Boss CP-1X Compressor

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Boss CP-1X Compressor Review

The CP-1X is a new kind of guitar multiband compressor that preserves the sound and technique of your instrument for unlimited musical creativity, powered by BOSS’ MDP technology. Intelligent processing, like complex stompbox compressors, analyses your signal in many dimensions while you play, giving sophisticated dynamics management that never colors or muddy your tone. The easy-to-use four-knob interface makes it simple to dial in complex results, and the handy gain reduction display constantly displays how much compression is being applied. The CP-1X is designed to deliver next-generation performance for all types of guitars and delivers better performance than previous models.

Features Boss CP-1X

  • BOSS’ advanced MDP technology is used in the next-generation guitar compressor.
  • The processor anticipates and responds to fluctuations in each register and playing technique, producing natural compression with remarkable clarity.
  • Multiple interlocking parameters, accessible via simple stompbox controls, give sophisticated under-the-hood processing.
  • The current compression amount is shown on the gain reduction indicator.
  • Noise is a common issue with conventional compressors, and digital circuitry fixes it.
  • The sound is clean and crisp thanks to professional 18-volt input electronics.
  • Works with seven- and eight-string guitars, as well as acoustic electrics, and can accommodate any sort of guitar.
Boss is a brand that knows how to create quality musical instruments. One of their latest entries into the world of guitar compressors is the CP-1X. In this video, we are going to take a look at this amazing instrument and see how it can help you in your music production. We will discuss its features, how to use it, and some tips on how to get the most out of it. Don’t miss out – subscribe now so that you don’t miss any future videos!
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Benefits Boss CP-1X Compressor

I am very impressed with this compressor. It sounds fantastic with humbuckers, the compression is very clear and even across all frequencies. I like that it boosts and gives clear reading for amount of gain reduction applied to your attack, it is very easy to dial in. I used an SP comp for years, it was excellent as well but did darken my PRS slightly more than the CP-1x, and it was a mini pedal, I much prefer the boss pedal size and foot switch.

  • This pedal is just great, totally transparent and does its job, which is to bring out all the harmonics and sustain of my guitar.
  • Very musical sounding, and easy to dial in different kinds of compression, to match your musical style.
  • Super quiet, easy to dial in, can be as transparent or as squashed as you want.
  • The key feature this compressor has that others do not is multi-band compression.
  • No thrills, No Frills, No Effects —- just good clean compression that will make every thing you play sound better all while you say this thing isn’t doing anything — except make everything sound better.

I’ve got the CS-3 Boss Compressor which I use a lot, especially on vintage pickups., but after getting the 1X overdrive I was impress so I wanted to A/B and get this one. Results: I use it the most, lots of strong range, better treble response, solid base response. The older CS-3 is more rounded sounding. There are times when I like that but most of the time I am draw to the newer Boss revision. If I get bored I’ll take the time to make a video that few people will watch, for now, just rest assured, You won’t be disappointed. It also has a compression indicator that I like very much. All thumbs and toes up on this one.

I was skeptical at first with it being a digital compressor and I’ve never been a fan of compressor pedals to begin with. In comparison with others there’s hardly any noise and it gets along with lower gain pedals quite well. The other interesting attribute of the pedal is when engaged your tone remains transparent . It’s not a pedal for that squish sound. In comparison to my modded cp3 the sound on this unit is way better. Love it!

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Conclusion

There’s no need to add “for the money,” because it stands up in much loftier company – but the Boss-fair price makes it especially sweet. I’ve moved away from Boss in recent years in favor of geekier, tweakier, boutiquier (and mostly spendier) stuff. The perennial practical Boss pedal housing has even come to look quaint and “low-end” to me. So imagine my surprise when I ordered this on a whim, half in response to positive reviews, and half from plain curiosity about what Boss is up to these days – and find myself proud of that familiar form factor again.

Boss could have established a secret identity for this pedal, put it in the un-Bossiest generic Hammond case they could find, and doubled the asking price. No one would ever have guessed. It’s just that good. I read endless bickering in forums about whether this is really a “multi-band” compressor, since the user can’t adjust the crossover points or individual band parameters. Those are silly discussions, akin to saying a smoothly shifting automatic transmission isn’t really a transmission because you can’t choose when to shift. Ah yes, says the purist, but a skilled driver gets better performance from a standard than an automatic. That’s mostly no longer true – plenty of racers have gone auto – but even if so, 99% of us can go faster, more consistently and more comfortably, with an automatic.

