Posts Tagged ‘Maxon’

I’ve known about this pedal ever since it came out last year, and unlike many other overdrives out there, it uses a tube for distortion, and not a clipping diode. This pedal is like putting another gain stage in front of your amp. It comes with Master and Gain and the tone controls are all independent with no overlapping frequencies, so tone shaping is pretty incredible. And being that it’s a Maxon pedal, you’re pretty much guaranteed high-reliability and fantastic build quality.

So if I’ve known about this so long, and I love all its features and pedigree, why haven’t I written about it? Well, for one, life was pretty busy at that time last year, as time went on, I got my Timmy and Little Brute Drive, and finally, and probably most importantly, I just couldn’t see paying $385 for a pedal. Hell! My VHT Special 6 cost $199 when I got it, but you can get it now for only $179, and that’s a tube amp – and a great one at that! Same thing goes for a Fender Champ 600 at $149…

Okay, okay, I know that we’re kind of talking apples and oranges, but the point is that $385 is a rather steep price to pay. Based upon the clips I’ve heard and videos I’ve watched on this pedal, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s killer. I guess for me, though it does sound incredible, it doesn’t move me enough to fork out that kind of cash.

Not that I wouldn’t pay a steep price for a pedal if it totally moved me. I paid $275 for my Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay. It hurt a bit, but it’s a pedal that I simply can’t live without now.

In any case, what got me thinking about the RTO700 was the Pigtronix Fat Drive. When I was watching videos of that pedal, I ran across references to the RTO700. I thought to myself at the time that I would get it over the Fat Drive; that is, until I saw the price tag. Then the Fat Drive seemed a hell of a lot more attractive to me. 🙂

In closing, having owned Maxon products in the past, I know how killer they are. Maxon isn’t a cheap proposition, but if you can swing it, you’ll be happy.

For more information on the pedal, check out the RTO700 product page!


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MXR '76 Vintage Dyna Comp Pedal


Over a year ago when I was looking for a compression pedal, one of the pedals I reviewed was the MXR Dyna Comp, along with the Boss CS-3. I didn’t like either of them. The CS-3 was way too squishy and I thought it significantly altered my tone. The MXR wasn’t quite as bad, but I still thought it did enough tone alteration to pass on it.

As many might know, I ended up going with the Maxon CP9 Pro+, which I felt didn’t alter my tone, no matter how far I squeezed the signal. I love the pedal, and when I play my Strat, it’s almost always on.

But in my search for a compressor back then, I ran across several discussions on the classic Dyna Comp from the 70’s. People raved about its transparency, and how it was a highly sought-after pedal. In fact, a search on eBay revealed that I couldn’t get a vintage one for under $250. Yikes! For a pedal that brand new goes for under $80, the vintage Dyna Comp must’ve been really special.

Well, the folks at the MXR Custom Shop have produced a limited run of the classic Dyna Comp replete with the script lettering, and more importantly, the EXACT same circuitry as the original. According to the article I read, the IC’s used in the original pedal haven’t been produced since the 80’s. But the Custom Shop folks seemed to have found some – at least enough to produce a limited run.

I looked on the Dunlop site for any information about the new pedal, and there was none to be found. No prices either. Count on this baby to hit collectable status real quick. Also count on it being priced a hell of a lot more than its newer sibling, which you can get at Musician’s Friend for $69.99. Now given that I already have a kickass compression pedal, I’m probably won’t be in the market for one, but I sure would love to get my hands on one just to review it.

For those of you who are a bit dubious of using a compression/sustainer, please don’t scoff. I will admit that for high-volume, high-gain situations, a compression sustainer is not really needed. You’ll get a lot of compression from your saturated power tubes. But for those of us who mostly play in low-volume applications, a compression/sustainer is a total life saver.

The restaurants and church that I play at have high ceilings, and of course, there’s the ambient crowd noise to deal with – especially at the restaurants. To help cut through the crowd noise, and to deal with the expansive acoustic environment without turning up too loud, I couldn’t do without a compression pedal. This is especially true when I kick in distortion, which tends to “spread” out your sound a bit. With a compression pedal, you fatten up your tone and produce a more even volume, albeit a tad less dynamic.

You might think that the loss volume dynamics is a bad thing, but before I got my CP-9, I had to fight my volume all the time – it was frustrating.

Apparently, the newer M-102 version with serial numbers starting with ABxxx are true bypass, and sound really nice. Maybe the one I tried at the time was not one of ’em. Oh well… In any case, if you’re interested, you can check it out at Musician’s Friend:

MXR M-102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal

You can also check out the Maxon CP-9 Pro+ here:
Maxon Nine Series Compressor Pro+ Pedal

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