Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Dr. Green The Aspirin: The Dr. Green brand is made by Ashdown, via their boutique-marketed subsidiary Hayden Amps. According to Hayden, this compressor is essentially the same as the one found in Ashdown amps over the last 15 years or so, and it's the same as each half of their earlier dual-band pedal. It is an OTA (Ross/Dynacomp) type that was redesigned for bass.
The good news is it has absolutely zero loss of either highs or lows. There is no EQ curve or "voicing", it is basically flat across the spectrum. The tone is close to transparent.
Another good thing is the inclusion of a ratio control. While most OTA types start with just input gain (labeled "compress" or "sensitivity" etc.) and output level knobs, the fancier ones usually add an attack knob--which is nice to have, but not nearly as useful as a control over the ratio. This knob seems to cover the whole spectrum of ratios up to near infinity:1. So in theory you can dial in anything from the subtlest touch of smoothing, to heavier squashing, to hard peak limiting, just by adjusting Input and Ratio. I say "in theory" because once you get into searching for more particular compression responses, you usually need attack and release time controls in order to get exactly the action you want. But the knobs here will get you much more variety than a typical 2-knob comp can manage.
The bad news is the noise level. This pedal is very noisy at most settings. It's not the worst noise I've heard, but it's pretty noticeable, and the more you turn up any of the three knobs, the worse it gets. And you have to turn them up well into the noisy zone in order to get unity gain at the output.
The construction quality seemed good at first, with a sturdy bent-steel housing and decent parts. However it developed a bad ground somewhere while I was testing it, so that a loud ground hum showed up with most (but not all) of the power supplies and pedal chains I connected it to. It has a battery door, closed with a screw, but you have to shake the pedal and pry at the door to get it open. The housing is about the size of a Boss, with top-mounted jacks. Weirdly, the jacks are reversed, with the input on the left. If you plug it in the way you'd normally expect, there will be no sound when you switch the pedal on. It runs on standard Boss-type 9V DC. There is no LED to indicate the amount of compression. The footswitch is "true bypass".

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