Designed to give the same distinctive tone as the original (and now legendary) TS808 Tube Screamer from the seventies, Visual Sound has added its own electronic refinements.
The most noticeable of these is a bass boost switch, offering a great alternative to the rather mid-dominant sound of most Tube Screamer clones. The other controls are the familiar drive, tone and volume.
The Route 808 certainly does a fine job of creating the signature TS808 sound, although with a crisper, more 'alive' tone than many of the vintage originals, and of course a much more generous bass response.
Even with the bass boost turned off, the Route 808 has a much more balanced tonal response than we expected – it's up at the top of our '808-alike Top 10' with the Keeley-modded pedal.
Adding the bass boost makes it possible to get more of an old-style fuzz sound from the pedal; high gain settings are more squishy and saturated. There's plenty of output to be had from the Route 808 and it'll add plenty of grit to quite a clean amp sound.