This is a Guest Post by Tom Jenkinson
The most imitated pedal of all time: the Ibanez Tubescreamer. Maxon, who produced the original Tubescreamers for Ibanez continued production with the original circuitry after Ibanez and Maxon parted ways in 2002. Ibanez has produced countless re-issue pedals since. Re-issues which, unlike the Maxon OD808, do not truly capture that creamy, overdriven magic.
The OD808 provides thick, luscious tones straight out of the box. With only three knobs, the pedal is simple to use. Dialling in crunch or cream can be achieved with the most minimal of knowledge. The ‘Overdrive’ knob controls the amount of gain. ‘Balance’ provides control over the level of effect in comparison to guitar signal. Lastly, the ‘Tone’ knob makes the difference between ‘Bluesbreaker’-esque smoothness or Townshend mid-range punch.
The pedal is lightweight (260g) and the size of this beast means you’d barely notice it on your pedal board. But what really sets this pedal apart from countless competitors, is its true-to-vintage construction. Unlike similar overdrives, and even Ibanez’s own-brand reissues, the OD808 captures real vintage tones, instead of mimicking them.
Plug in a telecaster and expect a rockabilly twang; roll up the overdrive and the pedal really thickens up. Even for single coils, the OD808 really packs a punch. Think Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or Cream to name a few. However, swap the single coils for high output humbuckers and this pedal is lethal. Played through a Marshall JVM205, the OD808 really pushes the tubes into a natural overdrive. Metal tones such as Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica are well within its capability and sound astonishing.
A truly remarkable piece of equipment, it is almost unbelievable that so much tonal Nirvana can be found in such a compact box. Powered by either 9V battery or DC power supply the OD808 is the most versatile pedal around. The proof is in the pudding: used by an endless list of artists from all spectrums of music the Maxon OD808 is an absolute-must for tone addicts and music enthusiast alike.
View the Maxon OD808 on Amazon.