The TS9 and the continuing education of BluesHolyMan...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, May 14, 2019.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Have never liked the TS9 - always too honky, midrangy, etc....in every amp I tried it in - never liked it. I can remember this jaded mindset as far back as the early 90s....and I stayed clear of it, trying from time to time like a dithering child sticking his foot in the water only to take it out again and keep going...

    ....then I put the TS-9 in front of my bassman...

    <mic drop>
     
  2. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    If you get a chance, try comparing a Boss SD-1 to the TS. It’s a better TS than the tube screamer IMO.

    As I understand it, the TS was copy of the OD-1 without the asymmetrical clipping and a tone added, and the SD-1 was Boss’s response to the TS adding a tone knob and keeping the asymmetrical clipping.

    Supposedly if you set the SD-1’s tone at noon it sounds exactly like the OD-1. I don’t own an OD-1 so I haven’t confirmed this myself.
     
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  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's kind of weird how so many of us try an arsenal of dirt pedals because we need to find one with just the right inherent EQ characteristics to balance out
    against the EQ characteristics of the rest of our signal chain. Before going down this rabbit hole one would think that you could just have dirt (or "gain") coupled
    with a really good tone shaping circuit (either EQ built into the pedal or a separate EQ) and then that one dirt pedal could just about do it all.

    There are a few contenders for this Holy Grail of completely shape-able dirt pedals, but I don't think any of them have fully succeeded. Hence the search for the Grail goes on....


    Of course, one of the classic complementary EQ match-ups is a mid-hump pedal with a scooped amp such as Fender black or silver face.
     
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  4. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have tried that one and at the moment its not in play. Not sure I'd call it a better tube screamer - I find it capable of more gain than the TS and for me, it borders a crunch/distortion sound. Certainly a worthy pedal in its own right, but its no Tubescreamer and vice-versa.

    If I have learned anything in my continuing education is that some pedals work great in front of some amps and other pedals work great in front of other amps and there are no rules.
     
  5. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Meister

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    Yea....
    This is why I bought the graphic fuzz.
    It doesn't do what it theoretically could have, but it's at least able to give good sounds adjusted to the amp and guitar at any given time.


    I decided the clones of all the established stuff is cheap enough that I'll just pick up those and be done. With the exception of higher end digital and mid to high analog delay, most of the clones are super close now.
    I like the joyo ts clone. Like, in order of how I like the sound for $ is jf01>maxon tsversions>Ibanez ones.

    I could never justify spending money on the TS stuff new (looked in like 2003, felt the same since) because the used ones ran a chance of sounding better, but I didn't know how that was until years later.

    TS is very much a staple. But so is DS1, OCD, Rat, Muff, blues driver, fuzzface, and other stuff.
    My Bassman made everything sound in a way that you could justify using it, so I absolutely know where OPs ears are now.
     
  6. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    This.

    I have pedals that are brilliant with some guitar/amp combinations, and garbage with others. The other day I pulled out my Donner Morpher (Suhr Riot clone) and tried it with humbuckers into my Ampeg VT22. This pedal had been seriously underwhelming when I'd first bought it, but I figured a $30 pedal wasn't worth selling. With this combination though, it sounded great. That's why I have so damn many pedals.
     
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  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Its ALL about the amp. The Bassman has TS-9 shaped eq hole waiting for the mid boost drive. A TS-9 sounds absolutely poopy on my current rig, which is a shame because I love them. Through my Supers a TS-9 was perfect.​
     
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  8. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    My TS-9 sounds great with my Hot Rod Deluxe, but with my Vox it's not magic. My Rat however, seems to like both amps equally well.
     
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  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's the reason I've all but stopped getting rid of pedals that don't seem to work well with whatever the intended rig/application originally was.

    And thanks to everything that gets posted on the web, there seems to be more and more "discoveries" of some pedals sounding really great, when used with specific rigs. Some of these pedals seem to go right under the radar when they are originally released, probably because there's just so much stuff to now choose from. Other pedals seem to get missed because they aren't part of the current trend (e.g. right now, it seems like a lot of users want "always on" pedals, or overdrives that "sound natural or organic," so we would probably miss something that wasn't marketed to include that).

