NPD: Maxon AD9 Pro

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by MatchlessMan, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Meister

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    Following the demise of MXR Carbon Copy, I decided I couldn't live without a permanent replacement in the 'longish analog delay' slot in my pedalboard. I first bought and returned a Malekko 616 - not to my taste at all. Then this AD9 Pro came up on eBay, and nobody bid the starting price. It was re-listed for £20 less, and I was the winning bidder for just a few £££ more. Although a used item, it arrived boxed with manual etc, and the condition was as-new.

    This pedal is quite different from the original Ibanex AD9, which produced 300ms delay from a single MN3205 (I think). This one uses four of Maxon's proprietary chips, with a maximum delay time of 450ms. As such it can be thought of as half of an AD999 (which I also own). Like the AD999, it has an on-board voltage doubler, meaning the chips run with much greater headroom.

    It also features a switch to add in a tapping after the 3rd BBD chip (DUAL mode).

    [​IMG]

    Enough talk already, how does it sound? Less smokey than the CC and obviously no modulation, but in short: GREAT. Lovely smooth warm repeats that don't get in the way even when you crank the delay level - better in this respect than the CC. The SINGLE/DUAL switch turns out to be a worthwhile addition; above about 1 o'clock on the time control you get a nice dotted-eights sound, while at shorter settings the extra repeat creates a sort of room ambience.

    If you are interested in the contrast between the AD9 Pro and the Carbon Copy, check out this video:

     
  2. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice. Never played that one but I bet it sounds great. I think Maxon does analog delay repeats better than just about everybody else. My personal favorite is my old AD-900.

    Congrats, enjoy.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Great delay, the one I use the most for some reason.

    I have an AD80, Ibanez Delay Champ 10, AD900, and two AD 999Pros.
    I'm hooked on the taps, so the nice sounding AD80 and AD900 get ignored, and while the 999Pro maybe sounds a little better, it's bigger and needs the special power supply, so the 9Pro stays on.

    I think the crazed die hard 900 lovers debating two vs four chip kind of keep the 9Pro, 999, and 999Pro sales down, which helps the small builders sell more pedals with cute little pictures and cheaper chips.
    Not that the 900 isn't a killer delay, it just makes it harder for the average player without golden ears to figure out which Maxon isn't second best.

    That was an interesting comparison to the CC, I don't tend to identify the sound differences that well, just like it or love it or look for something else.

    Congrats on the good deal!
     
  4. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Meister

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    Thanks! I once briefly owned an AD999 Pro along with my non-Pro, but I found the tapped repeats too muddy to be much use. The AD9 Pro is the perfect compromise - more delay time than a single-MN3205-based pedal, and the dual delay does a great Where the Streets Have No Name!

    IIRC the AD900 needs a special power supply (12V?) but the AD999 and Pro version both work with any 9V supply with enough juice to keep them happy; in fact if you run them off a higher voltage, you risk popping the BBD chips!
     
  5. Johnnyseven

    Johnnyseven TDPRI Member

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    I have one of these too and agree that it sounds great. I prefer it for home use though as my band makes alot of noise and I find the repeats get lost - I prefer a long chip Boss DD3 in those situations.
     
  6. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    Higher voltage with the 900, yes, but also reverse polarity. Avid wall wart hater that I am, first thing I did was contact Maxon and inquire about an alternate power cable to work with a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power unit, which they adamantly advised against. Being hard headed, I then contacted Voodoo Lab and forwarded the pertinent specs for the 900, and they didn't see a problem. So I got the reverse polarity cable, flipped to max juice on the VL Pedal Power's outlet that the 900 was living in, and the pedal has operated successfully for many years now.

    I've never played a 999 but would like to. At 9V I understand that the headroom is different, but some folks prefer the slightly dirtier repeats of the 999 to those of the 900.
     
