Manufactured in Japan by the Maxon corporation, the Ibanez 9 Series pedals are some of the most historically-significant pedals ever made. These analog designs are the reference pedals that inspired today's high-end boutique units, and the rich sounds they produce can be heard on many iconic recordings.
The AD9 covered the delay end of the 9 Series. In the Ibanez line, the AD9 replaced the earlier AD-80, which required an 18v power supply (whereas the AD9 is powered by a standard center-pin-negative 9v barrel). The AD9 uses the MN3205 "bucket brigade" integrated circuit and the companion MN3102 clock drive chipÚ a classic combination. It provides a delay range from 10 ms to 300 ms, so relative to modern delay units, the AD9 doesn't do those super long repeats. But what makes the AD9 special is the incredibly musical way the repeats decay. Although digital delay can supply clean, pristine repeats, part of the sound of analog delay is the subtle degradation of sound as repeats recycle through the bucket brigade. For controls, the AD-9 didn't add anything new from the AD-80: Delay Time, Repeats, and Delay Level provide plenty of flexibility.
This circa-1982 Ibanez AD9 shows some wear and tear, but it functions 100% as it should. The paint is chipped and worn around the edges (it does get stepped on, after all), but the delay sound it produces is warm, rich, and musical. This is fantastic delay pedal, and when you consider the multitude of boutique analog delays available these days, it impressive how much the AD9 holds up. Sure, it doesn't have all those slick features, but its tone is hard to argue with.
Echo/delay pedals are complicated devices that were pricy when new, and this tendency is reflected in vintage market values. Some examples have now reached scarily high prices for mint collector‑grade examples. Nevertheless, the '80s MIJ AD9—despite its rich musical sound—can still be had reasonable prices.