Gear Review: Fairfield Circuitry's The Accountant Compression Pedal

Canadian-based Fairfield Circuitry released what it thinks a guitarist’s compressor should be.

The Accountant, which is based on a JFET feedback compressor, gives you exactly what you need — from barely noticeable to full-on squashed compression.

With a fixed Threshold, the pedal offers just a pair of three-way toggle switches to adjust the compression levels. PAD controls how much your signal is reduced when entering the circuit. 0 sets the pad to -16db, 1 is -8db and 2 is a 0db reduction. Next is the Ratio switch, which controls how hard the compression will hit; 0 is a 3:1 compression ratio, 1 is a 6:1 and 2 tops out at 12:1.

Last is the Volume knob, sometimes referred to as "makeup gain." This will not affect your compression at all; it's just there to help you match levels with your bypassed tone. While it’s not really meant to be a boost, you can easily use it to get a little more juice for your solos or push the preamp of a tube amp.

The Accountant is housed in the ever-popular compact Hammond 1590 enclosure. With no room for a battery, the pedal is powered by a Boss-style 9-volt power supply and offers true bypass switching.

Audio Clips

Color: While most builders fear you’ll jump ship if you suspect their compressor colors your signal, Fairfield shows you how right in their manual. By setting the Ratio and Pad to 0 and the Volume at 12 o’clock, I was able to turn a dull, direct Strat tone into a Nile Rodgers type of funky clean.

Country: Same guitar, same bridge pickup, but by changing the Ratio up to 2, I went from Chic clean to a chicken-pickin’ country tone with a little bit of dirt.

Even: So maybe your next gig isn’t at a honky-tonk or a roller skating rink; if all you need is a compressor to tame your strumming hand, the Accountant does that too. Here’s a before and after with the Ratio and Pad set to 1.

Street Price: $150

You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at

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