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Tube screamers - what makes one better/best?

Messages
168
Thanks Mike! I will add 'supertweakable' TS to the list of DIY builds I have planned (I've only done about a dozen builds, but should be able to figure out some mods for tweakability for TS).

maybe i could make a video/recording for the sake of this thread of the supertweaker TS in action? would anybody watch it? :)
 

Turi

Member
Messages
10,051
But then it wouldnt be a TS anymore.
And anyway, you'll change your mind once you try the CM-2 ;) Its fat, clear AND middy. One of the best Screamers out there.
Gotta say this guy was right and I was wrong about the mid hump.

The cm2 has it and is absolutely fantastic. Proves I can't just generalise like that.
Big warm tones, with the mid hump, never muddy.. awesome pedal.
This to me is how an OD should sound.
 

CowTipton

Member
Messages
9,152
Soo..... who makes the ultimate flexible TS where these common variables can be easily tweaked by the user without popping off the cover?


The Green Rhino is basically an 808 (I think?) with lots of tweakability.
Maybe not everything in that earlier post but you can cut or boost your 100hz bottom end "thump", change the curve of the high mids, plus your normal volume, gain, and tone controls.

I love mine.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
5,000
In a typical TS circuit, the amount of clean signal, which is mixed in with the clipping signal, is fixed. Personally, I really like the Sparkle Drive circuit by Voodoo Labs (also the Sparkle Drive Mod circuit) because it has a 'clean' knob which allows adjusting the amount of clean signal. Classic TS circuits are highly compressed and that 'clean' knob allows adjusting the signal to open up.

The 'Mod' in the Sparkle Drive Mod has 4 different gain stages. Personally, I find a lot of gain just does not work with TS-style clipping, so the last two gain stages are pointless to me. I think the first two gain stages work well but I usually leave it in classic 808 mode (0) and turn up the clean knob quite a bit to allow the amp to breath.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
10,051
The EQD Palisades.
http://earthquakerdevices.com/shop/palisades/#tab-description

I havent tried it myself but its supposed to be the be-all-end-all of Screamers.
I had one.
Sold it to fund my cheaper hardwire stuff.

The palisades is amazing and very easy to dial in whatever sounds you want.
It's way versatile.. goes into extreme fuzzy stuff aswell as the usual ts type stuff.

Very very cool pedal.

That said, I've got absolutely no regrets and am stoked with my hardwire cm2, I find the cm2 more "open" sounding on the modern mode than I could get from the palisades though I'm pretty sure that "closed" sound is actually this mid hump everyone loves..

But yeah. Palisades is awesome.

I think it's most suited to people with more than 1 guitar or band, otherwise it's versatility is wasted.
 
Messages
168
I'd like to hear it in action as well.

ok, ill do this!

in fact, ill make up a new board so it's easier to see the adjustments on camera. i think those interested will find it very informative. its pretty astonishing how much the tone changes with a couple adjustments - but not the ones im used to seeing argued about on TGP like diode and op amp types.

any specific requests of elements within the TS circuit you'd like to see?

on the initial list is:

- the mid hump, how it is adjusted and why its there
- the op amp - how big of a role does it play?
- gain and clipping diodes
- the tone control mods for more range

this will be fun :)
 
Messages
168
The mid hump in the Tube Screamer really makes a guitar cut through the mix. Many times to cut through the mix you don't need to turn the volume up, you just need to boost the mids. The Tube Screamer does this very well.

I have an AnalogMan modded Maxon OD9 and just bought a Seymour Duncan 805. Both great pedals but I'm definitely liking the 805 a little more because it's got a Bass knob. One of the things that a lot of Tube Screamers do is cut the bass when they are kicked on.

all TS distortions and almost all distortion (amps or pedals, tubes or transistors) in general cuts the bass to some extent - it just depends how much.

when i shoot the video, ill take out all of the bass cut let the pedal distort the full range guitar signal. spoiler alert: it doesnt sound very good to almost all
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,191
Distortion in general usually accents the highs and lows, especially the lows, and without some sort of built in EQ thy tend to get flubby with a side of white scratchy noise - hence why most have some sort of EQ built in, whether it is high and low pass filters, mid humps or whatever.

Correct me if I'm wrong Mike.
 
Messages
1,144
Different people looks for different things in their TS pedals. For instance, I like two different types of TS's: (1) compressed and saturated and (2) open and dynamic. That's why I have a (1) T1M Punch Drive and a (2) Selah Scarlett Love v2.
 
Messages
168
Distortion in general usually accents the highs and lows, especially the lows, and without some sort of built in EQ thy tend to get flubby with a side of white scratchy noise - hence why most have some sort of EQ built in, whether it is high and low pass filters, mid humps or whatever.

Correct me if I'm wrong Mike.

when a signal is distorted by clipping, whether its by a tube, diode, transistor, FET - higher frequencies are always produced. the signal is also always compressed.

so, more highs are added - true. this is why almost all intentional distortion devices have some sort of method to control the highs.

as for bass, no more bass is added - but bass is often compressed (but not hard clipped) so it *seems* like there is more of it. how much more bass here seems to be is controlled by many factors. but in fact, no more bass is being added to the signal.

i am looking forward to showing this. a soundclip is worth 1,000,000 words.
 




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