A versatile 808-style stomp that covers a lot of ground.

The latest stomp from famed pickup guru Seymour Duncan is the 805, an updated take on the ubiquitous green pedal that's launched a million riffs. Duncan started with the "808 chip," which was a full-sized 4558, but they settled on a MC33178 to eliminate excess noise and extend battery life. They also added in a very responsive 3-band EQ and some added gain. The end result is aimed at Tube Screamer fans that like more tone-shaping power.

With all knobs at noon, the 805 captured the essence of a classic overdrive—think "Jumping Jack Flash" with more girth. Set up as a boost, the 805 isn’t quite as transparent as I hoped, probably due to the active EQ’s amplification stage. The real surprise came when the gain was cranked. The 805 produced an amazingly crunchy metal tone (it does have 36 dB of gain handy) and with the added EQ controls I could dial out some of flabby low end and scoop the mids—bonus! There inevitability will be the die-hard 808 nerds that wouldn't give up their green box for all the Klons in the world, but the 805 gives open-minded overdrive fans a solid, and versatile, option.

Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, PRS S2 Vela, Fender Hot Rod Deville ML 212

Ratings

Pros:
Very interactive EQ controls. Covers a lot of ground.

Cons:
Could be more transparent at lower gain settings.

Street:
$140

Company
seymourduncan.com

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

The author’s Collings D2H rests on his favorite Fender amp combination for acoustic guitar: a Bandmaster Reverb atop a 1x12 extension cab with an Eminence Maverick inside. The amp has a custom-made baffle board with two 8" speakers, so can go it alone for smaller gigs.

Interested in plugging a flattop into your favorite silver- or black-panel beauty? Here’s what you need to know.

Have you ever tried to plug your acoustic guitar into a classic-style Fender amp? There are some hurdles to overcome, and this month I’ll provide some advice on how to get past them. But first, some background.

Read More Show less

A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less
x