Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive review

A TS-808-style pedal with added extras

  • £159
  • €164
  • $200
The three-band EQ is the 805's secret weapon

MusicRadar Verdict

A practical pedal in front of clean or dirty amps. In an over-subscribed genre, the 805's EQ and wide range of gain gives it real versatility.


  • +

    A more versatile alternative to the standard TS-style pedals. Three-band EQ. Plenty of gain.


  • -

    Not much.

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The Seymour Duncan 805 takes its inspiration from a TS-808 Tube Screamer but is designed with an expanded gain range and adds three-band EQ in the form of three mini knobs for bass, mid and treble.

"The crucial mid knob (operating at 750Hz) can either scoop out the sound or give you a nice throaty honk"

Balancing the level and drive knobs provides a whole range of boosted and driven sounds. With the drive knob at minimum, you still get 8dB of gain and can wind up the level to give you a useful clean boost.

At full whack, the drive knob offers 36dB of gain for a valve-like overdrive that can add a second channel to any amp.

At their (notched) neutral positions there's little tonal shift, but the three EQ knobs each offer cut or boost at a well-chosen frequency for fine tuning of the sound, particularly the crucial mid knob (operating at 750Hz), that can either scoop out the sound or give you a nice throaty honk.

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.