If you want to improve your Tone, while keeping everything together, the Alma Compressor is the right tool for the job as it is versatile and very easy to dial in. It has a superb clean sound, very low noise, parallel compression and a very musical Equalizer control.
The compressor works on the 3:1/ 4:1 ratios and it sounds good on any of the compressor settings making it a very user-friendly tool. To top it all off, it has a decent amount of Boost to beef up your sound.
Being inspired by the legendary Diamond BCP-1, the Alma Compressor borrows some design elements but also adds an internal voltage doubling circuit that goes from 9v to +- 18v and from 12v to +- 24v as well as a Clean control to be blended with the compressed signal.
The higher voltage operation significantly increases the headroom and prevents unwanted clipping/distortion, caused by hotter signals, as well as having a stronger compression effect. The Clean buffered control, when mixed with the compressed signal, allows for parallel compression which can help bring some of that clarity back to your playing.
The level of compression stays similar to the original with a fixed ratio (3:1/4:1) and is affected by the Com control (acts as a gain, on a looping circuit, that triggers the compression), as well as the instruments output. Hotter basses kick in the compression earlier, so, dial the COM back if there’s too much compression.
The EQZ is a Tilt Equalizer which together with the SHIFT EQZ allows to gently (and musically) compensate for different sounding instruments. When the EQZ pot is at 12, there is no colouring of the sound, when turned clockwise, frequencies above the tilt point get boosted while the ones below get attenuated. Anticlockwise, the frequencies below the tilt point, get boosted while the ones above get attenuated.
CLN: Clean signal
COM: Compression/Gain level
VOL: Compressed signal volume
EQZ: Tilt equalizer
SHIFT EQZ: shifts between 900 Hz and 250Hz tilt point