TS808 Tubescreamer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (69 votes)
Ibanez: TS808 Tubescreamer
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Purchased from: Longue & McQuade

Sound — 8
I tried out a few guitars with this: A Standard Les Paul, and a PRS EG. Sounded not bad with both. The pedal was fairly sharp sounding, which was a definite bonus for an Overdrive pedal, as often you get muddy sounding ones, which somewhat defeats the purpose. I found the effects were a little weak for some sounds (I wouldn't want to play anything really metally, or really full sounding through it, I think). Mostly, I think I'd use this pedal for power chord fuzz, which it would be excellent for, and some solos. Overall, a nice crisp sound, but nothing too deep sounding, and nothing too crazy versatile.

Overall Impression — 7
I play a wide variety of music: blues, jazz, rock, ska, hard rock, metal, etc. etc. This pedal only suits certain elements of these. For blues and jazz, it's not bad actually. You can still play 5 note chords and feel the individual feel of each chord, which most pedals just muddle. For rock, I'd say it's not a bad pedal for some power chord distortion and such, but it's not quite deep enough sounding for hard rock or metal. Ska distortion can be all over the place, so it might not be bad for that either. I've been playing 5-6 years, and own a few guitars and basses, and a drum set. Check my sig on the forums for full gear info, just for your info. To be honest, I doubt I'd buy this pedal. It has a few really nice feels, but would only work for some things I play I find, and not everything overall. I really liked the sharp crisp sound. I was unimpressed however, with the versatility of the pedal. Albeit my Boss DS-1 (yeah, nothing special) isn't quite as crisp all the time, I would prefer it as it has a tonne of range in what you can use it for.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's hard to say without taking the pedal home and gigging with it for awhile, but it seemed fairly reliable. The casing was all very sturdy, and I noticed no weak spots well I played. In all likelihood, this pedal wouldn't be versatile enough for a gig I would play, so I probably would have more distortion pedals then this with me anyways, so no I wouldn't bring a backup.

Ease of Use — 7
It's easy to get a good sound out of this pedal. Plug it in, put the tone and distortion knobs in the middle area, adjust your level to equal your volume level when the pedal's not on, and wham, descent sounding distortion. However, I will find I found this pedal didn't have a hell of a lot of range. You could increase the distortion and play with the tone, but I found it just changed how much fuzz there was a little bit, and didn't really give you new sounds to work with. I gave the manual a quick flip, and it seemed okay, but let's be honest, it's a basic Overdrive pedal, and doesn't require much of a manual. I'm not sure of the exact version number of this pedal, but I'm pretty sure it's on of the latest.

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