The Compressor that Ended my Search


New member
Folks, I finally found THE compressor pedal that ended my search for noiseless clean compression and sustain.

Got myself a Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone Micro from Boss gave me a hearty discount and I promised to write a review and help him spread the word around :D. Really a super friendly and nice guy. Just ask nicely and he'll throw in some goodies, but of course don't overdo it la, he's trying his best to balance his business and customers also :p

That aside, this pedal is really damn bagus until I no words describe. I don't usually write reviews, so please give chance if I fail to cover some aspects.

I first came across Paul Gilbert's demo of the Philo Tone Micro some time ago and it piqued my interest. After reading up on it and hearing more demos I was even more interested in it since my Keeley 4 knobs was giving me a lot of issues. I ordered a Echoinox "test at home" service where they brought their catalog to my house. Tried ALL of their pedals and really liked the Supro Drive, Pigtronix Philo Tone, Infinity Looper and Disnortion Micro, in which I bought the first 2 due to budget (maybe Supro Drive for next review hehe).

When i first plugged in to the Philo Tone, the background was noiseless and dead quiet that I thought it was off. This immediately jitao shock until me because I've never played such an obedient compressor. I've tried a huge range of compressors such as Suhr Koji Comp or MXR Dyna Comp to name a few, and all came with hissing in the background when switched on.

This compressor was relatively transparent, with the imba blend knob (that my Keeley didn't have) that let the compression tone run parallel with the original tone. The blend knob was a key player in creating many different tones. I like my crunch a lot, so I usually have it turned slightly down at 10-11 o'clock. This one, thumbs up man. When turned to the max, what I got was a very leveled and controlled sound, especially when I speed pick. However it sounded a bit unnatural, but i don't think anyone would be using it at max. Otherwise, the blend knob do wonders.

The Treble and volume knobs do what they do; brighter/darker and louder/softer. I should point out that increasing the volume came with some gain, which I didn't really like. I was hoping it would be volume-volume. Can probably use it as a boost, but I usually put it at unity gain since I have my Xotic EP Booster to do the boosting for me already. :p

Oh almost forgot to list my gear,
Guitar: Gibson SG Heritage
Head/Amp: Marshall JCM 900 100W Reissue
Patch cables: Disaster Area Solderless Patch

Ok la, in summary

  • NOISELESS (omg)
  • Clean
  • Plays well with most other pedals
  • CHEAP! ($189 only)
  • SMALL! (Micro boards must get)
  • Blend knob

  • Volume knob is not pure volume
  • No compression bar

In conclusion, the philo tone will be staying on my board for until something more "geng" comes along. It's compact, draws little current, NOISELESS (I cannot emphasize it enough), 18V headroom and very musical in nature. This pedal is a keeper, just like I am :p