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Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal   

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The Philosopher's Tone Compressor/Sustainer is an ideal front end to any guitar player's pedalboard. It can also serve as the perfect companion to th...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A state-of-the-art analog compressor with endless clean sustain.

The Philosopher's Tone Compressor/Sustainer is an ideal front end to any guitar player's pedalboard. It can also serve as the perfect companion to the Pigtronix Mothership Guitar Synthesizer or any other pitch-tracking musical equipment, delivering more accurate tracking and increased note duration. As a bonus, the Grit control mixes a layer of smooth, diode-clipping distortion into the effect.

Unlike the many compressor clones and their variations that have become so popular in the past 10 years, the Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone is not based on a CA3080 chip. The result is more sustain and less noise. The dynamic range, touch sensitivity, overall transparency, and outright sustain of the Philosopher's Tone are unparalleled in the crowded world of compressor pedals.

FEATURES
  • Adjustable threshold and ratio controls
  • Blend control for parallel compression
  • Smooth, diode-clipping distortion
  • Treble boost/cut
  • Ultracompact design
  • Circuit design by Howard Davis
  • Pigtronix 15VDC adapter included

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
PigtronixPhilosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal
 
4.3

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

86%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (7)
  • Versatile (6)
  • Excellent sound quality (5)
  • Responsive (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (7)
  • Amateur recording (5)
  • Home studio (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

First time buyer, lifetime customer.

I haven't had this pedal for too long now, so I won't say anything about the durability of it. But what I will say is that this is the first time I've ever used...Read complete review

I haven't had this pedal for too long now, so I won't say anything about the durability of it. But what I will say is that this is the first time I've ever used a Pigtronix pedal and I'm completely hooked! The unwanted hiss problems you usually get with a compressor/sustainer/distortion pedal(s) aren't even there. This pedal is completely quite during standard operation. The only time static came into the picture was when I had the distortion circuit nearly dimed. Which was awesome because I didn't want to drop money on a gate to pair it with.Also, alot of people hate the way these pedals color your tone...again, it wasn't there. I went through every channel and pickup clicking this thing on and off and I didn't notice a difference. Excellent!

To go futher with my admiration, the Mix control does a wonderful job blending compressed and uncompressed signals, adding layers of flavor to the sound. I'm so astounded by the quality of work put into this pedal that I will be looking through Pigtronix's gear before anything else now (despite being a complete MXR sell-out).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Well?

Built solid and has a nice paint job, but in my opinion excels only in the special effects department and not in a practical world use.The sustain can be dialed in for long silky...Read complete review

Built solid and has a nice paint job, but in my opinion excels only in the special effects department and not in a practical world use.The sustain can be dialed in for long silky singing without noise, but there is a ugly pop followed by a gulp that always comes on when the unit in engaged. The fixed attack is way too fast and not adjustable, creating a mushy/chopped off attack, that only gets better as the blend is brought down to almost no effect or the sustain is set to minimum (Basically you are approaching bypass at that point). The Tone control is nice as is the volume boost when pushed up. The in and out jacks need to be in a better place as to flow with the majority of most pedal cable routing.I have many rack compressors (Tubetech UREI etc.) and have many years of experience using them. A Boss CS3, MXR Dnyacomp, and of course the Keeley 4 knob stomp boxs are better choices for getting a great sound and leaving it on so you can focus on the music without having any sonic distractions. I used this in my Church rig, a 1967 Fender Blackface Princeton Reverb with Tungsols and a Celestion Gold 10" speaker, Red Witch Empress, TC Nova Repeater, BB preamp, TC tuner, and a 2007 Fender American Deluxe Guitar.

Reviewed by 16 customers

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(14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

First time buyer, lifetime customer.

By TrixR4kids

from Mad-City, WI

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

I haven't had this pedal for too long now, so I won't say anything about the durability of it. But what I will say is that this is the first time I've ever used a Pigtronix pedal and I'm completely hooked! The unwanted hiss problems you usually get with a compressor/sustainer/distortion pedal(s) aren't even there. This pedal is completely quite during standard operation. The only time static came into the picture was when I had the distortion circuit nearly dimed. Which was awesome because I didn't want to drop money on a gate to pair it with.Also, alot of people hate the way these pedals color your tone...again, it wasn't there. I went through every channel and pickup clicking this thing on and off and I didn't notice a difference. Excellent!

