Rothwell Love Squeeze:
The Rothwell Love Squeeze is a compressor designed simply to sound right with guitars, without any bizarre "pumping" effects and without any noise. This has been achieved by designing a circuit from scratch instead of adopting the more common approach of using an operational transconductance amplifier (for tech heads, itís usually the CA3080 chip) or simply copying an existing design (like some American boutique makers have done), and gives the Love Squeeze a sound of its own. Low level signals can be raised by as much as 20dB without boosting high level signals, so when used in front of distortion—either in a pedal or an amp—lead lines can be fattened up, without chords sending the distortion into mush. When used with a clean sound the Love Squeeze can be set to just take off the ice-pick attack of single coil pickups for a tone a little easier on the ears. Like reverb (when used sensibly), this is a subtle effect which can go almost unnoticed until it is switched off - then you wonder how you could live without it.
Why not optical?
Compressors based on optical circuits can sound very good but the latest EU regulations have outlawed the use of Cadmium Sulphide in Europe so light dependent resistors (LDRs) are now banned and so are compressors which use them.
Why not a Ross or Dynacomp clone?
Why make a clone when you can make something better? The Love Squeeze gives a much more natural playing feel than vintage (and modern) units which seem to be fighting against the player all the time instead of controlling dynamics and enhancing tone.
So whatís in a Love Squeeze?
The Love Squeeze uses a discrete FET as the heart of a voltage controlled amplifier. The circuitry is elegantly simple but performs beautifully without introducing extraneous noise. More importantly, it enhances the playing experience. This is what compressors should do.
HARMONY CENTRAL USER REVIEW 2/11/2010:
"Subtle warm, musical compression. The attack transients with pick or fingers sound so good, fat and rounded, not harsh or over- compressed. Evens out volume differences between strings and opposite ends of fretboard, extra warmth and sustain for fenders without sounding 'obviously' compressed. Perfect for people who thought they didn't like or need a stompbox compressor."
HARMONY CENTRAL USER REVIEW 11/11/2009:
"With most compressors I've tried the problem is the high output pick-ups tend to destroy any headroom because they are powered by 9VDC, this pedal you can run at 18VDC and using my 16K wound pick-ups with an 18V supply it was absolutely pristine clean. The pedal is absolutely silent with no background noise whatsoever. I needed a compressor to even out the single note lines I do and some of the chords, it can tend to get a bit jazzy / fusion and it does the job amazingly well. Using the Strat it took me about 10 seconds to get a really nice full Gilmour sound with a bit of chorus and delay."