Behringer CS400 Compressor Pedal Review
- 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.
- Amazon: Behringer CS400 Compressor
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.