With a fully adjustable multi-band comp, there are more ways to make it sound bad than good. You REALLY have to know what you’re doing, and it has to be tweaked for every application. Boss has used smart digital voodoo to do that expert work for us. From my understanding, its little brain is constantly making dynamic adjustments to crossover points and compression parameters, on the fly, in response to the changing input signal. However it is this pedal “decides” how to do that, it just works. You can’t make it sound bad. It’s not enough to say all the under-the-hood adjustments happen “fast and smoothly” – you just don’t hear them at ALL. At any ratio or threshold, you never hear any smeared frequencies. I’ve been unable to force this thing to produce any stuttering release artifacts or transient distortion. It sounds good at any setting from subtle to extreme. Whether or not you happen to have dialed in the ideal compression for the task at hand (and even/especially when it’s so subtle you can’t even HEAR any compression), you A-B the pedal in and out of the signal chain, and your instrument sounds better when being Bossed.

Your tone is cleaner, more articulate, tighter, more present. Highs are never skewed – nor too strident. Midrange is dramatically more detailed and composed. Every compressor, even the most “transparent,” has some characteristic personality. This one’s comes in the low end – and this is as close as this review will come to a criticism. The CP-1X seems to tighten the bass, maybe more than you might want in some situations when dialing in a multi band. Usually it’s fine, especially in a mix or blend – you probably WANT to clean up muddy low end. But it seems to want to control bloom or flab down there. You really only hear it when critically A-B-ing your clean sound with and without – and you can certainly compensate with a bit of eq down the line. A deluxe version might have a “low compensation” knob. But this is the only nit I could find to pick, and it doesn’t peel off even the idea of a fraction of a star from my rating.

For the record, I’m comparing the Boss to a slew of compressors: Barber Tone Press, Pigtronix Philosopher’s Tone, Jangle Box, Aphex Punch Factory, Maxon CP9 Pro+, Keeley Comp Pro, Empress, Wampler Ego, Xotic SP, Diamond, Origin Cali76, MXR Studio Compressor, Joe Meek rack optical, FMR Pretty Nice, and a couple rack multi-bands. (Of higher-end stomp comps, I haven’t tried – but am curious about – the Pettyjohn Crush, Bondi 2016, and FEA offerings.) This Boss is the equal of any of those I’ve owned, and better than most for most purposes. With the possible exception of the Origin, they ALL have shortcomings the Boss avoids – usually audible artifacts/pumping or stuttering at extreme settings and/or frequency smearing. They can all be dialed in to sound great, and most have some endearing personality which compels me to keep them – but I simply CAN’T make the Boss sound less than great. For pure luxury and rich smooth warmth of tone I’ll keep the Origin.

Boss CP-1X Compressor
Image credit: boss.info

I love the Diamond’s fatness, the Xotic’s compact simplicity and characteristic classic Rossiness. It fascinates me that MXR has gotten so close to the California rack comp tone in their little blue box, at half the price of even the Origin, so that stays (for now). The Maxon, Jangle Box, Pigtronix, Tone Press, and Keeley Pro (with a host of lesser toys) are already gone, and the beloved Ego is listed. I keep the Empress because it DOES have all those knobs and is as flexible and adaptable as most rack comps. It’s also very transparent (and, as a consequence, devoid of personality). It can be tweaked to nearly any purpose – and it can be made to sound bad. I guess that makes it a “studio” compressor. The Boss, on the other hand, doesn’t give you all those parameters, and prevents you from getting your grubby greedy fat engineer I-know-best fingers all over its multi-band parameters. I guess that makes it NOT a studio compressor. It just SOUNDS like one. Every time. No matter how you twist the knobs. I hereby willingly admit that Boss’s engineers know more about compression than I do, and have built a transmission that far exceeds my shifting ability.

The chrome faceplate and knobs and the handsome (and useful) LED meter bar also dress up the classic Boss box, and provide the outward touch of class that enhances its inner wonder. I can’t imagine a guitarist who wouldn’t benefit from this compressor. The compression newbie simply can’t get it wrong, and the jaded over-pedalled squeeze junkie will be consistently amused, amazed, and delighted at how magically this thing works – while looking for a way to trip it up. At the price, it’s simply a no-brainer. If you’re only having one compressor, this is it. And if you think you’ve already heard and had everything? Until you’ve tried this, you haven’t.

9.5 Total Score

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