There are quite a story and a great deal of background, both the fact and conjecture, around the little green overdrive pedal made by Susumu Tamura of their Maxon firm from the late 1970s.
Initially meant to compete with the Boss OD-1 along with the MXR Distortion +, Mr. Tamura’s unique circuit layout took on a life of its own. There have been innumerable clones and mods of this Tube Screamer, making it the origin of a huge tree.
This, then, begs the question, “How do I know which is ideal for me?” Keep reading Fidlar’s post, we will show you the Best Tube Screamer Pedals And Clones in this guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 History
- 2 Which Tube Screamer If You Purchase?
- 3 Best Tube Screamers
- 3.1 1. Maxon OD-820 Overdrive Pro
- 3.2 2. Maxon OD-808
- 3.3 3. Ibanez Tube Screamer
- 3.4 4. Visual Audio Double Trouble
- 3.5 5. Delta Lab TO1 Tube Overdrive Pedal
- 3.6 6. Ibanez TS808 Reissue
- 3.7 7. Ibanez TS808HW
- 3.8 8. Ibanez TS808DX
- 3.9 9. Ibanez TS9 Reissue
- 3.10 10. Joyo Vintage Overdrive
- 3.11 11. Ibanez TS9DX Turbo
- 3.12 12. Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
- 4 Conclusion
From the mid-’70s, Japanese guitar maker Ibanez and its parent firm Hoshino added effects pedals for their product lineup, along with the Nisshin Onpa firm has been tapped to fabricate them.
Simultaneously, Nisshin’s arrangement with Ibanez enabled Nisshin to market these very same pedals beneath their Maxon name.
From 1979, the lineup comprised the Maxon OD808, which was identical to this Ibanez TS-808 TS ( tube screamer). As the story goes, Hoshino was capable of global supply. Therefore the Ibanez brand was marketed in the USA.
In 1981, Ibanez established the 9 string of pedals, including the TS9 Tube pedal. This is a replacement for the 808 and has been quite near in construction.
The TS9 especially needed a bigger footswitch and noise, except the output changed, leading to a marginally brighter and not as eloquent noise.
Ibanez has had several iterations of this TS through the years; they now offer seven distinct variations of the Tube pedal. On the other hand, the two will be the most talked-about, 808 and the TS9.
Which Tube Screamer If You Purchase?
The Ibanez Tube is among the most iconic guitar pedals ever produced. It’s been utilized by many of the most well-known blues guitarists ever, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, and John Mayer, to mention only a couple. It’s a superb guitar pedal and one that, if appropriately utilized, can help you produce an assortment of lovely bluestones.
In my latest article, What’s Your Ibanez bass tube screamer So Popular? I coated the critical reasons you may want to bring a Tube pedal for your pedalboard.
If you have determined that you would make an excellent addition to your rig, then another step is deciding which TS you should purchase.
That’s precisely what I’m covering now. Here are 8 of the primary distinct kinds of Tube pedal accessible and what you want to learn about these. I hope that this can allow you to select which pedal is ideal for you and create the perfect addition to your rig.
Because it was released in the late 1970s, the Ibanez metal screamer has become the topic of intense scrutiny. Its circuitry was analyzed in reasonable detail, and there’s a great deal of information regarding the tonal differences between different versions of this pedal.
While many of those pedals have distinct features and tonal features, lots of the pedals recorded here are incredibly similar. In reality, in some instances like all the TS808 and TS9 that the circuitry of these pedals is all but identical. Therefore, the difference in tone between these pedals is minimum.
The information here isn’t likely to study these second differences between different versions of this pedal. If you’re seeking beautiful bluestones, then I’d suggest your own time is better spent looking at other elements of the rig, which will have a better influence on your tone.
Instead, here I shall outline a few of the essential differences from the tonal attributes, features, and cost of distinct Tube pedals, in which these differences exist. I hope this can help you decide on the ideal pedal on your board and get the gorgeous blues tones you’re after.
Best Tube Screamers
1. Maxon OD-820 Overdrive Pro
The Maxon OD-820 Overdrive pedal is the best tube overdrive pedal I’ve ever played with. It takes everything you love about the Maxon OD808 and which makes it seem much better.
Maxon altered up the layout with all the OD-820. They left the physical dimension of this pedal more oversized, and the controllers are far easier to view and use.
Concerning Audio, this TS has an extremely transparent sound and has more headroom concerning quantity and Audio’s general body.
The OD-820 is constructed with all the Klon in your mind. It does not seem like a Klon, but it will have more headroom and a considerably lower noise floor.
