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some dyna-comp ques...
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some dyna-comp questions

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New Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

i've owned a Dyna Comp for about 5 years now, and never quite figured out how to make the thing work right. About all i've noticed is that when i want some crazy fuzz or feedback, i set the ouput level on high and put the comp in front of a fuzz box in my effect chain.

but usually, i just play straight through to my amp, sometimes with a DD3 delay in the chain. it's a Vox AVT50 amp and i usually use either the AC30 or 70's Marshall amp models, since they have some crunch but not too much. here's the catch - in this case the Comp makes so much noise that I usually just leave it off.

i've read a lot of stuff online, and some of it says that combining the comp with overdrive /distortion can lead to a lot of noise. i suppose that problem could be reduced by using a noise gate between the comp and the amp. i'm not exactly sure why this should happen though, unless the comp is boosting the (noisy) dry signal first. i usually try to set the comp so that the wet signal and dry signal are about the same level.

i've also read that some people have reduced the noise by running the comp off a 9V battery instead of a power supply. i have a powered pedalboard that i run it from now, so i could see that possibly being a culprit.

any ideas on this?

Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502

Unfortunately all comps do this to some extent. Can't say I have one, but I wouldn't mind an MXR...

As for how you power it- a decent power supply shouldn't be any louder than using a 9V. I've tested this against a couple of plugs/batteries myself.

However, I have known some less expensive power supplies to be INCREDIBLY noisy.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 141

I use an MXR Dyna-Comp, and I love it. I use it similarly to how you described FC, either pretty much straight with a bit of delay, or ahead of a distortion/OD pedal. I've found the key to setting the little bugger is that "Sensitivity" control.

Typically, with my guitar, I set it about 1 o'clock. This varies from instrument to instrument depending on how hot the pickups are, etc. The idea is to set it rather high, then back off bit by bit until that "breathing" effect where the sound seems to pull back very noticeably when you hit a chord or note *just* reduces to where it's not so noticeable. I'll then set the "Level" control to about the same level as my average loudness without the D-C engaged. It takes a little playing with it to find the right levels, but if set as I've described, makes the pedal fairly transparent and simply adds some nice clean sustain with minimal noise.

Setting the sensitivity in this manner keeps the effect sounding more natural without the "breathing" effect being so noticeable, as well as keeping the noise floor as low as possible while still providing a reasonable amount of compression. Setting the sensitivity too high allows the high-gain first stages in the compressor to basically run wide-open until you hit a chord or note, and we all know how an amp will produce more "hiss" as you crank the volume with no signal.

You may actually have a defect in the pedal also, especially if the noise you're hearing when the guitar volume is zero is full of pops and crackles, and/or you get a lot of noise when moving the "Sensitivity" control. I had problems with D-C's and noise where one pedal had a noisy compressor chip, and one where it had a noisy "Sensitivity" control pot. In those cases, the noise was annoyingly apparent at any reasonably-usable settings of the controls. Good luck!



Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1167

I use mine with the output knob maxed, and the sensitivty knob at about 1/4...I guess about 9:00. For me, it takes my amp (also a vox modeler) and gives the clean setting a nice boost with a smooth, even sustain that sounds really nice. If I use it with my Epi Valve Junior, I put the amp volume down pretty low, actually, then I send the guitar into my boss EQ (with a slight boost), hit the Dyna Comp (for another boost) and then through my EH Double Muff on singlemuff setting. pretty growly.