best compressor for acoustic guitar


Hey, guys! Welcome to our guide on the best compressors for acoustic guitar. Whether you’re a professional musician or a hobbyist, a compressor is an essential tool that can enhance your acoustic guitar playing. It helps to maintain a consistent volume level, adds sustain, and brings out the nuances of your playing. In this article, we will explore seven top-notch compressors that are perfect for acoustic guitarists. Let’s dive in!

1. MXR M76 Studio Compressor

🔍 The MXR M76 Studio Compressor is a versatile and transparent compressor that excels in studio and live settings. Its low noise floor and intuitive control layout make it a favorite among many acoustic guitar players.

👍 Pros:

  • Provides transparent compression without coloring your acoustic guitar’s tone.
  • Offers an abundance of controls for fine-tuning your sound.
  • Great for studio recordings and live performances.

👎 Cons:

  • Relatively expensive compared to other options.
  • May take some time to master all the control functions.

2. Boss CP-1X Compressor

🔍 The Boss CP-1X Compressor is a compact and feature-packed option that delivers exceptional compression for acoustic guitars. Its intelligent circuitry ensures natural dynamics while optimizing your sound.

👍 Pros:

  • Intelligent circuitry provides natural compression without sacrificing dynamics.
  • Compact design makes it pedalboard-friendly.
  • Simple controls for quick and hassle-free adjustments.

👎 Cons:

  • Some users may find the tone shaping options limited.
  • Not as transparent as some higher-end compressors.

3. Keeley Compressor Plus

🔍 The Keeley Compressor Plus is a modern classic, loved by many acoustic guitar players for its exceptional sound quality and versatility. It offers a wide range of compression options and a blend control for parallel compression.

👍 Pros:

  • Provides studio-grade compression and sustain for acoustic guitars.
  • Blend control allows for parallel compression, retaining the natural dynamics of your playing.
  • Works well with various playing styles and genres.

👎 Cons:

  • May be too pricey for beginners or those on a tight budget.
  • Requires some experimentation to find the perfect settings.

4. Wampler Ego Compressor

🔍 The Wampler Ego Compressor is a versatile and easy-to-use pedal that offers a wide range of compression tones for acoustic guitarists. It features a blend control, three compression modes, and a built-in tone control for fine-tuning your sound.

👍 Pros:

  • Three compression modes cater to different playing styles and preferences.
  • Blend control allows for parallel compression.
  • Built-in tone control helps shape your sound.

👎 Cons:

  • May not be as transparent as some other compressors.
  • Requires some effort to find the right settings for your acoustic guitar.

5. Empress Effects Compressor

🔍 The Empress Effects Compressor is a high-quality and versatile compressor suitable for both electric and acoustic guitars. It offers excellent control over your dynamics, ensuring your acoustic guitar always sits perfectly in the mix.

👍 Pros:

  • Provides exceptional control over compression parameters.
  • Built-in sidechain filter helps eliminate unwanted frequencies.
  • Transparent and natural compression that enhances your acoustic guitar sound.

👎 Cons:

  • Relatively higher price point compared to some competitors.
  • May have a steeper learning curve for beginners.

6. Xotic Effects SP Compressor

🔍 The Xotic Effects SP Compressor is a compact and straightforward compressor that delivers transparent and musical compression for acoustic guitarists. Its small size and simple controls make it easy to use and perfect for any pedalboard.

👍 Pros:

  • Delivers transparent compression without coloring your acoustic guitar’s tone.
  • Compact size, perfect for pedalboards with limited space.
  • Simple controls for quick adjustments on the fly.

👎 Cons:

  • May lack some advanced features found in other compressors.
  • Does not offer as many tonal shaping options.

7. TC Electronic HyperGravity Compressor

🔍 The TC Electronic HyperGravity Compressor is a feature-rich pedal that offers a wide range of compression tones for acoustic guitarists. Its advanced multiband dynamics algorithm ensures optimal compression across different frequency ranges.

👍 Pros:

  • Advanced multiband dynamics for precise compression across different frequency ranges.
  • Three different compression modes to suit various playing styles.
  • Built-in sustain, blend, and attack controls for fine-tuning your sound.

