GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE ­ April, 2000

SOUNDCHECK ­ "Tone Travelers ­ Maxon Reissue Series Effects Pedals" By Dominic Hilton

Just when it seems like every stompbox known to mankind has been reissued, another long-lost electronics maker from the solid-state Seventies time warps into the present. Fresh out of the transporter pod this month are these four funky reissues from Maxon. Each pedal in the series faithfully recreates the analog experience of the originals and features rugged metal casings, chunky controls, an LED power indicator and an AC adapter socket.

Like the original unit, the OD808 Overdrive uses a JRC4558 chip to produce its smooth, overdrive tones. The sounds on tap range from silky translucent drives to excited harmonic wails. The tone control can mellow things out or add a snarling edge for an even wider range of overdrives. This device is perfect if you dig the sound of your amp but wish it could go up to 11.

The D&S Distortion & Sustainer employs an all-transistor circuit to stack up the dirt. While the unit has more gain on tap than the OD808, it retains the clarity displayed by that unit. Whether used alone or in conjunction with a driven amp, the D&S's tone never gets thin and ratty. Lead playing uncovers the pedal's generous sustain, and the tone control is also effective across its entire travel, delivering thick tubular tones when cranked to the left, warm drives in the center of its sweep and gnarly, sizzling fuzz when turned full right. This is an exceptionally flexible unit, loaded with both modern and vintage attitude.

The AD80 Analog Delay is highly adept at creating the warm, eccentric delays of yore. Capable of delivering from 10 to 300 milliseconds of delay, the AD80 can produce short reverbs, slapbacks and cascading repeats, all with the fluttery echo that makes vintage delays so sought after. This US version has been tweaked to produce self-oscillation at higher feedback settings, allowing it to recreate those classic psychedelic, wall-of-noise effects. The AD80's dry output allows the unit to operate in stereo for extra sonic real estate.

The PT999 Phase Tone, with its single rate control, is simplicity itself. Delivering thick, luscious phasing ranging from slow cycles to fast aquatic shimmers, the PT999 captures the soul of this vintage effect. Lovers of early Van Halen tone in particular will find the PT999 indispensable.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If digital patches are leaving you cold, try pumping your axe through a couple of Maxon's reissues. They're just the thing to put some hair on your tone.

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