To go futher with my admiration, the Mix control does a wonderful job blending compressed and uncompressed signals, adding layers of flavor to the sound. I'm so astounded by the quality of work put into this pedal that I will be looking through Pigtronix's gear before anything else now (despite being a complete MXR sell-out).

(10 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Well?

By e-man-4uDAf

from Nashville TN

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

Built solid and has a nice paint job, but in my opinion excels only in the special effects department and not in a practical world use.The sustain can be dialed in for long silky singing without noise, but there is a ugly pop followed by a gulp that always comes on when the unit in engaged. The fixed attack is way too fast and not adjustable, creating a mushy/chopped off attack, that only gets better as the blend is brought down to almost no effect or the sustain is set to minimum (Basically you are approaching bypass at that point). The Tone control is nice as is the volume boost when pushed up. The in and out jacks need to be in a better place as to flow with the majority of most pedal cable routing.I have many rack compressors (Tubetech UREI etc.) and have many years of experience using them. A Boss CS3, MXR Dnyacomp, and of course the Keeley 4 knob stomp boxs are better choices for getting a great sound and leaving it on so you can focus on the music without having any sonic distractions. I used this in my Church rig, a 1967 Fender Blackface Princeton Reverb with Tungsols and a Celestion Gold 10" speaker, Red Witch Empress, TC Nova Repeater, BB preamp, TC tuner, and a 2007 Fender American Deluxe Guitar.

(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Decent compressor with added features

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

Again, like I said it works great as a compressor and that is why I pixked it up. I wish I could have used the grit feature and added some more dimensions to my sound, but can't really find a use for it. But maybe you will.
Really works great as a compressor when used correctly.
I didn;t find the grint on this pedal too useable fro my taste,
Nicely built. Great quality workmanship.
Should last a good long time
Great price and if you use all the added features you won;t find anything else out there at this price.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful Tone & Compression

By Morgan-l.XcI

from Winston-Salem, NC

See all my reviews

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

I knew I wanted a compressor at some point but this pedal was a bit of an impulse buy at a guitar & amp show. I put this pedal second in my effects chain right after a tuner and that is where it belongs. After I fiddled around with the knobs for a few minutes, I found a sound that fits all of my needs. This pedal gives my Strat a beautiful bottom end that's not too bassy and very tight. It also makes my top end thick yet chimey which is perfect. I can fatten up my single coils easily but also adds a little sparkle to my humbucker equipped guitars. This pedal is a bit overpriced but compared to other compressors, this one is the best. It doesn't take up much room on my pedalboard and it's almost always on. I love this pedal and highly recommend it.

(6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A compressor with attitude

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

I'm using humbucker equipped guitars into this compressor into a A D/A Flanger & Final Phase into a Small Stone into a Ibanez AF2 Airplane Flanger. I like the Grit & Blend features most. The compressor is quiet and works well. I haven't used many compressors, so I can't compare it to any except the Keeley 2 knob. I prefered this one.
I'm using mostly humbucker equiped guitars, I play a lot of chords with a open note droning. I wanted those notes to pop a bit more. It works great with my strat & Acoustic guitars as well.The Grit & Blend controls made me decide on this compressor. I find myself dialing up the grit control & backing the gain of my Carvin V3 down and I like this sound a lot. The blend control allows you to keep some of your original signal in there. It adds bass to my sound. There's a treble control and I have found it best to my ears in the 12 o'clock position. It also includes a power supply.
It's going to live in my smoke free home studio (man cave). But the controls feel solid. There's a bright indicator lamp, usefull on dark stages.
The one dig I have is the use of these plastic in/out 1/4" jacks that are soldered directly to the circuit card. The nuts always vibrate loose & dissapear into that little crack that goes to china. It makes repairing a faulty input jack impossibe without mailing it off. Pigtronix is not the only offender. Many manufacturers have moved to these jacks & I hate the things. Mine will stay plugged in, but a lot of road use will eventually fail.
What I paid was a stretch value wise.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

