Analog Man, in collaboration with Jim Weider, have come out with the pedal we have been looking for for many years - the King Of Tone (KoT). There are many overdrive pedals on the market, but none of them have been quite right, preserving the tone of the guitar and adding the right amount of overdrive without compromise. There are some good clean boosts available, but they just don't have enough drive to really give your amp the distortion you often want. There are some newer OD pedals that have a great frequency response, but to me they sound too DRY, sterile, and cardboardy. That is where the King Of Tone pedal comes in - it has enough warm overdrive but still preserves the tones of your quality guitars and amps.
Jim had been using an original TS-808 for well over 20 years, it's now housed in a 1980s TS9 case after Rick Danko stepped on it at a concert that THE BAND played. Jim likes the tone of his TS-808, but has always found it loses some low end and is a bit too heavy in the mids. I also love TS808s and have sold thousands of TS9s with our TS808 mods. But sometimes I have wished for a less compressed, more open and natural sound with more of the guitar's actual tone, or as Jim says "you can hear the note better". A Tube Screamer makes it easier to play and sound good due to the compression and vocal midrange boost, but a master player like Jim would often prefer less coloration to allow his techniques and superb tone to get through.
The King Of Tone overdrive was designed to take an amp at reasonable settings, and make it sound like it would sound if it were naturally driven to pure, smooth, tube distortion. It was fine tuned with Jim's 1960s Fender Deluxe Reverb amp to duplicate the sound when his amp is singing, but at lower volume settings - to simulate the natural tube amp distortion of preamp and power tubes. It does the same thing on other amps like Vox, Marshall, etc, making them sing in their own voice. Jim's amp was modified by our good friend the late Cesar Diaz, and is about the best sounding Fender amp I have heard. Later on, I tested the KoT on my own 1966 Deluxe Reverb amp. My amp is stock, and does not sound that great when it's cranked up. It gets loud but not very warm or singing, a little harsh. My amp sounds MUCH better using the KoT for overdrive, then it sounds very close to Jim's amp.