ZAP GUITAR - 2004

Gear Review - Maxon OD-9 Overdrive Pedal

Although Maxon may not be a household name for the average guitarist, they have been a major contributor to killer tone since the 60's. Recently, they have shown just how invested they are in the future with a number of major updates to some of their classic products. The Maxon OD-9 Overdrive is an example.The OD-9 is based, essentially, on the circuitry of the Ibanez TS808 Tubescreamer. It is important to note that Maxon was responsible for the design and the manufacture of the legendary TS808 and many other products for Ibanez up until early 2002. With that said, let me assure you, this isn't just another knock-off... it's the real deal.When run between a single-coil equipped guitar and a good tube amplifier, the OD-9 will make you salivate. It had plenty of balls and punch in the low-end and midrange, with a smooth and creamy overdrive in the upper registers. It didn't seem to have any preference for single-coil pickups or humbuckers either. However, the hotter output of humbuckers yielded slightly more gain. It doesn't matter what you're running through the OD-9, the natural characteristics of your guitar will still shine through.Improving on the TS-808, the OD-9 is now equipped with a 4PDT footswitch for mechanical true-bypass switching. In addition, the values of the two output resistors were increased in order to reduce noise created by static electricity buildup. This change produces no audible difference in the pedal's performance, other than less unwanted noise. The OD-9 also offers slightly more overdrive than its predecessor.The Maxon OD-9 is the best transistor-based overdrive pedal I've come across to date and the winner of our "Editor's Pick" award.All Maxon products come with a limited 3-year warranty.
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