Maxon CP101 Compressor Pedal


86 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

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Maxon CP101 Compressor Pedal

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).


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

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.

This pedal 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.