Maxon SD-9 Sonic Distortion

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Sonic Distortion

The Japanese company Maxon has been around for a long time, although it was never really known to us. This is because Maxon was always closely associated with Ibanez, and their effects pedals were mostly developed for Ibanez and sold under their name throughout the world. In the interim, word got out that the legendary Tubescreamer TS808 actually comes from Maxon, and in the course of the retro boom Maxon is now bringing almost all their old darlings back onto the market.

Many might recall the SD9 Sonic Distortion; there was the pretty part (green mamba springs to mind), which was indeed with us in the 80s from Ibanez. And it sounds equally poisonous; in contrast to classic fuzz (as they were earlier called) pedals, the sound and dynamics are not messed up and the tone controller can also add some solid bass - that's some endless punch!

The SD9 has a very particular distortion sound, which is typically loved or hated. However, in quieter settings more moderate crunch sounds are possible, which still manage to retain something of that wonderful scratchiness.

  • Low boost / High boost tone control
  • Provides more power in the lower range than other pedals
  • Up to 55 dB of extra boost
  • Controls for Distortion, Drive and Level
  • A highly-compressed, singing sustain
available since March 2003
Item number 161663
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Overdrive No
Distortion Yes
Fuzz No
Metal No

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A
Maxon SD9
Anonymous 03.01.2015
I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this pedal.
I definitely like it, but ever since I changed my pickups I found that on some amps I can't seem to find a sweet spot on the tone knob.
I already knew the highs can get out of hand pretty quick, but I've always found a way to tame them. Now, not so much...
It is evident that it just doesn't get along with my new pups, but I just wonder how common this issue might be with other pickups/amps.
Still, it's a great distortion pedal (the bass response is excellent), just make sure it goes well with your setup.
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Nearly Outstanding!
Anonymous 07.05.2016
Featuring the incredible build quality thats such a credit to Maxon this is a beautiful pedal..but theres a but....
Described as "Sonic Distortion" its really more a "Sonic Very Crunchy Different to a Tubescreamer Overdrive" albeit one that preserves nuance and detail well....but it lacks the tremendous "foldback" you can easily get with an OD9...its quite a "stiff" pedal which is lacking sustain/feedback....though give it a kick with an OD-9 and you're away....
So I find it works better with Humbuckers and put one of the new Ibanez SD9M pedals in the chain for single coils...
Downsides..its not the same value for money as the OD-9 as its more limited in its application...and it has that odd strongly sprung switching mechanism which needs a very firm boot to engage and which can then disengage if you wait just fractionall too long before lifting your foot...
Verdict?...unlike the OD-9 which seems to work brilliantly with any amp/guitar pedal the SD-9 ismuch more specialised...I've had it maybe 6 or 7 years and only recently found its niche...a peculiar flavour of pedal for sure..
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S
The right speaker will tame the fizz and bring out nice overtones
Smurph 05.01.2019
I tried this pedal since Michael Landau was using this a lot and he knows tone. But also I noticed that with some amps it sounds really sweet and smooth while on other amps it sounds fizzy and harsh in the upper mids.

So first of all, it seems to love tube amps.
And most of all, it loves certain speakers that tame the nasty fizz but still bring out the guitars musical overtones. Landau plays with G12-65 speaker, I use Marshall G12 Heritage speaker and these speakers seem to match the pedal nicely.

Also responds well to guitar volume knob, might even smooth out when volume rolled back to 7-8.
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C
EL pedal!
CarlosGR 30.06.2018
Landau y Henderson no podían estar equivocados. Si no lo has probado, estas tardando...
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