My equipment is:

Boss bd2, Vox wah, Behringer um300

my amp is a roland cube, not the best but decent.

I want to get more boost when I play solos, by turning on one of the pedals, but I don't know how, and since I think that a compressor could be useful to get closer to the legendary malmsteen/joe satriani/steve vai tone (correct me if I am wrong), I thought that maybe I could use the compressor to get more boost for solos.

basically my 3 questions are: will a compressor like the boss cs3 help me to get closer to this amazing tone? could a compressor be useful to get more boost? How can I set my amp and my pedals to get more boost when I turn on the pedal for solos?

  • 1
    It might be better to re-word this to ask what kind of pedal will let you add a boost to your sound when you need it. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 19:29
  • Which Cube in particular do you have? Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


If you want a boost, there are boost pedals available of several different kinds.

Another way to get a boost is to get an EQ pedal and just turn all the EQ all the way up. That's how Tom Morello gets a boost when he wants one.

You can use many compressor or distortion pedals as boost pedals, but either of them will make at least slight changes to the sound besides the boost (well, every pedal makes a slight change to the sound in addition to whatever it does). Some compressor and distortion pedals clamp down really hard on their outputs, so they just don't quite boost that much no matter how you set them.

If you want a pedal that you can use for a bit of a boost either with some compression or that you can use as a compressor in other situations, then a compressor is a good pedal to have. I love compressors and I have three, and I've used them as boosts before.

But, if you want a real serious boost, then a dedicated boost pedal will do it better. You'll have a lot more boost available to you than with a compressor and you'll be able to make it a clean boost if you want it to be. Compressors normally can't be set 100% clean, especially if you want them to boost also.

Either way, you should put whatever you're using to boost last in your pedal chain.


A compressor would be the first pedal I would buy. It just makes your guitar sound so good! Get the Boss Compressor Sustainer, either the CS-1, CS-2, or CS-3, would be my advice. My favorite is the CS-1 but it's not a subtle compressor and you have to like it's "pumping" effect, plus it's no longer made and kind of pricy on the used market. There are many great compressors on the market. The ones that Keeley makes seems to have the best reputation, but I like the Boss better.

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