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Maxon AD-900 Delay: 2 Chip v. 4 Chip


Full disclosure: I am currently selling a Maxon AD-900 4 chip delay pedal. I've actually had it on and off the market for a while, depending on what other delay pedals float through here. That said, this pedal has stuck around for about 10 years.

Anyway, during that time, whenever I think I have the better of it and post the Maxon for sale, the single most frequent question I receive is, "2 chip or 4 chip version?"

Next disclosure: a number of TGP members have asked me this. I'm not knocking it. Actually, I'm pleading ignorance.

Is there a difference between the 2 and 4 chip version? Is it tonal or just collector value (or something else?)


This is one question that irritates the hell out of me.

I was selling a Memory Man a while back. I owned four, and the second best sounding one had the "wrong chips." Everyone asked: what chips, can you open it up, etc."

The AD-900 sounds so good, I can't imagine even caring what chip is in it. People have too much time on their hands.


Silver Supporting Member
People probably just wanted to know (myself included) if it was the 2XMN3005 or the 4XMN3008 version.
In my case, it's because I like to know dorky circuit specifics -- Transistor type, opamp type, sometimes even diode type, etc.
Some folks claim that the 2XMN3005 sounds "better", but I'm not concerned about that really.

There is a certain collectors angle to it, for some folks. The MN3005 are sought after for the fact that they are manufactured using scales from only the most beautiful virgin mermaids.

delay dude

The 2 chip version has the discontinued MN3005 - it´s a better value for collectors ... I have both versions.. Soundwise, I prefer my 4 chip version.

Tim Bowen

I have the 4 x MN3008 version. My buddy, who is, or used to be, a member here, has (had?) the 2 x MN3005 version. We put them through their paces, including at stage volumes, and couldn't discern a difference sonically. But then, neither of us have ever claimed to have Eric Johnson's Dog's ears.


Silver Supporting Member
I've had both, currently the 4 chip and years ago the 2 chip. I also currently have 2 AD-999's. I can't even tell a massive difference between the 900 and the 999 never mind 2 slightly different 900's.


Silver Supporting Member
I just got an AD-900 (4X MN3008's) in the mail today... and it's amazing! So simple, yet so musical and toneful. The way the repeats melt and float behind the notes you play is never obtrusive... I really love it, and think it will pair with my DMM perfectly.


Sorry to throw a slight twist in, but...

Does anyone know how the 900 (or 999) compares to the Ibanez AD-80?

I just picked up an old AD-80 and I'm not living it. It doesn't really meld that well, nor are the repeats that lush and full, also has a tendency to over oscillate and get unusably loud at more extreme settings. (Maybe mine has drifted?)

Also have the Ibanez Ad80 reissue. I love it! Not lush either, but I love it for effect-y on the brink of going beZerk then.. cut!! Cheap too.

Anywho, it seems Maxon/Ibanez are similar... hopefully this twist helps!!!


Moderation is key
Staff member
Ad900 is the best simple delay ever, imo. I've owned the two chip version and love it. I'm sure the 3008 version sounds basically identical. Technically having two vs four should reduce noise but it would be minimal and tough to hear. Love that pedal.

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