Tube Screamer question

Blind Willie

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The pedals are not quite the same as you think.

Tube Screamer type pedals have symetrical clipping circuits while the SD-1 is an assymetrical clipping circuit.

An email from Digitech informed me that the Bad Monkey is an assymetrical clipper...therefore it has more in common with the SD-1.
 

mudfinger

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I have a TS question. Was it designed to run in front of tube amps or was it meant to work for both SS and tube?
It was designed with the typical tube amp in mind, but I think most SS amps are expecting the same voltages at the input, so I don't see why it wouldn't work nicely with some SS rigs.
 

TM1

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It's easy to make the clipping in a TS-9 asymmetrical. Change the diodes to IN4002 & an IN914. Your 2nd order harmonics will sound better. Also, replace all the resistors in the signal path to Carbon Comp and it increases the warmth and harmonic detail.
The only difference between an 808 & a TS-9 is two resistors in the output section. The Vox Valve-Tone made in the 90's is very much the same as a TS with a few components changes in the output.
 

SkunkWorks

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I have here with me right now...

Ibanez TS9
Ibanez TS-808
Maxon OD808

... all new. One rented and two purchased from my local L&M. By this coming Saturday, all but one will be returned.

I'm a recording enthusiast with alot of high end gear in my studio and have recently returned to the hobby after a 3 year hiatus. I was a regular poster at the gearslutz forum and over the last 6 or 7 years, I've had alot of contact with the engineers and producers of the albums I listen to and reference and, knowing that a tube screamer is often run in front of the high gain amps, not to add gain but shape the mids, I decided to look into getting one. A few weeks ago I spent two days researching and listening to all the various incarnations of the original. I read through analogman's site and some others. Spent alot of time on YouTube. It just became information overload and I realized info was leaving my brain just as fast as it was entering it, so I decided to just try a few of them out.

I'm interested only in how they shape my recorded tone. I've set up a multitrack recording session in my DAW and am comparing how they all sound to each other and to without in a multi layered full mix... layered stereo double tracked rythyms, strummed octaves, droning diads, drums, bass, vocals. All variables stay the same as far as amp settings and micing. The screamers will all be set to lowest gain, neutral output and tone knob up the middle. Mesa Single Solo 50 Rectifier, Marshall 4x12 with Hellatone Celestion V30's, amp tone knobs all neutral on modern channel, medium gain, Shure 57, Great River Pre, my one month old 2013 SG Standard with '57 Classics.

So far I've recorded no pedal and the Maxon. I can already hear that this or one of the other screamers is going to be exactly what I need to give the guitars the tone I want in the mix right from the get go requiring less work in post. The high pass EQ and mid boosting I usually need to do in post are already being done to a certain extent by the pedal. It's not the same as just adding more mids to my amp, it's a compressed mid and it sounds really close recorded to the way some of the guitars on the albums I'm referencing sound. I do hear a bit of a difference between them just playing through my amp, one has a more sizzly high end... that's not necessarily a desired thing, it's just different... and I need to see which one naturally sits in the mix better without requiring much EQ work. One will be a keeper.

tube-screamers.jpg
 

Batman

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Same man!

One other possibility to consider in your deliberations is the Visual Sound Route 808. I A/B/C compared the Route 808 to the Ibanez and Maxon with my rig and settled on the Route 808. This was not done in a controlled studio environment and I use mine to push an on the verge of OD amp into warm crunch so our approaches are slightly different but I was very impressed by the Visual Sound pedal.
 

mourguitars

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i loaned my camera and my VS route 808 to a friend many month's ago......i only got my camera back!

He's said its one of the smoothest best 808's he heard.....Thats coming from a true die hard TGPer.....Mike
 

SkunkWorks

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Same man!

One other possibility to consider in your deliberations is the Visual Sound Route 808. I A/B/C compared the Route 808 to the Ibanez and Maxon with my rig and settled on the Route 808. This was not done in a controlled studio environment and I use mine to push an on the verge of OD amp into warm crunch so our approaches are slightly different but I was very impressed by the Visual Sound pedal.
Batman, thanks man... but I want to use as close as possible to exactly what I know my favorite producer/engineer uses in his band's recordings when he does use one... which is an original vintage Tube Screamer. I've used that approach with all the gear I've purchased and it hasn't failed me yet. It's how I ended up purchasing what has become my favorite pickup for my Gibsons, the '57 Classic Plus.

I'll let you guys know which one I went with, I just don't know if I'll be posting the audio files from my test due to copyright... what I'm doing is using an actual commercial recording from a cd of one of the bands I reference for recorded guitars, and used software in my DAW to completely remove the hard panned L and R stereo guitar tracks and am replacing them with my own. What I might then later do is record something of my own, but that one wouldn't be a comparison, just a final result, because I won't have two of the three screamers anymore at that point.
 

