What's your prefered settings/uses for a Tube Screamer?

I am getting a good deal on a TS-808 clone, It has a couple mods and it's very cheap. As I have never really used a TS-808 or a TS9, I really don't know what to expect. Everybody always says you need one. But the chance never came.

I know SRV famously used one in front of his fenders. And I am pretty sure a lot of people used them with their Marshalls, along with buzz boxes, RATs and Distortion + back in the day.

I already own a few overdrives/distortion units, so I am thinking this might work as a solo boost, or on it's own if I feel like playing some light rock/blues.

Any suggestions? And what are your favorite settings for this pedal?

Comments

  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,863
    Well, I use my TS Mini to push a tube amp that's on the verge of break up or is already distorting. It will take that core tone and give it more sustain and overtones. Tube screamers are notorious for boosting the upper mid frequencies and cutting out some low end, so they are ideal to be used as solo boosts since you are more likely to be heard in the mix. Usually I have the gain set around 9 o clock, volume and tone at 12 o clock. 

    Lately I have been using it as an 'always on' pedal, since I play with another guitarist and want to stand out a bit in the mix. In that case I use a TC electronic Spark Mini boost after the TS Mini to boost the volume for solos. What I really like about that pedal is its momentary switch that activates the pedal when you press and hold, and turns it off when you remove your foot from the switch. Also, it's completely noise free, unlike the TS Mini which gives a distinct 'pop' when turning it on at high volumes. This seems to be a common issue with many true bypass pedals, because I never had this issue with my old TS-9, since it has a buffer instead. 

  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 15,715
    It's almost impossible to get a bad sound out of a Tube Screamer, and you can't get all that extreme with them anyway, because they're relatively subtle compared to distortion or fuzz pedals.  You won't need any specific settings -- they're very easy to set just by whatever your ear likes.  As Max says, great for boosting solos, though I wouldn't use it as an always on pedal because it rolls off your lows.
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • eduardoritoseduardoritos Posts: 2,666
    That Pedal Show people know far more than me:


  • SnoogansSnoogans Posts: 1,381
    I use mine in the Lead channel of an already maxxed-out Marshall. It doesn't affect the tone, it just adds more sustain and makes the harmonics really pop, especially at more polite volumes!
    That's with all three knobs at the 12 o'clock position, by the way.
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 17,993
    I use my Maxon OD9 (the real Tubescreamer  ;) ) to push my JCM800 over the edge. On its own, the 800 doesn't have enough gain for my needs. With the OD9 in front, it's perfect.
    It does tighten up the low end some and adds some smooth mids. What's not to like?

    I never use it with high gain amps to "tame the bass" like all the djent guys promote. If the amp has enough gain on its own, the overdrive stays off.

    Run in a clean amp, it does Status Quo levels of gain. Not bad but not a sound I have a use for.
  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 456
    Thanks for the advice. And that video was pretty illustrative.

    I am gonna be using this with a Fender, and it has overbearing lows. Maybe keeping this thing always on might do wonders for my sound, but to be honest I am getting it as a solo boost. I guess I will have to try it and see.

    The guy I am getting it from says he uses it AFTER his gain pedals, which I thought was weird. He says he mostly used it with an OCD, the tube screamer just for solos.

    Anyway, it's done deal. I am picking it up later today at my friend's place. I will probably fire it up later tonight and report results in the morning. ;)
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,863
    It's almost impossible to get a bad sound out of a Tube Screamer, and you can't get all that extreme with them anyway, because they're relatively subtle compared to distortion or fuzz pedals.  You won't need any specific settings -- they're very easy to set just by whatever your ear likes.  As Max says, great for boosting solos, though I wouldn't use it as an always on pedal because it rolls off your lows.
    Yep, I agree. I most likely wouldn't use it as an 'always on' pedal if I didn't have a rhythm guitarist doubling the same riffs. 
    Thanks for the advice. And that video was pretty illustrative.

    I am gonna be using this with a Fender, and it has overbearing lows. Maybe keeping this thing always on might do wonders for my sound, but to be honest I am getting it as a solo boost. I guess I will have to try it and see.

    The guy I am getting it from says he uses it AFTER his gain pedals, which I thought was weird. He says he mostly used it with an OCD, the tube screamer just for solos.

