#1
I think I have a general idea as to what a Tubescreamer does, but I figured I would ask before I go about spending money on one.

Right now, my situation is; I have a JCM 2000 with a 1960 4x12 cab. The lead channels are great, but the first one lacks a bit of gain, so I have a harder time with sweeping and overall playability (and I lack a bit of sustain). On the other hand, I have the 2nd lead channel which is everything I want it to be, but it's just a bit too muddy and it makes my sweeps, and fast arpeggios sound dirty (trust me, it's not me). Will a Tubescreamer boost my lead 1 channel for more gain or tighten my lead 2 channel so it's not so muddy? Does it work both ways? What's the difference between all these Tubescreamers and which should I go for?

I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
#2
Quote by nignog
Will a Tubescreamer boost my lead 1 channel for more gain or tighten my lead 2 channel so it's not so muddy? Does it work both ways?


In my opinion, yes. I use a Maxon OD808 which does exactly that.
"Don’t be a guitarist. Be a musician."

Steve Howe
#3
Yes the Tubescreamer will give you more gain.

Tubescreamer's do slightly affect the timbre of your tone so it will appear to tighten your tone slightly.

Just remember that with added gain, everything is amplified greater. So if you do play sloppily, it's going to sound sloppy. This is always true regardless of gear..

Ibanez has released a million and one different reissues of the Tubescreamer, some of them have slightly different mods, some just look a little different. I can't remember the model names off the top of my head, some of them are more prestigious to collectors and gearheads however.

You should be the one deciding which you buy, get out and ask to play some of them, hear what differences it makes for yourself.

#4
Generally speaking, a TS will "tighten up" your tone and add gain.

I'm not sure how a lack of gain is affecting your sweeping or playability, though
#5
Quote by Zeppelin Addict
Yes the Tubescreamer will give you more gain.

Tubescreamer's do slightly affect the timbre of your tone so it will appear to tighten your tone slightly.

Just remember that with added gain, everything is amplified greater. So if you do play sloppily, it's going to sound sloppy. This is always true regardless of gear..


Ibanez has released a million and one different reissues of the Tubescreamer, some of them have slightly different mods, some just look a little different. I can't remember the model names off the top of my head, some of them are more prestigious to collectors and gearheads however.

You should be the one deciding which you buy, get out and ask to play some of them, hear what differences it makes for yourself.


Thanks for the information, I appreciate it-- but this part that I have taken the time to bold; I'm not going to disagree but I wanted to know what you think about my opinion:

I agree to your statement but I believe there is a difference between higher gain and cheap, muddy higher gain. I might be living in a fantasy world, or I might just be on crack; but there are certain things that I know I can play flawlessly and still give off a muddy, halfass sound. I'm not necessarily saying you tried to criticize me (because you didn't) but I can't bring myself to believe I can't get easier playability with just a hint more gain and not make my sweeps and arpeggios sound well played with a pinch of inexperienced messiness. Perhaps you can enlighten me a bit more?
#6
Quote by DeanRedneck
Generally speaking, a TS will "tighten up" your tone and add gain.

I'm not sure how a lack of gain is affecting your sweeping or playability, though

It's not affecting it, in fact it sounds better than ever; but there is some warmth I can't get with my lead 1 channel; which has lower gain than my second. As far as playability, I'm not sure if I'm using that word properly; I just find it so much more fun to play with higher gain because I don't get tired as easily-- I don't need to pick as hard and finger my frets as rough; and it's not me being a picky gearhead, because I pick hard whether I lack gain or not because it's just how I play and get my sound. However, the easy 'playability' comes in handy when my guitar playing isn't the center of attention, or if there is a long passage of extremely fast paced playing.
#7
Quote by nignog
Thanks for the information, I appreciate it-- but this part that I have taken the time to bold; I'm not going to disagree but I wanted to know what you think about my opinion:

I agree to your statement but I believe there is a difference between higher gain and cheap, muddy higher gain. I might be living in a fantasy world, or I might just be on crack; but there are certain things that I know I can play flawlessly and still give off a muddy, halfass sound. I'm not necessarily saying you tried to criticize me (because you didn't) but I can't bring myself to believe I can't get easier playability with just a hint more gain and not make my sweeps and arpeggios sound well played with a pinch of inexperienced messiness. Perhaps you can enlighten me a bit more?


Your tone has nothing to do with your ability to play cleanly.

