mini Tube Screamer or regular TS9?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Santuzzo, May 9, 2016.

  1. Santuzzo

    Santuzzo Member

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    Has any of you guys done a side-by-side comparison of the mini Tube Screamer and the full-sized TS9?
    I'm interested in getting one, and I'd tend towards buying the mini as long as they sound the same.
    I watched some shoot-outs/comparisons on YouTube, and while on the clips the guys do say there's a noticeable difference, to me it sounded pretty much the same on the videos.

    I watched the Chapman/Anderton shoot out/comparison clip for instance, and apart form having a hard time getting through all the non-sense blabber, I really could not a (big) difference between the different Tube Screamers, even though they kept saying there is a big noticeable difference. Maybe it's just me and my ears not fine-tuned enough :dunno

    any thoughts?
     
  2. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    the ts9 is everything the boutiques try to avoid- nice big mid hump, great lead boost into a dirty amp, etc. the cliche tubescreamer tone.

    when it first came out i assumed the mini would be the same. its not. its pretty much the 808 tweaked to sound like one of the boutique clones. not much of a mid hump and less of what makes a TS sound like a TS. it sounds like it was intended to be used w a clean amp. i own it and wish id bought the TS9. hate this adorable little POS.
     
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  3. lowpaygigs

    lowpaygigs Member

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    I have compared them. The mini produces a thinner sound and the drive is somewhat grainier. I kept the normal sized pedal.
     
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  4. shanesiegle

    shanesiegle Supporting Member

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    The mini is based on the 808 and it sounds just like one. The ts9 is a little ganier. I also have a couple boutique ts type pedals and it fairs very well against those too. It's also true bypass which is nice. Both great and very similar, kind of depends how much space you need.
     
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  5. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    I have two Vintage TS9's and almost went with the Mini's because of the $$ and size. Everyone steered me away from it, saying the mini's don't sound like the real deal: maybe less mids leading to fizzier/grittier overdrive.
     
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  6. wbm68

    wbm68 Member

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    I have both. Standard TS9 ($99) and mini TS9 ($79), both recent.
    If you set all the knobs exactly the same on both, the pedals will sound a little different. You can set the knobs on both pedals to have both pedals sound the same.
    I mainly use the Maxon OD808 on my big board because it has an excellent buffer, and the mini TS on my small board with a Wampler Plexidrive Deluxe.
    I'd say get one, even if you don't love it, keep it in your gig bag / pocket / car etc., so you always have a backup with you.
     
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  7. lostpoet2

    lostpoet2 Supporting Member

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    I would look at the mini or the Keeley red dirt mini.
     
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  8. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    I was going to say the same thing... If you're looking for a "mini" TS pedal, those would be better options. The Red Dirt Drive mini is my new favorite TS style pedal that stays true to the mid-hump tone. I got it used on Reverb for $85
     
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  9. shanesiegle

    shanesiegle Supporting Member

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    I want to try one of those but I really do dig the ts mini.
     
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  10. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Wouldn't be TGP if we didn't stray from your original question ;)
     
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  11. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Well, the mini has SMD parts instead of the good old fashioned through-hole stuff. But it does seem to use the same JRC 4558 chip (thought to my ear, there are several better sounding options than that one).

    So I guess the question is how close do you need it to sound? There are a ton of different Tube Screamers designed over the years. Some with minor and some with major circuit changes. So are you comparing it to a TS-808, TS-9, TS-9 reissue, TS-9 Handwired, TS-5, TS-7, or TS-10? And there's no way you're going to get surface mount components to sound the exact same as through-hole, for better or worse. But often times they'll sound close enough that most people won't notice the difference.

    Honestly, I've messed around with the TS circuit a bunch over the years and they all pretty much sound the same to me, until you bring them in side by side. If you just listened to any one of them without seeing the stompbox itself, I doubt you could tell which version it was. So I wouldn't hesitate to go with a Mini or any other TS pedal, other than the fact that I've spent years perfecting my own TS-9, modding it to fit my exact needs. But then again, it's not really a TS-9 at this point anyway. So that comparison isn't fair.
     
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