Extensive compressor reviews and FAQ

Ibanez BP5: This is an old and very cheap pedal from Ibanez. It's from the "Soundtank" series, which Ibanez produced after Maxon stopped making pedals for them. Some early Soundtanks had a metal housing, but most (including this model) are all-plastic. Short version of this review: the sound is quite good, the construction is quite bad.
 
The circuit is similar to the Dynacomp/Ross/Keeley, etc. but this one actually has a very deep and full-sounding low end. The highs are not rolled off noticeably. It uses a different OTA chip (BA6110) than most others, for the gain control, and even though that's not a great chip I like the results here--very smooth and natural action. It is noisy though, just like its cousins. If you keep the "sustain" knob down around 9:00, the noise is actually not bad at all, and the compression action is useful and pleasant; but the effect there will not be so strong. To get much sustain or limiting you have to get into the very noisy range of the sustain control.
 
The construction of this pedal is super-cheap; it's actually a lot like the all-plastic Behringer pedals, with flimsy pot shafts and a flaky footswitch that could break or fail easily. You could re-house the circuitboard into a boutique-style metal box with metal pots, jacks, and a good bypass switch, but it would probably not be worth the trouble.
 
According to Dirk Hendrick, the CP9, CPL, CP5, and CP10 are all very similar to each other internally; and swapping capacitor "C12" from 1nF to 470pF will get you this bass version, the BP5.
 
If you get one of these pedals for free or very cheap, you will be pleasantly surprised by how very good it sounds (at low sustain settings). If you pay much for it, you will be disappointed by the junky plastic cheapness of the construction. The footswitch is not "true bypass", and it loses a bit of the highs when bypassed.
 
Price in USD: used $20, no longer available new.
 

 

 
 
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