Tube Screamer ~ Original vs. Reissue

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ecbluesman54, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    I haven't had the chance to spend anytime with an original Tube Screamer, but have been curious if there is a real difference between the originals, and the current reissues.
    Also what is "the" chip to have in the originals?
     
  2. windjamma

    windjamma Member

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    bump i would like to know this as well currently have a ts808ri, but played a original ts808 a long time ago that i remember being a bit brighter and sounded well just like srv.
     
  3. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    The component values are identical in reissues as in the originals.

    But...

    my personal experience has found all newer tubescreamers to have a stiffness to them that originals don't have. Maybe its breakin, maybe its component quality. Not sure. But its extremely clear to me that I prefer originals over any reissue (including modified)

    About 6months ago I bought 3 original TS9s and 2 Original TS808s. They all sounded/felt a bit different. One TS9 stood out above the rest and thats the one I currently use live. I kept the best sounding 808, but 808s are very dark sounding and not really usable for a proper boost IMO>

    here is a comparison video I did of that batch of vintage tubescreamers. the differences are subtle, but they ARE there if you listen. Unfortunately, one thing you can't tell is how each felt. They really did feel a bit different.

     
  4. Bufferz

    Bufferz Member

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    - taken directly from singlecoil.com
     
  5. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    Thanks for the posts! It seems as though vintage 808's are going for over $500, and the reissues are under $200. I dont think that there will be a noticeable difference, especially at the cost of $300.
     
  6. goodhonk

    goodhonk Member

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    great playing, don't know that i can tell a difference in any of those.
     
  7. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    Its subtle.

    Really doesn't matter to most, which is a good thing when you consider the most expensive in that test cost $500 and the cheapest was $125.

    Also puts in perspective the hyperbole infested back and forth regarding TS9 vs. TS808.
     
  8. Wagster

    Wagster Member

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    I liked the 81 TS808 the best followed by the 1st TS9 in the video.
     
  9. Tex Milo

    Tex Milo Supporting Member

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    I kinda dug the both of the TS9 offerings the best. Very subtle though.
     
  10. groovington

    groovington Member

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    I have played with a RI TS9s, Maxon OD-9, modded TS9s (RC4558) , '82 TS9s (JRC4558D) and an '81 TS808 (JRC4558D). The '81 ts808 by far is my favorite, and I've never met another pedal that can replace it.

    I've owned 4 of of the '82 TS9s and 2 sounded identical and 2 sounded different (and in my opinion better). The tone in the 4 were basically the same, w/ subtle differences in the way they responded to my picking, one getting a warmer somewhat fuzzier high, yet subtle gain, and just completely alive, asking to be pushed! The other of the 2 I really liked (and still have on my board next to the ts808) was just the most responsive and cleans up the best even with the gain turned up. Just a really authentic sounding signal, if that makes sense? More organic, or pure tube sounding, hence why it remains on my board next to the ts808.

    The '81 TS808 is IT! Definitely more transparent than the original TS9s, but not completely transparent. Just has that lively tube sound and definitely runs cleaner gain than the TS9s, so I can push my amp harder with it without getting too much extra breakup when I don't want it. I run my compressor after these pedals, so its also really easy to control the amount of gain I get via my guitars volume knob. And I get endless sustain that produces some great tone bloom in the notes. Once again, the only word I can think to describe it is organic. Like these sustained notes and overtones become a living organism, that doesn't sound fake, processed, or digital.

    The modded ts9s didn't do it for me. I was never satisfied and always adjusting knobs, and they didn't respond, or work well with the rest of my effects and always caused volume spiking problems.

    Between the RI ts9 and Maxon od9, the maxon was better quality and stood up pretty well to the 2 "less desired" ts9s I had. Still some subtle differences that I could "feel" more than hear. The way I described the "organic note bloom" is kinda the difference I could hear, that the vintage ones sounded a little better as these long notes sustained. So not much a difference, but something you really notice while you are jamming and you can just be more excited for and inspired by the tone!

    Okay, sorry for long post, but that is my take from 10 years of playing with all these pedals and buying and selling to get the right ones for my tone.
     
  11. Voodoo Blues

    Voodoo Blues Member

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  12. jmorrero

    jmorrero Member

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    Im planning to buy a vintage ts808 or ts9, but need a photo of the circuit of best TS for reference. pls help
     
  13. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I think way too much has been made of the minor differences between all these circuits.

    Probably component value drift and the tolerance differences between components have as much to do with the difference between one individual device and another as circuit differences.

    Really the only differences between the TS9, the 808, and the various reissues are the different op amps that pop up in them and slight differences to the output buffer, if you look at RG Keen's Technology of the Tube Screamer analysis. If you want to take a TS9 circuit and change a couple of resistor values in the output buffer to make it an 808, go ahead. Maybe the tone will be a little different.

    The TS10 had some differences in the input buffer and gain circuit too. But the variations are sonically pretty minor to my ears. Personally I think all the original Tube Screamer circuits problematically cut bass -- I always used to kick 'em in and wonder where they hell my bass went, I much prefer modded Tube Screamers with less bass cut to the original circuit.

    But I thought this was an instructive comparison of op-amps in a Tube Screamer circuit



    I don't think there's any significant sonic difference between any 4558 chip you wanna use in there. You can go to one of those Burr Brown hifi dual op amps if you want something brighter and cleaner with more headroom, but if you want the classic compressed, warm TS sound any 4558 will do. Still, if you want to find some old ones, just rifle through the attics and garages of friends and family for some old 1980s boom boxes and cassette players, chances are you'll find some of the old JRC4558's.
     

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