Spaceman Effects Ixion Optical Compressor



The Ixion is an extremely smooth, clean, and low noise optical compressor. It provides you with an ultra-wide tonal palette for an astronomical amount of variation, depth and dimension. It is lovingly crafted using Spaceman's signature FET stages, a comprehensive set of controls, and an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio. You get the gain-reduction power of an optical photocell, a mix control for parallel compression techniques, a unique equal loudness filter in the sidechain, treble-centric tone control, the option to run at higher voltages for extended headroom, and an externally accessible sidechain input. The Ixion offers the fattest, juiciest tone with a warm, vintage appeal so you can push beyond boundaries into uncharted realms of sonic possibility.


For the Ixion, Spaceman chose an optical element, in shunt formation, with a feedback sidechain. There are a number of design features that set this squeezebox apart from the pack though. The typical arrangement for a feedback sidechain would be to tap it after the make-up gain stage. In our case, the sidechain is tapped directly after the gain control element. A prominent example of this arrangement is the famous LA-2A studio compressor.

The maximum compression available is 6:1, and plenty of beautiful harmonically rich make-up gain is on tap, and available for use as vintage grit if desired. The feel of the compression will adjust to your playing, traditional attack and release parameters will vary as the pedal reacts progressively to your dynamics. THRESH, or the amount of signal needed to trigger compression, can be adjusted independently of the make-up gain. This makes it a simple task to compensate for differing instruments, and signal-chain placements. An extremely useful option included in the sidechain is the CONTOUR knob which controls an A-weighted equal loudness filter implementation derived from IEC 61672:2003 and ISO 226:2003. This emulates the way people hear the relative loudness of different frequencies, and gives the Ixion a unbelievably deep bottomless bass response. Compared to simpler high-pass filters in many compressors, you’ll find the filter here to feel quite different, bassists in particular will rejoice at the ease of maintaining low-end integrity. Finally, the sidechain itself may be accessed on its own, for experimental swelling, and bizarre ducking tones. The sidechain jack is configured as RING-SEND, and TIP-RETURN, opening up very interesting possibilities such as using an expression pedal to control compression, putting other pedals into the sidechain, or even triggering compression remotely with a completely different audio source.


The magic of an optical compressor lies in its photocell, which has a gradual and predictable release curve, with a rapid initial release and a smooth full release. It also exhibits memory, meaning its release time depends on the intensity and duration of light exposure. To fully appreciate the benefits, experience it for yourself.  


The signal path of the Ixion is carefully constructed using only discrete components. To compliment the tremendous bass of the Ixion, a treble-focused tone control has been included, which is neutral when centered, treble-boosted when clockwise, and rolled off when counterclockwise. The MIX control is also quite integral to balance the right amount of natural tone and dynamic feel, and for parallel compression techniques that have become so prevalent. The capability to run at higher voltages, offers greater headroom for active instruments, or post drive signal chain placement. The range of control has been carefully curated to allow a diverse array of compression, and tone shaping while being quick and intuitive to use. All aspects of the Ixion have been lovingly crafted to produce a big, fat, juicy tone that you’ll never want to bypass.

  • Completely original discrete analog design
  • Smooth and low distortion optical gain-reduction element
  • Mix control for parallel compression
  • Sounds great on bass
  • Treble-centric tone control for warm/neutral/bright tones
  • Optional 18V operation for higher headroom
  • Unique equal loudness filter to control the frequency response of the compression
  • Externally accessible sidechain input with multiple routing options
  • Compression LED indicator
  • True-bypass

Hand-wired and built in Portland, Oregon, the Ixion features true-bypass relay switching with a soft-touch footswitch. On top of the cast-aluminum enclosure sits a durable, engraved vinyl faceplate and jewel indicator light This pedal is built to last a lifetime, both on Earth or in the vacuum of space.


Width: 3.68 inches / 93.5 mm

Depth: 4.73 inches / 120 mm

Height: 2.25 inches / 57 mm

Weight: 2.25 inches / 57 mm ounces

Input Resistance: 500K Ohm

Bypass Current Draw: 14mA

Engaged Current Draw: 32mA

Sidechain: Tip-Return / Ring-Send / Sleeve-GND

Input Voltage: 9-18V DC, negative center via the 2.1mm jack




3.68 inches / 93.5 mm


4.73 inches / 120 mm


2.25 inches / 57 mm


2.25 inches / 57 mm ounces

Input Resistance:

500K Ohm

Bypass Current Draw:


Engaged Current Draw:



Tip-Return / Ring-Send / Sleeve-GND

Input Voltage:

9-18V DC, negative center via the 2.1mm jack


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