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DIY Guitar Compressor - The Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer - The Best Stomp Box Projects (Project PCB & Schematic)

Updated on May 29, 2014
The Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer Guitar Compressor
The Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer Guitar Compressor

The Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer Guitar Compressor:

It's legendary, you might recognize it's sound and shape from Mark Knopfler's tone and Red Hot Chilli Peppers' John Frusciante "Under the Bridge" silky squashed guitar sound. Ever wanted to nail that sound or just prevent your amp from distortion when hitting really hard those strings?! ...then the Orange Squeezer guitar compressor is just what you've been looking for!

Out of production for decades, this amazing stomp box design was brought back to life by the DIY internet community. The Orange Squeezer was subbed by today's modern guitar compressor, with lot of controls and other messy setting these can be sold at higher prices. Dan Armstrong's design is very simple, you just dial the output volume while the threshold, attack, and release settings are set by default. Maybe this is what gives this unit it's distinct sound and let's you focus on your guitar playing instead of spending hours tweaking knobs.

Also, the Orange Squeezer is the best DIY project for beginners. Due to it's low parts count and extremely simple design it can be built by a newbie with enough quality to be featured on any guitarist pedal board. This guitar compressor is an excellent add to your guitar rig. A 60 year old guitar compressor can't go wrong!

You can build this unit for under 15€, or even less if you're already a DIY'er or have the majority of the tools required for this project.

What do you need to build your Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer Guitar Compressor Clone:

    • 14 cheap resistors rated 1/4w.
    • 7 cheap capacitors rated 16v (minimum).
    • 1 potentiometer
    • 1 trimmer
    • 1 diode (1N100)
    • 2x 2N5457 FET transistors
    • 1 JRC4558D Dual Opamp
    • Input/Output and DC jack
    • 3PDT footswitch (bypass)
    • 1 LED and holder (optional)
    • 9v battery snap
    • PCB
    • 24 gauge stranded wire
    • 1 potentiometers knobs
    • enclosure
    • Soldering Iron
    • High quality solder
    • A drill (in case you'll be drilling your own enclosure)

    If you're already a DIY'er, you may have already many of what is needed. The total budget for the The Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer guitar compressor won't probably exceed 15 bucks, the small electronics like resistors and capacitor being the cheapest and the enclosure the most expensive. Indeed, the enclosure may represent 70% of the project's budget.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      - Either everyone you shoot is good looikng or you capture their beauty with your lens. Both? More good music recs- thanks! He's got heart throb good looks a la James Dean.

    • bockshiner profile image


      6 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Very cool. I've never tried this compressor. I've been looking for some guitar pedal projects. I think I'll add this to the list.

    • Audiogeek profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      anyone around here ever tried this amazing guitar compressor?


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