Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Single-Effect Pedal

Made by Boss

Description The CS-3 compresses high-input signals while boosting low-input signals, giving you smooth sustain without degrading the quality of the original sound. A range of effects from gentle compression to squeezed sounds is at your command.
Posted By WholeNote
Directory Equipment: Effects
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 4.2 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
4 44 ||
3 33 ||
2 22 ||
0 0 ||
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From 9 votes total

Member Reviews


On 1/7/2008, Michael Laurance (4040) posted:
Overall Rating:
Maybe I just need to play with mone more, but I just haven't been that choked up with it.
Price: $30.00
Where Obtained: e-bay
Features:
Non-stereo, pretty basic, studio standard compressor.
Sound Quality:
Frankly, I find this pedal to be a bit noisy as compared to a rack unit. You have to stay off the last knob to keep the noise down.
Ease of Use:
It's a compressor, it always takes a while to get the sound dialed in.
Durability:
It's a Boss, it'l outlast human beings.
On 11/4/2007, Cornel-radu Moldovan (4) posted:
Overall Rating:
BOSS NEEDS A NEW DESIGN, ... PRODUCTS ARE GOOD, BUT THINK ABOUT A POSSIBILITY TO CREATE A NEW CASE , A NEW JACK , SOMETHING LIKE A PROFILE THAT CAN UNITE EFFECTS, NOT ONLY SIGNAL BUT POWER SUPPLY IN THE MEANTIME, TO ELIMINATE SO MUCH CABLES FOR 9 VOLTS, THAN YOU CAN ELIMINATE THE LOST SPACE CREATED BY DIFFERENT TYPES OF JACKS , AND CREATE A SOLID BRICK COMPOSED OF COUPLED EFFECTS TOGETHER IN A ARCH SHAPED CHAIN, FOR THOSE LIKE ME ,WHO PLAYS SITTING ON A SPINNING CHAIR. I SPENT 250$ ON THAT CHAIR.AND FOR SURE TRANSPORTABLE DISMANTLED, EASY CONNECTTABLE. I CAN MAKE A SKETCH FOR THAT, AS A GOOD OLD DESIGNER.
Where Obtained: private collectors
On 2/18/2006, Shawn Spraguer (30) posted:
Overall Rating:
This pedal sweetens my tone and gives me another big step toward achieving that ideal tone.
Model Year: 2006
Price: $80.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Features:
The versatility of this pedal are pretty impressive. Using the volume as a base, tweaking the tone, attack, and sustain it's easy to achieve great tone. Each knob provides plenty of different possibilties.
Sound Quality:
This pedal sounds superb. For anyone who plays lead, it is a dream. The sensitivity of the strings is increased which gives my tone a great shred lead sound. It also fills in the tonal gaps and enriches the overtones.
Ease of Use:
Pretty straight forward and simple to use.
Durability:
It's a Boss, so it'll take pretty much whatever you can dish out.
On 1/17/2005, Matt Wood (2844) posted:
Overall Rating:
I've owned this for a while and it's floated in and out of my set up . It's back cause ive found a great use for it. I have a crybaby and have always found it's too treble or too bassy at the end of it's sweep . So i use this after it and it somehow cuts both of these . Not really sure why it works but it does.

