Maxon Real Tube II Series from Godlyke
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Maxon replaces their Real Tube Series models RCP660, ROD880 and ROD881--now 20 years old--with the Real Tube II Series. There are three models: RTC600 Real Tube Compressor (tested here), RTO700 Real Tube Overdrive, and the RTD800 Real Tube Overdrive/Distortion pedal. These larger sized pedals are more like recording studio gear in their sound quality, operation and rugged construction.
They each use a hand-selected Sovtek 12AY7EH (or equivalent) dual triode vacuum tube mechanically isolated from main circuit board for low-noise operation. They all feature true bypass switching and come with a special Maxon AC2009 Universal 9-Volt DC adaptor and 3-Year Limited Warranty.
The RTC600 is every bit a studio style compressor complete with ratio (1:∞), threshold (variable between 0-40 dBu), attack, release and gain controls familiar to any engineer. But you don't need to know about compressors or compression to use this pedal--just get in there and start experimenting! There are about eight starting setups in the manual to get you going but it is hard to set this pedal up to sound bad--I tried.
I used the RTC600 as a "front end" for guitar and bass but you could place it in the guitar's effects loop or used it as an outboard processor in your home studio. And that's where it lives when not in action on my pedal board.
The RTC600 uses a modern, low noise VCA compressor circuit with the tube placed before it (in the chain) to warm and thicken the sound in the classical and vintage way. There is a precision RMS level detection circuit especially tailored for guitar or bass so you'll achieve quality, musical compression easily and fast. If the tube's longevity in a "throw it around" stomp box concerns you know that, besides the shock mounting, there is an "in-rush" current control circuit that avoids "shocking" the tube by slowly apply filament voltage; this lengthens its life immensely.
The RTC600 Real Tube Compressor sells for $389 Street price. Check out all the Real Tube Series models at: www.maxonfx.com/Real_Tube_II_Series.php. They are distributed in this country through GodLyke Distributing at www.godlyke.com.
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