TS808 Tubescreamer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (69 votes)
Ibanez: TS808 Tubescreamer

Price paid: $ 210

Purchased from: online

Sound — 9
The sound of this pedal is classic and has been replicated by dozens of other makers. It works well by itself if you want to give your sound some classic crunch for rhythm playing, but it can also be used in front of a high gain amp to get some great lead sounds or as a booster for other pedals such as a fuzz. It has a noticeable mid-range sound which is often considered desirable but if you're after transparency look elsewhere... This pedal is great for a wide variety of sounds and styles and is the only pedal I've used almost constantly since I bought it. It's great for rock, early metal, grunge, country, punk, alternative and more. This is not a distortion pedal so it may not be ideal for heavy stuff. One thing to note is that it's a buffered pedal and not true bypass, meaning that when it's off the signal still passes through part of the circuit potentially coloring the sound. However, if you have a long signal chain or long lead it's adviseable to have at least one buffered pedal to prevent signal loss, so it's often used in this respect.

Overall Impression — 9
I play a variety of different styles and this pedal has been one of the few constants on my pedalboard. I've had this pedal for about 6 years and I bought it from someone who'd used it for about 10 years before me. It's never had any real problems and has works everytime. If it were stolen or lost I would get a new one immediately.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This pedal is really solid. I've had the paint chip but that's about the extent of the damage you can do to it through regular use. The Switch and all the knobs are solid and have never let me down, it's dependable and I use it all the time. The DC jack on mine is the "TRS" audio type jack you'd usually see on headphones rather than the common Boss style DC jack. It has a tendancy on mine to slip out killing the sound, this may be down to the age of the pedal and it's easitly fixed with temporary duct-tape or you can take it in to swap it out for a standard DC jack. Despite this I'd happily take it to a gig with no other backup, it's rock solid.

Ease of Use — 10
This is a very simple pedal, there's an overdrive, tone and level knob and an "on" switch. Within firing it up it's easy to dial in a tone you like. The Overdrive knob gives you crunch, the tone is self explanatory and the level is designed to keep the volume constant. What I've found though is that if you're someone who has it on constantly, you can crank up the level as well as the Overdrive and make the distortion really dirty, which is great for Grunge and early sabbath-style metal sounds. The battery lasts a fair amount of time but with all pedals, it's advisable to use external power if you don't want it dying in the middle of a gig.

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