My opinion

By JImK-YBDFg

from Hudson, NY

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

I've been gigging since 1964---not a pro, but this ain't my first rodeo. This pedal has a lot of great aspects-- but I could not get an "endless sustain" that was clean. Always just a bit of dirt. I didn't want that. And whenever I hit the "ON" button, there was a definite discernible "pop"-- and even a slight pause or delay until it kicked in. Not cool. Trialed with a Paul, SG, 339, PRS, Strat, and Nashville Tele thru Fender, Behringer, and Vox amps. Really had some super nice sounds, but the drawbacks killed me. I returned mine.

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Please know what a compressor does

By MakeATheMusic

from Youngstown, OH

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

    A compressor is not automatic volume control. It affects your dynamics first and foremost, then everything else. The "pop and click" that everyone complains about stems from the fact that they sledgehammer with their pick hand and probably have an amp that is way too loud set with the volume around three or four (i.e. no dynamic control). If you have good dynamics, this pedal is unreal for not only sustain, but expressiveness in general. Really wakes up some hidden overtones. I can't shut this thing off. The only time I don't use it is...never. It's always on. If you don't torture your guitar and amp with outrageously uncontrolled dynamics, this is your pedal.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fantastic pedal!!!

    By Stratman351

    from Germantown, MD

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

      This is an awesome compressor, and I've owned most of those from the major competitors, from MXR to Carl Martin to Keeley to Boss. Dead quiet. Does what it claims: endless clean sustain with no noise. The only things I've heard that rival this pedal are pick-ups: the Sustainiac or Fernandes Sustainer. In addition to serving as a compressor, this pedal does a decent overdrive (grit knob) and boost. On my "mini-board", I use this in place of the Fulldrive FD2, MXR MicroAmp and MXR Dyna-Comp (or, sometimes, Keeley) on my "big" board. A great unit.

      (2 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Nothing special

      By AL1968

      from Phoenix, AZ

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Compact Design

      Cons

      • Close To Noextra Sustain
      • Not Responsive

      Best Uses

      • Performances

      Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I bought this effect after reading so many comments and watching some Youtube videos.
      Nobody had demoed harmonic tremolo squeals, so I thought I'd give it a try. The result: you get NO extra sustain with squeals. With chords, maybe, but if you have good neckthru guitar with great pickups and a nice tube amp, you will likewise get a very good sustain. It's a decent compressor/booster, though.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      not what i expected

      By keepinitreal

      from philadelphia

      Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Compressor Guitar Effects Pedal:

      based on the reviews/videos i had seen, i was expecting the holy grail of compression. i was hoping for something that could provide the smooth, round compression of my Homebrew CPR, but also have endless sustain and some dirt on tap when needed. all with less noise. sounds great, right? fault me for lofty expectations, but this did not deliver. first, the (near) endless sustain thing is legit, and I?m the first to admit that it is a really cool and impressive feature. tone-wise it is fairly transparent, but it absolutely kills your pick attack. i thought this was a fair trade off for the added sustain, but when i tried to dial in some basic compression tones, the attack was still non-existent (even on the lowest compression settings). every note blooms which, to me, sounded unnatural and non musical. i thought that the blend knob would help alleviate this problem in the same fashion as the barber tone press, but it didn't help. once you move it past 9 o'clock, the attack was gone. the grit knob is a cool feature. not the best distortion i've heard, but not the worst. i actually thought that the tone knob was very useful and effective. i will admit that the unit does have less noise than other compressors that i've tried at the most extreme settings. at the same time, the difference was marginal at best. to channel my inner tone-snob, the pedal sounded like an effect rather than a tone shaping device. i really did like the endless sustain, but couldn't justify keeping it for one trick. i'm sure there are going to be plenty of people who will love this pedal, but it wasn?t for me and ended up returning it. if you?re looking for endless sustain, this is your answer. if you?re looking for a complete compress pedal that can give you endless sustain, keep looking.

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