Also many seem to set it up so its slightly louder when on than off. i disagree and set it up slightly softer when on .So its doing more compressing than boosting . That way I find it doesnt add noise to my signal . most also seem to put it first in the siganl chain , I like it last . But I may be weird like that
Price: $1000.00 aust
Where Obtained: second hand
Features:
The outher reviews cover all this
Sound Quality:
Does it's job ok as long as you use it to compress not to boost. Buy a clean boost if you want that
Ease of Use:
Setting it up right for your set up is crucial
Durability:
On 6/23/2004, Kent Minagawa (387) posted:
Overall Rating:
When I bought this pedal I was just looking for something to round off my guitar. I expected to pick up an extra overdrive pedal, but I ended up buying this. Why? It's because this pedal adds a nice touch to whatever you play. It's very subtle, but overall if you have the money it's a nice thing to have (you don't need it, but it's nice). It isn't flashy like a flanger or anything so don't expect that when I recommend this: it'll just smooth out the edges (maybe make some edges?). I recommend this for those who appreciate the minute aspects that make your sound complete.
Price: $45.00
Where Obtained: Local music store
Features:
The pedal has four knobs on it: level, tone, attack, and sustain. It's fairly simple and easy to use, as a standard foot-pedal. It can take either a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter as a power source. Everything fairly typical of all Boss pedals.
Sound Quality:
The pedal seems to add a certain depth to the playing, especially out of my guitar (which has 2 humbucking pickups). It makes the sound a little tighter (depending on how you play with the controls) and for me, it seemed to take away a bit of the flatness of my humbuckers (as noise-cancelling pickups tend to flatten the sound too much, this pedal seemed to pick it back up to a nice level). It also adds to the sustain of whatever you play, making a nice touch for that finishing chord or note in a song. Though don't expect it to be anything like a Wah or Flanger, because the change is very subtle: it rounds off the edges on your playing rather than changing it into something completely different.
Ease of Use:
As with most Boss pedals, this single effect pedal is fairly easy to use. Just turn the knobs to increase or decrease level, tone, attack, and sustain. Stomp it to turn on and off. Nothing really complicated about it.
Durability:
Considering the shape I bought this pedal in, the electronics seem to be pretty tough. I bought it covered in dust, scratched up, etc. and it still works just fine. Perhaps this is why we don't make pedals out of plastic, eh?
On 1/13/2004, Bob O'hara (5785) posted:
Overall Rating:
This pedal is very good, and i'd buy another if i had to.
Model Year: 2003
Price: $79.00 (new)
Where Obtained: music center
Features:
This pedal does it for me. the sustain i was lacking in my guitar is now there. the pedal has 4 controls, level, tone,attack, and sustain. it's easy to use and pretty straight forward with it's operation. just find the settings that make your sound and go with it. this unit is ac and battery powered, and i recommend buying the 9v adapter.
Sound Quality:
I'm useing this pedal with my 73 fender strat. the amps i use are a peavey158 rage for practice and a fender 64 vibrolux for gigs. whether playing through either amp this pedal produces the same sound. i'm still experimenting with this pedal, but for now it's great.
Ease of Use:
This pedal is very easy to use. all you have to do is plug in and adjust the knobes for the right sound you're looking for and you're ready to go.
Durability:
This unit is built like a tank. it's boss, it is very,very durable.
On 6/14/2003, Don Brozz (271) posted:
Overall Rating:
If you want a compressor pedal, buy this one. Other compressor pedals arean't even in it's class.
Price: $50.00
Where Obtained: Local Music Store
Features:
The CS-3 compresses high-input signals while boosting low-input signals, giving you smooth sustain without degrading the quality of the original sound. Another words, in "smooths" your sound. Has a good range of compression. At high compression levels it helps create the "percussive" sound many metal players are after.
Sound Quality:
Very good, almost transparent, doesn't add alot of noise.
Ease of Use:
Do we really need a comment here ?
Durability:
Bullet proof ... If only everything in life were made as well as Boss pedals.
On 2/22/2001, Chuck Stensrud (13014) posted:
Overall Rating:
There aren't that many pedal compression effects out there. I bought this one because I was able to try it out at a local Guitar Center. Rack effects are beyond my economic horizon, considering that my use is mainly hobby.

One of the best features was price. The pedal is also very quiet compared to others. For me, there are no drawbacks.
Price: $60.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Musician's Friend
Features:
I tried this pedal at a Guitar Center a while back. It takes a bit of getting used to to get any decent results with it. I found that by setting all the controls to 12:00 o'clock and then setting the Level so the sound was a bit louder with the pedal on than off I could use the rest of the controls - tone, attack, and sustain - to best advantage. By using the CS-3 with just my chorus pedal, I could get a nice virgin twang (a sort of Ventures type sound) by cranking up attack, or a smooth, jazzy result by turning it down. Sustain with my Strat gives me last-forever ring. Add in blues distortion and the sound is over the top.
Sound Quality:
As indicated, I use this with a Fender fat strat, which I play thru a Marshall MG50RCD amp. Other pedals in my chain are a Dunlop Bass Wah (yeah - you read it right), a DOD Icebox Chorus, and a Marshall Bluesbreaker distortion pedal (which actually souds better with the all-solid state amp than a tube-screamer). My current musical concentration is blues. This pedal doesn't sound quite as good as some of the rack compressors I've tried, but it's damned close and a heck of a lot cheaper.
Ease of Use:
Ease of use is a relative thing. Fortunately before buying I read a couple of reviews on other sites and learned the trick of setting the level correctly. If the level is not set so that the sound with pedal on is only slightly louder than with pedal off, the effects of the attack and sustain controls can get completely lost. Knowing that, tweaking the other controls to get a good sound is a snap. I'd recommend buying the A/C power supply (or similar and much cheaper at radio shack) to avoid the expense of batteries.
Durability:
Like other Boss pedals, this guy is almost indestructable. For my use, the pedal will outlast me by generations.