Akai Drive3 Overdrive review

  • £59
  • $279
The Drive3 Overdrive is a worthy addition to a crowded marketplace.

MusicRadar Verdict

Natural overdrive sound with enough tweaking options to make it interesting.


  • +

    Similar sound to a certain famous little green stompbox; chips can be swapped to taste.


  • -

    Not much.

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There are loads of overdrives on the market, and many of them based on the circuitry of the venerable Tube Screamer.

The Drive3 Overdrive is one of them, and it acknowledges its heritage with the scream setting on its three-way switch (alongside warm and boost). Like a TS-808 or TS-9 it has a JRC4558 chip but if you fancy a change of sound it can be easily swapped out for a different one.


As might be expected, what's on offer here is that classic green box overdrive to add a touch of valve-like dirt and kick your amp up a notch. It sounds pretty close to our TS-808 but offers extra variations via the three-way switch.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.