    I think that some of us (myself included) are possibly guilty of reading a bunch of reviews of how pedal X has specific characteristics, then we get pedal X, only to conclude that we don't hear those things that the reviewers said. 99% of the time, I'd imagine it's because we're using a different rig. In my specific case, I've had instances where I was using the "wrong" speaker(s) in my amps/cabs, never mind what the rest of the rig was.

    ...And now that we have a whole new generation of non-tube guitar amps with class D power amp sections, it can potentially cause new rig-specific issues. Point being that quite a few of these amps are typically very clean and very loud, so it's not uncommon to hook them up to high power neo speakers. IME, it can almost be like going back to square one with everything in the signal chain.
     
  10. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is the brilliance of the TS design is that the mid hump can be moved around/accentuated/minimized with the tone knob.

    My amp has strong mids. But the TS is one of the best if not the best OD I've tried with it because of the way the TS tone knob behaves. On my rig there's a threshold, as long as I don't turn the tone down too low I won't have trouble with the mid hump creating a honk sound.

    I don't really think it's coincidence the TS seems to be the most popular OD ever created. So many other designs are more picky about the amp they're plugged into. I have an incredibly difficult time getting a Klon to sound anything but "honk" on my amp on one of the channels. Totally not worth the effort when the TS gets great sounds very easily across a wide range of settings.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Meister

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    I have a Carvin TO-1 pedal, which is a replica of the Boss SD-1, and I have to say that I do prefer that version of the tube screamer to the Ibanez circuit. It's a little more smooth (perhaps due to the asymmetric clipping and slightly different tone control circuit), but still retains the mid-range bump we all know and love. Having said that, I'm mainly into Klon(e)s these days for my overdrive...
     
  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    You have to be careful when you talk about how "popular" things are, 'cause then it comes down to McDonald's being the most popular hamburger in America, but not really the best. I think a lot of the TS's popularity is due to this:

    [​IMG]

    ...who only really used it as a boost anyway.

    And I agree about the TS not being picky- I've found it sounds awful no matter what I plug it into, it's an equal opportunity offender. I've found Rats and Big Muffs to be much more universal- you can plug a Big Muff into literally anything and it'll sound amazing.
     
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  13. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Big Muff sounds great in everything....if you like the sound of a Big Muff (I don't).

    I think that the big companies like Boss, Ibanez TS, and MXR do try to make affordable pedals that work pretty well with a wide variety of rigs. Some of the boutique pedal makers
    try to make pedals that are jack-of-all-trades pedals, but IMO others are content building pedals that only work well in a few specific situations.
     
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  14. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The thing with TS & SRV is the TS is hugely popular with metal players and they probably aren't buying it cause of SRV. It can contribute to a lot of sounds that are nothing like his. That sound is so him that I don't know that I like it when others use it.

    A great player having a particular piece of gear is probably a factor with just about any particular piece of gear.

    I like the Big Muff but I have often heard people say it's really bad with a scooped amp so I think some people would say it doesn't work with all amps.
     
  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think almost any overdrive can be better than no overdrive, especially if one is using it with the gain set low into a good tube amp.
    The typical application is to get a little more distortion, focused EQ, and compression for a nice lead tone, but at a lower volume level. With
    something like a big Marshall, it's nice to be able to goose it with an O/D to get it to sound like everything is cranked up to 10 without
    actually cranking everything up to 10. Normal scenario is you have your crunch rhythm sound, and then you hit the pedal to take
    it into overdrive for a lead. Even though lots of Marshalls these days are multi-channel with ability to get all kinds of settings, in practice many
    guys find that using something like a TS9 does a better job in a gig situation.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I find the more and longer I play in bands, the less picky I am about my gear. I used to have to Goldilocks it to hear myself and be happy. But I wasn't happy. Now I can always hear myself and like what I hear. Weird.

