In our publish overlaying one of the best Huge Muff pedals, we posited that the competition of the most-cloned pedal got here right down to a race between the Muff and the Ibanez Tube Screamer. I suppose, given a while to consider it, you may also add the Klon Centaur to that record. (Watch this area.)
The historical past of the Ibanez Tube Screamer — which we naturally included on our greatest overdrive pedals submit — shouldn’t be fairly as twisting as that of the Huge Muff, however has its justifiable share of intrigue. It was initially designed within the 1970s by Susumu Tamura, rose to notable prominence within the 1980s, and stays the usual bearer to which all different overdrives are in contrast. This can be a contact on the reductive aspect, nevertheless it’s truthful to say that each inquiry about an overdrive pedal can begin with, “Is it Tube Screamer-y? Tube Screamer-ish?” Or, as our good friend Henning says, “Tube-y Scream-y.” You get the image.
Just like the Massive Muff, there are variations and variants value figuring out about. The unique was the TS808 and was truly produced by Maxon, who has employed Mr. Tamura for a really very long time. Subsequent was the TS9, which was brighter and had barely larger achieve and employed a variety of op-amps as an alternative of the commemorated JRC-4558 chip. These are the 2 principal variations everybody talks about. There was additionally the TS10, TS5, and TS7, however none of these have been fairly as properly liked. Should you’d wish to examine them till your eyes fall out of your head, listed here are a choice of hyperlinks so that you can peruse (I’ll sit tight till you’re by way of all of them):
Welcome again. Now then, one thing so ubiquitous might by no means be left alone. And, just like the Klon, you would end up staring down the barrel of a $1,000+ buy in the event you actually, actually need an unique TS-808. Nonsense, I say. Provided that the preferred strategy to begin a pedal firm is to develop your personal tackle the Tube Screamer, you’re spoiled for selection in relation to actually, actually good sounding take-offs. I’m not simply speaking about low cost Chinese language clones, though you already know one thing? Even these are value a glance, and we included a pair on our low cost pedals publish. No, virtually each pedal firm going has their very own Screamer model, which is sweet for you, the guitar-playing shopper.
In contrast to the Massive Muff submit, we gained’t embrace a model of the Tube Screamer from Ibanez. As talked about, yow will discover it perched atop our greatest overdrive pedals submit the place it (arguably) belongs. Ibanez even obtained some love on our increase & overdrive combo pedals submit. No, this listing is devoted to the wealth of high-quality variations made by any variety of different corporations.
To be completely truthful, most of them are pricier than the current-generation TS9 or Tube Screamer Mini. Most are even in all probability pricier than the TS808 at present being made. Nonetheless, a number of the “boutique” makers use higher-quality elements and a few people (like me) identical to the smaller makers. The purpose is: choices are good, and we’re bringing you ten of them.
As a notice earlier than we start, we didn’t put the Maxon OD808, Maxon OD-9 or Maxon ST-9 Professional+ on this record. They’re nearly similar to the Ibanez choices and are even nonetheless made in the identical manufacturing unit.
Love the mid-pushed, frivolously distorted sound of the Tube Screamer however need one thing extra? Take a look at our record of the 10 greatest Tube Screamer sort pedals.
Jump To Section
- 1 1. EarthQuaker Units Dunes V2 Mega Final Overdrive
- 2 2. Electro-Harmonix East River Drive Basic Overdrive Pedal
- 3 three. JHS Bonsai 9 Approach Screamer Overdrive Pedal
- 4 four. Boss BD-2W Blues Driver Waza Craft
- 5 5. Wampler Pedals Clarksdale V2 Delta Overdrive Results Pedal
- 6 6. Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive Impact Pedal
- 7 7. T-Rex Alberta Basic Collection Overdrive Pedal
- 8 eight. Keeley Purple Filth Overdrive
- 9 9. Mad Professor Little Inexperienced Marvel Distortion Results Pedal
- 10 10. Approach Big Inexperienced Rhino Mini MKIV
1. EarthQuaker Units Dunes V2 Mega Final Overdrive
In our greatest increase & overdrive combo pedals submit, we included the large brother to this decide, the Palisades. In case you’ve already received a booster you’re keen on and don’t have room in your board for the bigger footprint, EQD additionally supply this to provide you a lot of the identical performance in a smaller package deal.
