In a previous post, I mentioned that Maxon was the company which made the Tube Screamer and other pedals for Ibanez in the 70s/80s. They are now producing pedals under their own brand and they have just released two new models which will bring memories of the past.
The SM-9 Pro+ Super Metal is not an exact reissue of the 80s Ibanez SM-9. I own an original one and it sports 5 knobs as opposed to the new one which has 4. Also, the 2010 version can be powered with a 9V power supply as well as 18V. In the latter case, it apparently increases “the headroom, frequency range, and dynamic response of the SM-9 pedal”. This new arrival in the Maxon line is clearly geared towards all metal genres, even the most modern, as the sound examples suggest. The old Ibanez SM-9 was also a metal pedal at the time but in an eighties way of course. It was interesting though as it did have some “tube screamer” DNA which does not seem to be the case with the new model.
As to the ST-9 Pro +, ST stands for “Super Tube” to emphasize its Tube Screamer ancestry, not the fact that it is tube based because it is not. As with the SM-9, the ST-9 Pro+ is not an exact reissue of the 80s Ibanez model. Maxon claims it is based on the circuit of the good old TS808 Tube Screamer but with added flexibility and more gain options. On top of the usual LEVEL, DRIVE and TONE knobs there is a 4th knob to choose the frequency of the “mid range hump” as well as a switch to choose between a classic tone and a “low boost” tone which will fatten your sound. The ST-9 Pro+ can be powered with a 9V or 18V power supply, the latter mode increasing the “headroom, frequency range, and dynamic response of the” pedal. Listening to the the sound clips, I must say the ST-9 does seem to sound like a super charged Tube Screamer.
This post is also available in: French