Mike Lee about the grey versions
The older (78-79') 'Vactrol' version is warmer and slower to recover from 'crush', and sounds very 'analog'
The newer (79-80') 'VTL and Malaysian chip' version has more clean headroom, and is more transparent, really making thin bright strings sing.
I like both very much... but they do sound different, both having pros and cons, and were demoed inline ONE at a time, with the SAME battery.
Both sound clearer, and seem more logically spectral, as well as have a more commonly useable compression knee with with Alkaline, as opposed to vintage style dollarstore batteries, which do add distortion, and make an overly soft knee that can be frustrating... so Alkaline is recommended.
Though many components and some values are different, the transistors are identical in both.
IMHO the newer version gets better headroom via the beefier components and values, but the oldest version does have a memorable warmth that would do justice with a brighter signal.
Both were tested using- 'Low output' 5.7k alnico5 Doublebond Formvar strat pups, in an ash body, with heavy nickel strings played with fingers.
Good comp... Hope this helps!
DigiTech about the 2014 reissue
Fresh squeezed. We proudly present the DOD Compressor 280 (2014). With the DOD 280, you can tame the wildest peaks and even out dynamics between single notes and chords. Deftly tear your way through licks that blend fretted notes and open strings without dramatic changes in volume. Whether you’re goin’ deep country with spankin’ clean tone or rattling teeth with staccato-driven riffs, the DOD 280 will add finesse to your picking attack for consistent performances.
The DOD Compressor 280 will help you manage the dynamic range of the input signal from your instrument. Compressing your dynamic range will make notes sustain longer, the sound seem tighter and help you avoid clipping the signal going into other effects or your amplifier.
Like its predecessor, the DOD Compressor 280 (2014) offers independent Compression and Output controls. True bypass allows your guitar tone to remain pristine even when the DOD 280 (2014) is off. This is a big difference from the original, which would color your bypassed tone. The modern 9V DC power supply input makes the pedal more pedalboard friendly.
The Compressor 280 employs an electro-optical circuit that varies the amount of the pedal’s dynamic compression using a light-dependent resistor and internal LED. At lower settings the “Comp” knob adds a subtle volume-leveling effect that adds a touch of evenness to the guitar’s signal, bringing up the level of low-volume playing and limiting the maximum volume of harder-hit single-note passages and chords. At higher settings the Comp knob “squashes” the initial attack and raises the level of notes and chords as they decay. The Level knob controls the overall volume of the effected signal and can act as a volume boost if desired.
Harman press release for the 2014 reissue (September 26, 2014)
Sonic Sustenance: HARMAN’s DigiTech Updates Its DOD Compressor 280
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – HARMAN’s DigiTech today announced the re-introduction of its DOD Compressor 280 guitar effects pedal bringing back the unmistakable smooth sustain and volume “squeeze” that only an electro-optical compressor can deliver. The Compressor 280 keeps all the distinctive sonic personality of the original while adding modern pedalboard-friendly features.
“The DOD Compressor 280 sounded so good the first time around that we didn’t do anything to change its characteristic sound quality and responsiveness,” said Tom Cram, Market Manager, DigiTech. “However, while we want to respect DOD’s history we’re also committed to giving modern guitarists the features they need, and all of our re-issue pedals including the Compressor 280 offer true bypass operation, an LED indicator and a 9-volt power supply jack.”
The DOD Compressor 280 employs an electro-optical circuit that varies the amount of the pedal’s dynamic compression using a light-dependent resistor and internal LED. At lower settings the “Comp” knob adds a subtle volume-leveling effect that adds a touch of evenness to the guitar’s signal, bringing up the level of low-volume playing and limiting the maximum volume of harder-hit single-note passages and chords. At higher settings the Comp knob “squashes” the initial attack and raises the level of notes and chords as they decay. The Level knob controls the overall volume of the effected signal and can act as a volume boost if desired.
“Whether you need to keep your guitar volume consistent when recording, are a country player who wants to avoid drastic volume changes when alternating between single notes and chords, or are an adventurous guitarist looking to add extreme compression to your rhythm and lead playing, the Compressor 280 can give you all these sounds and more,” Cram noted.
The Compressor 280’s true bypass operation keeps the tone of the instrument pristine when the effect is not in use. Its 9-volt DC power supply input makes the Compressor 280 far more pedalboard-friendly than the original and its bright blue LED indicator is easy to see on any stage. The pedal’s retro-classic look is evocative of its 1970s origins, while its road-tough enclosure ensures it’ll be around for years to come.
The DOD Compressor 280 will be available in late September 2014 at a suggested retail price of $124.94
- (2013-01-02) DOD 280 trial by Psych Up Melodies
- (2014-09-26) DOD Compressor 280 reissue (demo) by Livingroom Demos
- (2014-11-07) DOD 280 Comp by JustNickMusic
- (2014-11-17) Jonni Lightfoot shows us how a classic electro-optical compressor, the DOD 280, can help harmonics come alive with bass guitar, bing-bing-bong-bing! by Digitech
- (2014-12-17) DOD Compressor 280 by ProGuitarShopDemos
- (2014-12-18) Digitech's: MOSAIC, POLARA & DOD 280 Comp by Burgerman666
- (2015-06-16) DOD: Compressor 280 by Burgerman666
- (2015-09-21) Digitech DOD Compressor 280 (Pavel Marcel) by JamStageCz
- (2016-09-13) Music unlimited in Oklahoma hitting the Looking glass with our 280 compressor!! Gooey funk!! #Dig_it by Digitech