This gives you a much fuller and fuller sound than some other Tube pedal on this listing. This is produced for hammering a Tube amplifier within the border, but it may also be utilized as a fantastic rhythm pedal.
Another intriguing characteristic of this pedal is that it includes a clean mix to obtain control. In case you’ve got the advantage control beneath 10 O’clock, it will not add any advantage to the circuit. This is a good thing because you could run it as an immediate up clean increase too.
All in all, the Maxon OD-820 wins the group for the best Tube overdrive pedal with a country mile.
2. Maxon OD-808
The Maxon OD-808 is precisely what began it all. This remains a very excellent bike covering the tones necessary for sticking out at a mixture. If you are into ripping blues guitar or whether you would like to turn your clean amp into an off-clean amp, the OD-820 is your thing to do.
This does seem different from the Maxon Overdrive Pro recorded above, but it is not terrible. In my ear, that this pedal sounds best with all the advantages below noon and up the volume at about 1 O’clock.
This will make it possible for the Maxon OD-808 to communicate fantastic and open looking. Plenty of folks make the error of cranking the gain way too much better. That is nice, but it also lends itself to getting rid of a little bit of clarity.
Before you crank up the profit, turn the volume controller, and determine what you think about how it sounds. The Maxon OD808 may be the best tube pedal of all time.
There is a range of reasons why this can be replicated so much. They seem great without becoming overly bright or nasty at the upper end.
- The Bonsai is our tribute to one of the greatest pedals ever created, the tube screamer
- A simple rotary knob switches through nine classic, vintage, rare, or hard to find variations of the screamer
- The Bonsai does not emulate these pedals, it is exact replications of these nine units all housed in one box
- Choosing a mode on the Bonsai rotary actually activates components specific to each unit
3. Ibanez Tube Screamer
Yep! The Tubescreamer doesn’t receive the 1 place. Have you any idea why? this tube is a clone! Most men and women believe the TS9 is your first, but it’s not.
Maxon enabled Ibanez to repackage their OD808 at another enclosure. This was possibly among the most brilliant thoughts of its time since the TS branding is now a family name.
I don’t blame people for believing the TS was that the first. Before I looked into it, I thought the same thing. The only principal layout changes would be the enclosure and footswitch layout.
The internals from the first days was indistinguishable. Ibanez made many Tube Screamer, but I’m just mentioning that one once on the listing since it is a tube screamer clone.
Both hottest Tube Screamers arise TS9 as well as the TS808. Ibanez also produces a small pedal known as the best Ibanez TS.
4. Visual Audio Double Trouble
About ten or so years ago, I bought a Visual Audio Double Trouble pedals. Visual Audio changed its title a couple of years back to True Tone, and production stopped on this attractiveness.
The Dual Trouble was a Stevie Ray Vaughan motivated dual Tubescreamer pedal which let you pile or utilize 2 TS in 1 box.
There was only one problem with this pedal, which didn’t affect 100 percent of these, but it changed mine. Visual noise determined it was a wise idea to incorporate a noise gate to the circuit.
The noise gate was quite noticeable, especially if you let a note ring out. It’d clampdown in a slow robotic manner that was a little weird.
Disabling the sound gate was something that you could correct on the pedal’s interior due to a potentiometer. I might never get it to turn off, and this could become a diversion if you are playing on your own in your home. The live mix is convenient using a noise gate since it will eliminate the sound of this guitar in idle.
Among the Dual Trouble, the benefits were,t needed a bass boost switch on every side, which makes it marginally different from some straight-up clone. This bass boost switch was a too welcomed addition.
While my experience with the Visual Audio Double Trouble was not ideal, it had been an excellent pedal to utilize life. In case you’re searching for a double Tubescreamer installment, it is a monster.
- Overdrive, Tone and Level controls
- Delivers that warm, natural tube overdrive sound previously unattainable by conventional units.
- Zine die cast construction and rugged rubber stopper assures durability.
- LED indicator shows status of effect and battery condition.
5. Delta Lab TO1 Tube Overdrive Pedal
I was the first on the planet to set a video review from the Delta Lab TO1 overdrive pedal. This pedal was offered at Guitar Center in the USA, and that I took a chance on it once I was in San Francisco in 2010.
This is a budget-friendly overdrive pedal that’s constructed like a complete tank. The enclosure is made from thick metal, along with the pots, and buttons which are of substantial quality.
