1981 Ibanez CP-835 Compressor II

Model Description:

Japanese electronics giant Ibanez were probably unaware of the impact that they would have in 1980‑1981 when it introduced the ‘0’ series pedals, manufactured by partner company, Maxon. Largely on the basis of the classic TS‑808 Tube Screamer, like it or not, the ‘0’ series effects have become a standard against which other similar pedals are judged. The CP‑835 Compressor II is one of the ‘0’ series, even though it strangely doesn’t have a ‘0’ in its designation. It does, however, share the same familiar square footswitch that defines the range. By 1982, Ibanez was already rationalising its portfolio and replacing the entire ‘0’ series effects with the ‘9’ series, including a newer version of the CP‑835 called the CP9, which has an additional ‘Attack’ control to help refine the effect further. Both models share a 40Db compression range to smooth out peaks and reinforce troughs in a signal to give a processed, studio‑like sound and greater sustain. For techies, the circuit board hosts the RCA CA3080E op amp. The CP‑835 and CP9 have become associated with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s distinctive playing and tones, giving these stomp boxes some artist credibility. Although there is a relatively plentiful supply of Compressor IIs, they are highly collectable. While they don’t command premium prices like the TS‑808, neither are they a budget vintage buy, especially for good quality examples.

Pedal Description:

This all‑original bright red 1981 Ibanez CP ‑835 Compressor II is in excellent condition and looks almost new. The enclosure shows barely any signs of use. It also comes with its original box and instruction manual, which is always a bonus for these older pedals. In addition, this CP‑835 has the features that effect collectors look for, including the ® above the ‘z’ in its logo, the black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the baseplate and the original Maxon battery compartment cover. Ibanez continually changed its specifications at the time and this one is apparently the 3rd incarnation of the CP‑835, which has the standard width box, a plain DC input jack and white level markers around the knobs. The simpler approach used by the CP‑835 makes it a great deal easier to dial in an effective, musical sustain, even though it doesn’t have quite the flexibility of control that the CP9 possesses. Personally, I prefer the back‑to‑basics approach, as used by the MXR Dyna Comp. Set the level and choose the amount of sustain, which at higher levels gives a lovely, lush bloom to the tone without it being too oppressive. It also gives a lovely sounding attack to picked notes. The Compressor II is one of those pedals that adds some ‘spit and polish’ effect on a signal, rather than mangling it into something else altogether. Many users swear by compact stomp box compressors as an always‑on tone enhancer to smooth out playing dynamics, to refine the sound, to boost a clean signal and to give an impression of increased sustain. Compressors work particularly well for guitar slide playing, although they are equally effective for many other styles. A compressor’s impact really only becomes apparent when it is switched off after playing through one for some time. The Ibanez CP ‑835 Compressor II is not one for the compulsive knob‑twiddlers out there, just a simple solution to sweet sonic smoothness.


  • Made in Japan by Maxon in 1981
  • The ‘Sustain’ knob controls the compression range and the length of the sustain
  • The ‘Level’ knob controls the volume of the compressed signal
  • Red LED indicator light to show when the effect is in use
  • Ibanez square FET Q‑1 footswitch turns the effect on and off
  • Standard ¼” mono input and output jack sockets
  • 9V DC power supply input or 9V battery
  • Black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the base of the pedal
  • Original ‘Maxon’ battery compartment cover
  • Complete with original box and instruction manual
  • Dimensions: 70mm (w) x 125mm (d) x 52mm (h)
  • Weight: 250g

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