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Drybell Module 4 Orange Compressor

New Arrival
Original price $445.00 - Original price $445.00
Original price
$445.00 - $445.00
Current price $445.00

Module 4 – Orange flavored compression

The Module 4 is our highly versatile take on a classic vintage compressor – Dan Armstrong’s Orange Squeezer from the ‘70s. Some people may know this, but two interesting facts contribute to the unique tone, player’s feel and iconic character of this type of compressor. Direct cable connection between the electric guitar (pickup) and the Orange Squeezer’s (OS) front-end circuit results in a specific EQ change – a shift in the mid and top end frequencies. This provides a pleasant vintage tonal character, similar to low impedance inputs on some other types of gear. On top of that, the frequency shifting is controlled by the player’s pick attack; you can feel this warm dynamic tone response while playing. In other words, the OS unit acts as a kind of envelope followed EQ. This combination of unique signal EQ ‘treatment’ followed by a precisely biased vintage JFET compressor is the key to this historic tone and feel. This is the reason why guitarists love this unit and why it’s used on so many great records in rock and roll history. The Module 4 has the same spirit in its analog core. But, it’s equipped with several useful, colorful and practical options, all packed into our new enclosure line.


Module 4 – Orange flavored compression

The Module 4 analog compressor is engineered with the highest precision to achieve versatility, low noise, expanded headroom and sound resolution, while keeping Armstrong’s magic inside the pedal. You get that classic tone but you can tweak it to the finest detail. All of the Module 4 circuitry is completely original and unique in its design.

The Module 4 can be transformed to a standard Full Frequency range compressor by switching the Orange button off. Basically, you have two flavors available and they are easily distinguishable. ORANGE mode is warm, vintage sounding while Full Frequency range mode has a more modern, brighter, clearer tone. In either mode, you can easily avoid ‘pumping’ or unwanted transients with the external ATTACK & RELEASE controls, even on high compression. One of the greatest features of the ORANGE mode is the playful interaction with the guitar’s pickups which makes playing feel really pleasant. In order to experience that feeling, you’ll need to use it first in the chain and avoid any kind of buffers in front of it. Think of it as a great vintage Fuzz, if you use it right, it will sound right!

One essential improvement from the original design is an added PREAMP attenuation/gain control. This ensures that you can use various low or high output pickups, single coils or humbuckers. For example, in order to achieve a longer sustain, it was sometimes necessary to boost the guitar signal going into a compressor. In that case, the magical impedance interaction between the guitar’s pickups and the Front-end circuit was gone. That’s why in our Module 4 the PREAMP stage is placed after the Front-end circuit, so you can easily adjust compression level to your needs, while keeping the original ‘Orange’ feel unaffected.

We have also included a very useful BLEND control; it sets the mix of dry/compressed signals. You can balance the tone with this smooth parallel compression circuit, while retaining pick attack dynamics. OUTPUT control (make-up gain) is a high headroom clean boost, useful for pushing your amp harder and adding even more sustain to your tone.

Do you want a more rounded, darker tone or high-end sparkle harmonics? The TONE control is tweaked just to the right frequencies, for a wide spectrum of usage on any guitar or any amp. Also, we have added the LOW END cut option which allows you to remove certain low-end frequencies.

If you look at the silkscreen on the pedal’s front panel, you will find dot marks around the knobs. Well, when the control knobs are set to those dot marks and the ORANGE button is ON, Module 4 faithfully provides all the tonal flavors of the original! Also, those dots are a great starting point to explore the Module 4’s various possibilities.

To make it even more versatile, we have included the powerful EXPANDER so you can easily remove any trace of noise and hum from your tone. You’ll be surprised how quiet the noise level becomes! The expander’s fade operation will automatically attenuate incoming background noise when you mute strings or vice versa.

Even with the added TONE control, the noise floor of the Module 4 is more than 10dB lower than the original. Even without the Expander enabled! This is one of the quietest takes on this classic vintage compressor.

The included 3-color compression level meter gives you a nice visual representation of gain reduction. When a signal appears, it lights up green, then fades-to-orange for moderate compression, and the color changes to red with hotter signals showing that you are getting the strongest compression.

That is not the end of the Module 4’s usability list. We have added two bypass options to the pedal. You can choose between true and buffered bypass modes with a simple push of the switch. The pedal comes in classic buffered, smooth and ultra-silent bypass by default. Switch to true bypass operation if you use another pedal that has to be connected directly to the guitar (like fuzz). For example, if your Module 4 is in true bypass mode, it can still be physically located first in the chain and it won’t interfere with your fuzz pedal.

One additional feature of the buffered bypass mode is that the ORANGE button can also work when the pedal is turned off. In this case, the buffered bypass reacts like the Orange Squeezer’s Front-end, keeping the bypass EQ very similar to the EQ when the pedal is active (you can read more about this in our technical article). You will find it helpful for resolving certain pedalboard buffer EQ issues, when using various pedals in the chain. It’s a pretty cool feature, give it a go! 🙂

And to push things even further, for the first time in DryBell history, we’re using our custom-made aluminum enclosure and our own specially designed silent switching system.

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