NPD: Maxon VOP9 - Another green pedal...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, May 14, 2021.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    Ok, so I don't get too razzed about yet another pedal, I think I am "pedal neutral" on this (like carbon neutral, but with pedals) as I just sold an older Nobels ODR-1 to allow this into the fold. End result: Pedal neutral, cash positive - #winning

    What do I like:

    - Supposed to be smaller footprint version of the Maxon OD820, which gets very high marks.
    - additional low end, but not muddy. Maybe along lines of Full drive, but not sure as I haven't compared - I'm sure someone whose read the schematics could chime in and say.
    - Less mid-humpy than the typical TS, but still has that mid-range honk.
    - Brighter LED than a TS9 - you can actually tell it is on!!
    - 9v setting has a nice bite to it - more reminiscent of my Ibanez Super Tube STL (Master/L Series, 1985) than a regular TS-9 and I like that a lot.
    - Aggressive at 9v, more so than a TS but perhaps not as much as say a Jet Driver or the Maxon ST9 Pro+

    What I don't like:

    - 18v has a soft edge to it, not like the bite with 9v setting - surprised me a bit - does not cut as well. I thought 18v would add clarity, but it seems to take it away, soften it (I checked the manual to verify switch position.)
    - Pea green paint choice - prefer the color of the OD9 Pro+ much more.

    Included a video down below comparing the Maxon pedals - helped me decide on this vs the OD9 Pro+ for a TS-style pedal - it is totally splitting hairs. I like the fuller low end on this one.

    DC5C5A0B-242D-47AF-9CDD-37CE52EAF690.jpeg


     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  2. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Congrats! Happy NPD.
     
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  3. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

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    Enjoy! I'm sure you'll figure out exactly what you want from it. I have the Maxon DB10, its only the volume section of the Maxon 808, great pedal. I use it any time I have space for extra power supplies on my surge protector.
     
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  4. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    Congrats on the pedal. Hope you love it.
     
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  5. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks. I believe it has its place.

    Thanks, I actually like it a lot.

    Now that my OCD OCD has been cured <cough, cough> I have switched focus for the time being to my love/hate of tube screamers. I wanted a green machine on the board / in the stable and have been experimenting with various versions. I am not as enamored by the TS as I was by the OCD stuff, but I wanted to give a few pedals a good run.

    Xotic Soul Driven - most open, most full sounding of what I have that can do TS type of sound - the midrange bump can be hardly noticeable using its mids control, but compared to something like an OCD or the ODR-1 (which I have since parted ways with and use an OCD v1.2 for that sound), the Soul Driven has got a bit of honk. I like this pedal to provide sparkle and edge to and otherwise slightly dark Sheraton II while keeping the mids tamed. It replaced a JRocket BlueNote, Zendrive, and other similar pedals that have come and gone. Probably on the board the longest of anything thus far. The mids control helps me dial it in where I like it.

    Ibanez STL Super Tube (c.1985) - my most tube screamery tube screamer pedal and the sound I love to hate, but I liked this better than any other pedigree tube screamer I have tried. I wanted a "purist" sample in the fold and this one does it for me, but its a bit gainier than the typical TS9. The STL and Soul Driven are at opposite ends of the TS spectrum in both honkiness and fullness, although the mids on the Soul Driven, as mentioned, can be dialed up to taste.

    Fulltone Robin Trower Overdrive (RTO) - This one is somewhere in the middle of both honkiness and fullness. I'd call it a slightly more gainy FD2, but that isn't entirely accurate I think. Of the pedals I am comparing here, this one is closest to the VOP-9 in sound, but a bit nicer and smoother, more polished of a sound.

    Ibanez VOP-9 - In the honeymoon period, but probably my favorite sounding TS-style pedal I have at the moment (not planning on buying anymore, unless I find a TS-9 on the cheap or something, just as reference.) It is not as "nice" as the RTO and sounds a bit more vintage/rough in its breakup and has a bit more fullness to it than any other pedal except the Soul Driven. Very "ballsy" as the video above mentioned about it. Its got a biting edge like the STL but the lower mids are there and also getting a bit clipped I think - ballsy is very accurate.


    They all sound good and have a place i think, but if I had to let go of anything in the herd as a mental exercise, it would be the STL - the thinnest sounding of them all but also the most TS-like among them. Very consistent with my love/hate with TS's over the years. An 808 in to '59 Bassman LTD on around 6 was a religious experience - I can't run my CaliTweed at that volume where I am currently at, but in a few months, I'll be in a house with a sound-proofed music room that I will be able to properly open things up and revisit with a properly cooking amp.

    As always, hope my madness is helpful to others...
     
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  6. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    I got a chance to compare the VOP-9 to a recent (2018'ish) TS 808. I assume the 808 was stock but apart from slight differences on where to set the dials between the two - they were nearly identical in sound. That really surprised me. The 808 may have rolled off a hair more low end than the VOP-9 but nearly indistinguishable apart from that. I had a 40th Anniversary 808 for a time, the ruby one, and I don't remember it being THAT full sounding - I think I would have kept it, if it had been.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
     
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Supposedly, the VOP-9 is the compact version of the OD-820.

    In a nutshell, the design is supposed to combine elements of a TS and a Klon. You've basically got the drive/clipping circuitry of a TS along with its tone circuitry, but the gain circuit has been altered to be like what you have with a Klon, where you're mixing the clipped with the clean signal paths.

    The clipping circuitry of the Klon is 9VDC, with subsequent non-clipping stages running at 18VDC. So since the VOP-9 switches everything to 18VDC, and it uses soft clipping as opposed to hard clipping, that's probably why it sounds like it 'loses the bite'.
     
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  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! Enjoy.
    I am not pedal neutral, I am pedal positive.
     
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  9. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the Maxon Soft Distortion / OD880. It has a more classic dirt sound, like the MXR+/DOD250.
     
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  10. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

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    That's what I have. I love it. It is like the MXR Distortion+ and DOD Preamp 250-- even uses the old-school LM741 Op-Amps-- but housed in a built-like-a-tank Maxon "Nine" series enclosure. Best of all worlds! :D
     
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