Based on the highly revered Maxon/Ibanez 808 circuit and co-designed with guitarist Jordan Ziff (Ratt, Marty Friedman, Hot Crazy), the Becos Ziffer Overdrive is one of the newest options in the OD underworld.
For a small unit, the Ziffer has plenty of features. Like most overdrives, there are controls for Gain, Tone, and Level that in this case interact with elegant simplicity. A Clipping switch adjusts gain voicing from soft to aggressive, while Deep provides low-end thump.
Also look for the Dry EQ mini knob, which adjusts the tone of the dry-side mix – you can also use the Ziffer as a clean boost. The Dry/Wet Mix control fine-tunes the amount of crunch adding to your clean tone.
The pedal accepts sources from 9 to 18 volts, the latter giving more headroom and clarity; for more flavor, take it down to 7 volts for that “browned-out” sound.
Plugged in, the Ziffer Overdrive is a fat, warm box that actually “tubed-up” a modeling amp and delivered big power chords and dirt for tones in the Aerosmith, Black Crowes, and AC/DC camp.
When it’s time to get “dirty” in your search for cool, organic 808 sounds, the Becos Ziffer Overdrive is ready to rock.
This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.