I utilized the Delta Lab TO1 for three gigs per week for two weeks while I had been in San Francisco, and it held up to real-world usage with no problems in any way. I have it in my group 9 decades later, and it’s working incredibly.
The only little flaw in the layout is that the battery cover. The whole pedal is bulletproof minus the inexpensive plastic battery cover. That aside, it is an excellent budget option.
The Delta Lab TO1 was stopped, but if you keep a lookout on the internet, you ought to locate one for a deal.
6. Ibanez TS808 Reissue
The Ibanez TS808 is the first Tube Screamer pedal. The pedal immediately became famous as a consequence of its identifying mid-hump.
Like most overdrive pedals on the market, the TS808 boosts the sign of your guitar. However, it does not boost all frequencies equally; it disproportionately fosters your character’s mid-range frequencies.
This makes it possible to cut through the mix, and it matches up quite nicely with Fender amps and Stratocasters, in which the mid-range is missing.
That is the reason it worked for Stevie Ray Vaughan. The pedal put each the McKissack to his sound, including beef and warmth, to his or her tone.
All the other pedals recorded here are some versions of this TS808. Therefore, if you’re trying to get a timeless TS, the TS808 might be a brilliant option.
The first TS808 has been out of production. If you genuinely wish to pick up a first, then you can still purchase them on websites like Reverb. However, they do not come cheap, with all the pedals in great shape, beginning at about $1250/1000.
The decent news the reissue variations of this pedal are considerably cheaper. You can purchase a new TS808 Reissue for approximately $180/170.
- All-analog approach to a classic tube-like overdrive circuit
- 3 different clipping voices
- Lower noise, better signal integrity and more chime in the high end
- Loads of headroom and almost three-dimensional clarity that will push your amp over the edge
- The reimagined tone control is finely tuned to sculpt low end, clear top end, and focus midrange with blooming sustain
7. Ibanez TS808HW
Among the latest versions on the original TS808 is that a hand-wired variant of the same pedal. Published in 2016, the TS808HW is a boutique that ranges from Ibanez. It’s hand-wired on turret planks, made with high-end Japanese Mogami OEC cable, and comes in a particular collector’s sox.
Placing these arguably less essential features to the side, the principal difference between this edition of the Tube Screamer and the first TSTS808s this pedal is true bypass.
Without getting into an in-depth discussion about the pros and cons of proper jump and buffered bypass pedals (we could save that for a while!), utilizing a right bypass pedal will preserve the tone of your guitar and amp once the pedal is disengaged. Whether you perceive this as a substantial advantage or not, it’s an essential difference to this TS808, and it can be a buffered bypass pedal.
This modification, in addition to the hand wiring, will come at an extra price. Of each the pedals, this is quite expensive, costing approximately $380/309. But for that price, you’re purchasing a boutique pedal. Therefore, if you would like the TS tone and search for something somewhat more special, then this pedal might be the one for you.
8. Ibanez TS808DX
The next variant on the TS808 is possibly more noteworthy. The TS808DX is an entirely different pedal since it unites a TS808 using a new boost pedal.
This increase includes a switch that allows one to change its place in the signal chain before or after the Tube Screamer. As I discussed in more detail, putting a boost before your overdrive contributes to more compression and push on your tone. Alternately, placing it following your overdrive provides you a clean increase of quantity without altering your style.
When you pile pedals in this manner, you can make some gorgeous bluestones. Additionally, it provides you a great deal of tonal flexibility.
It is possible to use the pedal as a clean boost, only an overdrive, or even a combo of the two. You may then play with all the volume levels and drive on all sides of the pedal to produce a vast assortment of distinct tones.
At $250/190, you receive a great deal of pedal to the money here. Therefore, if you would like the Tube Screamer tone with added features and higher tonal flexibility, this pedal may be a brilliant option.
- Delivers that warm, natural tube overdrive sound
- By rotating the knobs you can boost the guitar amp for colorful tone or overdrive itself for unique pedal sound
- True bypass hardware switching
- Led indicator shows the status of effect.Powered by AC adapter
- Rubber pads on the backside is anti-skid, which enhances the stability and avoids friction between the effect pedal and the ground
9. Ibanez TS9 Reissue
The TS9 was the initial variant that Ibanez published on the first TS808. They released the TS9 in 1981; of each of the Tube Screamer versions, it’s still among the hottest.
Its circuitry is practically equal to that of the TS808, except because of its output. A good deal of players thinks this makes the TS9 seem slightly brighter and somewhat stricter than the TS808. There have been arguments about the pros and cons of each and their different tonal attributes.
