3Leaf Audio PWNZOR Optical Compressor Pedal Review
- Pros: The PWNZOR has nearly every feature a musician could desire in a compressor. It is also very solidly constructed.
- Cons: If you just want one compression sound, this probably isn’t the pedal for you.
- Overall: This is the one compressor that can do it all. It is ridiculously customizable, with controls for nearly every conceivable parameter.
The 3 Leaf Audio PWNZOR offers features in a compression stompbox normally only found in studio compressors. It includes controls for nearly every parameter imaginable, including input sensitivity, input gain, attack, release, compression ratio, and output gain. There is also an internal switch allowing users to choose between buffered and true bypass, as well as a ‘vintage’ switch on the pedal’s face. The bypass switch is actuated by a relay connected to a foot switch with very satisfying action. When running on battery power, the pedal automatically switches off if the battery dies in order to preserve signal transmission. Also, the LED changes from green to red as the compression effect is engaged, allowing users a visual way to gauge when the compression is triggered.
There really isn’t a style of compression that cannot be achieved using the PWNZOR. To my knowledge, it delivers the most features per cubic inch of any compressor pedal on the market. Its main strength may also be its main drawback, however. I was able to dial in all the tones I look for in a compressor, but it took some noodling to make some of them happen. There are features on this pedal that many musicians will not be used to, and some research and experimentation may be required to harness its full potential.
The PWNZOR is made with high quality components and it uses the space in the its chassis efficiently. I was dismayed by an audible click when I turned it on in both buffered and true bypass settings, but this is an issue that can be worked around or ignored. Also, the jacks are slid onto the chassis through two parallel slots. This leaves two little holes in the top of the pedal through which dust or beer might enter. If used with some caution and provided with a cursory amount of maintenance, this pedal will certainly hold up under heavy use. If you are looking for a compressor stompbox that can do everything a compressor can possibly do, the PWNZOR is peerless. It is amazing that it fits into such a small footprint.
3Leaf Audio PWNZOR Optical Compressor Demo