In this review, we are taking a good look at the Boss CP-1X, which is no ordinary compressor pedal. The reason it feels so special – aside from the futuristic design – is that it utilizes Boss's proprietary Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP) technology, which truly takes it to the next level. How does it compare to other popular compressor pedals? Let's find out!
The biggest talking point here is Boss's Multi-Dimensional Processing technology, so let's start by discussing exactly what that means. In short, MDP analyzes multiple aspects of the incoming signal in real-time, before suitably optimizing the processing for the source.
By analyzing aspects of the signal (including playing techniques like single notes or chords) in such a detailed way, the pedal delivers compression that doesn't kill the character in your tone. It's very clever and something we can certainly get behind!
While this smart tech is the heart of this pedal, there are a few other cool features to look at. Firstly, the addition of the 16-LED gain reduction meter – a very nice touch for visual feedback on the level of compression. Secondly, ramping up the power supply from 9v to 18v provides plenty of headroom.
This is all stuffed into the familiar indestructible Boss pedal shape, with a cool metallic blue chassis and chrome control panel for some added bling.
For all of the complicated real-time calculations going on inside the CP-1X, it's actually incredibly simple on the outside. On the chrome panel, you’ll find just four knobs for level, attack, ratio, and compression.
However, considering the majority of pedals lack separate controls for both attack and ratio, this is actually very versatile. For example, altering the attack when playing a fingerpicking style is a cinch.
Build and controls aside, the most commendable thing about the CP-1X is just how far you can push it and still keep the natural quality of your tone intact.
Even when you max out the compression/ratio, you don't get that obvious gain-all-over-the-place feel that you do with many pedals. At any level, it feels smooth and natural, which is a credit to the MDP technology.
Using it in a subtler way is even more impressive for a slight natural sustain boost on pop, rock, and blues playing. As we already mentioned, adding more attack can be fantastic for picking and country style playing. In fact, it preserves so much tonal character, at times it's comparable to having no compression at all, while still maintaining the lengthy sustain guitarists crave.
There are very few compressor pedals that keep your natural tone intact at any setting – let alone adapt to your playing – so to have this level of performance at a reasonable price is worthy of applause. The MDP does some very complex things to keep your tone beautifully simple. Of course, your end tone will still be compressed, but, regardless of your style, the results are always very musical and dynamic. For that, it’s well worth the price tag.
For more info about the Boss CP-1X Compressor pedal, click here.
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