#1
I'm just curious about how different the sound of using a tube screamer as a boost instead of my boss SD 1 is it really worth paying extra for a ts9 or a Maxon od808 or will I not notice much difference
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#2
A Tubescreamer isn't better than an SD-1, it's just different.

Tubescreamer type pedals can be far better, as well as SD-1 type pedals can be far better than the SD-1.

The circuits between the two are very similar, a big difference is that the TS utilizes symmetrical clipping, while the SD utilizes asymmetrical clipping. In this case, that causes the TS to be much smoother in comparison, while the SD is much edgier and grittier.

I recommend TS types to people who want to smooth out their gain, get smoother leads, etc., and recommend SD types to people who want to add grit and buzzsaw elements to their tone.

Please keep in mind that these terms are just used to describe how they differ: an SD-1 won't turn your tone into an HM-2 black/death ordeal, and a TS9 won't turn your amp into a Mesa Mark. But that is the gist of how they differ.

Now, since you already have an SD-1, "upgrading" to a TS9 would be a huge waste of money. There are tons of pedals that do the Tubescreamer thing way better than Ibanez or Maxon.

There are endless amounts of TS style pedals, but as far as in-store, off the shelf type pedals go, some worth considering are:

MXR GT-OD - most basic; 3 knobs like a regular TS.
Digitech Bad Monkey - basic, but has a knob to control bass frequency, which puts it way above a normal TS.
Hardwire CM-2 - Basically a higher quality Bad Monkey. Feels better, sturdier, sounds richer/more harmonic. Nice pedal.
Way Huge Green Rhino - lots of tone shaping options, this is a very popular pedal, lots of options to dial in exactly what you need.

Alternatively, if you prefer the SD-1 style, there's:

MXR M77 - Basically just a higher quality SD-1 with more tone shaping controls. They sound very very similar when used as a boost. I own both and did A/B comparisons to choose which to use. The MXR won the spot on my board.
Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET - Very nice pedal with some unusual tone shaping features, like changing the gain structure a little, etc.. Has a regular OD side, as well as a boost side. AFAIK there aren't any single pedals with just the OD side, but that side is your SD-1 variant. I haven't tried this one personally yet, so I cant' say much about it.

In addition, worth looking at is the CMAT Signa Drive, which (I believe) allows you to toggle between symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping. It's a slightly more boutique option though.
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#4
The GT-OD does.

The Custom Badass Modified OD and the Wylde/Beserker OD have assymetrical.

This is NOT universally true, but you can kind of figure out which type any given OD is by what color it is. Colors are a considerably reliable (again, not in every case) way to tell what a pedal is. If it's an overdrive pedal, and it's green, it's probably a Tubescreamer variation. If it's yellowish, it's probably an SD-1 variation.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at Nov 2, 2013,
#5
Quote by Offworld92
In addition, worth looking at is the CMAT Signa Drive, which (I believe) allows you to toggle between symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping. It's a slightly more boutique option though.

I have one, and it's pretty good. One of the best TS-type overdrives i ever tried.

A little after i got it, i sold my Boss OD-3, since the Signa Drive does what the OD-3 did, but better, and the 3-way toggle switch adds a touch of versatility.
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#6
http://buildyourownclone.com/effects-pedals/overdrive/classic-overdrive.html

If you want the original circuit and have basic soldering skills this is an exact clone of the original TS-808 circuit. 70 dollars when Ibanez charges like 170 for their "reissue" which uses a different op-amp chip. All their kits that I have built are fantastic, I just ordered on of these bad boys.
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#7
Quote by Offworld92
A Tubescreamer isn't better than an SD-1, it's just different.

Tubescreamer type pedals can be far better, as well as SD-1 type pedals can be far better than the SD-1.

The circuits between the two are very similar, a big difference is that the TS utilizes symmetrical clipping, while the SD utilizes asymmetrical clipping. In this case, that causes the TS to be much smoother in comparison, while the SD is much edgier and grittier.

I recommend TS types to people who want to smooth out their gain, get smoother leads, etc., and recommend SD types to people who want to add grit and buzzsaw elements to their tone.

Please keep in mind that these terms are just used to describe how they differ: an SD-1 won't turn your tone into an HM-2 black/death ordeal, and a TS9 won't turn your amp into a Mesa Mark. But that is the gist of how they differ.


