The Thousand Dollar Tube Screamer

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tiktok, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. reddgeetarzan

    reddgeetarzan Supporting Member

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    I've played a LOT of these TS9/808's and every derivative out there. Honestly, there really is something special about these early ones. No joke! They aren't overly mid-hump sounding and they're smooth. They're all just a little different too. I had one I wish I would have kept. I've had nothing that ever sounded quite as good. $1k, though.....uuuummmm, NO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  2. SMG83

    SMG83 Supporting Member

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    Funny thing is most of all the famous recordings of SRV he is using a TS-9, probably a black label since he switched to the TS-9 when they first came out. I've only seen two photos where he used an 808, all the rest were the TS-9.
     
  3. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions

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    the store isn't selling a tube screamer it's selling the legend of a person who used a model just like it
    "yes, now you can own and possibly sound like the legendary guitarist who used this piece of gear" "your dreams will come true!"
     
  4. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    Some of them ARE worth it, but you don't know which ones unless you play them. Some are magic, some are 'meh'.

    I've had some that were decent, but one particular 1980 sounded so good, guys would lose sleep over it. One pro player (who shall remain nameless) finally coerced me into swapping for his 1981 TS, plus several hundred, plus a box of pedals worth at least $600. Basically he paid me $1,000 just to swap vintage Tube Screamers... and the moment I did, I knew it was a mistake.

    I've tried to get it back for years and he ain't budging. For a weekend warrior that's crazy money for a pedal but for touring and recording pros it's just tools of the trade. When playing is your job, any piece of gear that helps you play and sound your best is a worthwhile investment.

    Besides, collectors are the one driving up prices, not players.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  5. john l

    john l Supporting Member

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    Ah the moral crusaders have surfaced to give themselves a good stroking. Lets hope the fountain pen guys don't take up an interest in the worlds supply of back patting machines.
     
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  6. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Okay. So, its old an rare, sure.. and has "mojo"

    ..but is the circuit any different from any other TS808?
     
  7. WBellman

    WBellman Supporting Member

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    Someone once paid $1.7 million dollars for a 1943-D Lincoln penny.
     
  8. bluesoul

    bluesoul Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that was the 2nd dumbest thing I ever did. First was using it so I did not have to break a dollar:)
     
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  9. WBellman

    WBellman Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    And is it any "better"?

    At this point, it's really a financial instrument. Its utility factor is incidental.
     
  11. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    Well, applying the mathematical formula established to measure the value of Pedal Hype, if it costs a thousand bucks, it will be claimed to sound like a million bucks. At a minimum, I would expect it to sound 200X better than a regular Tube Screamer. Presuming you know how to play guitar, heh heh.
     
  12. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    Circuits are not the issue. Anyone can copy a circuit; the market is flooded with clones of everything from pedals, amps, speakers... you name it.


    Current production components just don't sound that good compared to their original counterparts. There are at least two culprits; different manufacturing processes and different raw materials.


    That said, guitar players will continue to buy "exact circuit clones" for years to come. Sadly it comes down to: different components, different sound.
     
  13. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    I mean that's a fun fact and like I realize the point you're trying to make, but my point is still valid.

    Also a 1945 penny has just a bit more history and significance than a guitar pedal that is still made today.

    Yes, I know pennies are still made today, but I'm going to loop on back around to a 1945 penny representing a lot more than a guitar pedal.

    Again, this pedal isn't even hand wired or unique other than the fact that it is old. I can still buy the same one today lol.

    I just don't understand the value there. Probably because its value is fabricated (arguably more so than the 1945 penny's value to history and culture for a nation compared to a small community of people of would want a vintage tube screamer.)

    Just my hot take.
     
  14. megatrav

    megatrav Member

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    Yeah, I'm sorry man, but unless the parts that were used then aren't available the only difference is tolerance drift that would contribute to it "sounding different" (better is the number one subjective term here).

    That's it.
     
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  15. WBellman

    WBellman Supporting Member

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    Sure. But the pedal in the OP was made decades ago. And the circuit has nothing to do with it. Pennies are the same today too.

    Re: Parts. With tube screamers we're usually talking about clipping diodes that are either not made the same way anymore, or are extremely rare and NOS is hard to come by.
     
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  16. SG-Slinger

    SG-Slinger Member

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    Still cost less than a mint vintage Ibanez OD9.
     
  17. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    That's fascinating. What else have you learned from the internet?
     
  18. openbar

    openbar Silver Supporting Member

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    With people paying $15K for a fountain pen they will never use, a $1K 808 seems reasonable.
     
  19. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    No pens here except to sign a check here and there, no Rolex, a seiko and mostly my phone any more. No Tube Screamer, great name though! I remember the anticipation when my old pal Scott got one and brought it to band practice in the eighties. I will overspend on shoes, cars, houses and the occasional Les Paul, but the pedals that get me fired up are not old ones.
     
  20. AltecGreen

    AltecGreen Member

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    It's all relative. The most important thing is what matters to you. Sometimes, human psychology is weird. I have no qualms about spending large amounts of cash on a guitar, a pen, or stereo equipment but I'll hem and haw at spending $15 on a broom because the old one is falling apart.

    BTW-for the record, I use my pens everyday. I use them more often than I play guitar. I have no problems using an expensive pen while I'm in the lab. People at work know enough to never ask to me to lend them a pen.
     
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