THE SECRET FILES
- The small mysteries behind the big brands.
The more than 40 year-old Japanese firm, well known for its effect pedals, is in close relation with the history of electric guitar and the use of electronic in music creation.
From microphone to microprocessors
- The Japanese company called Nisshin Onpa, founded in the mid-sixties, first specialized in the manufacturing pickups for electric guitars. In 1969 Nisshin Onpa started designing effect pedals under the name of other brands, such as Ibanez™. The commercial relation between the two firms grew stronger in the beginning of the seventies, to a point that Ibanez™ became Nisshin Onpa's biggest and most important client.
The worldwide success
Nisshin Onpa was then using the technology that existed, notably some massproduced mediocre audio IC's (integrated circuits). But the firm later included in its overdrive pedals the double op-amp (operational amplifier) JRC 4558, a Japanese copy of the original American made Texas Instruments TI 4558. It is then, in 1974 that the famous Ibanez™ Tube Screamer TS-808© was born, while Nisshin Onpa was also selling it under its own name Maxon in Japan as the OD-808 Overdrive. The succes of this overdrive pedal became worldwide and led to a tremendous commercial success. It was seen everywhere... Stevie Ray Vaughan was using two of those in series in his set of pedals and other famous guitarists like Gary Moore, Eric Clapton, Santana, Rory Gallagher, Buddy Guy or even Marty Friedman and many more were using it too...
A close partnership
- Maxon successfully manufactured the entire line of effect pedals for Ibanez™ from 1974 to 2002. Then in 2002 Ibanez™ stopped all partnership with Nisshin Onpa and produced their own line of effect pedals, being clearly inspired by the pedals that became legendary for over a 30 years, period after which all patents fall in the public domain, which allowed Ibanez™ to clone the effect pedals.
Today November 2009
Maxon AD999Pro got a "5" (perfect score) and won the Premier Award from the editors of Premier Guitar Magazine.