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Becos FX unveil CIQ Stella Pro Compressor MK2

Comprehensive pedal compressor design updated

Becos FX have announced the launch of the CompIQ Stella Pro Compressor MK2, an updated version of their VCA-based compressor pedal. The new design omits the harmonic saturation circuitry found in the original unit, but gains a number of new features including selectable feed-forward/feed-back modes, a choice of different voicing modes, and a refined side-chain filter design.

The new model is still based around a THAT 4320 Analog Engine VCA, and promises to deliver a musical-sounding response with a comprehensive set of controls. The newly added feed-forward operation utilises a pre-VCA copy of the input signal, emphasising speed and accuracy, and is capable of offering everything from subtle compression to brick-wall limiting depending on the settings applied. Traditional feed-back operation then provides a smoother response that offers a transparent way to even out playing dynamics.

Becos FX CompIQ Stella Pro Compressor MK2 analogue guitar effects pedalBecos FX CompIQ Stella Pro Compressor MK2 analogue guitar effects pedalDespite its compact footprint, the unit is kitted out with a comprehensive set of controls, and there’s plenty of adjustment on offer. The compression threshold can be set anywhere between -45 and +10 dBu, ratios range from 1:1 up to infinity:1 with a choice of hard and soft knee options, while make-up gain can be set anywhere between -6 and +20 dB. Dynamic auto attack and release times are joined by manual settings that offer 0.12–12 and 1.2–120 ms/dB of gain reduction respectively. There’s also an X-EQ feature that provides a selectable frequency pivot of 330Hz (for bass instruments) or 1KHz (aimed at guitars and other sources).

A choice of four voicing options can be accessed via internal DIP switches, and bring some tonal variety to the table by applying subtle shifts to the pedal’s dynamic frequency processing. A Tight mode slightly attenuates the low-mids, while Punch pushes the low end, offering what the company describe as a tube-like feel, and a Spark setting applies a slight boost to the high-frequency response; the voicing options can also be left off entirely in order to deliver the most transparent processing.

The unit’s side-chain now boasts a variable high-pass filter (±12dB at 90Hz, 12dB/octave) that has been specifically designed to offer some additional control over the compression when using the pedal with bass instruments, with yet more control offered by a low-pass filter (±7dB at 3kHz, 12dB/octave).

The pedal can also be fitted with an optional DITOS board that adds a transformer-coupled balanced output that provides a convenient way to record a direct signal or route a signal to another pedal chain or amplifier.

Pricing & Availability

The CIQ Stella Pro Compressor MK2 is available now, priced at €279, or €325 with the DITOS output option fitted.

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