This is my first compressor. I did some research and found a general, broad consensus that this is the best bang for the buck. To beat this, you need to spend upwards of $500. How often do you see a general broad consensus on the internet? Now I don't know whether this beats everything else under $500, but what I can tell you is that this thing does exactly what it's supposed to do, and it certainly beats anything at its price. It has all the knobs a compressor needs: Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release, and Gain. I'm told that these knobs apply their effects through software, so there's never going to be a problem with scratchy pots - that's a relief to me. There's a handy LED readout showing how much gain reduction is being applied, from 0 to 20dB. There's a bypass button so you can quickly test against a clean signal. There's a button called Super Nice which I'm told does some magic by running the signal through the compressor circuit 3 times. In practice, what I've found is that the gain reduction shown in the aforementioned readout is divided by three. I'm still training my ears how to discern the subtle effect of compression but it seems that Super Nice really is Super Nice. For me that translates to Super Subtle. There are two sets of Inputs and Outputs to support left and right stereo channels. They're 1/4" unbalanced connectors, which means they only register the tip and the sleeve (guitar cables). If you're putting a balanced signal like an XLR or Tip-Ring-Sleeve 1/4" (stereo headphone style) into the compressor you'll need to unbalance it first. I don't know whether that's any different from other compressors. Customer service is great too. When I took this out of the box, the prongs on the wall wart were missing. I called FMR Audio and the guy I talked to was going to send a replacement that day. Turns out the prongs were floating under a piece of packaging in the box, and fortunately I found them in time to cancel. Great experience overall.