OD808 Overdrive Review

manufacturer: Maxon date: 08/02/2012 category: Guitar Effects
Maxon: OD808 Overdrive
Its smooth, creamy crunch tone caught on quickly, and helped to launch a long line of predecessors as well as imitators.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Ease of Use: 8.7
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reviews (3) pictures (2) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
OD808 Overdrive Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 03, 2005
2 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Ease of Use: First off, I would like to say this is not a pedal for beginner guitarists, at all, you have to have some serious experience to use this pedal, and it can make your solid state 15 watt sound like a screaming Marshall tube stack. The manual gives a few sample settings, but that was the last thing I was looking for. The settings tell you how to use this as a gain boost for your ap, how to use it as a primary Overdrive pedal, and how to use it as a volume boost. Pretty much this pedal is very, very easy to use, with some knoledge and experience with playing the guitar. // 6

Sound: I run an Epiphone Gothic Flying V with EMGs into the Maxon, and a Boss Noise Suppressor, to a Marshall MGHDFX100 Head and MG412 Cab, and I have no desire to go buy anything else. If you use the pedal the way I do, it can get quite noisy at high volumes because I use this pedal as a volume/gain boost, thus I purchased a Boss Noise Suppressor, and now I have the exact tone I have been searching for. I can probably achive the tone of my favorite artists, like Matt Heafy of Trivium, or Kerry King of Slayer, but I'm really into my own tone so I haven't bothered to try. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This is my most dependable piece of equiptment, it is run with an AC adaptor, and it is always turned on, so I'm not really stomping on it excessivly. I would totally bring this to a gig without a backup, because it is so reliable night in and night out. // 10

Overall Impression: I play heavy metal, and if I inspire any heavy metal players to go buy one of these, I hope you dont expect to hear balls to the walls gain. You have to do alot of messing and playing with this pedal to get the tone you want to achive. This pedal really adds chunk to your palm mutes when used with your amps natural distortion, and it makes everything more clear, which is very important. I have been playing religiously for 4-5 years now, and I own this Maxon, a pair of Epiphone Flying V's, an Ovation Acoustic, a Dunlop Crybaby, a DigiTech Multi-Chorus, a Boss Noise Suppressor, and a Boss Metal Zone, that now sits in its box in the top of my closet. There isn't one thing that I wish I had asked prior to buying this pedal except maybe "Can you knock off about 10 bucks?" I went down to the local music store and checked this pedal and the Ibanez TS808, and pretty much they were similar, except the Maxon was a little less harsh on the midrange and had more tonal control. If this were stolen, I wouldnt have to buy a new one, because I would hunt down the SOB that stole it, beat his you know what, and take my Maxon back. // 10

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overall: 10
OD808 Overdrive Reviewed by: stephen_rettie, on october 20, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Guitar Village

Ease of Use: Easy. 3 knobs: overdrive, balance and tone. Incredibly easy to get a good overdriven tone. The manual is good, comes with a few presets to get you started and not like 'heavy metal distoriton! ' or 'blues drive' and such but stuff for boosting solos and the signature tone of the OD808. I can't flaw this in this category. // 10

Sound: I use this in conjunction with my Ibanez RG and Marshall JCM900, It's perfect in this setup in so many ways, gives boost for solos or it can be used all the time to give you a great tone, to my surprise it can also bring some goodness out of a Marshall MG! Who knew?? instead of the clean straight to uber12yearoldinguitarcenter spectrum that I've come to expect, when used on the clean channel It gives a brilliant bluesy crunch and is also great for classic rock. On the incredibly dirty channel if tweaked right it can add a lot to the tone and transform the amp into a semi-decent one. I love the tone from this thing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It has a metal casing and could easily take a beating. I would have no problem gigging without a backup, in fatc I plan on it in the near future, I own pedals I wouldn't trust outside so this is a breath of fresh air in the realm of durability. Never had any problems with it and I don't expect to in the future. // 10

Overall Impression: I want to be critical here but there isn't anything to critisize, it deserves a perfect 10 because it does what it's supposed to and does it well. I needed a boost and this gives just the right mix of compression and Drive to really add to your tone. I play the usual blues to metal spectrum and this adds to all of these incredibly, if I'm not playing with this then I feel as if I'm missing some integral part of my sound. // 10

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overall: 10
OD808 Overdrive Reviewed by: CkY freak, on august 02, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 135

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: Well this is the Maxon OD808. As they say, the one that really started it all back when Maxon licensed these pedals to Ibanez. It's set up like a typical overdrive. 3 knobs, overdrive, tone, and balance. I don't know how it could get any easier than this really! There is a manual for it, but I didn't open it. As I said, its pretty simple to use. It's straight forward. Even though it only has 3 knobs, I've found a few great applications for it, for my setup. // 10

Sound: I have several guitars I use this pedal with - including a PRS SE 245, an Epiphone LP Custom Pro, a American Special Mahogany Strat, and an Ibanez RG470. However, I'm mainly using an Ibanez RG1570 Prestige, and an LTD MH-1000nt Deluxe. I have predominantly higher output pickups in my guitars. From EMG's in the LTD. A tone zone in my prestige, an X2N in my RG470, and a Seymour Duncan Distortion in my PRS. It definitely brings out a whole new element to each instruments sounds. I'm writing this review for people like me, who wanted to really know the tonal differences between the OD808, and OD9. I owned an OD9 for many years. I always regretted not getting this one instead. Compared to the OD9, I find it much smoother, and not as bright as the OD9. I also find its not as midrangey as the OD9, which is why I got rid of the OD9 after being unhappy with it for so long. It's just got a great natural sound, that I think accents your amps tonal characteristics, rather than overdubbing them with its own. I use this as a boost most of the time, in my Peavey 6505+ head. You pretty much have to have a noise gate when using it this way. If you don't, the feedback and hiss would probably be unbearable. I also found this as a great sustainer for Eric Clapton/Eric Johnson type solo tones. When used with the clean channel on my 6505+, with the crunch switch engaged, using this pedal on top, and playing with the Overdrive knob can get you anywhere from an Eric Clapton overdriven blues tone, to a full out rock tone. Even though its a simple design, there's much more you can do with this once you've scratched the surface. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a Maxon. Its built to last. Its definitely a quality item. It's in a sturdy metal casing. Plus I like the soft switch on it. Sometimes pedals with harder switches pop when you engage them. The switch is very similar to the Korg Pitchblack, if anybody is familiar with that. // 10

Overall Impression: I play MOSTLY metal, so this is absolutely perfect for the application I use it for. Which is compressing/reducing the bottom end flub that occurs when you have a lot of gain, and bass dialed in. I've been playing for about 10 years. I listed most of my other gear above, but as far as pedals go - I just have the Korg Pitchblack, the Boss NS-2, and an MXR Carbon copy I run in my effects loop. It's a pretty simple set up. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy another one. I know its expensive. I used to find it hard to justify the price of things like this, when there are so many cheaper models that do just about the same thing. But after all my years of experience, and owning several Overdrive pedals, I can honestly say, this is worth the money. It really is better than some of the other ones out there. If you're stuck between the OD808, and OD9, go with this. I wish I had in the first place. // 10

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