👎 Cons:

  • Might be overwhelming for beginners due to the number of controls.
  • Requires some time to explore the full potential of the pedal.
Compressor Main Features Price
MXR M76 Studio Compressor Transparent compression, low noise floor $199
Boss CP-1X Compressor Natural dynamics, compact design $129
Keeley Compressor Plus Studio-grade compression, parallel compression $199
Wampler Ego Compressor Three compression modes, blend control $199
Empress Effects Compressor Exceptional control, sidechain filter $249
Xotic Effects SP Compressor Transparent compression, compact size $132
TC Electronic HyperGravity Compressor Multiband dynamics, versatile controls $129

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a compressor, and why do I need one for my acoustic guitar?

A compressor is an audio effect that reduces the dynamic range of a signal by attenuating loud sounds and boosting softer ones. In the context of acoustic guitar, a compressor helps to even out the volume level, enhance sustain, and improve overall tone.

2. Can I use a compressor designed for electric guitar on my acoustic guitar?

While it is possible to use an electric guitar compressor with an acoustic guitar, it’s generally recommended to opt for a compressor specifically designed for acoustic instruments. Acoustic-focused compressors take into account the unique tonal characteristics and requirements of acoustic guitars.

3. How do I connect a compressor pedal to my acoustic guitar setup?

To connect a compressor pedal, you’ll typically need a patch cable to connect the output of your acoustic guitar to the input of the compressor. Then, use another patch cable to connect the output of the compressor to the input of your amplifier or audio interface.

4. Should I place the compressor before or after other effects in my signal chain?

The placement of the compressor in your signal chain depends on personal preference and the desired effect. Placing it before other effects can help maintain a consistent level, while placing it after effects can emphasize the compressed sound. Experimentation is key.

5. What are the ideal settings for a compressor on acoustic guitar?

The ideal compressor settings vary based on the specific compressor and your acoustic guitar’s characteristics. Generally, start with a low to moderate ratio, adjust the threshold to control the amount of compression, and set the attack and release times to preserve the natural dynamics.

6. Can a compressor negatively impact my acoustic guitar’s tone?

When used appropriately, a compressor should not negatively impact your acoustic guitar’s tone. However, excessive compression or improper settings can result in an unnatural or squashed sound. It’s important to find the right balance that enhances your tone without sacrificing dynamics.

7. Can I use a compressor to achieve a specific acoustic guitar playing style?

While a compressor can certainly help shape your playing style to some extent, it’s important to note that it won’t transform your technique completely. Compressors are best used to enhance your existing playing style and dynamics, rather than trying to imitate a specific style.

8. Are there any disadvantages to using a compressor on acoustic guitar?

One potential disadvantage of using a compressor is the risk of over-compressing, which can result in a lifeless or unnatural sound. Additionally, some compressors can introduce noise or coloration to your tone if not of high quality or used improperly.

9. Are there any specific features or controls I should look for in a compressor for my acoustic guitar?

When choosing a compressor, consider features like blend controls for parallel compression, sidechain filters, and versatile attack/release controls. These features allow you to fine-tune the compression effect to fit your acoustic guitar’s unique characteristics.

10. Can I use a compressor for live performances as well as studio recordings?

Absolutely! Many compressors on the market are suitable for both live performances and studio recordings. Look for compressors with low noise floors and sturdy construction to withstand the demands of live gigs.

11. Will a compressor help with feedback issues when playing my acoustic guitar live?

While a compressor alone may not eliminate feedback issues, it can help control the sustain and dynamics, reducing the chances of unwanted feedback. Combine it with other feedback control techniques, such as proper microphone placement and EQ adjustments, for best results.

12. Do I need to spend a lot of money to get a good compressor for my acoustic guitar?

Not necessarily. There are excellent compressors available at various price points. It’s important to consider your specific needs, tonal preferences, and budget when choosing a compressor. Some budget-friendly options may surprise you with their performance.

13. Any tips for getting the most out of my compressor on acoustic guitar?

Experimentation is key when using a compressor. Start with conservative settings and gradually make adjustments to find the sweet spot. Pay attention to the attack and release times, as well as the ratio and threshold settings, to achieve the desired compression effect.


After exploring the seven best compressors for acoustic guitar, we hope you’ve found the perfect fit for your playing style and sonic preferences. Remember, the best compressor for you may vary depending on your specific needs and budget. Choose the one that enhances your acoustic guitar’s sound and unleashes your musical creativity. Start playing with compression and discover the exciting possibilities it brings to your acoustic guitar journey!

Take action now and explore the wide range of possibilities a reliable and quality compressor can offer. Elevate your acoustic guitar playing to new heights with enhanced sustain, dynamics, and tonal control.

Disclaimer: The prices mentioned in this article are subject to change. Always check for the latest prices and product availability to make an informed decision.

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