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Thread: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

  1. #1
    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    Or have I been too stupid to learn how to dial in a nice tone into it, so far?

    I got a TS808 a good while ago, a made in Japan original Ibanez, no copy. And I just can't get a pleasant tone out of it, using strats or my Rickenbacker, plugged into tube amps. Either my Blues Jr or other Fender or Marshall amps I use in rehearsal studios.

    What are your own experiences with this classic?

  2. #2
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    You've got to get your old black Fender amp cranked up to 6 and use the TS with the gain set lower to boost the amp into more dirt. Or set your JCM 800 Master Volume amp dirty and set the TS volume all the way up and use the gain knob as a volume to tighten up the amp's sound.

    Back in '83, I bought a used nearly TS-9 Tube Screamer for $15. They were just a crappy OD pedal back then. I really wanted a dirty sound from a clean amp. It really wasn't until the Prince of Tone came a long that I was happy with any OD pedal for that use.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    You've got to get your old black Fender amp cranked up to 6 and use the TS with the gain set lower to boost the amp into more dirt. Or set your JCM 800 Master Volume amp dirty and set the TS volume all the way up and use the gain knob as a volume to tighten up the amp's sound.

    Back in '83, I bought a used nearly TS-9 Tube Screamer for $15. They were just a crappy OD pedal back then. I really wanted a dirty sound from a clean amp. It really wasn't until the Prince of Tone came a long that I was happy with any OD pedal for that use.

    Regarding the BJ: it has a single channel, with a volume (preamp) knob and a master knob. I usually set the volume high enough to crunch the amp and use the master to measure loudness. Do you mean crank the volume to 6 and do the rest with the TS?

  4. #4
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    Regarding the BJ: it has a single channel, with a volume (preamp) knob and a master knob. I usually set the volume high enough to crunch the amp and use the master to measure loudness. Do you mean crank the volume to 6 and do the rest with the TS?
    I haven't spent enough time with a Blues Junior to know. My recommendations were based on amps like Super Reverbs, Deluxe Reverbs, my Vibrolux Reverb, etc... where the whole amp is being pushed, not just the preamp. Unfortunately, it all happens at very high volume levels. Maybe others will chime in with better advice or Blues Junior specific advice.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    I have a bunch of TS-9s. Every one of them (except my original '82) has had the chip replaced with whatever the originals had, I forget the value.
    Actually, the original chip was removed, & an 8-pin socket installed. That way I can use a variety of different chips in there.
    Looking down at my board, I see the knobs are set at 9, 12, & 3, L to R

  6. #6
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    I did the Keely mods to mine. As stated, you need to crank the amp first and then use it as an overdrive - not a distortion. A TS when properly implemented doesn't significantly change the sound of the amp, it just gives it a bit more grunt and grind. The analogy that comes to mind is the "loudness" switch on older analog HiFi systems.

    As for mine with the Keely mods, it keeps getting passed around town between my buds who all borrow it to record. So yeah, a TS is a pretty nice pedal.


    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

  7. #7
    Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: Tube Screamer: Overrated?

    I don't consider it overrated, though depending on what day it is, I do or don't like mine.
    I typically keep it set low gain, for just a bit of grit - my main board is 3 dirt boxes; the TS, a Bixonic Expandora for overdrive, and a Rat for full-on distortion.
    The TS does double as a boost with the Expandora for a little extra without going all the way to Rat territory.
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