The latest offering from Santa Barbara, CA pickup and pedal manufacturer Seymour Duncan is a highly versatile compression pedal designed to allow players to take an active role in sculpting their compressed tone. Its name is Vise Grip.
This pedal comes with all the basic functionality you would expect in a compression stomp like sustain, volume, and blend. On top of that, Seymour Duncan also included a three option toggle switch for mid, full or high to adjust the tonal character of the effect as well as an attack knob, which allows players to control the reaction time between attack and the application of the compression. This is a cool feature as it allows the dynamics of the attack to still come through before the actual compression eats away at peaks and valleys of the signal.
The Vise Grip is designed to be a studio grade effect, and from what I’ve seen it holds up to its billing. The real plus here is the quality of the sustain. This pedal offers that ability to hit a note and let it ring out for as long as you like. It’s great for ripping a single note in a solo when you want to let a chord progression go around while letting some tension build up. The pedal also offers a nice variety of sounds for subtle compression on chords or even functions as a nice clean boost for leads. Finally, the “high” setting on the toggle switch provides a nice thinning effect to get a powerfully thin garage feeling. As with all Seymour Duncan pedals, the Vise Grip is true bypass.
Overall, the seems like a great new off-the-shelf compressor and at around $160 retail, it comes in twenty or thirty bucks cheaper than high end peers like the Kelley or Wampler compressors. – Ryan Dembinsky