You may or may not know the long history of Maxon pedals but the story just goes to show that quality built effects stand the test of time.
Nearly 50 years ago a Japanese company called Nisshin Onpa started building guitar pick-ups. Nisshin Onpa also did OEM work for several brands and their biggest and most important client was Ibanez. After using run-of-the-mill mass produced audio IC's Nisshin Onpa started using the double OP amp in their overdrive pedals producing the now famous Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer.
Maxon started selling the OD-808 along with the Ibanez TS-808 with huge success and continued building the entire line of Ibanez pedals from 1974-2002 including the Ibanez Nine Series. When the companies ended their partnership Ibanez began focusing on cloning vintage circuits while Maxon created their own line of pedals.
The Ibanez Nine Series still lives under the Maxon brand with higher quality components and in general are better than the Ibanez originals.
So if you ever open up a vintage Ibanez TS-808 and see the name Maxon on the circuit board now you know why. Ibanez still makes the 808s using different circuitry than the originals leaving many players to suggest a big tone loss. I would stick with the Maxon OD-808 or OD-9 or just go find the vintage originals.
The Interstellar Obiter was specially designed for Kid Koala to be used on his Satellite Concert tour. The idea for the Satellite concert is very ambitious: each audience member will be seated at one of 60 mini turntable stations that will include a small crate of color coded custom vinyl. Each record contains a drone that is designed to harmonize with key moments in the show being performed on stage by Kid Koala. Each record player will be run through an effect pedal and allow the audience to individually manipulate the sounds in real timeâ€¦. I mean, how could we say no to that!?! After a lots and lots of testing the records through various types of effects, we landed on the Interstellar Orbiter!
So what is it? The Interstellar Orbiter is a dual resonant filter controlled by a single LFO that sweeps each filter in opposite directions. It has three universal controls: a master Frequency control that governs the center frequency of both filters, a master Rate control for the LFO and the Direct control for blending in the unaffected dry signal. There are expression pedal jacks for both the master Frequency and the LFO rate. The LFO sweeps each filter in opposite directions and has a wide range. Each filter is voiced differently and has controls for LFO intensity, resonance and mix. When the LFO Intensity is raised the filter sweep is wider, the center frequency is raised and the resonance becomes more pronounced. The resonance becomes more "ringy" as you dial it up and more mellow as you dial it back. The mix control adjusts the volume for the mix of each filter.
With all of this control, the Interstellar Orbiter is a knob twiddler's dream with loads of possibilities! It can do everything from wah emulation to complex vocal formant filter and even a fairly convincing rotary speaker effect. You can set the intensity of both filters to zero and use the Frequency to manually create wide filter sweeps or use an expression pedal for a unique wah tones. Adjust the intensity of one filter to taste and use an expression pedal to sweep the second to create some awesome moving center point phase effects. You can also create some very vocal sounds by using the LFO to control both filters and fine tuning the resonance, intensity and master frequency. These vocal formants will vary depending the settings of each individual control and the rate at which they are swept! These are just a few suggestions, the Interstellar Orbiter is vast; get ready to get free.
The Interstellar Orbiter is all analog, true bypass and hand made one at a time, part by part, knob by knob, wire by damn wire in the fiery town of Akron, Ohio and features artwork drawn by Kid Koala himself!
Tentacle - Analog Octave Up
The Tentacle is a classic analog octave up effect. It is the very same octave from our beloved Hoof Reaper pedal. We got so many requests to make this a stand-alone unit that we just had to make it a reality. You can now add an excellent, swelling octave up to anything your heart desires! Pair it with your favorite fuzz, strap on a headband and unleash your inner Jammy Hendrix. Put it in front of another octave up and blow your amp's mind. Throw it in the effects loop of a delay and marvel at what happens (then tell us, we'd like to know too). What's better? It has no controls! Nothing to worry about at all here, just hit the switch and go for it. The Tentacle is an analog octave up, the effect will become much more pronounced when using your neck pickup and playing above the 12th fret.
Dunes - Mini Mega Ultimate Overdrive
The Dunes is a condensed version of our highly popular Palisades; a heavily featured take on the classic 808 overdrive. It features the same Gain, Tone and Level controls along with our favorite voice and bandwidth settings as well as the "Normal/Bright" toggle. The selectable voices are: "MOSFET" for a tight crunchy sound (Setting 3 on the Palisades), "Silicon" for the classic 808 sound (Setting 5 on the Palisades) and "None" which goes from clean boost to gritty, pure opamp distortion with a massive volume boost (Setting 1 on the Palisades). The two bandwidth settings are "stock" for the classic tone (Setting 3 on the Palisades) and "full range" for more low end (Setting 5 on the Palisades). The Dunes has all the great tone of the big boy Palisades but with a simplified interface and a smaller footprint!
Levitation - Reverberation Machine
Introducing the Levitation Reverb, a pedal designed by EarthQuaker Devices in conjunction with the LEVITATION music festival! LEVITATION, founded as Austin Psych Fest in 2008, has become a way to honor and preserve Austin's psychedelic rock heritage, and carry it into the future. We wanted to remain true to the theme of LEVITATION and decided to do a variation on our popular Ghost Echo pedal to honor the reverb-drenched tones synonymous with classic psych rock. The Levitation Reverb builds on the base sound found in the Ghost Echo but does away with the attack and dwell and adds control over tone, decay, atmosphere and length in their place. It is a vintage voiced reverb that aims to fit somewhere between dirty sixties chambers, classic spring, and the big, ringing plate reverbs of days gone by.
Four knobs and one switch control quite a bit more than you'd expect. Want a slap back small room sound? Set all of your controls to the minimum and use the mix to dial in the sound of room devoid of anything but a guitar and amp. Want to revel in infinite spatial oscillations? Flip the toggle to long, turn up the atmosphere and decay then tune out. Dial in a bright chiming slap back by turning the tone all the way counter clockwise and reducing the decay. For a rattling, full-bandwidth assault, dime everything and let er rip.