Keeley Compressor


  1. What is it ... ?
  2. What is True Bypass ... ?
  3. How good does it sound ... ?
  4. What is the warranty ... ?
  5. Even more custom options, LED color, Battery adapter jack... ?
  6. How can I get one ... ?

What is it ... ?


Why does it sound like a Ross only better?  The exact output transistors are used.  They are the 2SC1849 NPN transistors that have been out of production for many years.  I used these to obtain an exact gain and sound field I heard from the Ross.  I tried the common 2SC1815 and was not as impressed with the tone.  The integrated circuit I use is also the exact part.  It is a CA3080.  This is critical to the sound as well.  I used the same values of tantalum capacitors as well in my design .  The only upgrade I made was to the ceramic capacitors.  Ceramic capacitors sound harsh so I made a wise substitute, film capacitors.  It also has a true bypass switching circuit.  This makes sure you have absolutely no tone loss or signal reduction through my pedal even in the off mode.  This is a very expensive switch but is well worth the tonal difference.  The original Ross has a cheap switch and runs down your signal even when off or if the battery goes weak.  Mine has none of those problems.  

The pedal is the same size as the MXR Dyna Comp unit. 

My pedal is completely hand built and takes nearly 12 hours to complete.  Every pedal is tested to ensure that there are no failures.  The pedal is "semi-abused" to make sure there is nothing loose or in danger of coming apart.  I worked in the audio repair business for 10 years and know what it is like to get something that should have been caught at the factory.  Customers don't like it and neither do I.  Since each pedal is hand made there might be small differences as improvements are made. Every attempt is made to make sure your pedal looks perfect and sounds better than you imagined.

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What is TRUE BYPASS ... ?

True bypass means that when the effect is off you guitar tone will not be affected at all.  Nearly all pedals made today have your guitar signal routed through some transistors to make the pedal cheaper and provide you with an effect indication light.  I wanted this Ross Compressor Clone to be the best possible compressor available today.  The pedal needed to have a triple pole double throw switch.  This makes sure you have absolutely no tone loss or signal reduction through Keeley Compressor even in the off mode.  This is a very expensive switch but is well worth the tonal difference.  The original Ross has a cheap switch and runs down your signal even when off or if the battery goes weak.  Mine has none of those problems.  THE KEELEY COMPRESSOR IS UNIQUE.  CHECK WITH ANY OTHER COMPRESSOR TO SEE IF IT HAS TRUE BYPASS USING A 3PDT SWITCH.  ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!  

This is what the current production unit look like, with the black knobs and white pointer stripe.  Cool huh?!?!

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How good does it sound ... ?

NEW!!! As of May all the compressor are now built with Vishay/Telefunken Diodes and Tantalum Capacitors and 1% metal film resistors!  Keeley Compressors are now even quieter and truer sounding! Panasonic metal film capacitors are used as well. Nothing but the best, tone-tested components!  Keeley compressors believe it or not, are always being made better!

The Keeley Compressor is not simply a clone, it has been fine tuned with every attention to tone deatil.  I offer a money back warranty if you are not happy with it in addition to a two year warranty.  I have tested it against every stomp box style compressor commonly available including the Maxon, Bi-Compressor, and the Carl Martin.  Not only is it the best sounding, it is the cleanest as well.  The Ross, for all of its greatness, is very noisy (hiss) and has problems with picking up noise (Neon lights, computer monitors, EMI, etc.).  My design pays close attention to ground loops and the circuit to controls and jacks are point to point wired, just like your favorite vintage Fender amp.  This is widely preferred to ribbon cables and connectors..  Plus the Keeley Compressor uses the right parts.  The output transistors are 2SC1849 and the IC is the CA3080.  The 2SC1849 transistors are matched for gain (Hfe) within 1%.  This matters most for the output section.  The transistors in my collection measure about 360 for the gain.  I am using a Harris (Intersil) CA3080E because it is sooo quiet and doesn't effect the original tone at all.  These transistors and this IC make a wonderful pre-amp section to drive the input of a tube amp into distortion, if desired.  The output can be set to even gain as well.  Bottom line, no harshness here at all!

This pedal has been put against the original gray Ross Compressor, the MXR Dyna-Comp (it just kills it!!!), the Ibanez CP9 compressor from the TS9 family of pedals, BOSS CS-3 Compression Sustainer, Carl Martin, Maxon, other Ross clones like the BiCompressor,  and the Behringer Composer and dbx rack mount unit.  (I have them all...I wanted a good compressor!)  I am convinced that this pedal is the ultimate for guitar players seeking a brilliant tone, incredible sustain, note detail from a floor unit.  I would never go back to any of those pedals.  All of them have problems, loose way too much high end frequency response, or are too expensive!

The Sustain Control: The 9 O'clock position should be barely noticeable.  It will just take out really loud sudden peaks, this is great for protecting your speakers and the like.  I prefer a little more.  about the 12 O'clock position for using it all of the time.  The 3 O'clock position is GREAT for solos.  It really adds some cool effects to your playing dynamics.  Only when really cranked do you get the pluck sound of your pick emphasized.  Why?  This is because the circuit in the Ross and Keeley Compressor is so fast (the attack time) that it truly transparent.  Even initial picking is compressed or expanded.  This pedal WILL NOT destroy your original guitar sound!  It will add beautiful sustain and be seen and not heard!

This pedal has been tested by several of people to stellar and rave reviews.  Go to Harmony Central to see what some have been so kind to say.  Click here for some emails I have received.  I have a passion for tone, just see what people say about my TS9 modifications.  I have tested this on my Stratocasters, Telecasters, my custom Telecaster,  Gibson Melody Maker, Hagstrom, and Silvertone, you name it!  This is the edge!

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What is the warranty ... ?

The warranty is in two parts.  The first warranty you have is for your satisfaction.  I know how personal guitar sound is that is why I give you 2 days from the delivery confirmation date to e-mail me and state any problems you may have.  If you are not happy in that time period you can send it back for a full refund less shipping costs.  I want you to be extremely happy.  Second I warranty it against defects for a full 2 years parts and labor.  It is a custom, hand built unit but I want it to last you a lifetime.

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Even more custom features ... ?

Keeley Electronics was the first to have a full production stomp box with a blue LED.  I think it's kinda sexy looking!  With the LED on this pedal only uses 2.5mA of current!!!! WOW, batteries should last 4-6 months with heavy usage!

The top of the line model is the only one with a DC jack.  The DC jack is the standard type fitting just about every power supply out there, Voodoo Labs, pedal power, Boos, Ibanez, etc...  Most of my customers order this model ($219 total with shipping) and use either the Voodoo Labs power supply or something similar.  Batteries can still be used in this model.  The battery is disconnected when you use an adapter just like most effects.


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How can I get one ... ?

The Keeley Compressor is hand built on a per order basis.   Plus there is a rigorous test procedure to ensure your satisfaction.  It will take about 2months for me to get it ready.  I will ship it USPS Priority mail and use Delivery Confirmation.  

To order just go back to the main web page and follow the PAYPAL links to pay with your credit card.  Or 

You can send my a check or money order too.  Just email me and I will send you my address for money order or check payment


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Robert Keeley BSEE.
Copyright 2001  Keeley Compressor All rights reserved.
Revised: January 31, 2003 .