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Is the tube screamer still relevant?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    I have never been fond of the pedal, mostly because of its cut of the low-end, but its impact on modern music and ubiquitousness since its inception is undeniable.

    Is having the pedal really necessary though, given all the other types of overdrives out there? By other, I don't mean tube screamer clones, I mean un-screamers - overdrives that don't do that.

    If I wanted to cover songs that have "that sound," can it really be done reasonably well without a TS-style pedal (low cut below 700'ish hz, mid boost, etc.) or should I have a TS pedal in the box, just in case?

    I like the Jet Driver and ST-9 for TS variants, but prefer other pedals in general over them.

    Curious what people think when your trying to match a sound and its no question what pedal that sound came from...
    Synapse2k, 2blue2 and brothawils like this.
  2. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I never could stand TS pedals and I think they make good amps sound cheap. But I'm in the minority on this.
  3. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    I think the main reason they were used was to get the guitar out front and cutting through the band, when the amp itself wasn't enough to do this. It makes perfect sense for a Fender-style amp, but much less for Marshall-style (mids heavy) unless they just wanted more.

    I get it, but I'm in the minority with you...don't care for the pedal...but if your going after that sound....
    JustABluesGuy and PingGuo like this.
  4. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Wouldn't of made it through the eighties with out it.
    Was about the fanciest gear I could afford then though.


    Jury is out on if still relevant now.
  5. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    I bought a TS as my first guitar pedal because that was the dogma, and I didn't like it. I generally have to play at apartment levels, and using a TS by itself to make the dirt sounds lousy IMHO, it needs to go into an amp that's already running a bit hot. Then it seems to have a cool alchemy going on where its drive blends with that of the amp to make that sound that we're all (too) familiar with, the mid-humped drive. I say too familiar with because that sound's been a bit overdone IMHO. Also, since I never could get my amp this hot because evictions are bad, trying to use the TS as the source of the drive made the amp sound cheap and buzzy to me. I moved it on and put the money towards a SolidgoldFX Zeta Drive, which I'm a lot happier with. I can get useful drive at low volumes with it.
  6. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    It's still in production, there's dozens of clones and "inspired-by“ devices out there, and many people still swear by it.

    Yes, it's still relevant.

    But the same thing could be said of pears (the fruit), which I personally hate, so it may be as simple as personal taste.

    I personally like Tube Screamers. I currently own two (TS9RI and TS808RI) and an "inspired-by" variant (MXR M66 Classic Overdrive)...but if it doesn't work for you, that's OK.
    Jakedog, rebelwoclue, karpis and 4 others like this.
  7. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    Oh it clearly doesn't work for me, but I think my question is more about is it an "essential" piece of gear for the arsenal, or can un-screamers do it well enough...
  8. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2006
    Potsdam, NY
    I never liked it, favoring the SD-1 instead, but I don't even like that anymore. Pretty much every OD became irrelevant when I discovered the BB Preamp.
    thegeezer likes this.
  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Define "relevant".
  10. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I had up to three TS variants on my board at one time. I really liked them and swore by them, but once I bought a used Tech 21 Sansamp pedal, I realized that the evolution of pedals had moved on. I sold off all of my TS variants and never going back. I have three boutique amp emulation pedals now and could not be happier with them.
    JustABluesGuy likes this.
  11. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    It's still relevant to me.
    Problem is, I'm not too sure I'm relevant.:lol:
    Jakedog, kafka, sonicsmitty and 24 others like this.
  12. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    I don't think it's a necessary thing to have. Use the OD you like, and bump your mids with an EQ or twist of the amp knob.
  13. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    Oct 16, 2015
    New Jersey
    I'm increasingly convinced that the Tubescreamer is our last great hope.

    In music, there's almost nothing that ties people together anymore. No albums that everyone knows. No gear everyone is familiar with. The points of reference are disappearing. If everyone just got a Tubescreamer (instead of one of the hundreds if not thousands of clones) - we'd all have a point of reference.

    "Oh, it's like a Tubescreamer - but with a little less bass rolloff"
    "Oh, it's like a Tubescreamer with more gain"
    "Oh, it's like a Tubescreamer but without the mid-hump"

    If nobody knew what a Tubescreamer sounded like - we'd be stuck with "Haunting mids, with a light oakey finish"
    loudnfuzzy, Jakedog, Mike SS and 15 others like this.
  14. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2006

    20:00 I found this funny...John likes the cheap tank version of the tubescreamer
    Go figure....
  15. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    it would be interesting if everyone posting could state their usage of the pedal.

    IMO - the TS is very relevant on a stage. If I don't have one, I miss it! Nothing cuts through like a TS.... nothing!
    But if you are looking for great "low volume" tones in a bedroom forget it... that is not it's intent.

    Just my opinion... :)
  16. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    I have had a TS variant on my board (the same one) for about ten years...but it has bass and treble knobs. Having said that, I think any decent overdrive pedal with at least a 2-knob EQ section could cover that territory in the right hands. But a boost with EQ knobs or an EQ pedal might also work, depending on how they're used.

    So, yeah, the TS is still relevant, but there are many substitutes to be found.
  17. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Nov 28, 2016
    I much prefer Klonish pedals.
  18. gitold

    gitold Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2009
    Greeley Co.
    Are guitar forums still relevant?
  19. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2014
    I'm sure there's other ways to accomplish what a TS does. But if you have the one you bought back in '80s, why not use it when you need the TS thing?
    Jakedog and RetroTeleRod like this.
  20. Veltek

    Veltek Tele-Holic

    Sep 17, 2016
    Blues country
    Chaoman and Lee andertons kinda discussed cthis in their last video .

    Apparently a ton of people are returning to the classic TS9 TS808 and maxon variebts because the markets now way oversaturated with TS clones
    Jakedog likes this.
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