With its intelligent design and dynamic sounds, this stompbox was well worth the wait.


We all have our favourite effects, but it’s not too often that one particular pedal comes to be thought of as indispensable. However, this stompbox from Boss comes pretty close. It’s housed in the company’s conventional die-cast chassis, with four controls that are fairly friendly, though you may want to keep the instruction manual handy at first. It features a 12-segment indicator that clearly displays the amount of compression that’s being dialled in via the Level control.The Release control relates to the level at which the signal is left to fade. So when set to fully open, the release of the compression allows the note to fade naturally. When set to zero, the note is clipped or flattened out and the compressor acts more like a gate. Ratio is the balance between the level of the input and output signals above and below the threshold of the compression, and the Threshold control sets the level at which compression starts to take place.


When it comes to compression we all have our own preferences. There is no right or wrong – it’s all down to using our ears and getting used to how the controls interact. For those who like to slap or play aggressively, the BC-1X will be a godsend. Applying a medium-to-high threshold level, with a medium release, will really tighten up your sound while at the same time producing an even level across all the strings. Setting the Release control to a medium level also allows the sustain of the strings to come across when switching from slap to fingerstyle, or when playing open strings or sustained notes. Try playing very gently, setting the Threshold and Ratio to around 2 o’clock, opening the Release control all the way and then turning the output up. You should achieve an incredibly loud and dynamic bass sound, with every nuance being heard, even when playing softly. Experiment as much as you can, and you’ll be discovering new things you can do for months.

Spec Points

Effect type: Compressor
Dimensions: 73(w) x 129(d) x 59(h)mm
Controls: Threshold, Ratio, Release & Level
Power: 9V battery or 9V DC adapter (not included)
Current draw: 90 mA
Bypass: Buffered
Indicators: Gain reduction & check
Connectors: Input, output & DC in
Working voltage: 18 V