Not for ameteurs
First thing you want to know is how does it sound right? Awesome x3! And I'm a compressor snob! Its the opposite of most compressor pedals, where you have to fiddle around til you find the one or two usable settings. Thats reversed. On this one you have to try hard to find bad sounds. Just amazing.
Ive only had it a few hours and Im already in love with it. It does everything all good comps should do, from subtle to squish.
I ran thru the usual approaches, chicken pickin, funk, hard strumming, fingerpicking, chord comping etc, all sound fantastic. The sound is defined and punchy without loss of dynamics thanks to the blend feature. Though if I want brick wall crush its right there. Whats especially cool are the harmonics it lends, very true to my guitars, transparent yet...More. That elusive studio sound. Unlike say, the inexplicably in vogue Keely types which add saturation in the upper mids color the tone and sound like fancy Dynacomps. Its also a lot quieter on most settings than the flavor of the month comps.
The super sustain really shines with slide, I set the amp clean but pushed to just under break up & kicked it on and it transformed into a pedal steel... Just bloomed so organically and rang forever into a slow wavy vibrato. Its the pro slide sound I've always wanted.
But heres the thing, I didnt buy it for any of those sounds. I bought it to use with my acoustic guitar when Im plugged in at high spl levels to smooth out the transients and add sustain without losing dynamics or feeding back. A very tall order I assure you. Ive been through 8 other comps for this including high end rack gear and the Rivera nailed it. The failed units tended to sound "dull" as comps can. This one has whispers of that but the tone control adds quite a bit of air before getting harsh to compensate. It definitely can get nearer to that added excitement of a high end studio box with a lot less tweaking than I usually need to do.
Dings: Its nice having 2 compressors in one very small pedal to a/b but separate level controls would have been nice to use for boosts.
The noise floor swell can be an issue with an extreme sustain setting, but taking another note or switching to the other comp will head it off seamlessly.
Bottomline- This unit is quieter, more versatile and vastly more musical than the highly overated overpriced keely types, love it.