Skip to main content Skip to footer
Call and save 18% off a single item of $49 or more. Call 866-498-7882 for qualifying brands

Pigtronix Philosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal

Item #: 
  • Write a Review

The Pigtronix Philosopher King is a compressor, sustainer, distortion and polyphonic amplitude synthesizer. Combining Pigtronix's award-winning Philosopher's Tone circuit with a next generation envelo... Click To Read More About This Product

We're sorry—we no longer carry this item.

Find a similar product below or contact us for a recommendation of a great alternative.

Call: 866-498-7882 Email or Chat

Recommended Products

The Pigtronix Philosopher King is a compressor, sustainer, distortion and polyphonic amplitude synthesizer. Combining Pigtronix's award-winning Philosopher's Tone circuit with a next generation envelope generator, the Philosopher King takes tone several steps further with a full set of ADSR (Attack/Decay/Sustain/Release) controls including swell, fade, hold level, speed range, one-shot mode, selectable auto reset, CV i/o and expression pedals for swell and fade times.

With the Swell and Fade functions switched off, the Philosopher King provides transparent optical compression with endless sustain on tap. Adjustable compression (ratio), sustain (threshold) and treble (2k cut / boost) controls allow the musician to tailor the nature of the effect to meet the needs of the material at hand. From a subtle dash of added punch to massive, over-the-top howling sustain, the Philosopher King delivers clean, powerful optical compression. The grit control blends in a layer of sweet harmonic distortion that plays nice with other gain pedals as well as amplifier-generated tube distortion.

The Philosopher King's swell function provides a pick triggered volume swell effect. The volume swell can be reset at any moment by muting or held open by continuous playing. This "slow gear" type effect is smooth and controllable with variable timing from extremely fast to very slow.

The fade function can be used independently of the swell and is also pick triggered. A major new feature of the decay cycle in this pedal is the ability to fade out from peak level only partially, bringing the audio down to a predetermined level, set by the hold control. The hold level is then maintained until the player releases the note to close the cycle. With the auto reset turned on, the cycle will begin again immediately, creating undulating amplitude modulation and even pulsating tremolo stutter effects at faster decay settings. With the auto-reset turned off, the player determines the exact timing for the beginning of the next cycle.

Another new feature is the one shot mode, which causes the Philosopher King to run through the swell / fade / hold / release cycle regardless of what is played after the cycle is triggered. In this mode, the Philosopher King creates complex waves of amplitude modulation on top of the music coming from your instrument. A trigger input jack allows the swell and fade functions to be controlled by an external source such as a band mate or drum track.


Optical Compressor with Outrageous Sustain
ADSR Envelope Generator for Guitar
POLYPHONIC (works with chords)
Grit control for F.A.T. Distortion
2K Treble Cut / Boost
Expression Pedals for Swell and Fade Times
Pick Triggered Volume Swell
One Shot Mode & Auto Reset
CV in / out
Trigger Input for External Rhythm Source
Pigtronix 18VDC adapter included
Circuit Design by Howard Davis
  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
PigtronixPhilosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 4 customers

Displaying reviews 1-4

Back to Top

(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)



By bill silvain

from down the shore nj

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal:

In the world of boutique pedals, Pigtronix stands above all. This pedal is incredible and does things you will find useful and cool. Start using the slow swell it with a long delay and get those incredible ringing layers just by picking. Or do a staccatto Steve Stevens effect right in the middle of a ripping solo. I heard a guy play the into to Baba O'Reily on this that blew me away - The sustain side is magnificent. BUY IT!!!!

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


incredible pedal and moreeee!

By Giacomo

from Boca Raton

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal:

Got the Philosopher King, the compressor is awesome, incredible sustain, clean volume swells that resets quickly with the sensivity set low. Great grit distortion layer that helps the peda act as a filter-synth like. If combining swell and fade, you can get effects like reverse, and also like tremolo, lot of things to do and work with this pedal.The compressor quality and the sustain get any thing sound better and better, so imagine it with a nice tube amp, Its crazy good!!! If you play with it for a few hours you can discover all the set ups and combinations so you can change it in the flow quicky. I am glad Pigtronix created this Philosopher King, even the name and look of this pedal rocks, jaja.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Awesome pedal: still finding new uses 2 months later...

By Drew

from Coatesville, PA

Site Member

Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal:

I found one used for a great discount and decided to take the plunge. I was in the market for a compressor and this thing does a great job at that. I usually just run it as an always on slight compression. It lets you tweak the threshold, sustain, hi-cut, and volume giving you whatever sound you need. The grit blends a fuzz like distortion that works well with other dirt pedals. It in no way sounds good on its own but when using other pedals and the swell and fade functions it can add in some dirty harmonic content. The swell function on its own works great. There's a sensitivity knob that will allow it to adjust to your picking and the strength of your signal. You can adjust how long the swell takes with the swell knob and the fast-slow switch. For my purposes I use the slow setting for swells and the fast setting for the fade or combined modes. The fade function can be used to get staccato sounds but usually i flick the auto reset on and the one shot switch off and it will give you a square tremolo sound. It does not react like a typical tremolo, in that it will slow down and stop overtime as your notes decay. With both the fade and swell functions on you can control the ramp up and down of the tremolo to create a more sine wave tremolo and many other asymmetrical wave forms. The hold knob works as a depth control for the amplitude modulation and can help the pedal be more subtle if the mood strikes. Extras: Trigger input. You can run any source into it to trigger the swell and hold fxs. For instance if you want to use the pedal as a more traditional tremolo pedal you can run a metronome in to it so the pedal will chop your guitar sound in time and wont allow the tremolo to die off as your notes do. Sometimes if im using this pedal on just my delay trails ill patch in my clean guitar to the trigger so it will react to my playing in real time but just affect my delay trails. T Cv In: This overrides the swell and fade and when used with an exp pedal turns the pedal into a volume pedal w/compression. Cv out: translates the amplitude modulation in to an exp output so you could use the pedal to control another Fade and swell Exp: Have expression control over the swell and fade knobs.



By Jonathanaspen

from Aspen, CO

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer


  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects
  • Responsive
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Pigtronix Philosopher King Compressor and Sustainer Guitar Effects Pedal:

    I can't say enough good things about the Philosopher's King. The compression is AMAZING and dead silent. The SWELL feature has redefined my lead tone, giving it a characteristic of acceleration. The FADE feature can be used almost as a gate of sorts. Every feature is usable, unique and will inspire your creativity. Built like a tank. Pigtronix makes the best gear on the planet. Hands down. Their website says that they try to make original effects rather than recreating vintage effect and the Philosopher's King is truly original. It makes my guitar feel like it cost ten grand.Seriously, there is no better investment you can make into your tone.

    Displaying reviews 1-4

    Back to Top

    You are changing the Ship-To country.

    Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.