. As the ground of the power supply port is probably corrupted, if you bridge it with the ground cable that works (the battery one) you should have the pedal fixed!

    Good luck,