The LPD CLE-304 is an optical compressor with a dry blend paired with a powerful 3 band active EQ and boost. Each circuit has it’s own input and output jacks, allowing them to be used individually anywhere in the signal chain. This also forms an effects loop with the two middle jacks (internally connected when unused).
The origin of the CLE-304 is a fun one! Around the end of June 2022, Lawrence’s good friend Jacob @the_visual_guy presented an idea that he should design and build a compressor / EQ dual pedal, with an effects loop between them. Lawrence thought it was a great idea and Jacob already had the color scheme put together (which made Lawrence’s life easier because he has such a hard time picking the colors). Lawrence just had to design the circuits, do the control and board layout, and get a prototype put together to see what worked and what didn’t.
Lawrence chose an optical compressor for its smooth natural characteristics. It needed a basic control set, but it also needed a clean/dry blend control, and that is where real creativity takes shape. The first iteration of the blend didn’t quite meet his standards, but the first revision really nailed it. It was much smoother, maintained a consistent output level across the taper and didn’t compromise the natural qualities of the compressor. The end result is a lot of fun to play. It has a very natural sounding amount of squish and sustain that you can really feel. It’s great for leveling between different guitars or pickups, or for adding some great tube feel to lower volume playing. The blend taper is smooth and fine, allowing very precise adjustment of how much pick attack gets through. It’s a very natural sounding and feeling effect, enhancing the core sound.
For the active 3-band EQ, Lawrence wanted the bands to be wide enough to sound natural but not interact with each other. The frequency of each was intentionally chosen to perfectly enhance the character of the guitar. He did quite a bit of digging into players who use EQ pedals on their board, what bands they choose to boost or cut, and how much. The end result is a fantastic, usable and simple 3-band EQ with a clean 12dB of boost/cut from each, with center detent potentiometers to boot! The treble affects the pick attack and chime but doesn’t add any hiss. The midrange sits right where you would expect, grabbing the main body of the guitar tone. The bass is low but not sub low, very usable for controlling the boom in the room. The Boost control also adds 12db of overall clean boost to the signal as well and will drive most amps into overdrive or distortion. The boost is smooth with plenty of power on tap. It can seriously drive whatever you send it into. Loud, clean and full.
The effects loop is also an integral part of this CLE-304 design. The ability to split the Compressor and EQ to add pedals between them, or switch their order so that the EQ comes before the compressor seemed logical and necessary. By taking advantage of the loop functionality, players can run any pedals or even their entire pedal board between the Compressor and EQ, basically turning the CLE-304 into two separate units that can be placed anywhere in your signal chain. For anyone who may want the EQ to come before the compressor, the order can be switched by patching the EQ out to the comp in and using the effects send as input and return as output. And for loop-switching and programmable presets, the CLE-304 effects loop allows you to place the two circuits in individual loops on your switchers and program them where ever you want in your signal or presets!
The CLE-304 has turned out to be a very exciting pedal for everyone who plays one! Its usefulness in both a studio and live setting are only limited to a player’s imagination. LPD thinks they have created a utility pedal that will live on player’s boards as both a sweetener and a fixer as needed. We are excited to get it into everyone’s hands and learn how all of you will incorporate it into your arsenal.
True Bypass switching
9 volt DC operation
4.5” x 3.5” x 2”