Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compression Pedal Review

Editor’s Rating
Rating

Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compression Review

Summary

  • Pros: Great sound quality, a fat, warm, vintage tone that many players will love. Plenty of control over parameters on offer.
  • Cons: Some issues with noise, which can be minimized. There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting the best sound.
  • Overall: A solidly-built, excellent-sounding compressor with a few limitations. Consider your options, but if you’re willing to get to grips with it you won’t be disappointed.

Check Prices

Full Review

The Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compressor sells itself as providing the warm compression you get with the most widely-loved vintage compressors in guitar history. It has two tubes – one for compression and the other for pre-amp gain – are powered by a sizable 300 V, promising the fatness of tone you get with classic compressors. It’s also an optical compressor, which means it uses a light source to control the attenuator (the volume controller that underpins the function of a compressor), and in this case you can choose between an LED and lamp source, enabling more variety in attack and decay speeds. Sounds good, but does the Black Finger work well in practice?

The Black Finger has a definitively robust appearance, and a straightforward layout despite the fairly large number of dials. There’s a “Compress” knob (to control the amount of compression), a “Pre-Gain” and “Post-Gain” knob, and two that actually function as switches to change between the Lamp and LED attenuator modes and the “Sqsh” and “Norm” attack time modes. Between the two controls at the top there’s a “Level” LED which offers a visual indication of how much compression is going on, as well as another by the lower footswitch to let you know when the pedal is active. The controls give you a lot of flexibility in sculpting your compression sound, but it can take a while to get accustomed to (and control) how they interact with each other.

The tubes really do work wonders for the sound – which is fat, warm and funky – and the controls mean you can tweak the attack and release to your liking too. The main issue – as you may expect – is with noise. The problem is primarily related to the output gain, and as a result you can minimize the issues by keeping your input volume pretty high. It can be made worse when you switch between “Sqsh” and “Norm” though, because this has a big impact on level and you might need to adjust to compensate.

Overall the Black Finger does a great job, but only if you’re willing to put a bit of time into mastering the controls. Once you’ve tamed it, it can easily become an indispensible part of your setup.

Check Prices

Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compression Demo

Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compression Pedal Review4Peter2016-03-30 04:06:14The Electro-Harmonix Black Finger Tube Compressor sells itself as providing the warm compression you get with the most widely-loved vintage compressors in guitar history. It has two tubes – one for compression and the other for pre-amp gain – are powered by a sizable 300 V, promising the fatness of tone you get with classic compressors. It’s also an optical compressor, which means it uses a light source to control the attenuator (the volume controller that underpins the function of a compressor), and in this case you can choose between an LED and lamp source, enabling more variety in attack and decay speeds. Sounds good, but does the Black Finger work well in practice?Continue reading Check Prices

Leave a Reply