How the MXR Dyna Comp became the go-to compressor pedal for countless all-star guitarists

Andy Summers and a Dyna Comp
(Image credit: Tom Hill/WireImage)

The MXR Dyna Comp wasn’t the first compressor pedal on the market – the Maestro SS-1 Sustainer and Electro-Harmonix Black Finger preceded it by a few years – but it was certainly the first to be embraced by a wide variety of professional players who helped it become a standard, essential item in many guitarists’ rigs for nearly five decades.

Designed to provide live performers with a low-cost alternative to the expensive and bulky rack-mount compressors used in the studio, the Dyna Comp can provide a smooth, professional polish to one’s sound, but it also can deliver special effects with their own distinctive “squashed” sonic fingerprint.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.