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Looking for the perfect TS - would love your help!

Zalu

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
565
I've been through a bunch of pretty good (and mediocre) tubescreamers but am finally finding what exactly I want out of one.

I want a TS that has a wide range of gain, more bass than the average (adjustable would be even better!) And is preferably 808 based as opposed to ts9-based.

Any suggestions?
Going into a strat/tele with an ac15.
Thanks!
 

geodr

Member
Messages
1,446
Green Rhino is great for control over bass, and Boiling Point has higher gain capability. You might say which TS's you've liked and disliked so people don't recommend what you've already tried.
 

scotty31

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,344
MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe has always been top of my list.
Very versatile and easy to get proper SRV-ish tones out of, but will do a number of other tones too.
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,618
Green Rhino
MJM Phantom Overdrive
Rockbox Boiling Point
 

Holzar1988

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,818
Asked the same question myself recently.

The four Tubescreamers that got the most "votes" in that thread were the Keeley TS9DX Flexi 4x2, the Fulldrive 2 non-MOSFET, the Green Rhino and the XTS Precision.

If separate bass control is important, the Digitech Bad Monkey and HardWire CM-2 (which is basically a slightly nicer Monkey) both have them instead of just a tone control.

Personally, I have a JHS-modded Bad Monkey, which is a quieter version of the original that's got perhaps a touch more gain, too. The Monkey is a weird one. I'm not crazy about it on its own, but stacked it's fantastic. It just adds a really great mid-range grind.

I ended up purchasing a Keeley TS9DX. It's got a lot of options. A lot more strident, clear tone than the Monkey. They're really pretty different, though they're both Tubescreamer variants. It's a terrific pedal too.

Last week, I rented an XTS Precision Multi from tryapedal.net. Tonally, it's very close to the TS9DX. The various switches on it for different options make it differently versatile than the TS9DX. The kicker for me, though, is that it's significantly noisier stacked with other pedals. Almost unusually so. I have to turn the gain and level way down, much lower than either the JHS Monkey or Keeley to make it usable as an extra gain stage stacked into other pedals.

It's too bad, because the pedal is small, built like a truck, and sounds phenomenal. But the noise issue rules it out for me. Perhaps both the JHS and Keeley mods do just enough in the noise cancelling department to make them better as stackers.

Frankly, I keep trying to replace the Monkey and just have one TS on my board. But I like the TS9DX and the Monkey well enough that I might just keep both. The Bad Monkey has a slightly murkier, rounder, softer tone that makes it suitable for different things than the TS9DX. For the moment, I'm hanging on to both. Would still like to try the Fulltone and the Rhino.

Hope that's helpful.
 

Holzar1988

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,818
VFE Scream, very customizable TS
That's the other one I'm kinda curious about. It's available at tryapedal too.

No affiliation, btw. Just love being able to try some of these out before committing to purchasing.
 

jordane93

Member
Messages
8,882
Either the CMATmods signa drive or deluxe signa drive. I've owned the deluxe signa drive and it is a killer TS. 3 band EQ, 3 clipping options, independent boost and quality made at a great price (I believe around $160). No affiliation with CMATmods but Chad got it right with this pedal along with many of his other pedals he's created
 

Class5

Member
Messages
1,860
The perfect TS? No such animal in my book, but that's just my worthless opinion. The MXR Custom Badass OD is a great pedal for the money, but the VFE 'The Scream' is the best I've ever used and although I'm not a fan of TS type drives, it's a keeper.
 

Zalu

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
565
I should've added which I've tried so far, but was rushed as I was posting this, lol.
I've been through:

Cmatmods super signa drive (probably gave it less credit than deserves)
Maxon OD820 (its size put me off to it)
Stock TS9 - No.
Maxon OD9 - loved it, but it died on me. May consider another?
Dealtalab tube od - good for the money... $20?
MXR M77 Badass OD - tonally good, but not much of a range of gain and a little muddy. WAY too noisy!

The next one I get will be it for a while because of finances, so I want it to count. Needs to be quiet & sound clear.
I've been considering the Wampler Paisley and Keeley red dirt. Might have to add that keeley flexi 4x2 to the list as well as VFE's scream!
 

Yossi

Member
Messages
3,505
I picked up one from modestmikesmods.com
It's knocked some great pedals off my board.
 

ramjet2007

Member
Messages
665
Man, I've had sooo many different TS variants! I started with a stock Ibanez TS-9 back in the nineties, which was pretty average, have played various other stock TS's and seemed pretty bland, have not had the pleasure of playing an original vintage Ibanez or Maxon, but here are some of my thoughts, for what they're worth and all of which I own:


  • The Ibanez TS808HW - to me, it's about as pure and sweet a TS tone as you'll get. Believe the hype, as there's something magical about the tone. Not tweakable at all though and costs as much as two of most other top range TS variants!
  • The WH Green Rhino - as mentioned above, really tweakable. Has a bit of a gritty earthy feel to it as well, which makes it unique. It doesn't really make my spine tingle like the TS808HW though.
  • The Analogman Prince of Tone - a large palette of tones here, with the overdrive, boost, and distortion (more of a higher gain compressed overdrive really) modes. Mine's faulty at the moment as I think I've fried a transistor using 18V through it, even though apparently that's supposed to be OK, however when it was running well it was pretty sweet. The TS8080HW still beats it for the pure TS tone though, but to me this is by far among the best I've played or owned.
  • The Mooer Green Mile - I was very pleasantly surprised by the "warm" mode, but the "hot" mode wasn't my bag. Really quite impressive for the price, size, and fact that it's a mass produced made in China variant.

I could list some others soon too, but they're the ones that come to mind immediately.
 

vegetablejoe

Member
Messages
811
MI Audio Super Blues Pro is my current "Swiss Army knife" of tubescreamers. Aside from the compressed ts mode, you can switch to an uncompressed, open-sounding od. You can add a little bit of fuzz, and tweak the eq from more bass and lower mids to a jangly tone. Mids are also tweakable.
 




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