Maxon SD9 Questions

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by gitapik, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm curious about this pedal. Love the tones that I hear coming from it but have some questions.

    I like to run my pedals into a very clean amp. I also like to have my dirt pedals at unity gain with my clean tones. AKA: I like my clean tones as a base for my playing.

    The demos I've seen that sounded best ran the SD9 into a dirty amp and had the level on the pedal set at least 3/4 of the way up if not dimed. Two of the players said that the higher level setting is crucial to the tone.

    So I'm wondering if this is the pedal for me. Sounds like it's more about an on all the time unit that you either use with your guitar's volume control or with a separate amp that's set for leads. But I'm not sure...
     
  2. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I use mine with a slight boost into a clean amp. I turn the tone control all the way down and then just a tiny bit up. I call it my "Classic Rock" pedal. It reminds me of a lot of '70's guitar tones.
     
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  3. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Thanks. Do you turn the level up all the way?
     
  4. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    In my rig, I felt that mine was at its best only when working as a true "super" "distortion" pedal. I get much better drive, overdrive, and somewhat distorted tones from other pedals, so that even though the Super Distortion can do this as well, it's just isn't as good, IMO. I used it for about a year as my basic OD/distortion, but finally let it go because unless I played it full on -- which I rarely need or do -- it just isn't best for me. There's a reason why the Tube Screamer is by far the go-to pedal, and the SD is not. It's great, but its application is more limited, IMO.
     
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  5. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I've got some great distortion and OD pedals. That's why I'm asking.

    I could use a dedicated full on distortion on my small board. Got the OD covered there.

    Got a boost on there to help out instead of a dirty amp, but it's a no go if the level has to be significantly above unity gain to get the most out of it.
     
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  6. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with jrblue regarding its lack of versatility. It definitely sounds best when used as a full-on distortion pedal. I don't have mine any more because it wasn't what I needed.

    But if you're looking for a full-on distortion pedal, then it's a good one.
     
  7. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No, I adjust it to be a little louder then when it's off.
     
  8. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    Isn't this pedal basically the same as a TS-9, or am I thinking of something else?
     
  9. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No. It's a "Sonic Distortion." Brighter, grittier then a Tube Screamer.
     
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  10. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a nice little assortment of $100 ODs (Liverpool, Copperhead, Drivetrain) so I usually use my SD9 for smooth (Santana) fuzz. When I'm just grabbing one pedal and heading out the door I'll take it as it does everything from a little grit to true distortion. It likes an amp turned up all the way but doesn't insist on it.
     
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  11. johnhe

    johnhe Tele-Meister

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    I think that if you want only reasonable output volume, and you like heavier overdrive tones, then the SD9 could be very good for you. The most famous user of the SD9 is Michael Landau, who uses his almost all the time live and into a clean amp. Landau’s tones using this pedal are absolute stunning - like a heavy, fuzzy overdrive.

    For myself, I was disappointed when I bought one. Unlike yourself, I use my overdrive pedals as “always on”, and I find that most of my pedals sound better running significantly above unity volume. This isn’t a problem in my setup, because I get my clean sounds exclusively by rolling my guitar’s volume back, but with the pedal still on.

    The problem for me was that I was very surprised by the lack of available volume on the SD9. I was looking for a volume and gain lift for solos, and the pedal simply didn’t have enough volume available for me. I assume this is quite a common remark, since the most common mod for this pedal (for example by Analogman) is to add in a clean boost to boost the output of the pedal. My understanding is that the new Geisha Drive by Way Huge is also based loosely on the SD9 and in one interview, George Tripps talked about the need to boost the volume on the original design.
     
  12. gitapik

    gitapik Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Well I took the plunge and got one. It’s on my small board along w a Timmy and KOT, compressor, and delay.

    I’ve changed my approach at the urging of a friend by hooking a volume pedal up after the dirt pedals. This way I can both use the guitar volume control or have unity gain w the volume pedal.

    I hear you about the maxed out SD9: it’s not as loud as my other pedals. So I turned the level down on those to about 3/4. Still sounds great. Volume pedal and boost on the KOT help there, too.

    As a distortion unit it’s great. There are heavier ones but I can get that by stacking it with the Timmy or KOT. It stacks very, very well. Big bonus!
     
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  13. Jammintree

    Jammintree TDPRI Member

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    I love that the sd9 is having a revival!
     
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