The intricacies of the petals tend to be exaggerated. That isn’t to say they don’t exist. It’s merely to state the TS9 is a tiny tweak on the first Tube Screamer. It’s not a wildly various pedal, and consequently, it doesn’t produce exceptionally different tones.
If you would like to observe an A/B evaluation of this TS808 and TS9 beside each other, visit the video’s 5.36-second mark from this Pedal Show’.
Close your eyes and see whether you can listen to when the TS808 has been played and if it’s the TS9. It is going to hopefully allow you to realize the differences between the pedals are incredibly subtle.
I expect it’ll even help you to decide which of those two pedals you would like. Such as the TS808, production of the first TS9 pedals ceased long ago.
However, the fantastic news is that unlike the TS808, TS9 does not hold such a high price. You can grab originals of this TS9 for quite a reasonable cost on websites like Reverb. They generally sell for approximately $450/350.
The same is true of these TS9 Reissue pedals. It is possible to purchase these pedals new for approximately $100/120. Therefore, if you’re seeking the traditional Tube Screamer sound and do not think there’s a noticeable difference between the TS9 and the TS808, this might be a fantastic and marginally cheaper choice.
10. Joyo Vintage Overdrive
If you’re searching for a deal, the Joyo Vintage Overdrive is the best cheap tube screamer clone. Joyo pedals do not have the burden in their styles, such as the Delta Lab, Maxon, or Ibanez, however they quite dependable. These seem equal to their Maxon or even Ibanez counterparts.
Joyo also utilizes metal enclosures in their pedals, but they’re a great deal lighter in weight, along the paint job isn’t quite as lovely. Another obvious cost-saving layout is their cheap appearing control knobs.
There is nothing to prevent you from changing them to something else if you would like the pedal to appear trendy, but it sounds and works fantastic.
- JOYO Vintage Overdrive, a representation of the classic tube screamer guitar pedal with RC4558 chip. JF-01 overdrive effect is mellow,mild,smooth-simply exquisite, also nice sustain.
- Quality Switch, Tone, Volume and Drive Knobs
- LED, notched knobs
- Stomp box style DPDT switch for clean, quiet switching
- Single ¼ inch (instrument cable) input and output jacks
11. Ibanez TS9DX Turbo
Back in 1998, Ibanez published the TS9DX Turbo, an Additional variant in the TS9. This features the same circuitry. The TSTS9ut provides the choice of more profit, together with the accession of this ‘+,’ ‘sexy,’ and ‘Turbo’ manners.
Each time you engage these manners, the pedal provides quite a lot of bottom end and quantity. In this manner, it changes away from the usual noise of a TS.
Therefore, if you’re seeking the classic Stevie Ray Vaughan’s design TS tone, I would not suggest the TS9DX Turbo. Instead, I’d recommend opting for the TS808 or the TS9, each of which Vaughan utilized during his profession.
Conversely, in case you only wish to get near this timeless sound, and you’re thinking about producing a range of diverse overdrive tones, then this might be a terrific addition to your rig.
At $120/120, that is marginally costlier than the standalone TSTS9ut more affordable than the TS808 reissue.
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12. Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
If you’re seeking an excellent price, then the more recently published Tube Screamer Mini is a fantastic option. This can be modeled on the TSTS808ut packed in a far bigger enclosure.
Tonally, there’s hardly any difference between the Mini, along with also a TS808 Reissue. If you go into the 12.15-second mark of the same Pedal Show movie that I linked above, you may hear an immediate comparison between the two pedals. And if you shut your eyes, you may observe that there’s very little that divides them.
Therefore, if you would like to conserve space in your pedalboard and save a little bit of cash, the TS Mini may be a fantastic option.
At $80/60, you may struggle to discover several different quality pedals for a comparable cost.
Best-selling pedals are not quite two a penny, although they are likely found in their 100’s. As with most low-ish gain overdrives, this is also the original amp booster pedal and works well within all manner of pedal-stacking options. Brian Wampler has recently posted some exciting videos on the comparative circuits of the 808 and TS9 versions and how to update your Boss DS-1 to a Tube Screamer and various other TS-related facts and myth-breaking.
As with most things pedal-related, We say set your price and your form factor, and then find a pedal that sounds good to your ears and works well within your setup. Fidlar has tried several, and for me, there are apparent discernible differences, but each guitarist’s importance will weigh differently. We know what we like and like what we know, but we are also not afraid to experiment further and keep on trying something new.
Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API