1979 – 2019: Maxon has been able to stay on the market for a full 40 years. After master developer Susumu Tamura lent a hand for the first jubilee version, now pedal guru Robert Keeley gets a chance to add his flair to the OD808 circuit. If you want one of the first 40 hand-signed units, though, be prepared to dig deep into your wallet. Very deep.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the OD808, Maxon has teamed up with various manufacturers to have them modify their classic pedal. The latest of these is called the OD808-40K and is limited to 400 pieces worldwide and was modified by none other than Robert Keeley.
The first 40 devices are hand signed by Keeley. There are the usual controlls: Drive, Tone, Balance. A small switch has been installed that activates the Max-Gain Mod. The result is a sound with more gain and treble designed to make your guitar sing. The input of your amp will definitely be hit hard.
However, I find it regrettable that this switch is omitted for the rest of the production run. Instead of switching back and forth, you only get the active mod. Mr Keeley says about the Maxon OD808:
“The sleek and classic sounding Maxon OD808 has always been a favorite of mine. What I have always wanted to do is to realize the mods in my head. I wanted to change some aspects at once. For this 40th anniversary edition I put everything into making it a very hot, stacked gain sounding overdrive. It’s all a classic OD808, just maxed out!”
The Maxon OD808-40K (with signature from Keeley and the tiny switch) costs a whopping USD 400. Given the cost, you’d have to be a hardcore tube screamer fan. I find the price pretty outrageous, because it’s not the case here that years of R&D investment have to be recouped for this simple, decades-old circuit. Probably, only a few components have been replaced.
The 360 other pedals from this production run (without the signature and mini-switch) cost “only” 199 dollars. The whole series should be available in mid-July. You can pre-order now. For me, the classic OD-808 (affiliate link) with a booster in front of it would be enough…
RRP – Standard USD 199, Signed by Keeley USD 400