Mike Piera, founder of pedal builder Analog Man, has revealed that his firm worked closely with Electro-Harmonix in the development of its popular East River Drive pedal.
Piera recently took to Instagram to recall the development of the overdrive pedal and praise the resulting production from EHX.
“It’s not well known, but when EHX wanted to make a classic overdrive pedal, they asked Analog Man to help them out, as we have been working on Tube Screamers longer than anyone else,” writes Piera.
“We worked with the EHX management and engineers, and they built this excellent pedal, to our exact specs, with the JRC4558D chip which we have used for so long. A winner at any price, it's a no-brainer at (way!) under $100.”
The East River Drive was introduced back in 2013 and was the first EHX build to use the JRC4558 overdrive circuit that was essential to the sound of Ibanez’s TS808 Tube Screamer pedal.
It took the name East River Drive from EHX’s New York City locale – specifically the road that runs along the East River waterway, separating Manhattan and Queens.
Available for a then-list price of $77, it immediately became a go-to Tube Screamer clone for players on a budget – and its compact design helped it find a home in tight spaces, too.
Since then it’s remained in production and still has plenty of fans – with a proliferation of Tube Screamer vs East River Drive shootouts across YouTube. Price-wise, it has remained competitive: even considering the post-pandemic supply chain issues and the inflation of recent years, it’s still available for a wallet-friendly $81.
Meanwhile, Analog Man’s pedals have been much imitated, but the boutique builder still collaborates with other firms. Last year, it worked with MXR on the Duke Of Tone overdrive, a single-channel take on Analog Man’s revered King of Tone pedal.