Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Micro Guitar Compressor/Sustain Pedal


88 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

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Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone Micro Guitar Compressor/Sustain Pedal

Gearank Recommendation

The Philosopher’s Tone Micro appeared on our recommended list for Guitar Compressor Pedals from our first edition in July 2017 until August 2018.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Harmony Central Phil O'Keefe 90/100
Ovni Labs Editor 70/100
Guitar Interactive Tom Quayle 96/100
Tone Report Sam Hill 92/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


The Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone is geared towards musicians willing to pay a premium for a superior tone and a more flexible pedal. It’s not a good fit for someone just looking for basic compression, but if you’re looking to gig consistently the Philosopher’s Tone is worth serious consideration.

The main draw of this pedal is its “Blend” knob, which allows you to blend an unaffected signal with a compressed one. This results in a tone that has the depth of a non-compressed signal with the tighter dynamic range of a compressed one. It also helps to make the pedal more transparent, as you can dial in the blend knob to let more or your guitars natural tone through.

The actual compression portion of this pedal is relatively minimalistic, though by all accounts it does perform its purpose well. The parameters that control the compression and noise threshold of the pedal are “Sustain” and “Volume”. Unfortunately, this pedal does not allow you to set different “Attack” and “Release” parameters.

Another interesting component of this pedal’s design is that it has a gain circuit as well as an active treble circuit. The gain parameter offers smooth diode-clipping distortion, which produces a very musical and organic overdrive (don’t expect the Philosopher’s Tone to have the gain of a dedicated distortion pedal). The “Treble” knob allows you to either cut or boost the high-end response of the pedal.

The only real concern presented by this pedal is that, it doesn’t take batteries. However, the Philosopher’s Tone does come with an adapter.


  • Most likely optical compression, though this isn’t made clear in the specifications.
  • Parameters: Grit (Distortion), Sustain, Blend, Treble, Volume
  • True bypass
  • 18-Volt DC Adapter ONLY (no battery compartment, though the adapter is included)
We were recommending this pedal until August 2018 when we completed a major review of the category, and although there's nothing wrong with the Philosopher’s Tone Micro, we did find that more highly rated options were available which we have recommended in our guide to The Best Compressor Pedals.