Getting a good overdrive sound with enough sustain for soloing was by no means straightforward. Carrying a Tube Screamer to gigs ensured they could dial in a usable tone with pretty much any amplifier. For most players, the Tube Screamer is closely associated with Stevie Ray Vaughan and he used most versions of it. Both originals had buffers on the input and output that remained in the signal path whether the pedal was on or off.
This is also a popular mod for original units. This is the only difference between the TS9 and the more collectable TS While the Maxon OD-9 is true bypass, the input and output buffers are retained. So it has a vintage-correct circuit, but the buffers are only in the signal path when the pedal is switched on. The OD has the traditional buffers, however Maxon has deviated from the formula by changing the two output resistors to reduce noise levels.
The other area of interest is the op-amp. Pedal geeks can get pretty fussy about chips and the original JRC has acquired a certain mystique. In Use We pit the Maxons against a much-loved early s Ibanez TS9, with the pedals placed in true bypass loops to prevent the buffers from muddying the waters, running from the same power supply and into the same amp. Compared to the original TS9, the OD-9 generates higher output and a tad more gain.
For the purposes of this review we compared the Maxons to a vintage early s Ibanez TS9. The OD is much closer to the old TS9 and by matching control settings they can sound virtually identical. With both Maxons, as you turn up the tone control, you get that familiar sound of it getting brighter but not necessarily clearer. Compression increases along with the drive, and above a certain point, the increase in compression is more noticeable than any increase in overdrive.
When used with an overdriven amp, dialling back the gain and raising the output level reminds us that the TS is one of the sweetest boosts in the business. So what does that mean in a practical context? The prevailing climate of the late s should be considered when discussing the supposed shortcomings of original and reissue Tube Screamers — namely the bass and treble roll off, midrange hump, compression and lack of true bypass.
Also remember that most three-band tone circuits scoop the mids by default, so the mid hump does a fine job of filling out the sound. You might even say that they provide many of the things that mid-sized tweed amps do by default. Having played a Tube Screamer for over 20 years, this reviewer felt right at home with both of these Maxon pedals.
If you want dead on classic tone, and can live without the classic looks, the OD is the one for you. If you like the idea of a clearer and more refined take on this classic overdrive, with the potential added benefit of true bypass switching, go for the OD Gene Simmons defends Mike Tyson for punching a heckler on flight. Points can be earned and used online, in store or over the phone: earn and use points however you choose to shop!
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Originally released in , the Maxon OD was one of the first tube-amp overdrive simulators to hit the market. Its smooth, creamy crunch tone caught on. This is a great sounding low- to medium- gain overdrive with a usable range of sounds accessible via the tone knob. This is obvious, I think, from the myriad. The Maxon OD Overdrive - Provides the natural, mild overdrive of a tube amp without sacrificing your guitar's original tone.