Maxon VOP-9 Vintage Overdrive Pro Pedal

Maxon has made a number of great overdrive pedals in their Vintage Overdrive Pro Pedal series, and the VOP-9 is yet another one of them.  This overdrive pedal combines both overdrive and clean boost into one device.  It uses a dual pot to mix the saturated and clean tones together to make a less compressed and more transparent sound.  It also features true bypass switching so you can let your signal shine through if you want.

The VOP-9 is actually an upgraded version of the OD820, a pedal that Maxon introduced in the 90s but that was largely overlooked.  However, at the time, few saw the benefits and power of the pedal, and it was mostly ignored as simply being an overpriced version of the OD808.  However, the VOP-9 is more than just a renamed OD820.  While the pedal does run the entire circuit at 18 volts, just like the OD820, it now comes in one of Maxon’s nearly indestructible 9-series chassis.  The pedal is also capable of operating at 9 volts by activating an internal DIP switch.  The VOP-9 also makes use of the same op-amp that allowed the OD820 to operate so quietly, and the negative feedback loop clipping diode is the same as well.  The Maxon VOP-9 Vintage Overdrive Pro Pedal costs
$200.

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July 25, 2010
Posted in Maxon — anthony @ 9:48 am

Category 5 Amps Tsunami

Category 5 Amps TsunamiThe Tsunami is an 18 watt boutique amp by Category 5. It's a great amp for classic rock and blues. The 18 watts of power mean that this small, portable amp works great for small venues, especially blues clubs, and it also works great as a recording amp.  The Tsunami features two preamp channels, a global reverb circuit, variable recording line out, and a variac voltage control.

The first channel has a single gain stage that provides some nice tube overdrive.  The second channel is for versatility.  Here, you’ll find a full tone stack and the ability to really shape the tone to your liking.  This channel is great for scooped mids, treble, and bass, and with three cascaded gain stages, you’re able to get both more and less clean headroom than you can with the first channel.

The Tsunami is powered by two EL84 power tubes and four 12AX7 preamp tubes.  The first channel features tone and volume controls, while the second features volume, bass, middle, and treble controls.  The basic Tsunami 1x12 combo amp retails for $2579.
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July 16, 2010
Posted in Category 5 — anthony @ 8:50 am

MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive Pedal

Looking for a great blues overdrive pedal?  Then check out the MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive.  This low-medium gain overdrive provides great sounds for everything from a light blues to great classic rock tones.  The booster is very clean and transparent when you’ve got the gain down, but it certainly lights up when you add in more and more gain.  Then you’ve got the tone control, which gives you everything from a nice, tight sound to a mellow, smooth overdrive.  There’s no odd muffled tomes or any tinny sounds when you crank it to the extreme, either.  The Fuzz switch then gives you the option to move the Audio Blues Pro to Fuzz mode, a mode that focuses on tones from the 1960s. (more...)

July 9, 2010
Posted in MI Audio — anthony @ 1:41 pm

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