I love the old Akai Professional gear: they came from an era (the late 90s) when bigger was better, and looked like they had been ripped out of the control panel of an aircraft carrier!
The G-Drive is no exception. Tough as a brick and weighing about the same, these Japanese-made distortion units are somewhat unique for their 'graphical' interface layout (also found on the Akai Hexacomp). In that vein, Akai seems also to have marketed it as the "Shred-O-Graphic".
Two sets of 6 sliders for 'Color' and 'Character' allow precise control of the distortion settings, and function as 6-band EQs for each of the input and output signals. In addition, a preset chart shows you how to dial in 'Fusion Solo', 'Radio', 'Wild Fuzz', 'DS Metal', 'Modern Blues' or 'Crunch'.
To the left of the 'roll cage' are the dials for controlling the output and drive levels. With true bypass and pricing around US$90 when they were new, the G-Drive was a pretty good buy if you wanted something left of centre and the ability to fine tune your distortion.
If you did buy one back then, its almost guaranteed to be faring better than most of your other pedals from that time. The only thing showing any sign of vulnerability are the slider 'caps', as both this G-Drive and my Hexacomp are missing one of these.
Not many rigorous reviews around for these, but you can find a few over at Harmony Central ( Link ), and of course Effects Database has some info ( Link).
Show some love for these Akais - they really don't make them like this anymore!