Back in the 1970s, pedals offering compression were often marketed as ‘sustainers’. Electro-Harmonix had the Black Finger, Colorsound had the Sustain Module, and Orange simply plumped for Sustain as its catchy name. Today’s Sustain is an optical compressor pedal with just two control knobs.
The attack and release times are preset so you have a pedal that’s very easy to dial in: the Depth knob sets the gain reduction and hence the amount of sustain, while the Level knob, with a detente position at 12 o’clock, sets the overall output volume. With the Depth at minimum, that detente position is at unity gain so there’s scope beyond that to use the pedal as a booster with minimal compression.
As you ease in the compression, it’s smooth and transparent with no extreme alteration of the note attack; it’s more about consistency and eking out the length of the note. With higher settings of the Depth knob you’ll be wanting to turn down the Level knob to keep things clean, but bring up the Level with compression applied and this will do the job of a low-level overdrive as a great amp driver.
- PRICE: $249 / £199
- ORIGIN: UK
- TYPE: Sustain pedal (compressor)
- FEATURES: Buffered bypass, LED indication of gain reduction
- CONTROLS: Level, Depth, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 7mA
- DIMENSIONS: 93 (w) x 120 (d) x 75mm (h)
- CONTACT: Orange (opens in new tab)