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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Maxon OD-808

Next 20 Messages  
Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Jan 20th, 2011 11:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My tubescreamer story is long and starts back in 1993, when I got a TS-5 for my 19th birthday (started playing the electric guitar just a year before).
Loved that lil screamer and it was always with me, my guitar and amp.
Later on, somewhere around 2000, I had it modded with an IC socket and used some different ICs with it. This made some differences, but when talking original TS sound, the original IC sounded best anyway. (I have the luck to be able to listen to an all original TS-808 and TS-9 ... no reissues ... whenever I need to).

As time passed by, the TS-5 started to have switching issues and therefore got less action, until around 2004/2005 I decided to get a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. Very good sound and very close to the originals - maybe a tad brighter (Sparkle it's called, so ok). Unfortunately, while the SD sounds really good and the clean option is nice as well, the footswitch seems to be a piece of junk. Quit to work properly very soon.

So I lived without any TS for rehearsal or live work for a few years until now I finally decided to get a Maxon OD-808.
Best bang for the buck, I'd say. Not totally cheap, but it has got THE sound. Almost scary, if you compare it with the originals - blind testing can reveal some interesting results - the TS-9 was repeatedly identified as the "clone" ... this is, what prejudices can do.
Anyway, whenever you feel the need for a mild, yet fat overdrive with quite some boost capability - think about Maxon.
This pedal does not need any mod. Nothing to make more transparent. It adds its typical color, but if transparent means that you hear the differences of guitars and pickups - it is, more than many other pedals. Mid honk? Warm and fat it is, but I'd not call that a honk. The TS-5 has a honk. The Sparkle Drive maybe has a honk. Not the OD-808.

Ok, this is a honeymoon review anyway. I'll go back and do some more in depth comparisons between my TS-5, SD and OD-808. But so far, I love this pedal.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Jan 20th, 2011 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Forgot to add:
the OD-808 is advertised as true bypass and regarding the sound in bypass, I am willing to believe, BUT
all other true bypass pedals I have let the signal get through in bypass even without any battery or power supply connected. The OD-808 does not. No power connection, no signal. Of course not when it was last switched on, but also not if it was switched off.
Typically, this is the case with pedals that have a buffered bypass, which is not considered as true bypass.
Does anyone of you know details regarding this point?

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
****

Merrill, Wisconsin

Finally! Decent cold and snow!
Jan 21st, 2011 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Some true bypass pedals use a relay, either mechanical or electronic to bypass the signal. The relay has to be powered in order to switch to bypass, but it is still true bypass. The test of removing power and seeing if the pedal will pass signal is not always useful.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Jan 22nd, 2011 04:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Steve, you are right - but in this case, I am a fool.
1. The OD-808 is NOT advertised anywhere as true bypass. The OD-9 is advertised as true bypass and due to the looks of the switch, I just thought, that the OD-808 is as well. But in fact it is not - the Maxon homepage clearly points that out - one of the differences between OD-9 and OD-808 is true bypass versus electronically buffered bypass.
2. Why do I worry anyway? When I put everything on my pedalboard, I thought about adding my trusty old Ibanez TS-5 at the beginning of the signal path - not to be switched on, just to serve as buffer amp, since there are all these pedals, plugs and cables - something that causes a loss of sound even or especially in case of everything being true bypass. This is one of these points, where some of us guitarists (including me of course) sometimes are really funny - looking for the holy grail of true bypass switching in each and any pedal, just to later add a buffer amp ... why are we doing that?
Anyway, since I now know, that the OD-808 has a buffered bypass (without any influence on sound), I feel free to add anything doubtful post it (e.g. a wah pedal with hardware bypass but not true bypass - input electronics stay connected in bypass - something that robs a lot of treble usually, but not if any kind of buffer - e.g. the OD-808 - is placed in front.

The OD-808 is not true bypass, but I love it :)

Think Floyd
Contributing Member
******

Eastern PA

Jan 22nd, 2011 06:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I first had the OD-9, but I didn't like the footswitch. If you didn't hit it just right, then it wouldn't turn on/off. I sold that and bought the OD-808, and actually like it better than the OD-9.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Jan 22nd, 2011 10:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you, Think Floyd - yes, the functionality of the footswitch was the final reason of decision for me. That's the point - my pedalboard anyway needs a buffer amp + with the OD-808 it has got an extremely good sounding buffer amp and an extremely good sounding overdrive in one box. No idea why I ever wanted these two functions separated - it is good as it is.
And while discussing the bypass, one should really not forget the sound - the OD-808 sounds great and while not a real cheapo, it is really a lot of bang for the buck compared to Ibanez or boutique clones.

