At LegendaryTones we’ve always had a fascination with Tube Screamers and the variants simply because they work so well with so many guitar and amp configurations. Whether being used for boosting an amp into greater natural tube overdrive or as an overdrive in front of a clean amplifier, there’s many applications for this famous green box that carries such a lengthy pedigree and legend.
Tag Archives: TS808
Ibanez Nutube Tube Screamer vs. original TS-808
In a market saturated with numerous different Tube Screamers in addition to various clones and modified units, Ibanez recently introduced a bold and unique entry with its latest Nutube Tube Screamer. The Nutube Tube Screamer most notably uses a Korg-designed Nutube module, which is said to work in a similar way to a traditional vacuum tube. However, as I’ll discuss later, this isn’t the feature that impressed me the most with the Nutube Tube Screamer, although the NuTube technology itself certainly will grab the most attention for prospective buyers.
Analogman Mods Our Favorite Reissue Tube Screamer: The 35th Anniversary TS-808
In 2014, Ibanez introduced its 35th anniversary TS-808 Tube Screamer overdrive pedal, based on the original it created in 1979. What’s now known as the “narrow box model” by collectors, has returned in its original smaller footprint, with the rare “flying fingers” graphics along with side-mounted 1/8-inch 9v DC adapter jack just like the original. The lightweight aluminum 35th anniversary TS-808 was also changed under the hood to be closer to the original, and is outfitted with a pair of op amp chips. This is a variation that is the main difference between it and the single op amp version of the 1980 TS-808 Tube Screamer and others including the TS-9 that followed. These later TS-808 and TS-9 models deployed input and output transistor buffers rather than the additional chip used in the original and now reissued narrow box model.
Maxon OD808X Extreme…Just Another Modded Tube Screamer?
The Tube Screamer is arguably the most copied and modified overdrive circuit ever. With good reason, this classic effect delivers a soft compression that truly is amp-like in response, feel, and tone. Maxon, the original manufacturer of the Tube Screamer, has now released its own response with a modified design and dubbed it the Maxon OD808X Extreme. But will the OD808X Extreme just provide more gain and the “same old” sound, or will it provide something truly unique?
Ibanez TS808HW Limited Hand Wired Edition: The Ultimate Tube Screamer?
We will begin this article with an honest question: Does the world need yet another Tube Screamer or Tube Screamer clone? The original pedal itself sees no end to its use and popularity, and from the 90’s onward there has been no stop in production from countless manufacturers, large and small, each creating their own stamp and version of the pedal based on the Tube Screamer circuit. From low-cost imports made in China that anyone can afford, to custom painted unique one-offs costing hundreds of dollars, there’s a Tube Screamer for every class and budget of musician. So don’t we have enough already?
Can the Ibanez TS808 Reissue be Modded for Exact Vintage TS808 Tone?
In our recent TS808HW feature, we compared the limited handwired unit along with the standard reissue TS808, the Maxon OD808, and an original TS808 from 1980. The results from the test overall were clear: while the TS808HW is a fantastic pedal, the vintage TS808 had the most dynamics, the longest sustain, and was judged the most transparent from bottom end to top end. This surprised us (because some of us felt that vintage Tube Screamers were mostly unwarranted hype), but it also set in motion a question that drove our curiosity further. Could one of us get the reissue TS808 to sound and feel like the original TS808 – a pedal that as of this writing in late 2008 regularly sells for between $400-$600 USD?