Monday, March 27, 2017

Tube Screamer Style Recommendations

The Mighty Tube Screamer! One of the most copied circuits in the pedal business is the Ibanez TS9. Why? It works for a lot of different applications and it's easy to tweak it for different sounds. Everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to modern high gain shredders use TS pedals. They can be used for boosting an already hard driving amp, pushing a clean amp into breakup, adding drive to low volume amps, punching through for solos and tightening up the bottom end. There are some complaints, some people feel they boost the mids to much especially with modern mid focused pickups and amps. Others don't like the way that the bottom end rolls off while still others prefer a different type of clipping all together. But they are a great pedal and below is a short list of pedals I've played through and recommend depending on what your looking for.

Ibanez Originals

Ibanez TS808 The Ibanez reissue of the original, sort of. The circuit has changed some what over the years but it's still in the same seating section of the same ball park.

Ibanez TS-9 The Ibanez TS-9 is the most popular overdrive pedal in the world, especially if you take all of the clones and variants into consideration. And it stays that way for a reason.

Budget Recommendations

EHX East River Drive  This TS808 clone from Electro-Harmonix was designed with input from Analogman. It's cheap and sounds fantastic.

Ibanez Jet Driver  My personal favorite budget recommendation! Why? It's a tweaked TS9 with some of the most popular mods. It's true bypass, has more drive and volume, and a mids knob if your mix is getting muddy. It can easily cop SRV tones and does everything the TS9 does and more. Skip if you need more bottom end otherwise pick this up whenever its on sale.

Knob Tweakers

Way Huge Green Rhino  This fantastic TS style pedal adds knobs for the bottom end and mids and has plenty of extra volume on tap for pushing your amp.

Wampler Clarkesdale  Brian Wamplers take on the Tube Screamer adds an active 3 band eq. The drive is super smooth. Also check out his Paisley Drive a TS tweaked for Brad Paisley.

Earthquaker Devices Palisades  Is this the ultimate TS tweakers dream? This thing is great in the studio and will keep you tone hunting for months. Skip if you need simple plug and play.

High End

Ibanez TS808HW Cashing in on the boutique trend Ibanez released this amazing sounding all handwired TS808. It will cost you but it sounds amazing.

Mojo Hand Rook  A TS style pedal with amp like response and separate bass and treble controls this thing was a hit as soon as it was released. Check out the Rook Royale for an added EP booster.

Keeley Red Dirt  Mr Keeley got his start doing pedal mods for rock gods. He had several Tube Screamer mods and the Red Dirt is the culmination of his experience. It sounds fantastic.

Mini TS Pedals

Keeley Red Dirt Mini  Take Mr Keeley's ultimate TS pedal the Red Dirt make it mini pedal and add mini switches inside for four different levels of compression and gain. Skip if you hate mini pedals

Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini This thing sounds killer and just like the full size version. You can't go wrong here.

Muli-Drive Pedals

TrueTone Route 66 The TrueTone (formerly Visual Sound) Route 66 pedal adds a compressor that can also be used as a boost into a great 808 clone. Their Version 2 and 3 come with a lifetime guarantee. I know a few blues players that use this as their only pedal.

Wampler Dual Fusion  Mr Wamplers partnership with Tom Quayle is a tweaked version of his Paisley Drive and Euphoria pedals. If you like stacking low gain pedals you have to check this out.

Fulltone Fulldrive 3  The Fulldrive Mosfet 2 is one of the original boutique overdrives and one of the most successful. The Fulldrive 3 adds a separate boost that can be used independently of the drive side.

If you want more history on the Tube Screamer Analogman has a fantastic page HERE. Yes there are a gazillion more TS clones out there to choose from but one of these should get you what your looking for.

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