The Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Compressor is a simple little beast of a pedal.
And it’s amazing what it can do. I’ve used many different compressors, some good, some bad, but none like this. If I was to only have one pedal in my setup, (I currently have three, a chorus, fuzz, and preamp), this would be the pedal. Why? Simple to use, but still does a lot, even though it is “only” a compressor. The five basics on this pedal are volume, compression, sustain, a toggle switch for grit, and lets not forget the engage toggle switch for on/off functionality. I’ve used the Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Compressor on a couple different gigs, one in a small club, and the other at an outdoor festival. I couldn’t have asked for more, as the pedal fit everything I needed. With the compression and sustain, I was able to actually turn my chorus off, as I only use a small amount just to “round” out the notes a little. With the grit function, I was able to remove my fuzz pedal, and still get the amount of dirt I needed. The grit function of this pedal is one of the features that make it different from the other compressors on the market and gives a subtle distortion that really stands out.
The volume knob is just that, and the compression knob goes you a blend of both dry signal and compression. Lastly, the sustain knob goes from very subtle sustain to practically hanging on forever until you chose to stop it. One thing I noticed with the sustain, unlike other compressors, especially at the festival is that it did not affect notes played that I did not hang onto, it only applied sustain where I wanted, evenly, and until I let it go. Increasing the sustain also gave me affect if I held the note long enough, I got a small amount of feedback, which I really liked, especially at the end of a tune. Keep in mind, I was outdoors, and my rig was fairly loud. For the small club gig, I did use the supplied 18 volt adapter, and for the outdoor festival, I just added it to my pedalboard and connected it as 9 volt. I did notice a small difference in the operation between 18 and 9 volt, but nothing that really stood out or even seemed to affect the performance of the pedal. The Pigtronix Philosopher Bass Compressor is really making me rethink my current setup and could easily replace two of my current pedals. Click to listen to some of the audio samples and you may end up doing the same.
If you are in the market for a bass compressor, that is truly geared for bass, check out the