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The Perfect Note: Maxon OD-820 Overdrive Pro

Maxon OD-820 Overdrive Pro

Maxon OD808 Overdrive

While many consider the OD808 to be the greatest overdrive ever created, Maxon is not a company to rest on its laurels. Instead of basking in the glowing praise, Maxon has focused on the user's feedback to come up with an all-new overdrive circuit that addresses the key shortcomings of other units - the result is the OD-820 Overdrive Pro.

The OD-820 was designed to provide a wide range of tube-amp overdrive tones as well as a transparent, hi-gain clean boost. As the name implies, the OD-820 was intended for use by professional guitarists with advanced playing techniques. The OD-820's expressive tone reproduces fingering and picking nuances with haunting precision, making the best use of any guitar or amplifier's character. With a full-frequency response, minimal compression and zero tonal coloration, the OD-820 won't mask a player's performance weaknesses like other overdrives can.

One of the key ingredients to the OD-820's amazing sound lies in its power section. While the OD-820 accepts 9 volts coming in, it then uses a DC-DC voltage converter (#MAX1044) to bump this up to 18 volts. This higher voltage allows for a more accurate, full-frequency reproduction of the input signal than other units can provide. This higher voltage also allows for more balanced powering of the circuit, providing stabilized positive and negative DC voltage to the overdrive, blend, and tone sections of the circuit.

Overdrive and Blend? That's right the other secret weapon of the OD-820 lies in it's blending of distorted and non-distorted signal to create its massive tone. The OD-820's Drive knob does double duty, controlling both the amount of gain and the balance between distorted and non-distorted signal. Note that we said non-distorted signal rather than dry signal this is because this signal is still processed through the tone section of the OD-820's circuit before reaching the output. So, at the lowest Drive settings only non-distorted signal is sent to the output, providing the OD-820's stunning clean boost tone.

Like the OD808, the OD-820 distorts signal in the amplifier section of the circuit rather than having a separate clipping stage, which provides a smoother, more realistic tube-like overdrive than other methods. The higher voltage supplied to the amplifier section provides slightly more clipping than the OD808 or OD-9. The OD-820 uses only JRC4558 op amps for the warmest overdrive tone possible.

Listen to a sound sample of the OD-820 Overdrive Pro Here!

For more information on this and other models in the Maxon Vintage series, give us a call at (413) 283-5592 Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. or email Sales@TPNgear.com.

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