Very rare vintage Ibanez Overdrive II pedal in excellent working order and exceptional cosmetic condition. An early predecessor of the TS-808 Tube Screamer, this fantastic-sounding pedal seems to cover a lot of bases, from a thickening overdrive up into almost Big Muff territory but with a smoother top end. A really great overdrive/fuzz pedal - organic and warm - a hard one to part with...
The first guitar effect series distributed by Ibanez consisted mainly of stompboxes and pedals manufactured by Maxon (Nisshin Onpa factory). Some of the first series pedals and effect boxes date back to the pre-Maxon period of Nisshin Onpa, when they sold unbranded fuzz and fuzz wah pedals to a number of different companies such as Aria and Greco.
The Overdrive II, at lower to mid gain settings, produces distortion tones similar to the TS-808 – definitely capturing the natural overdriven tube amp sound. Smooth, sustaining tone qualities with a slight harmonic overtone are also easily captured. At higher gain/level settings, the Overdrive II turns into a monster, with a huge, fat bottom end. Yet it still sounds natural – not buzzy, like some distortions tend to get at higher settings. It is quite versatile. With the balance (effect level) set at three o’clock or higher, and the distortion turned all the way down, the Overdrive II produces a very usable, clean signal boost. With a small tube amplifier, like a Fender Champ, it produces very smooth distortion. A simple, clean-sounding boost is something the TS-808 is capable of, but doesn’t do nearly as well as the Overdrive II. By setting the balance and distortion controls at half, the pedal produces a smooth distortion with a slight sustain. The tone knob, used with these settings, will produce as much bite or softness as the player desires. This setting is great for that just-starting-to-break-up type of distortion. By adjusting the tone knob and the distortion control around the midway point, the pedal produces tones similar to the TS-808. In fact, it’s very hard to tell them apart. An A/B comparison using a Strat and a Vibrolux revealed little difference. The midway setting is perfect for blues. When setting the balance at a midway point and the distortion at a higher setting (approximately three o’clock), the pedal produces fat-sounding distortion or overdrive that allows notes to ring and sustain, similar to a lower-gain Marshall amplifier tone. If you attempt to run the pedal wide open, with distortion and balance all the way up, it can get pretty squirrelly. The Overdrive II is an impressive pedal for overdrive lovers. And if you like fuzz, you’ll definitely want to check out an Orange Overdrive