To those who were “in the know”, Maxon’s OD808 was identical to the famous Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer in nearly all but name when it was initially put on the market in the late ‘70s and early ’80s. In fact, Maxon was the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for Ibanez and actually made both the Ibanez pedals as well as its own under the Maxon name.
When Ibanez reissued its TS-9 Tube Screamer in 1996 (circuit still manufactured by Maxon), some wondered why they didn’t choose to reissue its TS-808 model instead. Thankfully though, modifications were easy enough to perform to turn the TS-9 reissue into a genuine TS-808 and many offer that service today.
For lovers of the 808 sound that don’t want to deal with modification hassles, Maxon under its own name has reissued its own OD808 pedal based on the same circuit of its more-famous Ibanez TS-808 cousin. The “808” sound overall is famous for its bluesy transparency, touch-sensitivity, and smooth overdrive tone. As tone-lovers, we were anxious to take the OD808 for test spin.