Real Tube II Series Effects Pedals

maxon real tube ii series guitar effects pedalsAfter more than 20 years of loyal service, Maxon is retiring their Real Tube Series models RCP660, ROD880 and ROD881. The RTC600 Real Tube Compressor, RTO700 Real Tube Overdrive and RTD800 Real Tube Overdrive/Distortion feature leading-edge analog technology that couples the sonic benefits of vacuum tubes with the convenience of a compact floor effect. Each Real Tube model combines studio-grade sound quality and road-worthy construction to recreate stunningly realistic tones that rival the most expensive tube gear. When only the real thing will do, the Maxon Real Tube II Series is the only choice.

RTC600 Real Tube Compressor Pedal


More Info

The RTC600 is like taking the finest studio-grade tube compressors and “squeezing” them all down into a single stompbox.

The RTC600 starts out with the same patented DBX compression circuit used in Maxon’s popular CP-9 Pro+ pedal - this circuit provides a very smooth, transparent, almost “glassy” compression with very low noise floor, even at maximum settings.  Your guitar sounds like your guitar, only with compression added to smooth out the dynamics.

The RTC600’s dual-triode tube is positioned pre-compression, adding classic valve warmth to the signal without increasing noise levels.

With up to +30 dB of clean Gain, the RTC can be used as a clean booster or as an attenuator to clean up an already dirty amp.

The Addition of Attack and Release controls to the circuit allow for a wider variety of compression effects, including “Brick Wall” limiting and “Soft Knee” compression.

The RTC600 features an internal charge pump circuit that bumps the incoming voltage up to 25 volts, providing massive headroom and full-range frequency response.  The RTC600 can be used with any instrument and for a variety of applications – it can be sent into an amp’s front end, placed in an effects loop, or used as an outboard processor for home recordings.

The RTC600 features True Mechanical Bypass switching using a 3PDT switch.  The RTC600 comes complete with the Maxon AC2009 9-Volt power supply, an auto sensing digital power supply that can be used anywhere in the world.

For studio-quality compression in a compact Stompbox, the RTC600 is the only REAL choice.

Why Choose Maxon?

Rack tube compressors of this quality can cost thousands of dollars more than the RTC600.

Tech Talk

The RTC600 features a completely new and improved circuit from its predecessor, the RCP660.

5 controls adjust the compression effect –

Threshold: Variable, 0dB to -40dB
Output gain: Variable, 0dB to 30dB
Compression Ratio: 1:1 to 1:Infinity
Attack time (for 20dB gain increase): Variable, 20mSec to 600mSec
Release time (for 20dB gain decrease): Variable, 140mSec to 700msec

A Gain reduction LED lights when the reduction is 4dB or more.

The RTC features an In-Rush Current Control system - As soon as power is applied to the pedal, a small current is applied to the tube and begins heating it at a very low voltage (much like a tube amp standby switch).  This system dramatically extends the tube life.  Once the pedal is engaged, 12.6 VDC is applied to the tube heater.

The RTC600 features mechanical true bypass switching via a Fujisoku 4PDT switch.

NOTE ON POWERING THE RTC600 - this pedal’s voltage regulator IC requires a high inrush current of approximately 2000 mA upon startup.  When using with a Power Brick such as the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2+, this pedal should be connected to a high current power jack when possible.  

Mods & Mends

Tube Sub


rtc600 video 01

Brett Kingman

Maxon RTC600 Comp/Limiter - Telecaster to HIWATT SA112
rtc600 video 02

Brett Kingman

Maxon: RTC600 Comp/Limiter and RTD800 OD/Dist together.
rtc600 video 03

Sound Check Sessions

Video Review and Demo
rtc600 video 04

Premier Guitar

NAMM '11 - Maxon Effects Real Tube
Tone Talk Episode 9


Differences Between the Maxon Compressors
rtc600 video 06


Pimpin' Pedals



Input Impedance: 500K Ohms Output Impedance: 10K Ohms Output Jack: 1/4 inch standard phone jack Max Output Level: +20dBu (at 1 kHz) Residual Noise: -94dBu or less (Input shorted, IHF-A weighted) T.H.D. +N: 0.02% or less (at 1 kHz, -10dBu output) Controls:
THRESHOLD 0dBu to -40dBu
RATIO 1:1 to infinity: 1
GAIN 0dB to +30dB
ATTACK (for 20dB gain decrease) 20mSec to 600mSec
RELEASE (for 20dB gain increase) 140mSec to 700mSec
Switch: BYPASS/EFFECT (Mechanical True Bypass using 3PDT switch) I/O: INPUT JACK, OUTPUT JACK, DC INPUT JACK Indicator: BYPASS/EFFECT LED REDUCTION LED (When REDUCTION LED lights, compression is more than 4dB.) Internal Circuit Voltage: 25 VDC (±12.5V) (DC to DC Converter) Power Consumption: 240mA/9VDC Dimensions: 121 (W) × 152(D) × 60 (H) mm / 4.8” (W) x 6” (D) x 2.4” (H) Weight: Approx. 580g / 1.3 Lbs. (without AC adaptor) Power Supply: AC adaptor AC2009 Accessory: AC adaptor AC2009 * 0dBu=0.775Vrm
* All specifications are subject to change for improvement without notice or obligation.
All brand names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
  • Studio-Grade Compressor with real Vacuum Tube
  • Variable 1:1 - 1:∞ compression Ratio
  • Capable of “Brick Wall” and “Soft Knee” compression
  • Variable compression Attack and Release times
  • Up to +30 dB of Gain for maximum headroom
  • Heater In-rush current control warms tube upon power-up
  • True Bypass Switching


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Norman Rivers commented on 07-Sep-2014 08:22 PM5 out of 5 stars
This compressor does everything just right. Very clear sounding even at max compression with no distortion or noise. Slight pumping of the signal a max compression but if you back it down a bit it goes away. Really performs well in a live situation and can slice thru the mix like butter with so much gain available. I am very happy with this purchase and the RTD800.
RTC600 Real Tube Compressor Pedal
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