1982 Ibanez CP9 Compressor/Limiter

Model Description:

The Ibanez CP9 Compressor/Limiter is one of the ‘9’ series effects, manufactured in Japan by partner company Maxon between 1981 and 1984. The CP9 was introduced to replace the Ibanez CP‑835 Compressor II, which had the familiar square footswitch of the earlier ‘0’ series pedals. In the early 1980s, the CP9 was up against stiff competition from the likes of the MXR Dyna Comp and the BOSS CS‑1. The CP9, however, got a boost to its reputation because of its association with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Compressors are often not the most obvious effect pedals to choose because they are relatively subtle and don’t have the more in‑your‑face impact of other effects. At its most basic, a compressor gives a more studio‑like ‘produced’ sound by cutting the peaks and boosting the troughs of a signal. The result seems to smooth out the dynamics of a signal and gives the impression of longer sustain. Quite often, it is one of those effects that is best left on, as the difference really becomes most apparent when the effect is switched off. Although the CP9 has not yet been reissued by Ibanez, original CP9s are relatively common but have become increasingly collectable and therefore pricier on the vintage effect market.

Pedal Description:

Here we have a near‑mint 1982 Ibanez CP9 Compressor/Limiter, complete with its original box and instruction manual. The latter make no difference to use or the sound but are nevertheless nice to have. This particular example is in amazingly good condition with only a few tiny surface marks to indicate that it isn’t actually brand new. All the features of the original pedal are intact, including the black ‘Made in Japan’ label on the baseplate and the Maxon‑branded battery cover. Even the often‑replaced battery clip is present and correct. In operation the all‑analogue CP9 is quieter and more refined than the benchmark MXR Dyna Comp. It is also more flexible with its separate controls for ‘Attack Time’ and ‘Threshold’, in addition to the common output ‘Level’ knob, which can also be used to boost a signal without affecting tone. Sound wise, this Ibanez is excellent with a lovely blooming clean sustain. It doesn’t necessarily clip the attack in the same way as some more extreme compressors do although it does have that smooth, studio‑like sound that makes a good stomp box compressor stand out from the crowd. The CP9, like its peers, is probably one of those pedals you set and forget – leave it on and just play. Its effect is both effective and subtle. It is easy to understand why David Gilmour had a preference for the CP9 to help achieve his signature sound. If you are after a prime vintage example of the breed, you can’t get much better than this. Shush, can you hear something?


  • Made in Japan by Maxon in 1982
  • The ‘Attack Time’ knob controls the speed at which the envelope responds to the input signal
  • The ‘Threshold’ 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 treadle 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, bag and instruction manual
  • Dimensions: 74mm (w) x 124mm (d) x 53mm (h)
  • Weight: 570g

Detail Gallery:

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