Maker: Keeley Electronics
Model: DS-9 Distortion
You now have the famous SD Sonique Distortion and the DS Orange Distortion in one box, the Keeley DS-9 Distortion. These are very similar styles of distortions. The Orange pedal had more gain because it has the added transistor gain stage. The Sick Green pedal had a higher bass output that made tons of famous players happy because there was no low-end cut off. It suffered from low output volume (missing the transistor) and a limited tone control. In fact, many players can be seen using the Green Meanie with the Level and Gain cranked and the Tone completely off! Since 1978 The Orange Distortion box has been considered a roach. Nothing will kill it, and they are everywhere. It’s easy to get a good Marshall-esque type of sound from this pedal, it does hard rock great. What we did with the Keeley DS-9 Distortion is combine the two boxes via a toggle switch. The toggle controls a relay that moves circuit elements around to give you accurate recreations of those pedals. We also gave you a Bass Cutoff Control to create new sounds by varying the amount of low end gain you want.
I got to play my first SD-9 and DS-1 while living in Germany in the mid-80s. I played them at the Music Klemer and Musik Schaller in Kaiserslautern. Do you remember hearing things like the Steve Vai, or Joe Satriani for the first time? I sure do. They influenced my greatly. I even got to modify their pedals. What a rush. Dave Weiner had sent in two of Steve’s pedals for me to modify, back then there was just the Seeing Eye Mod. I was so inspired I came up with the DS-Ultra Mod while listening to Live in an Ultra World. Those DS mods were kind of new at the time. I hadn’t seen people using LED’s for distortion much yet, and surely not on a switch that the user could control, and most certainly not one that was visible for the player to actually SEE the distortion it was creating. Fun Times!
Okay here’s the unique element to this Keeley DS-9 Distortion. Craighton and I came up with a Cutoff control to allow players to blend between the low end gain response of the two pedals. The bass cutoff region is now something you can experiment with. You can dial in some super low bass and gain like the SD or or turn it up to cut bass deep like the DS (that keeps it tight and punchy). Turn the Cutoff Control all the way up for an accurate bass response like the DS. Now you can fine tune your very low end gain and response.
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