TUBE SCREAMERS sound like trash on solid state amps

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by Lukas, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Lukas

    Lukas Member

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    Bought a Ibanez TS9 Tube screamer for my DSL 40CR today. Thought I read someone on here say they’re wicked with this amp. Just decided to try one at the local guitar shop today on a 40 CR and it sounded great. I’m using this pedal for hard rock and heavy metal rhythm playing and it just tightened everything right up. Hard to explain what it exactly did but it sounded great. Got home and just decided to try it on my Marshall MG, wow what a difference it just adds a lot of un wanted noise and BS to that amp. I think this pedal was made for Tube amps. Hence the name “Tube Screamer”
     
  2. paul hancher

    paul hancher Well-Known Member

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    you are correct it was originally designed to push tubes. although sometimes a pedal just does not work with a certain amp. doesn’t matter if the amp is tube, ss,or digital, some combinations just don’t work.

    on the mg were you on a high gain channel or mode? if you were a overdrive device might not work as the amp already has copious amounts of gain and/or distortion. try it in a clean channel or setting to see if it sounds better.
     
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  3. 67Mopar

    67Mopar Well-Known Member

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  4. Lukas

    Lukas Member

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    I was on a high gain channel on the MG yes. I was on a high gain channel ON THE DSL 40CR also and it tightened everything up and boosted it and just made it sound even better. Seemed to add more mid crunch and just give the OD channel a kick in the ass. I didn’t think this amp needed a kick in the ass at all but I sure liked what I heard. It’s a subtle pedal I found. It doesn’t make or break the amp without it, it just tightened things up and boosts mids and adds crunch I think. It wasn’t like with it on and the OD red channel dial at noon it was morbid angel death metal cause I’m not in to that at all. Or it wasn’t like “Whoahhhhh WTF is that” lol. Just gives it a little extra and emphasizes certain characteristics I think. I could be wrong but that’s kinda what I heard. I didn’t buy it for the MG just thought I’d try it and it sounded like Sh*t on that amp.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  5. Lukas

    Lukas Member

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    What do you disagree with?
     
  6. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Active Member

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    I think the Tubescreamer sounds awesome on any amp. It was designed to work with amps that have lots of headroom, which most solid state amps have.

    For instance, I'm not big on channel switching amps. I generally set up a clean tone then step on an OD pedal for that tube driven sound.

    Sounds like you are using your pedal to tighten up an already overdrive sound. Not what the Tubescreamer was designed to do, although it does it quite well.

    I do however like the MG overdrive sound, not as a replacement for a good tube amp, but works in a pinch, works for a practice amp. But I wouldn't expect it to react to pedals the way a tube amp would.
     
  7. Lukas

    Lukas Member

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    I agree I love the my little MG 15cfx great little practice amp for the bedroom good tone at lower volume. Just thought I’d try it and see if it could be even better but no dice, it’s good as is.
     
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  8. 67Mopar

    67Mopar Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, that the TS was designed for tube amps only.
     
  9. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    depends on how you are using the MG...

    I'm not much of a pedal guy, but, way back, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, (early '80s, when I was in jr high school) a buddy of mine used to have one that he ran into his Gorilla amp. It made it sound pretty good, I thought back then. I ran it into my Fender POS, & it definitely sounded better than my old DOD distortion pedal (that sounded like ass)...

    Try turning the pre-amp down on the MG a bit & use the TS to push it back up. It also depends on which MG you have. Some of the later ones have some loaded saturation in the chip, but, come to think of it, they might have a TS type circuit built-in, which might be why you're not digging it.
     
  10. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    "It was designed to work with amps that have lots of headroom, which most solid state amps have."

    I believe thunderkyss is right.
    If the input runs out of headroom, that's when the sound muds out.
    But you are back to: "headroom is limited by power supply voltage..."
     
  11. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    I know what the OP is saying...

    SS amps have mondo transparency and very sharp transient spikes that don't play well with diode clipping boxes in front of the input.

    Obviously tube circuits smooth out so much of a distorted/clipped signal that dirt boxes just sound "better" for lack of a terms. They compress and round off those sharp spikes that hurt our ears.
     
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  12. 67Mopar

    67Mopar Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a Tube Screamer mud-out on me, ever. On the contrary, I generally use a TS to lift mud from the signal.
     
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  13. Kutt

    Kutt Well-Known Member

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    What you need is the Ibanez Transistor Screamer. I recommend the TS807 over the TS-8. Best years were '82 - '85. It's what Stevie Von Ray used, so it's gotta be good.
     
  14. 67Mopar

    67Mopar Well-Known Member

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    Didn't he use to teach history at Ridgemont High? :)

    I think that's the TS8O8, maybe? Stevie used a Crowther Hot Cake as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 8:25 AM
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  15. Solid State

    Solid State Well-Known Member

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    Seems like you're just having a dial challenge. I can take my pedalboard as is, plug it up to my MG30 and it works fine. MGs follow the exact same principles as their tube brothers - if you're starting with a good crunch sound and then add pedals you're in good shape. If you're distorting the shit out of the amp and then adding stuff - well, there's your problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  16. Gutch220

    Gutch220 Well-Known Member

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    So, if tubescreamers sound aweful in SS amps, then what happens when you want something between clean & distortion that reacts to you pick attack/guitar volume? That kind of break-up needs to come from somewhere in the circuit.
     
  17. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    It will thrive in what you just described.
    Cheers Mitch
     
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  18. ampeq

    ampeq Active Member

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  19. El Gringo

    El Gringo Well-Known Member

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    When I was formerly using Fender Amps prior to 2015 when I got my Marshall 2555X I did use a Tube Screamer TS-9 that worked well for a nice overdrive sound . When I got the 2555X the TS-9 was rendered useless by me because I had everything up front on the control panel and for me it does not get any better than my 2555X cooking . If I need more I just turn up the master and output volumes and it works well for me .
     
  20. jwoods986

    jwoods986 New Member

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    I just went from an MG30CFX to a DSL40CR and have a TS9DX. It works well with both, although it was noisier on the MG. ??
    I get what the OP is saying in regards to a TS9 with the DSL. The DSL has plenty of gain on tap, so it's not a matter of needing to add more, but the TS9 just "tightens" things up and sounds better. Without it, I thought the OD1 channel was loose and "floppy", especially on low strings, but when I kick on the TS9, it's like magic "ah, that's the sound....."
     
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