Based across the TS808, the Dunes gives three switches along with the standard-issue TS Tone, Quantity, and Achieve knobs. The change on the prime permits you to set your clipping mode choice between MOSFET (tight and crunchy), Silicon (which mimics the unique TS808 sound), and no diode clipping to drive the op-amp. There’s a Regular/Vibrant change that selects between full fats and chimer EQ curves. Lastly, the Bandwidth change lets you select between Inventory, which is the unique TS808 sound and Full Vary, which backs off a number of the low-end roll-off endemic to nice Tube Screamers.
Along with all that, you get true bypass, delicate contact relay switching and top-mount jacks. It additionally seems to be fairly good, too.
Want extra choices? Browse extra EarthQuaker Units merchandise right here.
Purchase the EarthQuaker Units Dunes V2 Mega Final Overdrive right here.
2. Electro-Harmonix East River Drive Basic Overdrive Pedal
One other TS808 take-off, this model comes from Electro-Harmonix, within the advantageous custom of that firm’s comparatively low-cost choices. Just like the Soul Meals that we included in our greatest low cost results submit (which is supposed to be an affordable Klon clone), the East River Drive replicates the circuitry and management set of the unique precisely.
Based mostly across the aforementioned JRC-4558 chip, this pedal creates that well-known symmetrical clipping for a couple of dollars lower than the present era TS9 from Ibanez. The acquainted controls of Quantity, Drive, and Tone are current, and it’s even principally inexperienced.
The change is an ordinary clicky true bypass, nevertheless it’s in a pedalboard-friendly MXR-sized enclosure. That is in all probability a reasonably shut approximation of the 80s TS808s, with a decrease achieve vary and a pronounced bass roll-off and no expanded EQ set to offset that. Nonetheless, the worth is definitely proper.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Electro-Harmonix merchandise right here.
Purchase the Electro-Harmonix East River Drive Basic Overdrive Pedal right here.
three. JHS Bonsai 9 Approach Screamer Overdrive Pedal
Very similar to the Muffuletta on our greatest Huge Muff pedals publish, the JHS tackle the Tube Screamer doesn’t accept approximating only one. No, as an alternative this comparatively new pedal is a tackle 9 totally different TS circuits with the precise sign path of every wired into one small enclosure.
Along with the anticipated Quantity, Drive, and Tone knobs, there’s the nine-way selector change. First is the OD-1, which is definitely a Boss circuit from 1977. Then the TS808, TS9, MSL Metallic Screamer, TS10, Exar OD-1 (a Polish variant), TS7, Keeley Mod Plus, and the JHS Robust Mod. For those who’re a participant who loves this well-known mid-boosting overdrive, that is simply concerning the end-all, be-all.
It’s priced to match, to make certain, however it’s a far cry cheaper than making an attempt to get your palms on an precise classic model of a few of these. In case you don’t need 9 variations, however are interested by what JHS makes of a Tube Screamer, you possibly can additionally think about the Moonshine, which helps you to combine in your clear sign.
Want extra choices? Browse extra JHS merchandise right here.
Purchase the JHS Bonsai 9 Means Screamer Overdrive Pedal right here.
four. Boss BD-2W Blues Driver Waza Craft
Because the Bonsai introduced up Boss, we’ll speak about their providing subsequent. This can be a little bit of an fascinating one. For one factor, whether or not you go for the higher-end Waza model or the usual providing, the Blues Driver is a pedalboard staple. It’s not flashy and it doesn’t get the identical billing as its inexperienced counterpart, however you’ll see it on all kinds of boards as a utility participant gain-stacker. It is probably not the primary drive tone (however then once more, it’d simply), however it does an excellent factor.
