The Keeley Compressor and the Analogman Comprossor are still the top two Ross compressor clones on the market. Robert Keeley also makes many other great pedals, including the Katana, Java Boost, various Ibanez Ts9 mods, a ProCo Rat mod, an Ibanez AD9 delay mod and the Time Machine Boost in collboration with Legendary Tones.
All Keeley pedals use top notch components, including true bypass and film capacitors & resistors used in high-end audio equipment. You can’t go wrong with Keeley pedals. The compressor may be a bit more suited towards single coil pickups due to the IC chip, and the Java Boost may play nice with a darker, overdriven amp…but with such quality components you might as well break the rules and discover what tones will come.
Popular Effects from Keeley Electronics
The Keeley Compressor, modeled after the Ross compressor (made famous by Trey Anastasio of Phish), has been a contender for the best boutique guitar compressor since the turn of the millennium. Once given the Editor’s Pick Award from Guitar Player Magazine, this compression stompbox has stood the test of time.
Offered in both 4-knob & 2-knob models, the Keeley Compressors is precisely tuned to keep your original guitar tone while adding transparent, juicy compression. The original Ross design used ceramic capacitors, which sound harsh, so Robert Keeley uses metal film capacitors amongst other higher-end audiophile parts (Metal film 1% resistors, Teflonwire, Tantalum capacitors, silver solder & a 3PDT true bypass switch). Tonally, the pedal can provide everything from transparent compression to squishy sustain…but it won’t give the classic studio-style hard limiting effect. This pedal is all about oozing tone through bouncy compression.
Used by Steve Kimock, Sonny Landreth, Charlie Hunter, Dweezil Zappa, Adrian Belew and more.
This pedal was Robert Keeley’s first guitar effect design under the name Keeley Electronics (1999), although released after his Compressor. Apparently the Katana was originally designed for Legendary Tones as one channel of the Time Machine Boost. Not long after, however, the Katana developed a life of its own as a standalone product for Keeley Electronics.
Guitarists who are looking for a high-end, transparent clean boost to simply make their already perfect tone louder and sweeter will love the Keeley Katana.
Guitarists who are looking for a fat tonal shift, with rich harmonics oozing out, will love pulling out the volume knob for overdriven bliss!
Whether you’re looking for a tone enhancer (left on at all times) or a boost to cut through the mix, the Katana will deliver the goods. Cascading FET stages mimic natural tube breakup like a charm.
Keeley Fuzz Head
Conceived as a combination fuzz + overdrive pedal, the Keeley Fuzz Head is wired to function like a Fuzz Face used for lead boosts. Without being muddy, undefined, overly bass-heavy or sustain-lacking like the original Fuzz Face pedals…and unlike a wimpy overdrive that smooths out your tone too much…the Keeley Fuzz Head offers a fat cutting fuzz-driven tone with that’s perfect for solo work. Enjoy the better frequency response of high-end audiophile parts.
Using germanium resistors from fuzz pedals and the best qualities of popular overdrive effects, the Keeley Fuzz Head pedal provides a dynamic playing experience. Roll back the volume on your guitar for clean tone, and roll it up and in between for a variety of tonal textures, both fuzz and overdrive!
Essential Keeley Pedals Links
Keep exploring back at the Guitar Effects Directory.