Danelectro DJ9 Surf & Turf Compressor


What is it?
Danelectro DJ-9 Surf & Turf compressor from Mini series.

Finally. One of these that make the original look bad. Like i”ve pointed out on numerous occasions, to refine or rediesign existing design, the result should always be better than the original. Not much poin if it isn’t. Here we have your standard CA3080 OTA-based compressor that derives from Dyna/Ross. In reality the design is so close, that there’s not that much difference to the original 70s designs. You can do the comparison yourself. Surf & Turf by Cow4prez and original Dyna by AMZFX.


Prime example of succesful redesign. Even if the build quality of my unit is slightly sub-par in build quality with the best ones in the mini series, it’s still good. Much better unit to spend your hard earned cash on than current Dunlop Dyna.

How does it sound?
Close, if not exactly the sound of old 70s Dyna comp in compact box. Meaning that it is not the shock effect like current Dunlop versions, but the usable, warm compression with slight vintage mush due to its operational transconductance amplifier. So in a few words – really good sounding usable compressor.


5 responses to “Danelectro DJ9 Surf & Turf Compressor”

  1. FIY the schem by cow4prez has a few errors, all electrolytic caps marked 50µ are actually 1µ (50v) – R118 is a 10k (res. to ground of the output buffer) C103 is a 2.2µ

    • Thanks! Guess that should be redrawn at some point. I personally hate erroneous schematics.

  2. Anyone know how difficult it would be to insert a blend control to one of these? A little knob that would be a mix of the dry/compressed signal. It might then be the perfect compressor and a steal at typical prices!

    • That would be diffucult without rehousing the circuit. The output is inverted, as with dyna/ross compressors. So you’ll need to add another opamp stage to mix signals between incoming and compressed phases. I posted a stripboard layout for Keeley-style compressor with added blend to tagboardeffects blog. Building your own would probably cost the same as modding one of these – including the price of an used surf & turf.

      Or you could search for current china pedals for compressor including blend control. I believe Nux has one in mini enclosure. Again, the price would be about the same..

  3. Saw this site searching compressors and realized I’ve seen it before. It’s great…. and much better than telling my gf about my new compressor. She does not care. Anyway I have to say. I’ve been looking for the right compressor. Built a generic optical kit, a tone core Line 6 digital module, went to a music store and tried some with a blend control. They had two vintage dynacomps that were falling apart inside. After pondering and not finding anything there was a brand new surf and turf. He just gave it to me new in the box. I had owned this like 20 years ago without knowledge I have now and it sounds way better than my others. I’m surprised and this will due until I get something with too many controls. Bam

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