You may need anticipated to see the Tremendous Overdrive on this spot, particularly provided that altering a few elements can flip it right into a TS808, kind of. It is perhaps truthful to say, then, that the Blues Driver, with its larger achieve vary, is extra like a TS9. In the event you kick across the gear boards of the web, you’ll discover loads of individuals suggesting the BD-2 as an appropriate Tube Screamer stand-in. As ever, use your ears to determine.
In the event you go for the Waza Craft model, you’ll truly get each variations of the BD-2 circuit. The change between the ever-present Degree, Tone, and Achieve knobs selects between S (for Commonplace) and C (for Customized). Commonplace is the unique BD-2, whereas Customized provides a fuller-range sound and a contact extra achieve. Being a Boss pedal, that is buffered bypass, however they use an honest buffer, so contemplate this not just for its fantastic gain-stacking talents, but in addition when you occur to be in want of a buffer.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Boss merchandise right here.
Purchase the Boss BD-2W Blues Driver Waza Craft right here.
5. Wampler Pedals Clarksdale V2 Delta Overdrive Results Pedal
Like EarthQuaker, Brian Wampler was overrun with requests to do his tackle the Tube Screamer. In case you’ve ever watched his channel, you’ll know that he does a number of deep-dives into what makes the circuit work, how one can make delicate tweaks to it, and the way greatest to run one into your amp. This can be a man intimately accustomed to each element that goes right into a TS-style pedal.
Wampler’s Clarksdale is a TS808 sort that gives far, much more flexibility than most variations on the market. There are Quantity and Achieve knobs, in fact, however as an alternative of a tone pot, there’s a three-band EQ. The Bass and Mid controls are lively, which means you’ll be able to increase or minimize these frequencies by 15dB, whereas the Treble pot is just like the tone management on a standard Tube Screamer. The change within the center lets you customise the clipping; Huge is extra open, larger achieve, extra touch-sensitive, and Clean is extra compressed and nearer to the unique 808 circuit.
As with the Dunes, you get top-mounted jacks, silent true bypass switching, and you may even run this one at 9 or 18 volts if you need extra headroom. There’s much more achieve on faucet on this pedal than your common 808, and with the lively EQ, loads of room for locating your voice.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Wampler merchandise right here.
Purchase the Wampler Pedals Clarksdale V2 Delta Overdrive Results Pedal right here.
6. Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive Impact Pedal
Followers of Andertons movies will know this unit. The Nobels firm makes however one pedal today, and it’s this: the ODR-1. It was the unique non-Tube Screamer Tube Screamer and is favored by Capt. Lee Anderton for doing the mid-pushed increase job. Technically, what’s out there in the present day is a re-issue, however is a really trustworthy one.
Controls are Drive, Degree, and the elegantly-named Spectrum. Spectrum is tone, of which there’s simply extra compared to the 808 from which it derives. This has a wider frequency vary, which is especially noticeable within the lower-mids. It’s much less compressed than the Ibanez model, however has an analogous achieve vary. To my ears, the word definition is significantly higher than a number of TS variants, so should you’re doing a number of complicated chord voicings, this may be the one to think about.
Jacks on this are prime mounted, and there’s additionally a Distant enter, for those who ought to want it. Should you watch a variety of pedal YouTube, as I do, you’ll know all about this pedal. For those who don’t, it’s in all probability as a result of it’s one thing of an business secret and a favourite of session musicians. At this worth, it’s undoubtedly value a glance.
Purchase the Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive Impact Pedal right here.
7. T-Rex Alberta Basic Collection Overdrive Pedal
Towards the top of 2017, T-Rex re-released their Basic line of their unique three pedals, all of that are handmade in Denmark. Amongst these was the re-issue of the unique Alberta, which is their tackle a lower-gain Tube Screamer. Their literature refers to Stevie Ray Vaughan, which signifies that this leans extra towards the TS9 circuit. That stated, they are saying it’s “lower gain and less strident than Stevie’s pedal,” so make of that conclusion what you’ll.
