Maxon Apex 808 Overdrive review

Is this Susumu Tamura-designed drive pedal the finest Tube Screamer on the market?

Maxon Apex 808
(Image: © Maxon)

Guitar World Verdict

Pricey but worth every cent, the Apex 808 is the ultimate TS-style overdrive pedal, with exceptional tube-like response and the most musical and warm drive on the market.


  • +

    Arguably the best a Tube Screamer can be.

  • +

    Clarity and grit in equal measure.

  • +

    Simple control layout.

  • +

    Top-quality build.


  • -


You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

If ever there was an app similar to Tinder for overdrive pedals, guitarists would never stop swiping. I say this because there must be thousands upon thousands of popular and boutique dirt boxes available for guitarists to fixate on and mull over as “The best!” but in reality, these armchair pedal pushers rarely ever settle on just one. 

Debate all you want, but only two are primarily considered the “Holy Grail” (*cough* Tube Screamer! Klo– *cough*). But that still won’t stop me from asking, “Does the world need another overdrive pedal?” 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.