EDIT: I think you're using the word playability wrong, because its contradicting the other things you're saying

My things:
Bowes SLx7
Washburn WG587
Washburn X40Pro
Washburn X50
Washburn HM24
Washburn WR150
Laguna LE200s
Arietta Acoustic
First Act
Valveking 112
VHT Deliverance

Last edited by valennic at Aug 2, 2011,
#8
Quote by nignog
It's not affecting it, in fact it sounds better than ever; but there is some warmth I can't get with my lead 1 channel; which has lower gain than my second. As far as playability, I'm not sure if I'm using that word properly; I just find it so much more fun to play with higher gain because I don't get tired as easily-- I don't need to pick as hard and finger my frets as rough; and it's not me being a picky gearhead, because I pick hard whether I lack gain or not because it's just how I play and get my sound. However, the easy 'playability' comes in handy when my guitar playing isn't the center of attention, or if there is a long passage of extremely fast paced playing.


dude this is a long winded way of saying your technique isn't totally up to snuff so you need a crutch. the amp has nothing to do with "playability" that is your guitar. you should practice those sweeps etc with no distortion until you can get them down flawlessly.
#9
Quote by monwobobbo
dude this is a long winded way of saying your technique isn't totally up to snuff so you need a crutch. the amp has nothing to do with "playability" that is your guitar. you should practice those sweeps etc with no distortion until you can get them down flawlessly.



This is what it sounds like to me, but I didn't want to be the ass that said it

Your sweeps sound better with more gain because distortion covers up slop.

The amount of gain you use has no effect on how hard you have to fret the string to get it to sound properly.
#10
im for sure not a sweeping expert, but i can pull off some sweeps and i know i can do them cleanly. but ts i think i know what youre talking about in differences of gains. its really hard to describe unless you have two examples of amps/tones.

either way, grab a ts. if youre not sure, grab a bad monkey off guitar center used for 30$ which will get you a similar effect, if its not what youre looking for return it. that or just go straight for a tube screamer. i always try to save some cash tho
Gibson SG Special Faded(Super Distortion/PAF Pro)
Carvin V3M
Jet City JCA2112RC
Taylor 114e
Ibanez SR300e

Quote by Delanoir
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#11
Practice a lot clean until you play the same with no distortion or a lot. Practice is free unless you say time is money, then it can cost a lot.
#12
Quote by nignog
Thanks for the information, I appreciate it-- but this part that I have taken the time to bold; I'm not going to disagree but I wanted to know what you think about my opinion:

I agree to your statement but I believe there is a difference between higher gain and cheap, muddy higher gain. I might be living in a fantasy world, or I might just be on crack; but there are certain things that I know I can play flawlessly and still give off a muddy, halfass sound. I'm not necessarily saying you tried to criticize me (because you didn't) but I can't bring myself to believe I can't get easier playability with just a hint more gain and not make my sweeps and arpeggios sound well played with a pinch of inexperienced messiness. Perhaps you can enlighten me a bit more?



There would be a difference in high gain and "cheap" high gain which sounds muddy. The quality between them is obviously not the same. It would all come down to gain staging in whatever gear you were discussing, and of course in some cases, digital vs analog. (I much prefer the latter as it doesn't seem to break up at high volume.) My apologies if I didn't quite answer your question but you were a little vague in your gain comparison.

If you are playing flawlessly and it sounds muddy and halfassed, I would tweak with your amp settings. Muddiness is usually caused by too much bass and/or gain. Take a little off of them and see what you get.

As for playability, have you looked into how your guitar is setup and the picks you use? In all honesty, this is where you should be discussing playability, not in your tone or how much gain you are using. Lower your action (the height of the strings from the fretboard), try a lighter gauge string, and use a thicker pick ( lighter picks flex when you pick the string making you work a little harder as opposed to thicker picks that make the string give way). In the end you should be able to play the same material the same way on a high gain channel, clean channel or even unplugged. Allow your tone to simply garnish what you play.

Remember that everything you practice eventually forms into a habit and you want to form good habits. Ripping through stuff with 'a pinch of inexperienced messiness' is all fine and well until you want to be a good guitar player and you've practiced sloppily and allowed excessive gain to cover it up.

Hope I understood what you were asking, if I misinterpreted anything let me know

#13
in my opinion, when you are playing hard rock and metal, It sounds better to use a little less gain amp but combine it with a TS instead of turning your amp gain all the way up.

Look at the Maxon 808, Ibanez TS-9 and Ibanez TS-9dx (<-- I honestly don't know what those letters should be but you'll find it, my poptarts are ready.)