Behringer CS400 Compressor Pedal Review

Editor’s Rating
Rating

Behringer CS400 Review

Summary

  • Pros: Very affordable, with passable sound quality – comparable to the Boss CS-3 it’s cloning. Easy to use.
  • Cons: Terrible build quality; the thing basically feels like a toy. The sound could be better and there’s a fair amount of noise, owing to the cut-price components.
  • Overall: Far from the perfect compressor, but for players new to compressors out and wanting decent performance on a budget, it’s still an appealing option.



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Full Review

Let’s just get this out there: the Behringer CS400 Compressor/Sustainer is a cheap copy of the Boss CS-3. With that in mind, the main reason you’ll be considering it is undoubtedly the price, which genuinely is pretty darn cheap. So the real question is: is it so cheap that you’ll immediately regret the purchase, or is it a reminder that you don’t always need to spend more to get decent guitar effects?

The stompbox pedal has four dials – “Level,” “Tone,” “Attack” and “Sustain” – and a big footswitch to activate or deactivate the effect. The controls are all pretty self-explanatory, with the “Sustain” adjusting the level of compression, the “Tone” allowing you to bring in more highs or cut some out, “Level” controlling volume and “Attack” changing how quickly the compressor reacts, giving you the option of a more realistic pick attack.

In terms of build quality, the CS400 could most fairly be described as pretty crap. Its body is plastic, the poles on the pots are plastic and the jacks are plastic – and not even attached to the main chassis of the pedal. For sound, though, it’s actually surprisingly OK, with similar results to the CS-3, although a bit weaker when it comes to sustain. There is the all-too-familiar issue of noise, though, which isn’t particularly bad (much like with the CS-3 – although the noise floor is a bit higher) but could obviously be better if you invested a little more for a higher-end option.

The choice ultimately comes down to the build quality vs. the price. If you want something sturdy and reliable for gigging, this is definitively not it. For anybody looking for top-notch sound quality, this really isn’t the right choice either – the components are cheap and it does show. If you’re looking for a decent sound at a very reasonable price, however, then you could definitely do worse than the CS400 Compressor/Sustainer. It’s far from perfect, but if it’s your first foray into compression pedals and you want to try something out without spending too much, for the price it’s very difficult to beat.

Behringer CS400 Compressor Pedal Demo

Behringer CS400 Compressor Pedal Review2.5Peter2016-03-30 05:24:47Let’s just get this out there: the Behringer CS400 Compressor/Sustainer is a cheap copy of the Boss CS-3. With that in mind, the main reason you’ll be considering it is undoubtedly the price, which genuinely is pretty darn cheap. So the real question is: is it so cheap that you’ll immediately regret the purchase, or is it a reminder that you don’t always need to spend more to get decent guitar effects?Continue reading Check Prices

5 Comments

  1. On the video the Boss unit is in fact substantially noisier in the silences. No question. Lol “build quality.”

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    1. For what I see in the review, the Boss is connected “after” the Behringer, and this can affect a lot as every little noise generated by the Behringer gets inside the Boss and gets expanded as part of the compressor effect.
      I will trust the comments of the reviewer, as I suppose he was able to test them separately before he did the video.
      Build quality is not also noisier but also construction and durability, plastic vs metal casing, etc…

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  2. Manuel W. Longoria January 13, 2017 at 3:49 am Reply

    how do i get rid of the humming when i hit the pedal? why does the volume decreases when i hit the pedal? why is the sustaining making a loud feedback?
    i’ve tried switching the polarity to no avail. i plugged in an AC 9V. is a battery the answer?

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  3. Manuel W. Longoria January 13, 2017 at 3:53 am Reply

    The pedal i was referring to in my last comment, was the behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal
    MWL

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  4. I have the CS400 on my gigging pedalboard and have for several years of hard gigging. I use it for squishy, chicken pickin’ type stuff occasionally. I really have no complaints about it and think it compares very favorably to the Boss CS-3 sound wise and even though it feels plastic and light it’s held up very well. Behringer makes some very good sounding pedals, I have a TO800 ts808 copy that sounds as good as the real Ibanez. I have a OCD and handmade ts808 clone with the Keeley mods so I don’t use it on my pedalboard anymore but I did at one time and really liked the sound, it was very close to my handmade ts808 and about 1/10th the price. Some of the Behringer pedals aren’t as good but there are several that are very good and a great affordable way to keep some effects that you use only rarely and don’t want to spend $150-$200 for a pedal to use on a song you play a few times a year.

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