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Testing Compressors: Cali, Smoothie, Empress, Diamond, Keeley, FEA, Darkglass, Doc Lloyd, JHS & more

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scubaduba, May 21, 2018.

  1. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Time for another review. This time the Vox Snake Charmer Cooltron compressor. It is, well.... interesting.

    If you are looking for a compressor that performs more like an effect, well, look no further. The Snake Charmer is the opposite of subtle though I suspect that is exactly the vibe Vox was going for. It forges a different path, that's for sure.

    It's a "tube" compressor. Why do I put that in quotes? The Cooltron name is derived from the technology Vox incorporates into the line of pedals which they claim is a new way of using tubes at low voltage. To what degree the tone is influenced by the onboard 12AU7?
    Read the review → Vox Cooltron Snake Charmer Compressor Review (compressorpedalreviews.com)

    It runs off of 9 volt power supply or 4 AA batteries.

    It is the polar opposite of compressors like the Empress or Keeley products. I can't think of anything like it and I suspect that's the point. That's exactly the redeeming quality of this compressor.

    kesslari, Jesuguru, Jim C and 2 others like this.
  2. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Ahhh!! Great review, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this. So glad I got one to send your way. Saw you had the same thought about the sides. When I took them off to see inside I had more than a little “what the...”

    If anyone is interested in it feel free to PM me. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it but I have to be honest, since it’s been gone I’ve thought about it every day. There’s just something about it that makes me want to keep figuring out what to use it for. It’s unlike anything else.

    At the very least if any circuit wizard wants to take a look at it to figure out exactly what the tube is or is not doing, send me a message to figure out shipping.@Sushi Box FX?
    Btbp, Sushi Box FX and kranahan like this.
  3. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    Chicagoland, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    You found my secret weakness: pedals with tubes in them :p I'd love to take a peek inside and see what's going on.
    kranahan, Loring and BunchyMutt like this.
  4. red_rhino

    red_rhino Artful Dodger Gold Supporting Member

    All that looks a little intimidating. I wouldn't know if I was engaging the Warp engines or accidentally initiating auto self-destruct. ;)
    speedball3, kesslari and StayLow like this.
  5. merlin252


    Apr 22, 2016
    Well, this was partly fixed by a new battery in the P when I realised I'd never changed it and I've had the bass four years... :sorry:

    I think it brings out the attack and string/finger texture/noise, if that makes sense. That's either good or bad depending on taste, I suppose. Perhaps I'm just in a modern/J/rounds mood this week. Anyway, the Love Squeeze is punchy as anything and is staying for now.
    kesslari likes this.
  6. anan


    Feb 19, 2021
    Yeah, I saw that one. But I saw it too late. I'd really like to try the Opti-Fet.
  7. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Can anyone get the measurements of the Mozztronics CO-2 with the power and patch cables plugged in? I’m ready to pull the trigger but need to make sure it will fit on my board. Bonus points if you get measurements with EBS flat cables in.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  8. Killens84

    Killens84 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    If no one else gets to it, I can measure mine when I get home in an hour or two. I have EBS flat patch cables plugged into mine.
    BunchyMutt and kranahan like this.
  9. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Thanks. Having jacks on 3 sides doesn’t make sense to me. It’s 2021 for crying out loud! They should be on one or two sides. Especially, with a bigger enclosure.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
    Loring likes this.
  10. Killens84

    Killens84 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    5 5/8” wide, from the outside of the EBS flat patch plugs. And about 4 1/4” tall, with my Cioks power supply cable plugged in at the top.
    kranahan likes this.
  11. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    The Mozztronics is still one of my favorite compressors.
    kranahan, Loring and Killens84 like this.
  12. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Perfect! Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I’ll measure my open spot later today. I hope it can fit!
  13. Charlie Tuna

    Charlie Tuna

    Feb 21, 2005
    Key West, FL
    I actually found a great advantage for the side jacks at practice the other day. It was quite cold and I had on some snow boots. I could not tip-toe and hit only the switch I wanted because all the pedals I was using were top jack and I crammed as many as I could on my PT nano+. If they were side jacked pedals I would’ve had enough room to negotiate single switch hits. Now I understand why a lot of pros spread out their pedals on stage.
    StayLow, Teryup and scubaduba like this.
  14. kranahan

    kranahan Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I understand why. I’m cramming pedals on every square inch of my home board. There’s no way I’d be able to play it live. Although there’s nothing like clicking the Meatbox and a fuzz at the same time unintentionally.
    IronSpatula, kesslari, Loring and 2 others like this.

  15. Amen.

    The only pedals with side jacks should be 1590A, 'cause size constraints.
    Boss, too, maybe, simply because they've been around so long in that format, and size constraints. No way to get all the Jacks on an LS-2 on one side of that pedal. Size constraints.

    How 'bout the PJB PE-5? There's a jack, switch or knob on every side of the pedal except the one blank side where they should be.
  16. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Howdy! I asked many months ago for recommendations and still haven't bought anything - looking for something primarily to smooth out my signal a little bit before it goes into an O/D, either a Darkglass B7K or a Damnation MBD-2. Still thinking the Keeley Bassist, as I was a good long while ago, but open to other alternatives before I pull the trigger. :)
  17. Loring


    May 4, 2017
    Still going to recommend empress bass comp
    Obese Chess, 1983L2000 and Fuzzbass like this.
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Darkhorse suggestion is the Hilbish Compressimiser. One knob control and a volume knob. It sounds good going into my other dirty pedals (Hilbish and Dunwich devices). It’s not fancy, and the housing is huge. It can click/pop a bit when engaged but it’s fine for always on or engaging for boosting dirty signals. It doesn’t really color the tone, but it’ll give you a bit more midrange punch. It’s probably a Dynacomp-based design. I’ve enjoyed having it in my board.
    Obese Chess likes this.
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    "Smooth out my signal" -- I will assume this refers only to dynamics, as opposed to tonal smoothing/warming. If so, the Empress Bass is an excellent suggestion. I haven't tried the Keeley, but I've read good things, including that it's easy to dial in, so that would probably work for you as well.
    Loring and Obese Chess like this.
  20. jacoby75

    jacoby75 Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Pedal order is something to consider as well. If you run your compressor before your drive (which many do and I used to do), you'll lose touch responsiveness and dynamics from the drive. But if that's what you want, it works swimmingly. I recently switched to running my compressor after my drives, so the drives still responded in a more amp-like, touch responsive manner.
    One Way, Obese Chess and Fuzzbass like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 28, 2021

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