Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock Review – Best Guitar Compression Pedal?

Review of: Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock

Reviewed by: Rating:4On August 20, 2013Last modified:October 6, 2016


The new Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock draws upon the legendary Philosopher’s Tone and the germanium flavored Grit of the Philosopher’s Tone Germanium Gold LTD compressor pedals and packs a similar style of operation into a remarkably easy to use 2-knob stompbox. But don’t mistake this pedal for your typical 2-knob compressor. The Philosopher’s Rock is streamlined to let you find the most pristine analog compression sound with vintage style germanium distortion available at the flip of a switch.

This is a very interesting pedal. The Philosopher’s Rock is essentially a stripped down version of a Philosopher’s Tone that sacrifices none of the legendary compression of the original. If the additional control knobs on the Philosopher’s Tone were a bit much for you, the Philosopher’s Rock may be just what you need. The Treble and Blend functions of the original Philosopher’s Tone have been preset to the “sweet spot” so you can dial in the sound you need faster with the Volume and Sustain knobs. Want some Grit, too? The Philosopher’s Rock has you covered.

Is it the best guitar compression pedal on the block? Our Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock review will help you answer that question. Let’s run down the features and check it out.


100% Analog, optical design.

Infinite clean sustain without noise.

Volume control knob sets overall output level.

Sustain control knob sets threshold level where the compressor kicks in.

Toggle switch for harmonic germanium distortion.

True bypass switching for removing the pedal from your signal chain when disengaged.

Powered by included 18VDC 300mA adapter or boss style 9VDC power supply.

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Sound & Performance:

I plugged in my American Stratocaster and went for a nice clean amp sound. This pedal comes with an 18VDC adapter which I recommend using as the Philosopher’s Rock is optimized for the higher headroom that 18 volts provides.

Kicking in the Philosopher’s Rock with the knobs at noon yields an immediate surge of power to your tone. You can really hear the compressor kicking in and leveling out your tone. Another thing you’ll notice is that this compressor is very quite. The Philosopher’s Rock certainly carries the Pigtronix tradition of insanely quite compression, a standard set by the legendary Philosopher’s Tone and comes in a vertical enclosure akin to the Quantum Time Modulator.

Pushing up the Sustain causes the pedal really clamp down on your tone, yet it still manages to retain the dynamics of your playing exceptionally well. This makes the Philosopher’s Rock worth auditioning if you’re in the market for a musical compressor.

Rolling down the Sustain and pushing up the Volume also makes the Philosopher’s Rock very useful as a clean boost pedal with subtle compression. You can dial in the Sustain for just a hint of smooth analog compression while setting the Volume to get the boost you need.

This is one pedal where the Sustain function really works as described. The Philosopher’s Rock is like a little power-up for your guitar, extending its ability to sustain whatever you play. Notes and chords will ring out for days.

Want to play dirty? Flip the Grit switch and watch your tone come alive with some thick germanium distortion. The Grit is great on its own or front of overdrive/distortion guitar pedals or an already overdriven amp channel. The Philosopher’s Rock will let you sculpt the perfect lead tone with boost, compression, and germanium saturation. The highly useful Grit switch is an example of one of the little touches that Pigtronix likes to add to set their pedals apart from the run-of-the-mill clones out there.

Also, you’ll definitely notice how responsive the Grit is to the dynamics of your playing. Play softly, and your tone is clean and smooth. Dig in and thick germanium distortion rages from your guitar.

All in all the Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock is a great-sounding, versatile compressor pedal. Let’s have the final result.


Whether you need transparent compression, endless sustain, or vintage flavored germanium distortion, the Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock does it all exceptionally well. And this no-nonsense pedal lets you find the perfect sound with ease due to its streamlined controls. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this pedal is only for rock. While it does indeed rock, the Philosopher’s Rock will cover all your compression needs and more. If you’re looking for the best guitar compression pedal, this pedal certainly packs more punch than your typical 2-knob compressor. Try it for yourself!

That concludes our Pigtronix Philosopher’s Rock review. Thanks for reading.


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Gabriel Tanaka


  1. jurek

    December 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    My Philosophers Rock Pigtronix very good compressor and germanium overdrive

  2. plan cul

    September 20, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you

    write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you

    who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    At all times follow your heart.

    • jurek

      December 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      My Philosophers Rock Pigtronix very good compressor and germanium overdrive

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