[review] Maxon SD-9 Sonic Distortion modified by Analog Man (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Analog Man

I guess Analog Man doesn’t really need an introduction.  They started out doing modifications and have since grown a lot. Analog Man is still doing plenty of modifications but now have their own extended range of pedals. From fuzz and overdrive pedals to compressors and modulation, it’s all there. From their webshop, you can also buy a selection of other brands so check it out!


The SD-9 is part of Maxon’s 9-series range of pedals and comes in their typical enclosure with a VERY green paint job. The 3 controls are as standard as possible, Distortion for the amount of gain, Tone and Level.  There’s plenty of output and gain available from this pedal. The Analog Man mod makes the tone control more useable, stock the SD9 tends to get very bright very quickly. It also firms up the lows.

The pedal in use

The SD-9 is a high gain overdrive and distortion pedal. It can also be used nicely as a boost because it has plenty of output. it has a big fat midrange and will work well in a number of applications. I have run it with great results in front of Fender and Marshall amps and it is very versatile. It's definitely not a transparent OD as it firmly puts its tonal footprint down but it sounds great so who cares.

For me, the SD-9 and definitely the AM-modded version is one of the best pedals you can have. Not only does it sound killer, it also can be used with pretty much any amp and can do a killer boost, od or distortion sound. I have used mine for so many things, you wouldn't believe it. Even if I don't have it on my board or rack-shelf, I have it with me as it can be a live-safer. I have yet to find an application where it did not sound great. Most of the time, I'm either using it to get a big fat boost on a crunch channel or as an OD/Distortion into a Marshall set clean-ish. It works great in combination with a tubescreamer and boost pedals in front of it.

Using it as a stand-alone distortion, it works very well with humbuckers and single coils and it cleans up nicely. You can get a lot of good sounds from it with the same setting and ‘riding’ your volume control. Put a Tubescreamer before it and you have a very versatile setup with anything from low gain to all out mayhem.

The name, Super Distortion, might put off some people but the Analog Man modded SD-9 is very versatile pedal that works really well in a lot of settings. Although it still has a limited range on the tone control, there are great tones to be found in this pedal. I’ve been using it for many years and it’s not going anywhere!

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