Coppersound Iris Optical Compressor

Guitarists with a busy pedalboard interested in the uber-smooth compression produced by an optical circuit should take a deep look at the Coppersound Iris, a pedal that delivers that kind of circuit in a stylish-looking mini case.

Built around “a uniquely biased audiophile-grade op-amp and optical network,” this is a studio-grade compressor with a “less-is-more” approach that’s quite typical of this kind of circuit, like the venerable LA2A, known for an almost automatic attack/release behaviour that gracefully adapts to the incoming signal.

You only have two controls: Volume and a 3-way mode switch that basically sets the compression ratio, delivering Low, Medium, and High compression.

Here’s the video presentation of it, we added the Iris to our article about the best mini compression pedals.

Coppersound Iris, Builder’s Notes

Iris is a streamlined, all-original optical compressor circuit, built around a uniquely biased audiophile-grade op-amp and optical network.

Compression without confusion
Optical compressors are well-known for delivering smooth compression and sustain.

The compression toggle gives the user access to three distinct compression amounts, from sweet and subtle, to full on squish! This, in conjunction with a simple volume knob, allows the user to smoothen out dynamics and thicken up their signal. No need to dive deep into over-complicated control options. Whether you want to even out your picking or make your notes pop off the fretboard, Iris is perfect for the player that wants to skip the frustration and get right to the sweetness and benefits of a dialed-in, studio compressor.

Studio-grade compression in the palm of your hand

  • Original optical compression circuit
  • Three levels of compression
  • Mechanical true-bypass switching
  • 9V | 2.1mm x 5.5mm Center Negative
  • Consumption: 20mA @ 9V
  • In/Out: ¼” Instrument Cable

When we started expanding our Mini Series line-up, we wanted to be sure to offer a versatile catalog. The idea for a compressor had been in the foreground of our conversations. Given the space confines of our mini enclosure, paired with the size of traditional through-hole components, we were forced to get creative when it came to designing circuits. Compressor circuits are well-known for often being rather large. These two factors sparked the idea for Iris – an optical compressor using only 25 total parts.