TS808 Tubescreamer review by Ibanez

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (69 votes)
Ibanez: TS808 Tubescreamer
1

Price paid: € 130

Purchased from: Second handed

Ease of Use — 9
To understand this pedal you don't have to study rocket science. If you put the Overdrive low you get a cleaner sound with still alittle boost, put it high and your sound gets gritty. Tone? Put it low and you keep your clean signal (no it's not true bypass), put it high and the pedal does the work for you. Tone: nearly the same as the upper two knobs.

The pedal came with a box and manual, but it's not that extensive, why? Because this pedal is farely easy to use. Just buy it and if you don't like it sell it again!

Overall conclusion:

+ This pedal is a great asset on every guitarboard for the more experienced and less experienced player.
+ This pedal is very variable with other types of guitars (Humbucker vs Single Coils).
+ Works very good with other boosters.
+ Works very good with other modulation pedals.
+ Pedal is built like a tank.
+ Pedal works with solid state and tube amplifiers.
+ Best tubescreamer in my opinion.
+ Very much variaty in playing with the knobs.

- If this is your only OD, you might miss something when you play a lead or just need to get louder.
- Pedal is not true bypass.
- Pedal at some settings cuts off the volume.
- The LED light (of all tubescreamers by the way) is very weak and when you play in the sun you really can't see if it's on or not.
- You need a mini power chord adapter to power the baby.
- Sometimes the knob which you have to push in, gets stuck.

Sound — 9
I mostly play (Indie)rock and this pedal really fits to my style, this pedal is one of the best on my rig containing: a Boss TU-3 chromatic tuner, MXR Micro Amp, the Tubescreamer TS808, the Tubescreamer Mini, a MXR Carbon Copy and a Electro Harmonix Holy Grail. The guitars I mainly use are a Mexican Fender Telecaster and a Epiphone Dot (335), my amplifier is a Marshall 5210 (mostly clean). I make my own music sounding a bit like The Dandy Warhols, BRMC and Kings of Leon, this pedal really fits in.

About the pedal: this pedal really rocks your world, I already had a Tubescreamer Mini, but the TS808 really boosts your mid range. Before I bought the TS808 I had two Electro Harmonix Luberjacks', they were good, but not for my playstyle. Also the pedal is built like a tank, it's heavy (0.5 kilogram) which is good for a pedal and if I drop it I believe I would break the floor or my foot before this bad boy breaks down.

You can use the TS808 for almost every playstyle and lots of guitar legends have used them.

About the sound: This pedal has three knobs; Overdrive (amount of distortion), Tone (amount of high frequencies (higher is more bite, lower is mellower)) and Level (low is that guitar signal remains the same, higher means you add more distortion). What can I say this pedal is everything a guitar player desires, I mostly use it on these settings:

Light boost (no crunch): O: 10, T: 12, L: 12
Boost overdrive (light crunch): O: 12, T: 12, L: 5
Distortion (crunch): O: 5, T: 12, L: 12
Boost dist. (crunch): O: 3, T: 10, L: 3

The first two I mostly use in rhythm sections of most songs, and the other two I mostly use for heavier parts or when you just need to beat your bassplayer or drummer in your band. It's a really good pedal co-operating with my MXR Micro Amp (clean booster) and the Tubescreamer Mini (which is my booster for higher tones).

Conclusion:

+ This pedal is a great asset on every guitarboard for the more experienced and less experienced player.
+ This pedal is very variable with other types of guitars (Humbucker vs Single Coils).
+ Works very good with other boosters.
+ Works very good with other modulation pedals.

- If this is your only OD, you might miss something when you play a lead or just need to get louder.
- Pedal is not true bypass.
- Pedal at some settings cuts off the volume.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This pedal like I mentioned before is built like a tank, unless there is a problem in the software I don't believe it will break down. I used it live and on a nice tube amplifier (such as a clean Fender Twin Reverb) this pedal is heaven on a board, before I used my TS Mini (great pedal for the price) but on a solid state amp that one isn't like the TS808 at all. Compare it like this:

The TS808 is already a great OD, for every type of music to get the real tube feeling (even in a solid state amplifier). If you have the money, buy it, the prices are higher compared to the TS909 but it's worth it i.m.o. because of the midrange boost (TS909 mostly boosts the higher frequencies like the TS Mini). The TS Mini is more like a OD for clean amps (think of a Fender Princeton) (not really solid state amps) when they are already at a high volume and just need that push over the edge. I enjoy playing with it in co-operation with the TS808.

I would take the TS808 without backup, it's a tank and I take good care of it, I will later call some opinions about less better aspects of the pedal.

Conclusion:
+ Pedal is built like a tank.
+ Pedal works with solid state and tube amplifiers.
+ Best tubescreamer in my opinion.
+ Very much variaty in playing with the knobs.

- The LED light (of all tubescreamers by the way) is very weak and when you play in the sun you really can't see if it's on or not.
- You need a mini power chord adapter to power the baby.
- Sometimes the knob which you have to push in, gets stuck.

Overall Impression — 10
I mostly play (Indie)rock like I mentioned before and this pedal is a real asset on my board, in co-operation with the MXR Micro Amp it's really one of the best setups I've every played with. If you want to play some overdriven sounds such as the Dandy Warhols (look up Nietschze if you want to know what I mean), if you want to simulate your amp to be a Vox AC30 or just play some Nirvana, this is your pedal and it's worth every single penny.

I've been playing for over 5 years and really built a nice pedalboard like I mentioned before. The only thing that misses is a nice tube amplifier such as a Twin Reverb. If it gets stolen I would knock that ones teeth out with this tank and buy an extra one just to prove this pedal is worth every single penny.

Also like I mentioned before, I tried multiple tube screamers and really can say if you like a nice clean tone with a good mid section boost buy this. If you just need more boost and a higher frequency boost buy either the TS909 or TS Mini (great pedals), if you buy it for about 130 euro's (140 dollars or 115 pounds) you have a great deal and can always sell it for the same price.

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