+1
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#8
well, the CMT mods switch changes the EQ, gain, a lot of things. it doesn't go from OD to distortion per say.

i would say the top sound is not very gainey, more crunchy, slightly more open sound, slightly tenderly like EQ

the middle setting is almost a clean boost, fairly flatter EQ, very open

the lower setting is basically a boutique TS type sound, and has a FAIR AMOUNT of gain on tap, probably more than a TS. mid boost, not much bass, atypical TS type thing.

between the 3, its a very versatile pedal.
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#9
Last week I bought a Mad Professor Little Green Wonder. It is the most responsive, and versatile tubescreamer type pedal I have ever tried. It sounds incredible. Might be worth checking out.
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#10
keep in mind that "tubescreamer" has become kind of a generic term for overdrives in general. overall a reliable pedal with a good history of working well over the years. obviously there must be room for improvement as there is a huge market full of pedals based on the design with little tweaks. hard to say if it would really work better for you. are you happy with your current tones using your Boss pedal?
#11
Quote by monwobobbo
keep in mind that "tubescreamer" has become kind of a generic term for overdrives in general. overall a reliable pedal with a good history of working well over the years. obviously there must be room for improvement as there is a huge market full of pedals based on the design with little tweaks.

err no it isn't. tubescreamer refers to the circuit itself. and most of the boutique screamers aren't marketed as such. they just happen to be tubescreamer knockoffs with a few mods in prettily painted boxes that people buy because they think they can get amazing amp tones with a pedal. and waitlists and hype and yadadadada.

actually, just read this. it's entertaining and sobering. http://www.boutiquegeartalk.com/pedals-effects-multi-effects/1486.htm
#12
The Bad Monkey is a hard one to beat for the money. Mine cost $40 new off an ebay store. It costs more than that to build a tubescreamer yourself.
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#13
Quote by NakedInTheRain
err no it isn't. tubescreamer refers to the circuit itself. and most of the boutique screamers aren't marketed as such. they just happen to be tubescreamer knockoffs with a few mods in prettily painted boxes that people buy because they think they can get amazing amp tones with a pedal. and waitlists and hype and yadadadada.

actually, just read this. it's entertaining and sobering. http://www.boutiquegeartalk.com/pedals-effects-multi-effects/1486.htm


Don't want to look for it now, but the original post on FSB makes a lot more sense. I dunno if they refer to it in that thread, but "The Goose" is John Landgraff (OG, overly hyped boutique pedal maker), "The Middleman" is Blues Angel Music in Pensacola, "The Idolmaker" is Bob Burt (a custom cabinet/new found pedal maker) and "Gomer Pyle" is Clay Jones, who used to be a well known DIY'er, who just kinda fell off the face of the planet after releasing the Clay Jones OD, which was supposed to be some cool, unique circuit according to a few people (though IIRC, Clay never once said anything about the circuit in public), but turned out to be a Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive (Tubescreamer) clone.
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#14
Quote by Offworld92
The GT-OD does.

The Custom Badass Modified OD and the Wylde/Beserker OD have assymetrical.

This is NOT universally true, but you can kind of figure out which type any given OD is by what color it is. Colors are a considerably reliable (again, not in every case) way to tell what a pedal is. If it's an overdrive pedal, and it's green, it's probably a Tubescreamer variation. If it's yellowish, it's probably an SD-1 variation.



This is a marketing technique. Your brain is gonna make these associations. Don't JoYo close follow the same technique? this is not absolute but is rather reliable.
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#15
One cheper OD i always go back to is my MI audio blues pro. Not sure if is asymmetrical or symmetrical clipping, but its got a good tone to it.

I would have to say my zendrive is my favorite. But i also love my timmy.
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#16
Bought my Bad Monkey 5 years ago for 35 bucks and it's the only piece of gear from that time period that I still use. I've either out grown the other equipment or it's broken down. I'm sure the Hardwire OD has some advantages like 'sturdier' construction and true bypass, but I feel the pedal is well built and it has a good buffer in place.
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#17
Quote by evmac
Bought my Bad Monkey 5 years ago for 35 bucks and it's the only piece of gear from that time period that I still use. I've either out grown the other equipment or it's broken down. I'm sure the Hardwire OD has some advantages like 'sturdier' construction and true bypass, but I feel the pedal is well built and it has a good buffer in place.



