Let's kick things off with this – compressor is a very underrated effect! Many associate it with loudness wars and pop music, but it is actually a very useful effect that makes your guitar tone more on-point and more pleasant to every ear. Many of your favorite recordings utilize compression to an extent, and maybe you don't even notice it.
Anyhow, if you are in pursuit for the best cheap guitar compressor, try out Joyo JF-10, a versatile beast that packs a killer price at a budget-friendly price tag. We tested this fella out, these are our conclusions.
The green scorpion beast comes in a sturdy metal casing that can take more than a few punches and heavy stomps, yet retains a light weight and compact size. We're looking at a simple layout that's easy to control – just a set of three knobs, an on/off switch, mono In and mono Out, and a LED status indicator.
This is a true bypass pedal, meaning that the stompbox does not produce a single sound or a hint of noise when connected and not turned on. The device operates as a dynamic compressor, with a total weight of 10.2 ounces and a size of 4.7 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches. You can power the JF-10 though an included 9V battery or through a standard adapter, which is not included in the price.
Let's dissect those controls now – Sustain, Level, and Attack. They're all easy to understand, making the pedal easy to use in general. This is what they do to your sound:
Sustain – This knob controls the length of your notes essentially, or how long they will hold on after being strummed. The more you crank this up, the longer the notes become.
Level – As an obligatory part of pretty much every guitar pedal we can think of, the Level knob – also know as Mix of Volume – controls the level of the given effect that gets injected into the audio mix. In this case, the more you dial in, the more compression and less clean guitar sound you will get.
Attack – This is an interesting one. The Attack knob tells the compressor how soon to grab the audio signal and adjust it. So the more you increase it, the more intense compression becomes.
So essentially there's two sides to this fella – on one hand, it keeps your sonic peaks under control and secures a well-rounded sound even if you strum too hard at moments. On the other side, it adjusts the level of sustain.
Overall, these are seemingly subtle, yet essential traits of a good sound, and you should not underestimate them in favor of some flashy effects. The pedal works really well for the listed price, securing a solid, natural sound that will please the majority of players out there. For 40 bucks, this is a top-level deal.
When the line is drawn, we're left with a pretty positive impression of this pedal. The Joyo will put your sound under control in a natural and organic way, without sounding artificial or plastic like some other cheap pedals tend to. Audio controls are fair, durability and reliability are high, and who doesn't like a feisty Scorpio? Overall, one of the best deals for this rice, thumbs up!