• Pros: A highly versatile pedal for guitarists or bass players.
• Cons: More geared towards bass, a bit pricey, and needs configuration.
• Overall: Ideal for four-stringers looking for a sound boost and vintage tone.
Although targeting both the six-string and four-string markets, Electro-Harmonix’s Black Finger Compressor is really one for the four-stringers. At its heart are two 12AX7EH tube valves, which, no doubt, are the main reason for the above average price tag. However, those valves are the reason behind the authentically vintage sound produced by the Black Finger.
It doesn’t sing straight out of the box, but that probably won’t be a problem for musicians that love to play with their new toys, because a bit of time spent tweaking will pay dividends. Indeed, first impressions were that it was a noisy beast, but configured correctly, the pay off was a great warm vintage sound with a noticeable smooth gain boost. Which is where you can see the benefits for bassists, especially slap bass fans. With roundwound strings on board, there was an added dimension to all those pops, taps and slaps. Sustain was exceptionally good too.
For guitarists, the pedal brought out the subtle, clean nuances in a Fender Strat, but didn’t really do anything to improve upon the SG or Gibson sound. Having said that this really is a pedal for bassists seeking to open up their sound. If you’re looking for a versatile pedal with the ability to both boost and compress with added sustain, then the Black Finger is on the button.