I bought a demo one for $20. Messed around on it for a few weeks and sold it. I didn't like it at all.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#18
Quote by NakedInTheRain
err no it isn't. tubescreamer refers to the circuit itself. and most of the boutique screamers aren't marketed as such. they just happen to be tubescreamer knockoffs with a few mods in prettily painted boxes that people buy because they think they can get amazing amp tones with a pedal. and waitlists and hype and yadadadada.

actually, just read this. it's entertaining and sobering. http://www.boutiquegeartalk.com/pedals-effects-multi-effects/1486.htm


not talking about marketing dude. just that often on boards like this and in many other situations "tubescreamer" is used as a generic term for overdrive. nothing to do with the circuit or advertising. since I live in Rochester NY i'll use a local example of what I mean. this is the home of Xerox which made the first copiers. over time people just said "i'm gonna Xerox that" when referring to making a copy regardless of the actual copier being used. thus it has become a generic term that's what i'm referring to.
#19
i think it depends. i personally don't want a lot of buffers or non true bypass stuff, and i will pay extra to nice have it. other features a cool, i like supporting small business and having something unique. and if the price is comparable, i will seek out and to go extra effort to buy a CMAT or Xotic over a boss or another brand solid in guitar center.

most agree the signa is darn good. it is. so i am happy.

rockbox boiling point for $400? what are you smoking?
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#20
Quote by monwobobbo
not talking about marketing dude. just that often on boards like this and in many other situations "tubescreamer" is used as a generic term for overdrive. nothing to do with the circuit or advertising. since I live in Rochester NY i'll use a local example of what I mean. this is the home of Xerox which made the first copiers. over time people just said "i'm gonna Xerox that" when referring to making a copy regardless of the actual copier being used. thus it has become a generic term that's what i'm referring to.

no, it hasn't become a generic term. that's what i'm saying. there are overdrive circuits other than the tubescreamer. when people say tubescreamer, they literally mean tubescreamer. you wouldn't say 'get a tubescreamer' when you're recommending a timmy or a klon or a colorsound or a bluesbreaker or a hotcake or an ocd. it just so happens that the tubescreamer is the most widely copied overdrive out there, and as a result, the most popular overdrive, both by availability and purchase.
#21
I'd tend to agree, When people say "tubescreamer" they usually mean a tubescreamer derivative, not just overdrive. The generic term is "overdrive".
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#22
I hope this isn't thread jacking but what is the difference between a tube screamer and an overdrive?
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#23
A tubescreamer is a type of overdrive.
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#24
Quote by Shadowofravenwo
I hope this isn't thread jacking but what is the difference between a tube screamer and an overdrive?

all tubescreamers are overdrives, not all overdrives are tubescreamers.
#25
Quote by NakedInTheRain
err no it isn't. tubescreamer refers to the circuit itself. and most of the boutique screamers aren't marketed as such. they just happen to be tubescreamer knockoffs with a few mods in prettily painted boxes that people buy because they think they can get amazing amp tones with a pedal. and waitlists and hype and yadadadada.

actually, just read this. it's entertaining and sobering. http://www.boutiquegeartalk.com/pedals-effects-multi-effects/1486.htm



Really good read. I read the whole article.
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Quote by andersondb7
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Quote by trashedlostfdup
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Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#26
Ive just bought the MXR OD-GT so ill see how it sounds compared to my Boss
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#27
Quote by trashedlostfdup
One cheper OD i always go back to is my MI audio blues pro. Not sure if is asymmetrical or symmetrical clipping, but its got a good tone to it.


I love my Blues Pro, although since it's around $120, I'm not sure I'd call it cheap.

My two drives are the BP and a Bad Monkey, which I've owned now for at least 6 years, maybe longer. It's never left my board in that time, even though it's role has changed from time to time.

The differences between the two:
- The BP has more volume and gain on tap than the BM
- The BP doesn't have as much of the TS-like mid-spike as the BM
- The BP isn't as compressed as the BM, and thus cleans up a bit better and is a touch more dynamic.
- The BM has a bit more tone-shaping capability thanks to the high and low adjustment knobs.
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#28
Quote by sjones
I love my Blues Pro, although since it's around $120, I'm not sure I'd call it cheap.

My two drives are the BP and a Bad Monkey, which I've owned now for at least 6 years, maybe longer. It's never left my board in that time, even though it's role has changed from time to time.

