Not long after the comprehensive Twain & Stella reviews published in June 2020 issue, Gitarre & Bass Magazine is now following with a new report in the December 2020 Issue, this time for the CompIQ Mini. The reviewer – Joris Henke – evaluates each of its feature on his 2-pages review and concludes:
Despite its reduced size, the CompIQ Mini is said to have adopted the essential aspect of its siblings, namely clean compression. And this without compromises. The pedal does exactly what it is supposed to do. Namely, be a fully equipped compressor in miniature format. I can’t think of any devices that are similarly small and can do nearly as much with studio-ready sound quality. From percussive sounds for tapping or funk to worn solos with volume boost and pumping bass, the device can cover everything. If you are not looking for a compressor with a strong character, but for a reliable tool that does not distort the intrinsic sound of the instrument, you should take a closer look at the CompIQ.
Included in the December 2020 Issue is also a great giveaway for our previously reviewed products, Twain and Stella. The closing date for this GIVEAWAY is Friday, December 18th, 2020.
A compact powerful pedal
by Joris Henke, 20. Dec 2020
The Romanian effects company Becos FX has already impressed with its intelligent compressors. With built-in overdrives and various filters, they left nothing to be desired during testing. Despite its reduced size, the CompIQ Mini is said to have adopted the essential aspect of its siblings, namely the clean compression. And that without compromises.
Since the two pedals Twain and Stella thrilled me all along the line (see issue 6/2020), I was very pleased to also test the compact version, the CompIQ Mini. Miniature versions are very practical, especially for devices that are not adjusted very often: they do not take up much space and thus leave more space for other effects or reduce the size of luggage. This often goes hand in hand with a reduced price compared to the larger versions. You just have to try out whether you can live with the design-related compromises.
So I’m excited to get the handcrafted in Romania pedal out of its no-frills packaging. It quickly turns out that the relationship to the large devices is not only optical, the same high quality is also evident in terms of workmanship. The massive housing is coated with black textured paint and neatly printed, the LEDs for indicating the level reduction are embedded, as is the plastic sleeve that prevents a short circuit when the DC connector is inserted. The pedal not only makes a good impression visually, but everything also looks very valuable to the touch. The controls turn with a very pleasant resistance and the small toggle switches also appear stable. There are no surprises on the connection side. Input on the right, output on the left, DC socket on the front, that’s it. The maximum supply voltage must not exceed 18VDC, whereby values between 9 and 12 volts are recommended.
IN-PRACTICE & SOUND
And how is the little box doing in practice? After switching it on for the first time, I first had to make sure that the fader was turned all the way to the left because the compressor adds absolutely no color or noise to the sound. Slight noise is only noticeable in extreme settings, which is normal in this case. In order to give inexperienced ears a start-up, the manual specifies which position of the ratio control corresponds to which ratio. The control range extends from 1:1 to 1:infinite, which means that the device can also be used as a limiter. The toggle switch responsible for the knee is placed somewhat unfortunately between the upper potentiometers. With this, you can switch the response behavior (knee) between hard and soft. The short lever means that you need a bit of tact or a pick as an aid. However, the effect is very clear. While the compression in the upper setting (hard) starts very abruptly and is particularly suitable for percussive play, the soft setting lives up to its name: The signal is compressed very gently and very inconspicuously at moderate settings. With the help of the threshold controller, the level at which compression begins can be determined, which can be read off very well on the LED scale. The “intelligent” compression, already known from the two big siblings, is also used here and gives the series its name. In a purely analog way, the device “recognizes” based on the input dynamics whether fast or slow times for attack and release are beneficial for the game. In practice, this means that the compressor accesses more slowly when playing lightly than when playing loudly and that works very well! Nevertheless, these parameters can still be influenced manually using the toggle switch labeled “Timing”. The two abbreviations “S” and “F” simply stand for “slow” and “fast”, with which the device is given an approximate range in which it should work. The fast setting is recommended for percussive play, while slower times are particularly suitable for the popular “fattening” and for lengthening the sustain.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Because there are apparently not enough setting options for a pedal in miniature format, the compression can also be edited using a sidechain filter. Again, two settings are provided for this. On the one hand “normal” (N) and on the other hand “deep” (D). If the switch is set to N, the low frequencies are already left a little more air, so the sound never appears flat. If you want more depth or play very percussively, you can switch to position D to prevent the compressor from responding to frequencies below 130Hz. The result is that more bass is let through and the pedal reacts more strongly to peaks in the attack. The sound is fuller and this setting is particularly useful on the bass. Once all the sound settings have been made, the overall volume can still be adjusted using the gain potentiometer in order to make up for the level that was reduced by compression. And with a lot of reserves! The label is a bit misleading, however, because a fully equipped compressor usually has two gain controls: one for the input level and one for the output volume. The latter is meant here, which means that the position of the control has no influence on the response of the compressor. Last but not least, to the right of the footswitch there is a small potentiometer for the wet/dry mix. This allows you to blend smoothly between the compressed and unprocessed signal in order to give a heavily compressed signal something of its natural dynamics and, above all, feel.
And once again the small effects factory from Romania can score in all areas. The pedal does exactly what it is supposed to do. Namely, be a fully equipped compressor in miniature. Ad hoc, I can’t think of any devices that are similarly small and can do almost as much with studio-grade sound quality. The device can cover everything from percussive sounds for tapping or funk to solos with volume boost and pumping bass. If you are not looking for a compressor with a strong character, but a reliable tool that does not distort the sound of the instrument, you should take a closer look at the CompIQ.
– high quality
– neutral sound
– full functionality
– partly vague labeling