Maxon SM-9Pro+ Super Metal
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Over the past 10 years Maxon effects have become key ingredients in the guitar rigs of countless metal bands. Notable artists such as Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy, As I Lay Dying, Shadow’s Fall, All That Remains and Asking Alexandria have come to rely on Maxon overdrives for their brutal guitar tones on stage and in the studio.
The irony here (pun intended) is that Maxon has never offered a pedal tailored to the needs of the metal guitarist – until now.
Introducing the Maxon SM-9 Pro+ Super Metal – specifically designed for high-gain distortion tones, the SM-9‘s flexible saturation circuit can churn out everything from classic NWOBHM crunch through to the throaty chunk of today’s drop-tuned metal extremes.
Developing such a pedal was no easy task, and the Pro+ was on the drawing board for years before Maxon felt it was ready for release. Several unique “tricks” were incorporated into its design to create a pedal that is as versatile as it is merciless.
Forgoing the use of conventional tone controls, the SM-9 instead features Scoop and Edge knobs to dial in the riffage.
The Scoop control is a mid-band elimination filter with a range from 200 Hz – 2 KHz. This control adjusts the frequency range where the pedal’s midrange cut is centered.
Once the amount of mid scoop is determined, any high-end loss can be dialed back in using the Edge control - a Hi-cut shelving filter continuously variable between 2-15 kHz.
These two controls are highly interactive and work much like a parametric equalizer – Adjusting both knobs simultaneously allows the user to find the perfect mix of brutality and clarity.
The SM-9’s Gain control adjusts the degree of saturation the pedal provides. This control is actually a dual-ganged pot that increases the amount of distortion while simultaneously boosting the upper midrange band up to 20 dB at 1 kHz.
By boosting and cutting specific frequency bands in relation to Gain, the SM-9’s controls allow the user to sculpt brutal, beefy guitar tones that retain note clarity and definition.
The Pro+ also offers switchable 9- or 18-volt operation. In Classic mode, the SM-9 runs at the incoming 9 volts DC, greatly extending battery life. Switching to stabilized 18-volt operation increases headroom, frequency range, and dynamic response of the pedal.
Using the SM-9’s controls and voltage options, an almost unlimited variety of monstrous high-gain tones can be dialed in. Whether you’re a full-time metal maniac or just need the occasional “nuclear blast” without the bulk or volume of a full stack, the Maxon SM-9 Pro + Super Metal will deliver the goods.
The SM-9 Pro+ offers all the might and majesty of a high-gain amp stack at a fraction of the size and cost.