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Tube Screamer Recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by doghouseman, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. jays0n

    jays0n Tele-Meister

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    I use a SD-1 and am happy but if it must be a TS, I cast another vote for the JHS Bonsai. This Reverb/JHS vid shows what each setting sounds like and where it came from. I thought this was interesting even if not looking for a TS type pedal. Maybe it can help you narrow down the sound you are looking for even if you are not interested in the JHS pedal.

     
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  2. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Tele-Meister

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    I just bought a TS-9, for $99, new. I hate to spend anymore that that for a pedal, but sometimes, needs have to be satisfied. I never knew what the big deal was about Tube Screamers, but I'm a believer now. It's a far more versatile pedal, than I ever imagined. It works very well with my Mesa Boogie MK IIB. It took me a long time to find out, but I'm onboard now.
     
  3. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    Danelectro Daddy-O, cheap and sounds cheap...in a good way!

    Danelectro Daddy-o.jpg
     
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  4. Robert Graf

    Robert Graf TDPRI Member

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    When you say you 'need that sound', you're indicating GAS: gear acquisition syndrome. Hopefully, I'm over that now. Sounds like you're just itching to buy more gear, justifying iy be studio time. I've had fet and bipolar preamps, which is all a 'tubescreamer' is. If you need more gain, then I'd recommend something like an ART tube parametric EQ, which is what I have, and I won't waste one more cent on any overpriced nonsense like a tubescreamer. Parametric EQ and an envelope filter are about all the effects I'd consider essential, aside from delay and reverb. I've got a couple mulitFX units, but they'tre just really not needed.
    Think about it: the little rat boxes aren't built for distortion, so they're not supposed to have any sound, but 'golden ears' swear that some just have that 'special sound' even though nobody in their right mind would ever use a single component from one of those in any decent audio gear. It was jusy Ibanez hyping up their version of the LPB-1.
    If you want to get a certain sound, get something intended to shape sound. Not something that promises audio nirvana, as there is no such thing. Reality is an illusion: one person's reality, is another person's delusion, and there is no actual definition of reality. Askk 100 people. Get 100 different answers.
     
  5. Robert Graf

    Robert Graf TDPRI Member

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    All these circuits are based on a rather simple op amp, the 741, a single op amp in an 8 pin dual inline package. As semiconductor manufacturing improved, it was possible to eliminate some external adjustment connections, in particular the bias and offset adjustments. This allowed for putting 2 op amps in the same form factor. The earliest version I remember was the 1458, of which the 4558 is an improved version, as is the 7558. None of these change the sound much, other than possibly as far as noise.
    So, basically, it's the frequency response of the other components: resistors and capacitors. To me, it's the EQ, and a couple of state variable filters configured as parametric filters would be better. However, the guitar world is a combination of old school and somewhat of a bias against hi fi.
    An, of course, hardly anybody buys a high gain distortion pedal and turns down the gain because the tone shaping of a parametric mid is what they really want. I'm torn between making a parametric EQ with adjust able OD on each band and making something like an active crossover feeding separate OD units. Not sure how the summing circuit would affect final sound.
     
  6. thunderbaas

    thunderbaas TDPRI Member

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    Don't know how good you are with a soldering iron,and what your knowledge of electronics is. The tube screamer circuit isn't the most difficult circuit. I build mine from a kitset from the durch firm "Newtone",but there are a lot out there on the web. This way you can modify it to your own favorit specs. I changed the original rc4558p chip (which is the "hart" of the circuit) with a TL072 (which gives a more dynamic reaction) and made a toggle switch between a TS808 & TS9 (the difference between these circuits is just two resistors !!!) And now my home made TS works great also in combination with other "dirt" pedals (JHS Kilt/Brunneti Mercury Box e.g.) If you are interested just let me know and I'll send you some links.
    Bedrading met extra's.jpg DSC_0171.jpg
     
  7. Keep on Truckin

    Keep on Truckin TDPRI Member

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    Try the Demon Tube Screamer a switchable TS9 & 808 all in one pedal -
     
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  8. Captain Krunch

    Captain Krunch TDPRI Member

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    The JHS bonsai, has around 5 different tube screamer options
     
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  9. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    Are the TS9 and 808 so different to justify having both? especially in one pedal?
     
  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    IMO, no.

    The only difference between the two are a pair of resistors after the output buffer, that slightly alter the output impedance. Emphasis on the word slightly.

    It's an output buffer, for crying out loud. Either it functions as one, or it doesn't. Again IMO.

    A stock TS is like a can of Pepsi, or a cup of vanilla ice cream. There might be very slight variations in some ingredients (like the two resistors in the 808 vs. the 9), but it's not significant enough to make one taste significantly better or worse, regardless of if it was made in the 70's/80's/90's/00's/10's/20's/etc.

    ...And before someone says it, yes there have been 9s made with a factory op amp that some folks think is clearly inferior. But that's not reflective of all 9s ever made, and some folks don't even notice that their 9 with the inferior chip is underperforming...

    Honestly, as far as pedal circuit designs go, and any arguments vs. what sounds better or worse, IMO it's really silly to get swayed with any of it, WRT a stock TS. It's one of the most consistent sounding mass produced pedals ever, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  11. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    You can get a perfectly serviceable TS for easily between fifty bucks and a c-note. Beyond that, I would suggest that the far larger return on investment occurs when you focus on practicing, rather than seeking out infinitesimal variations in circuits.
     
  12. Gas4Teles

    Gas4Teles TDPRI Member

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  13. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Me too. I be a TS5 and sold the rest
     
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  14. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    For the discerning ear at home and loving what you hear, I get it. But, in a live situation I can’t imagine anyone would notice the difference, including the guitarist stepping on it.
     
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  15. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    They basically all do the same thing.. Just get a Boss SD1 – it's at least as good as any other tubescreamer.
     
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  16. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Meister

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    in your head man....
    Got the 40th anniversary Maxon pedal yesterday. Sounds great. Extremely well built. This is the catlinbread mod. I didnt realize there were mods from other companies as well, like Pigtronix. Maybe I will buy the whole set!. Anyway, definitely happy with the buy.
     
  17. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Very accurate and succinctly put. Case closed.
     
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  18. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Tele-Afflicted

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    I got one coming the mail cant wait. I have an visual sound rt808 and sold a caline midlander
     
  19. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not quite sure why Andy ( who really is a well-rounded talented guy) and the JHS guy would not demo the TS Bonsai using the same guitar/amp, same settings on each TS type selected, and play the same music?
    I'm sure there are ( subtle maybe) differences, but what's the point of this demo if you DON'T do this?

    * just my opinion/observation
     
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  20. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Meister

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    I had the same thought about the Bonsai video--strumming a chord and turning the knob between the different units would have been a lot more illuminating.

    I have a Bad Monkey used as a clean-ish boost, set around 2:30/11:30/11:00/7:00; ok for certain sounds, not as good for other things.
     
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