The Silky Comp is a guitar compression pedal by Japan-based Free the Tone. It is boutique compressor pedal of the finest craftsmanship, each being handmade one-by-one from the highest quality parts. The labels of the Silky Comp are even hand-written and signed by Yuki Hayashi, owner and president of Free the Tone and one of the most well-known effects designers in Japan. This pedal promises a silky smooth compression like no other compressor. Is it the best boutique compression pedal available? Keep reading our Free the Tone Silky Comp review to find out.
I’ve been trying out a lot of compressors lately on my search for the best ones available. The Silky Comp caught my attention as I am familiar with the reputation of its legendary designer, Yuki Hayashi, a well-known gear designer in Japan who once designed guitar pedals for Providence, another Japan-based gear company. The Silky Comp is a hand-made version of an already famous pedal by Providence called the Velvet Comp. The Silky Comp by Free the Tone also features a proprietary soldering technique that promises greater sound quality and has that little hand-written, personalized touch by its legendary designer. This certainly seems like a great choice of compressor for any guitarist seeking the best. Let’s run down the features and dive into the Silky Comp review.
Hand-made from the highest quality components.
Sustain, Attack, and Level control knobs.
True Bypass which for letting your signal pass through unaffected when disengaged.
Powered by 9-volt battery or 9VDC power adapter.
Sound & Performance:
I plugged in my Fender American Standard Stratocaster and dialed in a nice warm and clean amp tone. I went for a flat setting with all the knobs of the Silky Comp at noon and activated the pedal.
It’s immediately apparent that a moderate amount of compression is being applied, mellowing out the tone a bit. The Silky Comp provides a nice, gentle squeeze to your sound, rounding out your tone with a smooth, warm compression.
Pushing up the Volume knob to around 3 o’clock provides an immediate surge in overall loudness. Like many great compressors, this pedal can provide plenty of clean boost with various levels of compression when needed. The Silky Comp produces a pleasant increase in volume that enhances the power of your sound while preserving the natural feel and sound of your guitar.
The Sustain knob functions as expected of a quality compressor, only it’s especially smooth and warm on this pedal. While letting a chord ring out, you can turn the Sustain knob on the Silky Comp and really hear how much sustain is being added when you push it clockwise. The Silky Comp produces a welcome, musical sustain that seems to carry your notes on clouds of silk.
The Attack control can seem quite subtle on many settings, but turning it all the way left, then right reveals its impact on the overall sound produced. Turning the Attack knob all the way clockwise produces a limiting effect that will keep your signal balanced and even throughout the most aggressive and dynamic strumming, perfect for RHCP-style funk and comped guitar stabs.
Throughout every setting, the Silky Comp reveals no trace of overly apparent “breathing”, a sign of a truly smooth and musical compressor. The pedal envelopes your sound in a compression of the highest quality.
Turning up the Volume and Sustain controls will push a clean amp and bring out a gentle overdrive, delivering a smooth saturation that isn’t too jagged or harsh.
The Silky Comp provides a great compressed sound for high gain solos, too. You can rip into a lead and hold out some really expressive notes that will ring out with singing sustain. This pedal can certainly add the finishing touch to a great lead tone.
Smooth, warm, and musical are the 3 words that keep springing to mind when listening to the Silky Comp. The Silky Comp is certainly one of the best boutique guitar compressor pedals and will add a professional sheen to your guitar tone.
Let’s see the final result.
The Silky Comp by Free the Tone is a boutique compression pedal of the highest quality. The compression produced by the Silky Comp will wrap your tone in a velvet-like embrace that is never too overbearing. While trying to resist saying that this pedal is as smooth as silk, those words can’t be true enough. The Silky Comp is one of the most smooth and musical compression pedals out there. If you’re looking for the best boutique compression pedal, the Silky Comp by Free the Tone may be just what you need to add the perfect professional touch to your sound.
That concludes our Free the Tone Silky Comp review. Thanks for Reading.
Want to buy the Free The Tone Silky Comp?
Be sure to check out our reviews of the Free the Tone Gigs Boson Overdrive, Free The Tone Flight Time FT-1Y Digital Delay, and Free the Tone Matt Schofield MS SOV Special Overdrive!