With the Maxon AD-9, you get a warm, rich, vintage-sounding delay with excellent construction, including true bypass.
It’s a matter of simple history that the best effects pedals ever made with the Ibanez name on them were never made by Ibanez. They were actually made by a then lesser-known company called Maxon, who continued to make Ibanez pedals up until a few years ago when Maxon decided it would be best to produce pedals under their own name. Following a “quality over quantity” philosophy, the company has “reissued” several formerly Ibanez-branded pedals with significant upgrades, including top-of-the-line components and true bypass switching. One of these newly reissued products is an old favorite, the AD-9 Analog Delay, now known as the AD-9 Pro.
Having played through a number of recent Ibanez AD-9 delays that were, well, less-than-inspiring, I was curious what Maxon would do to win me over. In addition to true bypass switching and upgraded components, the Maxon offers increased delay time (nearly 500 ms) as well as improved headroom and dynamic range. The result is a warm, rich analog delay without any of the fuzziness sometimes associated with analog. Especially cool is the top-mounted function switch that lets you choose between “Single Head” and “Dual Head” mode, the former being just a standard analog delay whereas the latter offers simulation of a multi-head tape echo. The “Dual Head” mode allows some nice ping-pong delay sounds as well as ambient delays. It’s a mode the Edge would be proud of.
I tested the AD-9 with a Carr Rambler and a few overdrive pedals, and was very impressed with the pedal’s richness and quietness. It’s not cheap for an analog delay, but it also doesn’t have any of the issues with older units or unreliable tape echoes. For the price, you get a warm, rich, vintage-sounding delay with excellent construction, including true bypass.