Ginger Beer

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I've had a Tubescreamer in the past and have a Maxon 808 now. To me they sound about the same but I didn't have them at the same time / setup. It would be interesting to see how they compare.
 

vegetablejoe

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I've owned the three before. The Maxon OD-808 and VS Route-808 are warmer, smoother, and quieter (less to no hum, when cascaded with another od pedal) than the Ibanez TS-808.
 

SkunkWorks

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I've owned the three before. The Maxon OD-808 and VS Route-808 are warmer, smoother, and quieter (less to no hum, when cascaded with another od pedal) than the Ibanez TS-808.
I was talking to one of my go to guitar guys at L&M today and he said the Ibanez (can't remember which of the two I have here) has a bit more bottom end too... which is probably not what I'm after for the way I'm using it. I'll find out soon enough... 3 more days to complete my project ;)
 

Gridlock

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I've owned a RI TS808, a TS9, a Maxom 808, and a Way Huge Green Rhino.

The only TS type pedal that currently own is the Green Rhino. To me, the Green Rhino sounds the best of the lot, not raspy and harsh as the others. The RI TS808 was second best.
 

SkunkWorks

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Just got back from L&M. I returned the OD808 and the TS-9 and kept the TS-808. I'll probably actually buy the OD808 again later in the summer for a different flavor in my recorded tracks. They each had their strengths in the mix on different types of tracks. Will expand on all of it later.

They made a mistake when I originally bought the two of the three (one was rented) and charged me for a TS-9 instead of a TS-808 which is almost a $100 difference. I did the right thing and pointed out the error. Besides, if I ever needed warranty or something, there would be no record that I even purchased a TS-808.
 

Ant

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I just got a Way Huge Green Rhino off eBay for $71 here in Aussie.
Very impressed with it thru my Egnater rebel 20 at home. :dude:
 

SkunkWorks

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Just got back from L&M. I returned the OD808 and the TS-9 and kept the TS-808. I'll probably actually buy the OD808 again later in the summer for a different flavor in my recorded tracks. They each had their strengths in the mix on different types of tracks. Will expand on all of it later.

They made a mistake when I originally bought the two of the three (one was rented) and charged me for a TS-9 instead of a TS-808 which is almost a $100 difference. I did the right thing and pointed out the error. Besides, if I ever needed warranty or something, there would be no record that I even purchased a TS-808.
Sorry, didn't update this.

Here's why I kept and returned what I did (go back a bit in this thread to see what this project was about)...

OD808 and TS-808 had the same mid bump and mid presence (my entire reason for wanting one) on the recored tracks in the mix. The difference was the OD808 slightly rolled off the very top end (where the sizzle sits)... something I also was able to hear when just jamming through my amp when I first brought them home. I did like the sound of that though as a slightly different flavor depending on what other instruments the guitars are competing with in the mix (or to have a slightly different tone on an overdub to separate it from the main guitars) but I figured I could actually still get the OD808 tone with the TS-808 if I want just by treating the highs in post with low-pass EQ. Like I mentioned, I might still pick up the OD808 anyway at some point just because it doesn't cost much to do so, it's the cheapest of the three. (EDIT... oops, that's not the case, the TS-9 is the cheapest)

The TS-9 just didn't have enough of an effect, or at least not a desirable one, on the recorded and mixed tracks to justify owning it and there was no question that one was getting returned.

When I had saved out the three versions of the mix, I had them auto-looping back to back in a player while I was surfing the web, checking out my forum subscriptions etc., in essence not really paying much attention to them. When one of the mixes distracted me enough from that to look over at the player to see which one it was because it sounded really good and better than the others to me, I found that I was consistently seeing the TS-808 mix playing and could also consistently blindly pick out the OD808 mix which was a close second for preference.
 

sikoniko

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I have a vintage TS-808 and a vintage TS-10. I find the 808 more compressed and the 10 grittier. Right now I am preferring the TS-10 and using it as a lead boost and using the amps natural gain for rhythm. I haven't tried a vintage TS-9, but I'll get one at some point. At this time I think the TS-10s are underrated and overlooked.
 

KelvinS1965

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I'm currently trying to decide between the various options myself: I tried an original TS808 back in the early 80s, but I chose the PT808 instead (looks the same but it's a phaser). Maybe my memory is a bit like rose tinted glasses, but I've always had this idea I'd get my own TS one day.

Can someone explain the differences between the TS9, the TS808 and (if anyone knows) what the Robert Keeley modified version of the TS808 brings? In the UK they are priced £105, £174 and £275 respectively. I'm kind of leaning towards the TS808 reissue at £174 since I'd expect it to sound something like the one I played many years ago, plus it has the 'proper' footswitch like my matching phaser pedal. The Keeley version has an odd round switch that looks a bit like someone has made it in a shed using spare parts, but I wonder what they do to the insides to justify the extra £100?
 

KelvinS1965

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Thanks Stinky Kitty...I'm leaning towards the 808 reissue as I can't really justify the Keeley moddified version (though I could do the mods myself as my back ground is in electronics).
 


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