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Boss CS-3 review

Versatile, compact compression

  • £75
  • €94
  • $154
The four control knobs (level, tone, attack and sustain) offer impressive versatility for the money

Our Verdict

A decent purchase, poised between budget and boutique.


  • Lots of tone sculpting options. Good value. Solid Boss compact build.


  • Lacks the natural sound of more 'boutique' models.

After the CS-1 and CS-2, the latest compressor in the Boss Compact series is the CS-3, offering plenty of control over the sound with the addition of a tone knob to the more standard level, attack and sustain.

"The CS-3 lets you sculpt quite a prominent note snap"

It's capable of going all the way from mild compression to a very squashed compression-as-effect tone. In addition, the CS-3 lets you sculpt quite a prominent note snap via juxtaposition of the sustain and attack knobs - with the tone knob dialling in plenty of top end if you want it.

With the four-knob setup, Boss has built enough versatility into this to make it a decent all-round buy, for comparatively little outlay.