impressive ability to wear many hats. Even
with the Mids cut in OD mode you could
get into very heavy rock territory with plenty
of gain on tap. Setting the Gain to 9 or 10
o’clock and pushing the Master up higher to
hit the front end is perfect for simulating the
breakup of an old Fender tweed for trips into
Neil Young or even early Aerosmith territory.
Moving on to a Peavey 6505+ with
upgraded Mercury Magnetics iron and a
Marshall 4x12 with V30s and G12H-30s,
the tone became much more modern. With
the knobs at noon there was better definition and more bite out of the tone than
I heard in the Silvertone. I switched to a
Les Paul R8 with Bare Knuckle VH2s and
engaged the Dist mode on the pedal.
The difference between OD and Dist can
be surprisingly vast—more volume, more bite
and a much stronger and gainier distortion
than the OD. The bottom end is tight and
percussive but the pedal retains a sweet top
that never gets excessively aggressive unless
the treble is cranked. With the Gain maxed
out the sounds moves into ’80s modified
Marshall territory and it was easy to pull out
Marty Friedman-era Megadeth tones for both
rhythm and lead. Once again the Mid control
gave the necessary cut or boost to sharpen or
thicken the sound. I was happy to hear that
the Bass voicing never got tubby or boomy.
Overall, the RTD800 does a fine job of
providing the pedal-obsessed guitarist with a
stacked menu of tube-driven overdrive and
distortion flavors. Whether your tastes run
toward the conservative or heavy side there
there’s a beautiful tube-driven color lurking within. The street price of $435 may
scare off some potential buyers. But this is a
REVIEW > MAXON
professional grade, high-quality pedal. And
the tube power that makes this pedal sound so
sweet is no gimmick. Tube power adds a load
of character to what’s already in exceedingly
flexible and versatile pedal. And who doesn’t
like to get a little tubular in their life.
you want a wide-range of tube-
driven overdrive and distortion
tones out of a pedal.
you’re already full up with gain boxes.
to hear audio clips of the pedal at
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PREMIER GUITAR JANUARY 2012 DR11