Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some of Maxon's finest

For those of your who haven't had a chance to go out and try some of Maxon's new 9 Series let me just say this...quality and class all the way baby. To be quite honest, I haven't heard any difference between the vintage runs of these pedals and the new. The build quality is immaculate, and with a matching tone to go with this you have some of the top dogs of stompbox world.

CP9-Pro+ Compressor
PhotobucketThis comp most definitely falls into that elite category of "last comps you will ever need." Whether you use this puppy in the studio or on the stage, it will deliver some of the most professional quality compression anyone could ask for. The CP9-Pro+'s circuit is based a low-noise DBX compression technology that is used in some of the worlds best high-end pro audio products, hence the name Pro+. I won't get into the circuitry and insides of this pedal, all I can say is it's guts do one hell of a job providing some of the tastiest compression I have ever heard. There's one thing you always hear when it comes to comp pedals...there are either the subtle kind, or the squashy kind. This little honey does both and does them well. Lay back on the controls and you get the perfect amount of compression perfect for always leaving on. A hint from this pedal goes a long way. We did some acoustic guitar and some lap steel tracks in the studio a few months back that never sounded so good. The picking dynamics and bit of extra ringing from the notes provided us with the perfect sound for mastering and mixing. This is where this pedal is seperated from some others, it works amazingly as a professional studio tool. Compression was once the one effect I didn't understand and knew very little of. If you fall into that category of player that really doesn't know what comp is used for or how it works the CP9-Pro+ is the perfect pedal for walking you through the many sounds that are possible when plugged into the right comp box. Now my favorite way for using a sustainer. Some years back I had recorded a session with a producer/engineer who gave my guitar this insanely cool sound. It was a mixier of fuzz, reverb, compression, and delay. I ended up calling that sound my "Screaming Banshee" tone. For years I couldn't get that tone onto the stage, I got close many times but never really exact. The sound was a combination of the notes being squashed, streched, and opened. Pure psychedelic heaven, if you know me you know I love classic psych rock. There are only a few compressors in pedal form that have ever given me my Banshee tone, this being one of them, and the one that probably does it the best. Welcome to compression 101 kids.

CS-9 Pro Chorus

PhotobucketThere is the right kind of chorus and there is the god awful, corny sounding, please turn that off chorus. This here being one of the right kind. I've always seen the chorus effect as the introductory effect to the beginning player. It is one of those effects that many times comes with an amp, and that there are hundreds and hundreds of pedals of. Again, like it's brother above the build quality is like no other and it has the engine and guts to match. The cats at Maxon really deserve a lot of credit, I say this cause once the pedal boom hit they could have gone about things like many pedal companies did, in the wrong direction. Not only have they kept the sweet'n'organic sound of an old favorite, but with this new CS-9 Pro Chorus they have gone the extra mile to give us more of what has worked for so long. That's pretty much all they did when they rebuilt this pedal. It is still capable of delivering those mellow, space traveling, dreamy, liquid-like tones. Can still add that hint of effect that beefs up your tone and does well to make itself almost unnoticeable. Only now the quality of this effect is so much more sweeter. Like in the past they kept it true to that bucket brigade technology, that unmistakeable sound that has worked for so long. You'll find out of this pedal those old school pulsating chorus sounds that killer vintage amps once produced. Like any grat chorus pedal the CS-9 Pro Chorus can also imitate an authentic, lush sounding rotary speaker effect. This is where I found this pedal to really shine and stand out from so many. Whether plugged into a guitar, keyboard, or lap steel it just sounds freakin great! And that's not all. There is one more sercret weapon within this badboy. It's Delay Time control. I'll let the good folks at Maxon explain this one. "The Delay Time control exhibits an inverse relation between the delay time and the frequency shift of the chorus - as the delay time increases, the frequency that is shifted decreases. This inverse relation creates "double level" and "cancellation" peaks and notches at particular frequency points to create an amazingly realistic, three-dimensional chorus effect. In addition, the Delay Time control is interactive with the Rate and Depth controls, so that if you increase the Depth, the Delay Time range increases, and if you increase the Speed, the Delay Time changes faster." How cool is that?! Not much more needs to be said here.

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