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Ambience is always something guitar players have to work for; reverb and delays can get so complex that in the process of this search, the concept of “simpler is better” gets revisited often. Maxon’s new analog delay pedal brings ambience with ease.
The small box houses a BBD analog IC, which brings warmth and clarity. It’s the standard in most analog time-based effects, and it lives up to the reputation. Controls are sparse, a Delay, Blend, and Repeat knobs are the only variables. The switch is buffered, meaning it can work with long cables without loss of signal or tone (like its cousin the ASC10). It works equally well in front of an amp, and in an effects loop, a rare feat for a stompbox.
Like most analog units, this one tops out at 600ms of delay, so don’t expect to do tons of looping or trippy sound-on-sound layering. It’s more in the natural slapback echo pocket – quick, sharp delays that are natural, with just the right amount of repeats that won’t clutter up the notes that come after it. The only downside is that at higher settings the Repeat control gets very sensitive, and the repeats cascade louder and louder: neat for those Pink Floyd oscillation effects, but in most situations, it can be a bit too much.
The AD10 is a breath of fresh air; it’s warm and sweet, and while not super-long or adjustable, the delays seem to be more musical, not content to sit in the “just make an echo” department. For players who want a delay but don’t want to go digital, this new pedal from Maxon is well worth the asking price.
PROS: Smooth, simple, natural.
CONS: Repeat control seems a bit aggressive.