- Published: 01 January 2020 01 January 2020
Hello, Everyone - We're back! Welcome to a brand new decade! We’re kicking it off with a new module announcement today.
For some reason, there are a few great Maxon effects that players in the USA may have missed. The Maxon DS-830 Distortion Master is one of them. Our GT-830 compares to this largely undiscovered pedal. The individual sections of the circuit are generally unremarkable in design, including input and output buffers and silicon diodes in both hard and soft clipping configurations. But there is a unique active tone stack providing independent Bass and Treble controls with a wide range of effect. The overall tone purposely highlights the low end, and tends to be a little warm and dark, especially when the Gain is low. It is meant to provide a solid bottom and some fat. The Gain provides a wide range, from almost clean, through overdrive, and into distortion. With the GT More Gain option, the Gain range extends well into hair metal tones, with plenty of touch, feedback, and harmonics. The Gain cleans up pretty well with the guitar volume, but don’t expect pristine cleans at any settings. The gain is enough to hit the front end of your amp or downstream pedals pretty hard, enabling amp break-up or meltdown, should you choose it. The character of the gain is somewhat Marshall-like, although clipping diode selection can change it up.
Since it is designed to fatten up the tone and provide a nice tight bottom, the circuit can sound dark, particularly with humbuckers. The wide range of active tone control will counter that, but even the tone stack is purposely skewed a little to provide more control over the lows than highs. The stock silicon clipping diodes are good, but red LEDs and no clipping diodes at all both yield brighter tones, although the character of the distortion also changes. In other words, clipping options are worth considering, maybe even more so for humbuckers than single coils. If you already have a bass-heavy tone, this may give you some good shaping options or push you into the Dark Side. If your tone is a bit thin or bright, this can give you some nice bottom end to fill things out a bit. Fat-bottom tone makes the rockin’ world go ‘round!
Check it out: GT-830