The differences between the two:
- The BP has more volume and gain on tap than the BM
- The BP doesn't have as much of the TS-like mid-spike as the BM
- The BP isn't as compressed as the BM, and thus cleans up a bit better and is a touch more dynamic.
- The BM has a bit more tone-shaping capability thanks to the high and low adjustment knobs.


i honestly didn't know they were up that far as pricing goes. i have the original one i picked up used from the forums for like less than $50 to my door.
pt
it isn't necessarily "cheap" but its on par with the comparable OD's out there.

+1 on the description you gave.
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#29
Quote by NakedInTheRain
no, it hasn't become a generic term. that's what i'm saying. there are overdrive circuits other than the tubescreamer. when people say tubescreamer, they literally mean tubescreamer. you wouldn't say 'get a tubescreamer' when you're recommending a timmy or a klon or a colorsound or a bluesbreaker or a hotcake or an ocd. it just so happens that the tubescreamer is the most widely copied overdrive out there, and as a result, the most popular overdrive, both by availability and purchase.


while you are right and personally I wouldn't that doesn't mean others don't. keep in mind that many novice players have never heard of a klon or a timmy they only know tubescreamer. not looking for a fight was just making a point that I feel is valid.
#30
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i honestly didn't know they were up that far as pricing goes. i have the original one i picked up used from the forums for like less than $50 to my door.
pt
it isn't necessarily "cheap" but its on par with the comparable OD's out there.

+1 on the description you gave.

I have the last version of the BP (v3, I think), and it was around $120 new when I bought it. I'd personally like to get my hands on the new Super Blues Bro because it has more tone shaping options.

Since I've went to using a Strat as my main guitar, I've tweaked my rig a bit, including how I use my two OD's. First, I'm using more preamp gain on my Jet City JCA20h, and the BP is now used for my smoother dirty tones and the BM is what I'm using for my dirtiest tones. Using singles (Texas Specials), I found that the BP's limited shaping capabilities (a single tone knob) combined with how dynamic and rather uncompressed it is, just didn't allow me to dial in the dirtiest tones I needed from my Strat. However, it works well for smoother-yet-still-dirty tones that are nice, round, and retain a lot of clarity.

The BM, with it's high and low controls and more compressed sound, is just what I need for my dirtiest tones. I'm able to dial in the amount of gain and low end I need to get a fat driven sound from the singles while at the same time dialing in the right amount of bite from the high end I desire.
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#31
The MXR GT OD is a monster so much fat saturated gain for an overdrive, gotta be careful using it as a boost...
and the battery lasts forever...
Shut up and play your guitar!
#32
Quote by plbrynt
The MXR GT OD is a monster so much fat saturated gain for an overdrive, gotta be careful using it as a boost...
and the battery lasts forever...


what do you mean by be careful using it as a boost?
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#33
A Tubescreamer is great as a boost for a solo because it adds a lot of mids, but personally, I don't use mine otherwise, because it adds quite a bit a mids, even with the tone turned all the way down.
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#34
Quote by deadsmileyface
A Tubescreamer is great as a boost for a solo because it adds a lot of mids, but personally, I don't use mine otherwise, because it adds quite a bit a mids, even with the tone turned all the way down.

I have always modded my tubescreamers to add some bass back in so it's more versatile. These days I just use a bad monkey because it has a bass control that effectively gives me the same mod but with some control. Tubescreamers don't really have a mid hump, they have a bass cut. That has a similar effect but you can add a lot of highs so it isn't really. You can test this for yourself if you experiment with modding. Reduce the bass cut and they sound much flatter.
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#35
Quote by monwobobbo
while you are right and personally I wouldn't that doesn't mean others don't. keep in mind that many novice players have never heard of a klon or a timmy they only know tubescreamer. not looking for a fight was just making a point that I feel is valid.

yeah exactly. they only know tubescreamer, so when they say tubescreamer, they mean tubescreamer.
#36
Quote by NakedInTheRain
all tubescreamers are overdrives, not all overdrives are tubescreamers.

Then what differentiates them?
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#37
The tubescreamer is a particular circuit using an op amp with clipping diodes in the negative feedback loop and a few other unnoteworthy things. It is a circuit that has been copied ad nauseam ever since Ibanez started producing them.

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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 6, 2013,
#38
Quote by peavey6505+user
what do you mean by be careful using it as a boost?

It's just a bit noisy and a bit crazy - just go easy on the gain or you'll wind up in fuzzed out insane feedback land - unless you like that sort of thing..
Shut up and play your guitar!