    Anyway, it's done deal. I am picking it up later today at my friend's place. I will probably fire it up later tonight and report results in the morning. ;)
    I think you're gonna love it with a Fender amp! 
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 675
    edited March 1
    I used to use it in front of my 5150 just for keeping the low end tight. Basically, I was just using it for its EQ section, and they work fantastically for that. In the high-gain metal world, the Tube Screamer into high gain amp is almost a cliche. 

    With my JCM 900 (dual reverb), I used it to augment a less-than-stellar distortion channel. I basically had it slamming the input of the amp and adding a bit of color to the midrange (which is what the dirty channel of the Dual Reverb lacks, imho). 
    Post edited by TravisW on
  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 456
    edited March 6
    OK, here's my experience with this pedal so far, now that I have had it for a few days...

    It's a chinese joyo clone (vintage overdrive they label it) I am not sure if it's the ts-808 or the ts-9 circuit, but I don't think there's enough of a difference since it's not a maxon / ibañez  unit anyway.

    The previous owner says he performed a mod on it, he made the bass cut more subtle, so that the mids don't overtake the tone. It was probably a small mod since there's still a strong mid presence.

    I have a few other joyos, so I know how they are built. this one seems similar as far as quality control goes.

    Now as for the most important part. How does it sound?

    Well, very very well.. As Dave said, it's almost impossible to get a bad sound out of it. On it's own, as an overdrive, with my fat strat or V unto my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe on the clean channel, it sounds like something out of those old american classic rock records I grew up listening to. I can get something pretty similar to the more overdriven Eagles tones or maybe the Allmans or Skynrd, especially with an all humbucker guitar. I could probably play an entire blues set with it.

    As a booster, which is the reason I got it, I got mixed feelings. As I mentioned, I currently use a HRD, the old combo from the 90's not the newer version. As many of you might now, those amps have a good clean, as a good fender should, but it's gain channel suck. Which is why I use pedals for gain. I currently use three: and OCD, a Suhr Riot clone, and a Keeley modded DS-1. I put the tube screamer in front of the others, in that order

    Guitar  --> TS-9 --> OCD --> Riot --> DS-1. --> Amp (HRD). No delays or anything else as I was testing the gain exclusively.

    It sure adds a lot of gain. and noise. I might need to add a noise gate to my setup if I am gonna be using it actively. I of course dropped to gain to zero and upped the level, but even then it was almost overbearing, probably because my pedals are high gain to begin with.

    Then I did what my friend does and moved the tube screamer to the end of the chain, after all the distortion pedals.I know the basic rule of: boost before gain equals more gain, boost after gain equals more volume. But I wanted to try it anyway and see if the famed mid eq on a ts-9 still shows up.

    This was actually better to my ears, less noise and it made soloing with any of the other pedals an overall better experience.

    So who knows? maybe I am doing things wrong or this particular setup doesn't lends itself for the ts-9 in the front as well as other setups.

    I am gonna keep experimenting, and add my crybaby and the other pedals to the signal to see how that works. And of course I'll report my findings.
    Post edited by Tatosh Guitar on
  • whoopass1whoopass1 Posts: 1,374
    Snoogans said:
    I use mine in the Lead channel of an already maxxed-out Marshall. It doesn't affect the tone, it just adds more sustain and makes the harmonics really pop, especially at more polite volumes!
    That's with all three knobs at the 12 o'clock position, by the way.
    Yep, same here. All knobs up half-way. The notes hold longer, and it adds compression to the Marshalls without really changing the sound. My old JCM 800 sounds GREAT this way..
  • if you're using it with a Fender amp, you can leave it on all day.  just mess with it for awhile, you'll find what you like soon enough.
  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 456
    if you're using it with a Fender amp, you can leave it on all day.  just mess with it for awhile, you'll find what you like soon enough.
    I might be leaning on this path. The fender's lows are too over the top most of the time. This might work for the best.

    I have been using it as solo volume boost so far,  but the options are pretty endless with this thing. Not a bad sound, as Dave said...
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 1,863
    Check out this video, I think it will give you some answers:


  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 456
    I have had the pedal for a while now, and I have been experimenting with it. I moved it to the front of the other drive pedals, the only other thing before it being the crybaby.

    I love it. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it. It's become my almost always on pedal, and I don't notice any problem with the lows. Might be my Fender's natural mid scooped tone...

    MAdX said:
    Check out this video, I think it will give you some answers:



    I hadn't seen this one, which is weird because I am a fan of Pete's. It was quite enlightening. Thanks!!


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