Price paid: $ 140
Purchased from: Chicago Music Exchange
Ease of Use — 10
This pedal is incredibly easy to use. Although with more controls than it's predecessors, the 805 is very straightforward and it's 3-band EQ is very fun to play with in order to dial in the tone you want. The manual for it is simple as well, and offers some settings to serve as a starting point for you in your journey with the 805. My best advice for those curious about this pedal or just recently got it, is to spend a good few hours messing with the pedal to figure out how it best fits into your rig. Easy-to-use with a world of possibilities!
Sound — 10
The Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive is by all means a modern version of the legendary TS808 and TS9. It was one of Seymour Duncan's first offerings in its revamped pedal line, along the Vapor Trail delay, Vise Grip Compressor, and so forth. Like it's older brothers, it features level and drive controls. Unlike it's older brothers, it features a 3-band equalizer (bass, mid, treble) for even more tonal possibilities. It's powered by a 9V battery or adapter, is true bypass, and comes in a snazzy seafoam green finish with black and white accents (older finish).
Sound-wise, it's a very badass pedal. After seeing early demos of it with Keith Merrow, I knew that it could easily reach the heavy end of the spectrum and hold itself well. I personally play hard-rock, punk, and metal more often than not, but do dabble with blues, funk, and even country. So, for my main styles, I wanted to see if the 805 could work well - it does as an overdrive and as a pretty nice clean boost too (if used on the clean channel, adds more output and some dirt if wanted). I'm currently running it through a Jet City 100HDM and an Avatar 2x12, but have used it with a Fender Frontman 65 and Blackstar Soloist 60 combo (where it sounded stellar).
It's not much of a noisy pedal, but it can be if you have a lot of amp gain already and push the drive and level controls past 3' o clock. The tonal sound of it is really up to you with the 3-band EQ; I personally use it to add a touch of treble to my low-end heavy guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The pedal itself is very well built and sturdy. When I received it (February 2015) I remember being pretty happy that everything was wired well and enclosed well. The hardware itself is strong as well and the finish was painted on well.
Although I haven't gigged with it (which is why it's a 9 and not a 10), it is VERY durable and has proven itself so after it getting tossed around from time to time (not on purpose). I would be comfortable gigging with it without a backup; it's a sturdy pedal and can hold it's own.
Overall Impression — 10
For the style of music I play, the 805 is a great match. It adds more gain, serves as a clean boost, and can round out my already high-gain amp. In my almost 10 years of playing, this is easily my favorite pedal owned. If stolen or lost, I would definitely grab a new one. I enjoy the fact that it is very versatile and can be used in multiple applications for my playing. Even after comparing it with other overdrives after the fact, I still find the 805 does everything I want and more. I'm very satisfied with it.