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MXR -143 Review
The 143 is very smooth sounding with low noise even with the Sensitivity control at maximum. It is one of those, “is it on?” type compressors. I say compressor because I consider the 143 to be a compressor because of its relatively low compression ratio as opposed to the high ratios expected from a true limiter.
The attack and release controls are effective but require some patience in finding the correct settings for a good sound. I like a relatively fast attack with a medium release time for guitar. The bypass buffer is very good and I noticed an immediate improvement in the high frequency detail with the compression switched off. The 143 handled high output pickups with no distortion or coloration. I tested with a Duncan Invader, Duncan SH-6 and EMG 81 pickups. Other CA3080 based compressors like the Dyna-comp tend to distort with high output pickups unless they are equipped with an input level control. The CA3280 op amp with its improved linearity and a 15 volt power supply give the 143 plenty of headroom. The 143 is replacing my current compressor because of its smooth transparent compression and ample headroom. As a bonus I get a great buffer for the input of my pedal board.


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