anyone know if I can get a good close enough to a santana tone outta the tubescreamer TS7 (tone-lok)? and whats the difference between this and the other tubescreamers available?, don't tell me to get a new amp because its way off my budget and I can't wait that long! (yes I'm impatient)

My gear right now is a epi les paul (quilt top) and a crappy 15W vox amp

any other AFFORDABLE suggestions would be great!

Quote by wongacaster
Explination on why the ts-7 is lame?
And apparently you can mod the ts-7 to of ts-9 specs.

It costs more than it would to just buy the TS-9. Plus the tone lok looks like a breeze block.
Dude, nothing is going to make your little amp sound like a vintage Mesa Boogie Mark I that's worth a few thousand dollars, and you know that.

Sorry, but that's the truth...
- Fender, Taylor, Martin, Ibanez, Ramirez, Marshall, Boss, Morley, Mesa/Boogie, Univox, Shure, Monster, Dunlop, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Lace, Sperzel, DW, Tama, Zildjian, and a little Johnnie Walker
The closest you'll get, on a small budget, is a Line 6 pod thought headphones or recording.
- Fender, Taylor, Martin, Ibanez, Ramirez, Marshall, Boss, Morley, Mesa/Boogie, Univox, Shure, Monster, Dunlop, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Lace, Sperzel, DW, Tama, Zildjian, and a little Johnnie Walker
Santana, like most others, have had a lot of tones over the years, but generally I will recommend the EHX Big Muff to someone searching for a nice Santana tone on a budget, and then use it on your current amps clean channel. If your current amp really is crap though, you might perhaps want to look into something like one of the cheap 5 watt tube amps also.

Besides, in my opinion, getting tone like Santana is a lot more in how you play than in what gear you use. You'd want something which gives you a nice creamy overdrive, roll way back on the tone, usually use the neck pickup, and most importantly, play it like you mean it.

By the way, where do you people live where a TS9 costs less than a TS7? I just checked thomann.de because it sounded weird to me, and as I remembered, the TS9 is more than twice the price of the TS7.
thanks, I'll get a TS-9/808 and later upgrade to a better amp...eventually

side note: I usually use my friends amp which is an ashton 75W for gigs and so my crappy vox (pathfinder...yes THAT crap) is just for practise/warm ups

thanks for great advice!
TS9/TS808 is going to be useless Vox, as it will just make the it clip since there are no tubes to overdrive (The 12AX7 is functionally useless). A TS7 isn't much better, as it is effectively a distortion. My advice is to just save and get a better amp. You just won't hit it with the Pathfinder and a pedal. His tone relies on the warmth and harmonics on a tube, and I have never seen a solid state replicate it.
the circurity of TS7, TS808, and TS9 are generally the same. just a few resistors between each ones, TS808 and TS7 having the "classic" JRC4558D chip in it.

that said, tubescreamers aren't what you should be looking for if you want a tone like santana.
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I have read this thread and just signed up into UG to give a reply, as I found this topic very important, yet very underrated as very few people seem to be interested in getting the Santana harmonic feedback sustain, which in my opinion is a unique feature of his style (which he himself does not use much these days).

The TS7 will work absolutely fine. I am right now testing two TS7s to find any subtle differences, and other than tad smoothness they are great tubescreamers. TS7s sound almost identical to vintage TS9s (check on YouTube shnobel's test)


You need a small tube amp with not much headroom. I am using a 1971 Fender Vibrolux silverface, which is a beautiful amp by itself but I also tried both a cheap Traynor and a Dr Z.

Set up The TS7 Drive at 6, Tone at 4, Level at 3. You need to turn up the amp relatively loud and you need to use a LP with the neck humbucker on. You have to play the song constantly using the neck humbucker's volume - reduce the volume while playing the melody, and turn it up when you want to sustain. The trick is to find the "sweet spot" distance between the amp and the guitar, and play a low note first on the 3rd string. Then move the guitar a bit to find the spot in the air. Once you got it, memorize the position. It may work for several notes, or you may have to find the spots for specific notes.

One way to run the sustain at low volume is using the "Hot" switch, which only the TS7 has. I use a SansAmp Classic set to "Normal" (which emulates a Boogie) running the Amplifier Drive a 1:00 o'clock. Then I place the TS7 before the SansAmp with the exact settings above; this emulates the "cascading gain" of a Boogie. Volume on the Vibrolux is barely 2 1/4, bedroom volume. If I engage the "Hot" switch and after finding the sweet spot in the room, I can sustain the note for long minutes.

Hope the above helps. I've read several advices, even using "sustain/feedbacking/compressor" pedals and none quite nails the sound. Santana's feedback sustain is unique, it can be done, and the TS7 is actually a very good pedal, severely underrated.
Generally speaking, it's not really necessary or desirable to dredge up a six-year-old thread as your first post on a forum.

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