    Stock SD-1 is all I use live. Sounds very similar to a TS to me, but I like the switch better.

    Home, I can get along fine with a DS-1, BD-2, OD-3 or Rat into basically anything.

    Go figure.
     
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    But it can't really be minimized with the tone knob (look again at all three lines in the plotted graph - the bass and treble frequencies are both getting attenuated, regardless of where the tone knob is set).

    The tone circuit falls after filters that chop out the bass, and then the treble, respectively. Both of those filters are hardwired, so there's no recovering what's been discarded (basically everything both above and below ~700Hz, at 6dB/octave).

    So, rotate the tone knob fully counterclockwise, and now you've removed all the treble above 400Hz, but you're still missing all the bass below 700Hz.

    Or rotate the tone knob clockwise, and it's basically boosting treble frequencies, but you've still already discarded everything both above and below 700Hz with the previous filters.

    Very generally speaking, I think that a stock TS, used as an actual overdrive, tends to work out best with moderate to higher powered amps that have a (typically T/M/B) tone circuit that allows for either relatively flat, or scooped midrange response.

    My biggest gripe with a stock TS, regardless of amp used, is that single coil bridge pickups can sound kind of thin, because they're missing all the guts down there around 400Hz or so (you'd have to crank the bass on the amp, and then you run into other issues).
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  18. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The TS doesn't "chop" bass or Treble, it's rolled off. That graph is the frequency response at the end of the circuit.

    The point of the tone knob moving the peak around is that when you turn up the tone knob the "roll off" occurs above the frequencies of the highest notes on a guitar. Even with it turned down it's near the highest notes. The little bend in the bass roll off is also likewise below the frequency of the lowest notes.

    Works for me... In the end what I care about is that "honk" is there and can be unpleasant at lower settings on the tone knob, but when I turn that tone knob up the TS peak shifts away from the peak of my amps response and gets rid of the honk sound. There's still lots of mids going around but just shifting where the peak is takes it from unpleasant to pleasant.

    Meanwhile lots of other ODs have that peak in the same honky spot and I can turn all the knobs all day long and it'll still sound "honky". The issue with that kind of thing for me is I don't want to adjust the base tone of the amp to compensate for the pedal cause then I might not like the base tone. Same thing with the bass rolloff.. if I take anything flatter like an OCD it just has way too much bass, I'd be stuck rolling off the bass on the base tone to the point I don't like it.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Poor choice of words on my part - bass and treble are "aggressively rolled off," with the same corner frequency for both the high pass and low pass filters - ~720Hz at 6dB per octave slope. And the graph reflects that very limited frequency response.

    Look at how all three lines on the graph pretty much converge at the same point - that basically translates to little to no alteration at the bass frequencies (around 400Hz and below), no matter where the tone knob is set. And you basically have the same peak frequency with the knob from 7:00 up to 12:00 - you're not really moving anything around as much as you're "attenuating less" at 720Hz and above.

    By the time the tone knob is all the way up to 5:00, the hardwired low pass filter is counteracted by the boosting of treble frequencies at the tone circuit, and the mid emphasis subsides. But who uses a TS with the tone knob cranked all the way to max? With the tone knob set to ~2:00 (probably a more likely average max setting), you're still going to end up with a graph line that's closer to the purple line than the red one (and is still more in the realm of being a mid peak).

    ...That's just a long-winded elaboration of how some folks (yourself included) prefer how aggressively the TS restricts the frequency response. With the right amp, it can be a very good fit. OTOH, you're stuck with emphasizing the wrong subset of frequencies if you're using it with an amp that's already has a similar frequency curve, and it's probably going to not sound so good...
     
  20. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I prefer the SD-1 to the TS, but both work well. K find that guitar and amp tone controls, and sometimes (rarely) a graphic EQ are about all you need to dial either one in, regardless of guitar. Maybe I'm not fussy enough.
     
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