Arion Stereo Analog Delay SAD-1

PC Board - Arion SAD-1 Stereo Analog Delay Effect Pedal

Great Analog Delay, On the Cheap!

Looking for a good, vintage, analog delay for your pedal board? You can get a legendary early 80’s Boss DM-2 for $200 to $300. But why not give the Arion Stereo Analog Delay a try for about $100 or less? The SAD-1 is a surprisingly great analog delay that truly makes it a serious Tone Gem. It’s warm. It’s quiet. It definitely enhances your sound without robbing your guitar’s true tone. The SAD-1 adds depth and definition to whatever I’m playing without changing or coloring the original tone of my guitar.

This one is dead quiet; and it doesn’t suck tone. I find myself keeping this pedal on most of the time. I snagged this one, in excellent condition, from ebay seller New Vintage Music (seller ID: new_vintage_music) for a great price. A real bargain and sleeper. So give this Tone Gem a try. I think you’ll like it.

This one was built the 30th week of 1985. Not to be confused with the newer Arion SAD-3 pedal, which is made in Sri Lanka.

MN3205 BBD

Arion. SAD-1. PC Board.

The MN3025 BBD is an analog 16-pin integrated circuit semi-conductor producing a 4,096-stage echo, repeat, or reverberation effect.

The Panasonic MN3205 is a 4,096-stage, low voltage operation (VDD=5V), low noise Bucket Brigade Device (BBD) that provides a signal delay of up to 204.8ms at clock frequency 10K Hz and is suitable for use as reverberation effect of audio equipments such as portable stereo and long delay time since S/N is 67dB in spite of the many stages.

MN3205 BBD and MN3102
MN3205 BBD and MN3102


The MN3205 is driven by the MN3102 CMOS Clock Generator.

Function and Controls

  • Pedal Operation: Press pedal down for the ON position and LED indicator will turn
    on. Depress again for OFF position, LED will go off.
  • Battery Cover: Press both ends marked “PUSH” to lift cover and access battery compartment.
  • LED Check Light: When shining bright, indicates effect is ON and battery is in good condition.
  • Input Jack: 1/4-inch mono phone jack from guitar.
  • Output Jack (OUT 1): 1/4-inch mono phone jack to amplifier.
  • Output Jack (OUT 2): 1/4-inch mono phone jack to second amplifier for stereo effect.
  • OUT 2 / Mode Switch: Selector switch for direct out or stereo out.
  • AC Adapter Jack: Input DC 9-volt, 100mA to 200mA, center pole negative.
  • Delay: Dial Short to Long. Echo, reverb, slap back. Controls the delay time of the effect, from 50ms to 300ms.
  • Depth: Dial Min. to Max. Controls to depth of effect.
  • Repeat: Dial Min to Max. Controls the number of repeats, from one to infinity, as the effect decays.


Arion. SAD-1 Silver Label.
Arion. SAD-1 Silver Label.


  • Input Impedance: 240K
  • Load Output Impedance: 10K
  • Maximum Input Level: -1dB (0dB=1V)
  • Maximum Output Level: 0dB (0dB=1V)
  • Noise Level: -65.5dB (0dB=1V Input Short)
  • Delay Time: 50ms to 300ms
  • Controls: Depth, Delay, Repeat, Output to Direct or Stereo
  • Jacks: Mono In; Mono and Stereo Out
  • Power Requirements: Requires DC 9-volt battery, or AC Adapter, Outer ring Negative
  • Manufacturer / Country: Prince Tsushinkogyo Ltd. / Japan
  • Years in Production: 1980’s

Arion SAD-1 Stereo Analog Delay Pedal

Arion SAD-1 Stereo Analog Delay Pedal

Related Links

The Boss DM-2 analog delay.


Arion, Analog, Bucket Brigade Device, BBD, Delay, MIJ, MN3205, Japan, Stereo

Vintage Arion Pedals on eBay

Arion SAD-1

Good times for vintage Arion pedal players and collectors.

Arion SCH-1If you like to play or collect vintage Arion pedals, there are many more pedals currently listed on eBay than I can recently remember. Vintage Arion pedals are all-analog guitar effects pedals that were made in Japan by Prince Tsushinkogyo Ltd. mostly back in the 1980′s. Although they were considered a “budget brand” at the time, Arion pedals had many of the same internal components and IC devices as their higher priced competition, and some pedals had features that no other effects maker offered at that time (i.e. stereo output). For example, the SCH-1 Stereo Chorus used the same MN3207 Bucket Brigade Device as the Boss CE-3.

The SAD-1 Stereo Analog Delay, the SCH-1 Analog Stereo Chorus, and the SRV-1 Analog Stereo Reverb pedals are now highly regarded and sought after by musicians and collectors.

You can check out the current listings on eBay at the following link: Arion Pedals on eBay.

Two Silvertone Amps + Boss CE-3 = Stereo!

Boss CE-3 Chorus

Boss CE-3 Chorus

I love stereo! That’s why I got pretty excited when I looked at my Boss CE-3 chorus pedal and realized I could connect a pair of amps to the CE-3′s dual outputs and play my guitar in stereo. So I decided pick up two inexpensive Silvertone 1421′s (aka: Sears 10XL) off eBay. These are great little tube amps from the late 60′s and early 70′s. The 10-watt 1421 uses two 12AX7 tubes—one for pre-amp and the other for tremolo—and a single 7189 as the output tube. The 7189 tube is the industrial version of the venerable EL84, a tube found in so many British valve amps. The 12AX7/EL84 tube combination is unique to the 1421 amp within the entire Silvertone line, and compares it nicely by design to the original Vox AC4 Combo of the early 60′s.

