Donner Ultimate Comp – Review of Compressor Guitar Effect Pedal

A compressor pedal is mainly used by many guitarists to get a consistent dynamic range in their playing for a better mix with the other band instruments. When a softer note is played, the comp boosts it; and when a note is played louder, the comp attenuates its signal. This is how it levels out the dynamics of your playing and should help you stay on a volume where your playing is heard while not overpowering the other instruments in the mix. Having a comp pedal for every performance is a great idea to keep your playing and mix with the rest of the band consistent

After several years of playing guitar, I've tried out multiple compressors - some were high-end, and some were low-end. There was a time when guitarists like myself would only trust the known brands for a reliable and effective stompbox as the cheaper copies seemed to malfunction or exhibit flaws while being used. However, as technology has developed, manufacturers have gained the ability to produce effective stompboxes at very low and affordable prices. One of these manufacturers is Donner - a company that has released many mini pedals for guitarists on a budget.

The Donner Ultimate Comp is a great choice for those who want a reliable compressor guitar effect pedal but are on a budget. This Donner compressor pedal is just one of many other mini pedals from the brand but is the only guitar compressor variant from Donner with no other related products. Although the Donner Ultimate Comp guitar effect does not compare to a more expensive and higher-end comp guitar effect pedal, it certainly holds its own and offers a great performance for its price.

Should You Get It?

If you are on a budget and you would like to spend on other pedals for your board or other parts of your rig, the Donner Ultimate Comp guitar effect is a perfect choice. It is very affordable and provides great compression to level out your dynamics in your next gig or live performance. It has everything a guitarist would want from a comp guitar effect pedal including three parameter knobs and a toggle switch that adds versatility to this mini comp guitar effect pedal. If you're still undecided, continue reading this Donner compressor review.

Guitar

Pedal

Model

Price

Main

Donner

Ultimate Comp

Donner Ultimate Comp

PRO's & CON's of Donner Ultimate Comp

Before we dive into our review, let's look at some of the pros and cons of the Donner Ultimate Comp:

Pros

  • Very affordable despite the great performance
  • Durable casing and controls can withstand years of use
  • Intuitive controls and easy-to-use pedal
  • The small size allows for more space on your pedalboard

Cons

  • Is not compatible with a battery
  • Lacks controls for attack and release parameters

Features and Benefits

Features

Everyone who's ever owned a Donner mini pedal knows that these things are a bang for your buck in terms of reliability and effectiveness. They don't match up against expensive alternatives but they certainly do their jobs very well. The Donner Ultimate Comp guitar effect pedal is no exception.

This Donner compressor pedal has an aluminium alloy casing that provides durability for many gigs and performances. You won't have to worry about stomping on this tiny pedal - it can handle it. It also has well assembled and wired electronics so there is no need to worry about a component getting loose inside the pedal that may cause some malfunctions and issues with its sound.

This Donner compression pedal also has true bypass circuitry, meaning it does not affect your tone in any way while disengaged. This is important so that your tone is not sucked within your pedal chain and remains pure for your audience to enjoy. It also has a DC 9V power supply port conveniently located on top which is great for smaller pedals such as this. Having the power supply port on the side is quite annoying as it can interfere with your chaining. I definitely would appreciate this DC 9V power supply placement on my other pedals to maximize the space on my board.

Furthermore, the Donner compressor pedal, Ultimate Comp, features a toggle switch to select between Normal and Treble mode. This feature adds versatility and will be discussed further later on. This kind of versatility is great for a compressor guitar effect pedal as it gives it the ability to cater to different types of tone or playing.

Controls

The Donner Ultimate Comp has two small knobs, Level and Tone, and a larger knob to set the Comp parameter. As I mentioned, there is also a toggle switch to select between Normal and Treble modes. First, we will discuss the knob parameters for those unfamiliar with the settings.

The Level knob allows you to increase or decrease the volume of your guitar's signal. This is one of the most common yet useful controls found in a guitar effect pedal so a control knob for this on the Donner compressor pedal is a welcome addition. The other small knob is for the Tone, which allows you to go for a warmer or brighter tone depending on your preference. The Ultimate Comp has a single larger known for controlling the Comp, which lets you adjust the intensity of compression done to your signal. The toggle switch found above all the other controls lets you decide for a more traditional compression by selecting Normal mode, or a treble-heavy effect on your signal by flipping the switch the other way. These controls are very intuitive and helpful in finding the sweet spot to your compression effect. Of course, there is also a very satisfying footswitch that can withstand countless gigs of being stomped on, along with an LED indicator to let you know if the pedal is engaged during a performance.

Sound

The Donner Ultimate Comp, despite its low-cost, sounds almost identical to more expensive and higher-end alternatives. Although it lacks the features of better comp pedals such as attack and release knobs, it does its job very well - which is surprising for such a small and cheap package. The compression is great and sounds natural. It does not remove the dynamics of your playing entirely, yet can properly boost or attenuate notes with deviating volumes. The Ultimate Comp guitar effect pedal performs well in any setting and allows you to find the sweet spot by spending time with the controls. Just like the related products and mini pedals from the brand, the Donner Ultimate Comp will give you more than what you pay for in terms of performance and sound.

For a demonstration of the pedal, refer to this video:

Social Proof of the Pedal

It is always preferable to try the device in person before you buy. However, If for some reason, that isn't possible, the next best choice is to go through the customer reviews of the players who have used it. We present below some of the select reviews of the Donner Ultimate Compressor effect pedal.

Donner Ultimate Comp Review 01

This player was using another compressor and switched to Ultimate comp due to noise issues with the previous compressor. The pedal sounds great with other effects like overdrive, delay, reverb, chorus and tremolo and occupies much less space on his pedal board.

Donner Ultimate Comp Review 02

This player is a first time user of the compressor pedals, who is discovering the benefits of this effect by experimenting with it. He is impressed with the performance of the Donner pedals in general and with the Donner Compressor pedal in particular.

Donner Ultimate Comp Review 03

This user is also using a compressor guitar effect pedal for the first time. Having used the Ultimate comp guitar effect for some time, he does not want to play without it. He however complains of  some noise at the higher levels of compression, but recommends purchasing it, given the kind of performance at inexpensive price levels

In Conclusion

The Donner Ultimate Comp is a great addition to your pedalboard if you want to be able to level out your dynamics without busting the bank. It can also be a tool for beginners to familiarize themselves and learn how to set the parameters of a compressor pedal before moving on to a higher-end model. It also has great build quality for the price and features useful additions such as a toggle switch for Normal and Treble mode, three parameter knobs, and true-bypass so that guitarists won't have to worry about their tone being affected.

If you're a performing guitarist like me, you know how easy it is to get carried away in the music and sometimes overpower the other instruments with your heavy riffs and solos. With a compressor pedal, you won't have to worry as it keeps your sound audible yet tamed so you can rock out without worrying about your volume. It's also great for producing the classic compressor "quack" sound. A comp pedal even allows you to get the iconic funk tone to let you play head-bobbing riffs for the audience. The Ultimate Comp by Donner can provide you with all of the wonders of a great compressor at a very cheap price tag.

You can check it out on Amazon and get one for yourself through this link:

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