Godlyke, Inc has announced the release of the Maxon APEX808 Overdrive pedal, designed by TubeScreamer creator and former Maxon head engineer Susumu Tamura and developed from meticulous analysis of more than 100 vintage and current-production TubeScreamer/OD808 variants over a period of three years. Here's the story in their own words...
During this study, Mr. Tamura determined that the best-sounding TS/808 specimens all featured a specific brand and model of OpAmp, and that this IC was also from a specific production period. This "Magic" IC was subsequently sourced by Mr. Tamura and incorporated into the design of the APEX808.
The use of this "Magic" IC has a marked effect on the sound characteristics of the APEX808, notably improving transparency, clarity and note-to-note separation, even at full saturation. There is also an added low-end punch that is typically not present with 808-style pedals, yet doesn't mask the characteristic midrange that these pedals are known for.
The APEX808's hand-selected IC also offers the unique benefit of changing the overtone components of the signal based on input level. At low levels, the APEX808 generates primarily even-order harmonics. When the input level is increased, the APEX808 generates a blend of even- and odd-order harmonics, creating an overtone series that imitates the preamp and power sections of a tube amp with remarkable accuracy.
The APEX808 allows the user to capture the sounds and feel of the best vintage TubeScreamer without having to play thru hundreds of pedals or pay thousands of dollars to do so.
Street price for the APEX808 is $300 – about a fifth of what you'd pay for a vintage TS808.