Not all TS-type Overdrives are created equal. The Electro-Harmonix EAST RIVER Drive Overdrive
Seasick, Puce, Mariner, Forest – All are variations of the single color green. Green has been the trademark color of most all Tubescreamer type pedals ever since the Early 80’s.
Originally developed by Maxon, deemed the OD-808 (and Overdrive II before this), Ibanez produced their products after this proven gain structure that beefed up the mids, and punched amps in the gut.
Hundreds of copycats entered the arena after the success of the Tubescreamer took traction in the guitar market. In more recent years, theTS9, TS10, TS5, TS808, TS808HW are all over the place. The TS9 (which has graced my pedalboard) was such a fun pedal! Yes, it wasn’t a transparent drive, but nobody cared in the crowds!
Lately, I’ve been using a Visual Sound Double Trouble (2x Route 808), which is their take on a Maxon 808 pedal with some tweaks. It’s a smooth, modern sound, with very soft clipping.
Here comes Mike Matthews toting along his EHX East River Drive Overdrive.
In a spree of cloning other pedals in the market, ala Klon and the like, Mike employed Analog Man Mike to create a budget friendly straight up copy of the original Maxon OD-808 circuit. They packed it all onto a small pcb board, worked in a true bypass switch, and gave it away to the public for a little less than $60.
- This is a Cast Aluminum enclosure, solid enough
- Enclosed jack inputs, not a brand like Neutrik, but they work.
- Simple true bypass switch wired in via a ribbon cable
- JRC4558D Chip donning center stage of the pcb board.
As I am a junkie for the Visual Sound version of the OD808, the Route 808/ Double Trouble, I am used to the coloration that the pedal contributes to the signal. The VS pedal sounds more ‘modern’ than the EHX East River Drive Overdrive.
The ERD has a grittier clip to it. While the Route 808 has the benefit of the a tone Buffer, The ERD has the benefit of the True Bypass design, removing it completely from your signal when turned off.
There have been complaints of the POP that comes from switching on these newer effects from EHX. I’m not bothered by it. This is an excellent TS-type pedal. I’d say truer to the OD808 I used to own, yet not as smooth to play as the Route 808.
I’m a keeping this one, however. As Analogman himself helped to design this, I further trust the sounds coming out of this box that my ears already have taken a liking to.
Get a Load of the Picture of the founder of EHX on the Battery included with the pedal! Weird.
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Get your EHX East River Drive today via Amazon!