Controls are, as you may anticipate, Achieve, Degree, and Tone. Together with the decrease achieve vary, this pedal is quite a bit just like the Nobels in that some gamers word an general enhancement to the sound of their rig. Might be psychosomatic, however one benefit to those being handmade (which partially explains the somewhat-exorbitant worth) is that whereas the unique circuit is used, the values of every element are matched not essentially to spec, however to the perfect sound. Every unit is distinct and hand-tuned so that each one the elements work very nicely collectively. It’s undoubtedly a high-end providing, and also you’ll go for this should you’ve been chasing classic models round and actually need this one particularly, since plenty of boutique pedals are handmade nowadays and don’t fairly go for this type of worth.
If you need extra bang on your buck, you can go for the Alberta II, which isn’t handmade in Denmark, and in consequence is a hugely-flexible twin overdrive for about $60 much less.
Want extra choices? Browse extra T-Rex merchandise right here.
Purchase the T-Rex Alberta Basic Collection Overdrive Pedal right here.
eight. Keeley Purple Filth Overdrive
Like JHS, Keeley was first recognized for modding in style, widely-available pedals. Amongst these was the Ibanez TS9, for which Keeley developed 12 distinct modifications to enhance the circuit, which they referred to as the Keeley Mod Plus. Round 2012, they included all of those right into a launch of their very own and referred to as it the Purple Filth.
For those who assume the controls are Drive, Tone, and Quantity, you’re utterly proper. There’s one further change that, just like the Wampler, allow you to select your achieve vary between Lo and Hello. It is best to hear a extra open drive sound, with much less pickup loading because of the JFET enter buffer. Just like the Nobels, that is actually recognized for its readability and minimize.
If you need much more flexibility and pedalboard area for much less, go for the Purple Filth Mini. Along with the identical knobs, there are 4 dip switches inside that allow you to select from 4 totally different overdrive types: Distortion, Overdrive, Crunch, and Amp. These transfer this nicely past the realm of any Tube Screamer and into much more closely distorted territory.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Keeley merchandise right here.
Purchase the Keeley Purple Dust Overdrive right here.
9. Mad Professor Little Inexperienced Marvel Distortion Results Pedal
In case you have your coronary heart set on a TS pedal handmade in Europe however don’t fairly have $300 to shell out, by no means worry. The type individuals at Mad Professor are glad to handwire their Little Inexperienced Marvel and promote it to you for a worth that’s extra corresponding to these made within the U.S. Probably probably the most clear of this style, the Mad Professor take presents a really comparable circuit to the others on this record, however doesn’t have the identical mid-bump and bass roll-off that’s out there elsewhere. That is what you’d get in case you set the Clarksdale to Massive and by no means modified it once more.
Controls embrace Quantity, Drive, and Physique. The final of those dials within the lower-mids and treble on the similar time. Beginning at midday, should you flip it counter-clockwise, you get the bass and treble boosts, whereas clockwise boosts solely the treble. The main target of this pedal is actually on headroom for improved dynamics and really feel, in addition to permitting you to decide on the place to place it in your tone stacking chain.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Mad Professor merchandise right here.
Purchase the Mad Professor Little Inexperienced Marvel Distortion Results Pedal right here.
10. Approach Big Inexperienced Rhino Mini MKIV
Our final decide ends the place we started this journey: with an overdrive pedal in a inexperienced field. This providing from Approach Large is the fourth iteration of their tackle a Tube Screamer circuit, constructing additional flexibility into their smallest enclosure but (which continues to be just a little on the massive aspect, actually).
Naturally, you get knobs for Quantity, Tone, and Drive. There are additionally two knobs to both aspect of the Tone knob which, just like the Clarksdale, permit for enhancing or slicing these frequencies by 12dB. This enables for actually finite shaping so you possibly can develop a Screamer tone that matches your rig completely. If you wish to snap again to a extra conventional Screamer, the change between Quantity and Drive could be flipped as much as Basic, which defeats these two tone knobs. All that’s left is the TS9ish circuit from the unique Inexperienced Rhino.
Want extra choices? Browse extra Method Large merchandise right here.
Purchase the Approach Big Inexperienced Rhino Mini MKIV right here.
A Tube Screamer is usually given the job of being a booster in lots of setups, however in the event you’re in search of extra choices in that area, you’ll need to take a peek at our greatest increase pedals publish.
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