• Pros: The Dyna Comp offers an excellent price to build quality ratio and introduces very little extra noise. It’s excellent for clean picking and controlling distortion.
• Cons: If you are not satisfied with the attack setting, you cannot adjust it. Reliability also may be an issue, judging from current construction standards.
• Overall: If this pedal offers the sounds you are looking for, you’d be hard pressed to find another one that delivers this amount of bang for your buck.
The MXR Dyna Comp is a very ubiquitous compressor. It’s not hard to see why. This pedal excels at what it does at a reasonable price. The controls are simple: just output and sensitivity (compression). This can be viewed as a deficiency, but the Dyna Comp’s proponents see it as a matter of taste. For example, MXR’s popular Phase 90 phaser pedal is loved by many because its single knob is so easy to use. Similarly, the Dyna Comp offers an attractive if somewhat pared down palette of sounds in a very accessible package.
With the sensitivity knob turned up passed 2:00, the Dyna Comp could really squash my signal. I was impressed with the low level of noise it introduced even at higher compression settings. This quality let me get some really fun flagrantly compressed clean sounds for single note picking. The Dyna Comp lacks an attack knob, but the amount of bite it allows at the front end should be serviceable in most situations. This compressor is also great for driving amps and dirt boxes. If you are looking for a boost that evens out the amount of distortion you are getting, this compressor can do the job while maintaining a definite attack at the beginning of each note. The high noise ceiling is nice here if you are looking for extreme compression.
For funky strumming passages, the Dyna Comp offers a little less customization than some of its more fully-featured competitors. It does a good job producing fairly present tones at a wide range of compression levels with moderate spank, but if you are looking for either more tame, mellow strumming or a real in-your-face, percussive sound, a pedal with an attack knob or possibly a tone control might be a better choice. On the other hand, for a user that is happy with the attack setting offered by the Dyna Comp, and extra knob could be just an unneeded headache.
The Dyna Comp, like all MXR effects, is housed in a very rugged chassis, but all the components are soldered right to the board. This includes the LED, pots, jacks, and footswitch. The newest Dyna Comps also use SMT components, meaning that they are nearly impossible to repair or modify. Pedal enthusiasts are likely to be bothered by these points, but they are not major concerns for most consumers. Those that are irked by the Dyna Comp’s cheaper construction can take solace in its competitive price.