Maxon CP101 Compressor Review

Editor’s Rating
Rating

Maxon CP 101 Compressor Review

Summary

  • Pros: Clean, transparent tone, a very low noise floor and pretty easy to use. Once you’ve set it up right you can get a beautiful tone.
  • Cons: Fixed ratio of 4:1, perhaps a little subtle for some, and the sound quality and noise level don’t quite match the quality of more high-end options.
  • Overall: A great pedal, overall, serving its function as a “compressor for players who don’t like compressors” very nicely.

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Full Review

Compressors have a simple job, but as they get it done they have a habit of getting their own stink on your tone and impacting on your attack. These side effects of the basic volume-normalizing function of the compressor are both why we love compressors and why a lot of people don’t give them much of a chance. The Maxon CP101 is billed as the “compressor for players who don’t like compressors,” but does it really get the job done even for those who’d otherwise not bother with compression?

The Maxon CP101 definitely has simplicity in design going for it, stompbox-sized with a metallic footswitch to activate the effect and two dials to control the sustain and level. The CP101 uses an optical attenuator with a cadmium-sulfur photocoupler, generally leading to the low noise floor on the pedal (you can get less noisy compressors, but this is right up there with most of the competition). While the pedal may not be “true” bypass, your signal comes through relatively unscathed when the pedal is off.

Your resulting tone during compression is genuinely true to your original sound, with a fairly realistic attack too, with both the highs and lows coming through pretty well. The highs could be a little brighter, and the lows can roll off a little when the “Sustain” control isn’t set to the optimum level, but overall you’ll be happy with the sound as long as you’re willing to spend time getting your settings right.

The compression ratio is fixed at 4:1, which is fairly light compression and won’t be much good for establishing firm limits on your volume. It would be nice to be able to adjust this, like on the MXR Dyna Comp, but for players only looking for a reasonably subtle effect on their volume levels the CP101 could be the ideal option.

So if transparency of tone and a low noise floor are important to you, the Maxon CP101 could be your ideal compressor, although the compression is fairly light and you might have to do some tweaking to get the best sound depending on your instrument.

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Maxon CP101 Demo

Maxon CP101 Compressor Review4Peter2016-03-30 04:03:22Compressors have a simple job, but as they get it done they have a habit of getting their own stink on your tone and impacting on your attack. These side effects of the basic volume-normalizing function of the compressor are both why we love compressors and why a lot of people don’t give them much of a chance. The Maxon CP101 is billed as the “compressor for players who don’t like compressors,” but does it really get the job done even for those who’d otherwise not bother with compression?Continue reading Check Prices

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