The Maxon OD808 Overdrive is made by the same Japanese company which crafted the original overdrive circuit in a green stompbox that's been obsessed over by guitarists for the past 30 years. It uses the identical circuit found in the original employing the same JRC4558 IC chip for smooth, natural overdrive similar to a cranked-up tube amp. The OD808 pedal responds to the picking dynamics and nuances of your individual style while also letting the true tone of your instrument shine through.
Originally released in 1979, the Maxon OD808 pedal was one of the first tube-amp overdrive simulators to hit the market. Its smooth, creamy crunch tone caught on quickly, and helped to launch a long line of predecessors as well as imitators. Today, the OD808 design is without a doubt the most used, most imitated and most lauded overdrive circuit of all time. The reason for this is simple--tone. Simply put, the OD808 provides the natural, mild overdrive of a tube amp without sacrificing your guitar's original tone. In addition, it can be used as a clean booster to provide increased gain without compromising the sound of your amplifier.
The secret behind the legendary "808 tone" lies in the amplifier section of its circuit. Rather than having an amplifier stage followed by a clipping stage, the OD808 uses a signal-distorting diode (Panasonic #MA150) that is located in the amplifier stage's negative feedback loop (which also contains the JRC4558 IC chip). Therefore, the OD808 distorts signal in the amplifier circuit itself which yields a smoother, milder, more natural sounding distortion than a separate clipping stage. This is also the reason that the IC type used in the circuit has such a large impact on the unit's tone. Maxon developed this unique design more than 20 years ago, and while it is commonplace nowadays, back then it was an industry first.
It should be noted that the Reissue Series OD808 uses different output resistors than the original version. After the unit's initial release it was discovered to have a high susceptibility to noise due to static electricity buildup. To improve performance, the positions of the output resistors on the reissue OD808 were reversed and their values increased in order to reduce noise levels. This circuit change has no audible affect on the sound of the unit, save for reducing the noise levels.
Whether it's used as an overdrive or a booster, the Maxon OD808 is the closest you can get to the classic sounds of rock guitar in a compact effect pedal.
"…it"s nearly impossible to dial in a bad sound. If you"re after classic blues/rock overdrive, it would be tough to pick a better pedal."
Guitar Player Magazine, May 2000
"This device is perfect if you dig the sound of your amp but wish it could go up to 11."
Guitar World Magazine, April 2000
"I"d definitely recommend the OD808 to all Tube Screamer fans."
Vintage Guitar Magazine, November 2000
"I always loved the sound of my TS808 …now I can have it all back without the paranoia and anxiety of a feared theft, all at a cheaper price than a vintage one. Bravo!"
20th Century Guitar, October 2000
Past - Present - Perfect: Reissue Series
Faithful reproductions of the legendary '70s product line, the Maxon Reissue Series Effects offer today's musician a classic sonic palette that has defined the tones of guitarists for the past three decades. Each model's circuit is 100% analog and packaged in a time-tested chassis for a lifetime of trouble-free performance. Component quality and PC board layout have been optimized to provide consistent, low noise performance without adding unnecessary coloration to your instrument's tone.
• Rugged, Lightweight Chassis: Made of cast aluminum, extremely lightweight (less than one pound) and strong. Rectangular chassis offers easy interface with other pedal types without taking up excess pedalboard or rack space.
• Electronic Bypass Switching: Dual FET (electronic) silent switching with plunger-type activator switch for smooth, quiet bypass. Buffered low impedance outputs will drive long cable lengths with no signal degradation.
• AC/DC Power Operation: power using 9-volt battery (supplied) or AC adapter (Maxon AC210N optional).
• LED Power/Battery Life Indicator: Ultra bright LED indicates effect status (on/off). Dim or no LED indicates that the battery is low or not installed.
• 3-Year Warranty: Godlyke Inc. guarantees to replace or repair (at their option) this product should it suffer from defects in materials or workmanship. Coverage period is one year for moving parts (example: pots, switches, jacks) and three years for non-moving parts (example: IC's, transistors, etc.). Damages caused by accident, abuse, alteration, or misuse are not covered by this warranty. Product appearance and normal "wear and tear" (worn paint, scratches, etc.) are not covered by this warranty. No other warranty is expressed or implied.
Warm, natural overdrive similar to a tube amp
Overdrive, Balance, and Tone controls
Uses same JRC4558 IC-based circuit as original green '808 overdrive
Responds to picking dynamics and playing nuances
Great as overdrive or amp booster
Input Impedance: 500K Ohms
Input Jack: 1/4" standard phone jack
Output Impedance: 10K Ohms
Output Jack: 1/4 inch standard phone jack
Controls: Drive, Tone, Balance
Noise (IHF-A): -110 dBu
Max Amplitude; 35dB
Power Supply: 9V Manganese dry cell battery (S-006P) or special AC adaptor
Power Voltage: DC9 V (Battery) / DC10 V (AC-adaptor)
Current Consumption: 5mA (9V)/6mA (10 V)
AC Adaptor AC210N (option): AC120V Input; DC9V/200 mA Center - / Sleeve +) Output
Dimensions (main body): 61 mm (W) x 112 mm (D) x 35 mm (H)
Dimensions (whole): 70 mm (W) x 112 mm (D) x 55 mm (H)
Accessories: 9V Manganese dry cell battery (S-006P) x 1; Non-skid pad x 1; Warranty Card x 1; User's Manual x 1