Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Biyang CO-8: This is a Ross/Dyna/Keeley-type comp from China. It's also sold under the brand names "Akai Professional Analog Custom Shop", "GFS/Guitar Fetish Sweet Sparkle", and "Derax Knight". Lots of people have asked me to review it, for two reasons: 1) it's very inexpensive, and 2) it's very shiny and attractive.
Essentially it has the same qualities as every other OTA Ross/Dyna/etc. such as enhancement of the high-mids, and some loss of low end, and being generally better for tone and sustain than for peak limiting or surgical control. However, it actually has lower noise than most of its cousins--it's not totally noiseless, but it's far better than average. As with its cousins, the lows are acceptable for a 4-string bassist, just not so good below the low E. There is no loss of highs. It has no controls over attack, release, or input level, and no LED to indicate signal over the threshold; so how well it works for you will depend one whether its pre-determined hardwired settings happen to suit your instrument signal and playing style.
The construction is rugged, and the components inside are actually quite decent (WIMA box caps for example). The housing is slightly larger than the Barber, BBE, Diamond, etc. "medium" size of pedal. It's a huge hassle to disassemble this pedal for modding, so I don't recommend getting it if that's your plan. It runs on standard Boss-type 9VDC, and the footswitch is "true bypass".
The tonal quality is actually every bit as nice as the Keeley, Retro-Sonic, and most other higher-priced versions of the same thing. So basically if you are a guitarist, and generally inclined to like this type of compressor, you will find the Biyang-made version to be an exceptionally good value.

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