Silvertone 1421 Original

Silvertone 1421 – Completely Original

This first amp is a beautiful 1971 model, completely original and in excellent condition. The Sears model number is 257.14211100. It probably sat in someone’s closet for the better part of 30+ years and was hardly played. Except for a power switch stuck in the “on” position, the old two-conductor power cord, and a little bit of hum, this combo is totally functional and sounds great. It even has its original protective vinyl cover (I’ve never seen a cover for these before) and its original tremolo foot switch. The original grill cloth is in great condition, which is truly rare for this model, even though it does have one cigarette-sized hole in the fabric. The speaker is an 8-inch Oxford Alnico magnet speaker that rings clear at low volume, but breaks up nicely when cranked (along with the tubes in overdrive). All in all, this little combo is a real sweet find! After I fix the power switch and replace the cord, I plan to keep this guy all original. I can live with a little hum for now.

Silvertone 1421 (brown grill)

Silvertone 1421 – Grill Cloth Replaced

The other amp is a 1970 model 1421. Also Sears model number 257.14211100. It’s in pretty good condition too, and is almost completely dead quiet (no hum) when running. But the original grill cloth was replaced and the tremolo is not working. Somebody already replaced the notorious power switch and the 2-prong power cord before I bought it. Unlike it’s twin, this 1421 has an 8-inch CTS speaker with ceramic magnet. I plan to mod this amp as my next project. I will need to work on the tremolo circuit, then replace the caps, ditch the ugly brown fabric, and build a new baffle board to hold a bigger 10-inch Alnico Blue speaker (think: Celestion). After those mods are complete, this 1421 should sound more British than American.

Then, plug these two into my CE-3 stereo chorus pedal and have fun!

A full Tone Gems review of the Silvertone 1421 will be in the near future.

Brand New 1984 DOD FX50 Overdrive

Just arrived! A 1984 DOD FX50 Overdrive Preamp in like-new condition, in the original factory box. There are plenty of these pedals out there, but this one has been barely used and came along with the original manual, papers, and schematic diagram. Plus, I got a great deal! Can’t wait to try this out and report back on the tone.

DOD FX10 BiFET Preamp

DOD Bi-FET Preamp FX10[This is an update to an earlier post. Since then we have done some more testing of this unit with different instruments and amplifiers.]

I was looking for a good analog pedal to overdrive my tube amp without loosing that “great Gretsch sound” of my Electromatic. The DOD FX10 was originally built as a preamp for acoustic guitars, but I had read some pretty good things about using the FX10 as a clean boost, so thought I’d give it a try. I ordered this one online from Studio 1525 (BTW: Studio 1525 has a huge selection of vintage pedals). According to the America’s Pedal web site, the FX line of pedals was first introduced by DOD in 1982, and the FX10 was part of the first group of FX pedals released that year. It remained in production through the mid-1990’s. According to the date code on this FX10’s pots, it was made in 1983. This sample is the original version that has the really cool larger knobs, similar to some other respected DOD pedals of that era.

DOD FX10 SpecificationsDOD Bi-FET Preamp FX10 DOD Bi-FET Preamp FX10

  • Gain of +17 Decibels
  • Controls: Level and Tone (CTS pots)
  • Jacks: ¼” In and Out
  • Construction: Die Cast Metal Box
  • IC: TL062 Dual Op Amp, TI Malaysia
  • JFET: Two J113’s
  • Bypass Switch: CMOS 4007
  • Power: 9-volt battery or PS125 (10VDC)
  • Mfrd: 1983 in USA
  • Dimensions: 3″x5″x1½”
  • Serial No: FX216329

How does it sound?

Others have reported more success with this pedal than I have been able to achieve. It does perform OK on a guitar amp when both controls are kept between 0 and 6 (up to about 2 o’clock on the dial). But above those levels it will add a significant amounts of noise.

Originally, I tested this unit with an old Silvertone tube amp. Initially I was disappointed, because, even though the pedal boosted the amp into overdrive, it was pretty noisy and thickened my guitar’s tone more than desired. But that could have been due to the minimal (or no) shielding in the old tube amp. So I took the pedal out of chain and set it aside for awhile.

Later, I tested this pedal on a solid-state Univox bass amp and it really did a good job of boosting the signal without changing the original tone of the guitar. And unlike before, it barely added any signal noise into the chain of effects. So obviously the combination of equipment makes a big difference.

More photos…

Additional online resources for the DOD 10FX:

Shop: Studio 1525 Preamps
Shop: Search ebay for DOD FX10
More Info: America’s Pedal
More Info: DiscoFreq’s Effects Database

Danelectro DC-1 Cool Cat Chorus

Birthday’s are great! This pedal was a gift! My son and his wife remembered my affinity for chorus pedals and found this Danelectro at a used music shop. It’s the 18-volt version, all analog, made about 1996. It sounds great! Very warm and lush sounding with a broader depth and speed range than similar analog pedals. Maybe it sounds so good because it’s a clone of the legendary Boss CE-2, with the following chips on-board:

  • MN3007 — 1024-stage analog Bucket Brigade chip (BBD). Panasonic, Japan.
  • MN3101 — BBD driver chip. Panasonic, Japan.
  • TL072CP — JFET Op Amp. Texas Instruments.
  • TC4013BP — Dual D-Type Flip Flop bypass circuit (switch). Toshiba, Japan.

Along with my other analog chorus effects pedals, I hope to have a full review posted here in the very near future. Stay tuned…