Maxon CP101 Compressor Pedal

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


  • Optical Compression
  • Parameters: Sustain, Level
  • Buffered Output
  • 9-Volt Battery and AC Adapter

Gearank Recommendation

The CP101 appeared on our recommended list for Guitar Compressor Pedals from July 2017 until April 2018 when it was out-ranked by higher rated options.


This pedal uses optical compression, where an LED diode produces light based on the power of the signal present and a photocell regulates output based on said light.

This type of compression has a slower attack than others, which makes it a good fit for someone looking for a subtle effect (as opposed to the highly compressed tone you hear in country music).

This pedal is a bit controversial, because while many musicians love its subtlety and transparency many find that it’s just not powerful enough to meet their needs. If you need compression to regulate your output levels to facilitate higher level techniques we would recommend skipping this compressor. If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for a slightly fatter tone and a bit more sustain you may find that this pedal works pretty well for your rig.

Hands On Reports

Website Source *Rating Value
Audiofanzine yoTrakkz 80/100
Audiofanzine Hotfirecaster 100/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm’s adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

The CP101 used to be on our recommended list, but there are now more highly rated options that we recommend in our guide to The Best Compressor Pedals.


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