JangleBox Compressor

This pedal’s raison d’etre is to cop the classic jangly tones pioneered by George Harrison and Roger McGuinn, and later championed by Tom Petty, REM, and others. More specifically, the designers hoped to emulate the sound of the onboard compressor found in the Rickenbacker 370/12 McGuinn Limited Edition 12-string. According to the principal Byrd himself, they nailed it.

But in addition to fulfilling its prime objective, the JangleBox ($215 direct) is also capable of producing lots of other engaging and highly musical sounds, from subtle increases in sustain and shimmer to over-the-top pumping and breathing effects—all with minimal noise.

I was immediately impressed with the JangleBox, and became increasingly enamored the more I experimented with it. Although you can get a great sound by simply setting the Gain and Attack knobs a little past halfway, the controls are extremely versatile, and function much like those on ’60s-era studio compressors—controlling multiple parameters simultaneously, and interacting in significant ways. Switching from Normal to Dark mode with the mini-toggle yielded softer sounds reminiscent of a vintage Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer, whereas Bright mode aggressively emphasized chimey high-end overtones, making my electric 12-string and other guitars ring with true authority. This is a unique pedal that absolutely oozes personality and vintage vibes, which is why it receives an Editors’ Pick Award.