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Tube Screamer designer Susumu Tamura supercharges the Maxon SD-9

Maxon Super Sonic Distortion Pedal (SSD-9)
(Image credit: Maxon )

Maxon Custom Shop has released the SSD-9 Super Sonic Distortion pedal, which seeks to improve upon the sounds of the stock SD-9.

Designed by Susumu Tamura – the brilliant brain behind the Tube Screamer and former-head engineer at Maxon – the pedal was conceptualized as a loud, full-frequency, amp-like drive pedal with fantastic note articulation.

Described as a "happy accident", development on the SSD-9 began when Tamura dove into fusion great Scott Henderson's rig to find out how the SD-9 interacted with the rest of his pedalboard.

Taking onboard his findings – and the suggestions of other guitarists – Maxon has sought to offer an updated version of the SD-9 which aims to deliver tube amp-like qualities and responses with big, distorted sounds.

The minimalist pedal features new true bypass switching and three control knobs to sculpt the sound, including distortion, level and tone. In a bid to produce a "rich, thick guitar tone", the latter has had its center frequency shifted from the previous circuit, now placing greater emphasis on the low and lower-midranges for beefier, less "fizzy" sounds.

A further diversion from the original SD-9 circuit is a dramatically increased output level, an addition that aims to make the SSD-9 more compatible with a wide range of guitar / amp combinations by pushing signal chains harder for more bite. Hear the results below.

The Maxon SSD-9 is available for pre-order for $199, with the first 50 units sold being hand-signed by Mr Tamura himself.

Visit Maxon FX for more info.