  7. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    I also have a Maxon AD-80 (reissue); nice sounding 9V 300 ms delay, but its input is susceptible to clipping when hit with a hot signal. I suspect that the AD9 Pro has better headroom (?).
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's been a few years and I'm not sure I even realized that the 999Pro was only 9v, but do recall that the dedicated power supply was kind of hyped by Maxon as being special and important.
    Mine says 9v and 2A, which is a lot of current, but I don't know how much current the pedal actually draws.
    Is anyone running a 999Pro off aftermarket power?

    Regarding the tapped repeats being more muddy, I use delay like reverb, so have a different expectation of the repeats, but could still probably go back for a comparison again.

    Are you saying you found the tapped repeats clearer on the 9Pro than on the 999Pro?

    I was using a Carl Martin Delayla with a single tap for some years, and the tapped Maxons seem way better sounding than that, plus the CM runs off wall voltage.
    I think I sold my Echoplex when I found the Delayla, but there were more reasons than sound.
    At the time I had actually preferred the AD80 over the EP, so my ear (or the EP) may be off.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I do hit the AD9Pro with a good amount of boost quite happily, and IIRC I didn't like to do that with the AD80.
     
  10. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

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    Congrats.
     
  11. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Meister

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    I've been playing some more with the AD9 Pro, and I have to say it sounds much nicer with drive sounds than the CC did. Also it doesn't mind being hit with a boosted signal - I'm putting this down to the extra headroom provided by the internal voltage-doubler.

    As long as these pedals get enough current at the right (smoothed) voltage and polarity, they don't care whose name is on the adaptor! The AD999 probably pulls about 200mA rather than 2A (though I haven't measured it), but at least with a high current spec adaptor you know that the voltage isn't going to sag. I use a GigRig Generator with a 5A capacity on my board. There are two GigRig Loopy2 switchers that need about 200mA each for their relays, but the other 8 pedals only take something like 10mA-20mA so there is plenty current still available.
     
  12. HotRolls

    HotRolls TDPRI Member

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    Hi y'all, I think is my second ever post here - haha, What can I say? I'm shy. Anyway, I have some experience with analog delays, and for a few years I have used nothing but Maxon. The AD9 Pro sounds great, but the learning curve for proper use of the switching on the Maxon 9 series is hard for me in a live setting.

    Now the Ad999 on the other hand, it's big and you can't miss it. Its tone is bright too! It's brighter than a Diamond MLJr, an analog voiced digital delay that works very well in a band mix. But the Maxons just sound perfect in a mix for both slapback and longer delays. You can basically set it any which way and it's going to add a welcome presence to your tone. Also, oh yes, it has huge headroom. I've run some serious gain through it and it always sounds great.

    Also, no disrespect to Matchless Man, but the Ad999 draws a mere 42 mA according to stinkfoot.

    Never tried an Ad900, which most people love over the AD999. But the Ad999 is dead simple and easy to power and oh so quiet in a recording situation, just don't ever take it apart-haha, there's a lot of components!

    Finally, I just had to try the Boss DM-2w and I put it against my Maxon AD10, the newer 600ms small guy, which basically sounds like an AD999 without the slight volume boost, and the Maxon performed better on all fronts, most importantly, it sounded better to me, brighter slapback, and on longer settings, much, much more natural sounding decay on the repeats.

    I guess my point is that the Maxon stuff just works. I know it's expensive, but in this case, I think you're paying for quality and if you can buy on the used market, it's a no-brainer, because only a few of them hold their value, the AD80 being a notable exception. Heck, a vintage Ibanez AD9, which is a Maxon with a MN3205 chip and sounds as good as any of them can be found on ebay for well under $150 all day long. It's no secret, but I get people always want to change it up. But in this case, I don't think you're going to find any analog delays (without modulation) that will out-perform the Maxon line.
     
  13. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Tele-Meister

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    No disrespect assumed! 200mA was just a guess. I'm aware of Stinkfoot, in fact I sent him some current draw figures a couple a few years back.
     
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