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
**

Edmond/OKC

Axe Victim
Feb 14th, 2011 03:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've owned my Maxon OD-808 for about 6 years or more and its the best OD pedal I've ever used. I have zero desire to try any new OD units out.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Feb 15th, 2011 11:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Love mine, as written.
But after doing a lot of blindfold A/B, I'd say I just love the Tubescreamer in general. There are only very small nuances between the models. My favourites: original TS-808, TS-5 and Maxon OD-808. Second best: any TS-9 (original or reissue), VoodooLab SparkleDrive, TS-808 reissue, TS-10; I did not A/B test TS-7, other Maxons, etc.

Masstrat

US

Apr 6th, 2011 11:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had a Maxon OD-808 for about 8 years and love it. It's on my board with a Fultone OCD and I find myself going to the Maxon more. For a real singing tone I use both pedals simultaneously.
You may already know this, but Maxon made the original TS-808 for Ibanez and it is supposedly the same circuit. Great pedal.

vegetablejoe

Manila

Dec 5th, 2011 12:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Before getting myself a Maxon OD-808, I had the Ibanez TS-808 reissue which would get quite noisy when cascaded with another gain pedal. The Maxon is lots quieter and seems a lot smoother, though I did not have the opportunity to a/b them at the same time.

I also loved a Visual Sound Route 808 I used to have, which had more gain, and which was the quietest I've ever used, because of the built-in noise gate. It also seemed to be a bit more hi-fi sounding than the Maxon. I wish I still had it, despite its weird shape and its not so useful bass boost.

Solomio

Canada/Montreal

Dec 16th, 2011 05:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Rick I couldn't help but notice that you have listed the TS9 first as your second choice. Please give your experience based opinion on it. As you know I am about to buy the TS808RI and it is twice the price of a TS9.
Whats the deal?
solomio

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Dec 18th, 2011 02:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Solomio,
this is really just about small details. But those, I see as "second best" are sounding slightly harder in the mids. It is difficult to describe, however, what I mean exactly. It is something you hear in some amps when swapping tubes. Or maybe the difference between speakers of same model but different state of break-in.
However, the longer I have the Maxon on my board, the more I am happy with it, as these really small details however get more obvious the more often I use it.
By the way, I agree the noise statement - the Maxon is the least noisy TS I ever heard (not taking built-in noise gates into the statement ...) - but that never was a reason to like it - my TS love started when I only had my noisy (then unmodded) TS-5

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
***

Edmond/OKC

i Haz Roc U
Mar 26th, 2012 02:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I have zero desire to try any new OD units out."

Well . . . I just replaced the Maxon OD-808 on my pedalboard with a Cusack Screamer V2. The Cusack has a warmer sound and more gain. (:oD

ps - I bought the Cusack after trying out a bunch of boutique OD pedals.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Mar 26th, 2012 10:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, 5Strats, it lasted a year at least :)
Mine is still there and won't go soon ...

5Strats
Contributing Member
**********
***

Edmond/OKC

i Haz Roc U
Mar 27th, 2012 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm not getting rid of the OD-808, that's for sure. But the Cusack seems to work best with my current band and the amps and guitars I'm using.

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member

USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Apr 27th, 2012 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Rick, I too bought a SD and had switch problems. The maker wanted to know about issues like these, why not contact Voodoo Labs and see if they will put a new switch in for you, or contact Analogman about a new switch or a true bypass for the 808 or TS-9?

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Apr 28th, 2012 12:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

rfrakes,
I would if I lived in the US, but the shippig costs from Europe to the US are imho too high for doing so.

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member

USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Apr 29th, 2012 01:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Rick, Can you solder? If so get a new foot switch locally and put it in.

Rick Plays The Blues

Austria

May I try that again?
Apr 30th, 2012 03:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I could do that, yeah - then I could sell it (love the sound of the Maxon more ...)
But it seems it is PCB mounted, so I am a little afraid to destroy the PCB ...

rfrakes331K
Contributing Member
*

IL USA

RonHalen Jokingly He Says
Jul 15th, 2012 01:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That switch is soldered to the PCB.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Maxon OD-808




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