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Ibenez tube screamer


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The more expensive version is closer to the original version. I owned one but just didn't suit what I was playing at the time. I would probably love one now. My next purchase will probably be the Digitech Bad Monkey. I haven't read one single bad review for it.

The best thing you can do is go somewhere that you can try both pedals and decide which you like better.

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Two different resistor values and a different op amp. The bad monkey is a tube screamer with an active tone control. Beyond that, there are about 937 other tube screamer variants out there, that range from probably $50 or so to several hundred, depending on how well the builder did at creating hype for his tube screamer twist.

 

What exactly did you have in mind for this pedal? Or, are you just gassing for a gadget?

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OK, let me get this straight. The Bad Monkey is pretty much the same circuit as a 808 Tube Screamer with added tone control? So you can the tube screamer sound for ~$50 if you get a Bad Monkey while the 808 or TS9 live of the hype at twice the price or more?

They say if it's too good to be true it probably is, so what's the catch? I am not disputing what you say but would love to hear more specifics on Bad Monkey vs Tube Screamer.

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OK' date=' let me get this straight. The Bad Monkey is pretty much the same circuit as a 808 Tube Screamer with added tone control? So you can the tube screamer sound for ~$50 if you get a Bad Monkey while the 808 or TS9 live of the hype at twice the price or more?

They say if it's too good to be true it probably is, so what's the catch? I am not disputing what you say but would love to hear more specifics on Bad Monkey vs Tube Screamer.[/quote']

 

You can read reviews for each at harmonycentral.com.

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So you can the tube screamer sound for ~$50 if you get a Bad Monkey while the 808 or TS9 live of the hype at twice the price or more?

 

I don't think so .....not even close IMO. I have an old TS9 and a Bad Monkey and cannot get one to sound like the other at all. I have a bunch of OD that I can duplicate the TS9 with, but with these two I have not been able to come close. I like the midrange cut you get with the TS9 cutting through, while the Monkey to me is a bit tammer...when you push it either gets to icy or bassy for me.

 

I'm not saying either is better than the other, just very different...at least to my ears. I do favor the TS9 though just because I've been ussing one for so long and it's what I'm use to I guess. But the Monkey is a great OD just as well...I got mine for 20 bucks used. Best 20 bucks I've ever spent.

 

Now, as far as the 808 hype....LOL, lets just say I haven't played one that's worth what they ask for one.

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I don't think so .....not even close IMO. I have an old TS9 and a Bad Monkey and cannot get one to sound like the other at all. I have a bunch of OD that I can duplicate the TS9 with' date=' but with these two I have not been able to come close. I like the midrange cut you get with the TS9 cutting through, while the Monkey to me is a bit tammer...when you push it either gets to icy or bassy for me.

 

I'm not saying either is better than the other, just very different...at least to my ears. I do favor the TS9 though just because I've been ussing one for so long and it's what I'm use to I guess. But the Monkey is a great OD just as well...I got mine for 20 bucks used. Best 20 bucks I've ever spent.

 

Now, as far as the 808 hype....LOL, lets just say I haven't played one that's worth what they ask for one.[/quote']

 

I guess my question is, if it is based on the same schematic, why would they sound so different? On the other hand if they sounded pretty much the same, how would Ibanez get away with their prices for so long before the Bad Monkey took over market share. There has got to be some "catch" if you will or else what would be the point of spending more money on an Ibanez if the Bad monkey can get you the same thing at a cheaper price?

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So you can the tube screamer sound for ~$50 if you get a Bad Monkey while the 808 or TS9 live of the hype at twice the price or more?

No, I don't think so. The bad monkey has active tone controls, and the TS just has a relatively useless passive tone control.

 

Circuitwise, other than the active tone control, the bad monkey is very similar to a TS808. TS9 is going to be different again, because of the two different resistor values and the different op amp.

 

Another thing to consider is durability

Digitech has been around long enough to have established itself as a durable line of pedals, don't you think? Btw, those tube screamers rather routinely go through their tactile switches, and the mechanical actuator fails at times as well. They're not exactly "built like a tank," or least not the kind of tank I'd prefer to take into a battle!

 

I guess my question is, if it is based on the same schematic, why would they sound so different?

You could ask this about every other tube screamer variant on the market as well. The answer is "slight changes that affect tone and gain structure." Sometimes, it's a different cutoff frequency. Sometimes, it's a different op amp. Sometimes, a different set of clipping diodes. Sometimes, it's just eliminating the buffers. Sometimes, it's a bigger gain pot that allows more distortion. Doesn't matter. Yes, they sound somewhat different, but they're all based on the same thing. Doesn't make one necessarily better or worse than the other. Just different. Some like one flavor, others like another.

 

how would Ibanez get away with their prices for so long before the Bad Monkey took over market share.

Have you noticed what original TS808s go for on ebay? Anytime you've got a product that's garnering prices of $800 or more in the used market, you can certainly justify selling a re-issue of it for $160 or whatever it is that they sell it for these days.

 

You have to realize that 90% of the dirtbox market is centered around hype and marketing. Cut them all open and you've got just a handful of unique designs amongst the hundreds and hundreds of different pedals that've been made over the years, and just about all of them can be built at home for $30-$50.

 

BUT, if you swap a value here or there, cover the circuit in black epoxy so nobody can see that it's a tube screamer in different clothing, put a ridiculous price tag on it, and create enough marketing hype around it, you can have the next "must have" pedal. Happens all the time in the booteeky world.

 

I've built many different types of TS clones, and have modified and repaired several TS models. I can say that of the ones that I've built, repaired, modified, and played through, they all sound a bit different from one another. Now, I personally don't care for the traditional tube screamer tone. It's compressed, lifeless, dull, and fake sounding to me. If you set the volume high enough to push the front of the amp, with the gain on the pedal way down, it's acceptable as a solo boost, but I frankly can't stand it for stand-alone dirt. To other people's ears, it's the greatest thing since the electric guitar. To each their own.

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Dag nab it M...LOL, typing at the same time. Had to delete everything....you esspelainatit so much better anyways.

 

I don't know about the schematics and circuits, but to me they cant be the same cause they sound so different ....or I hear so anyways.

 

No matter what you do with, or EQ, the TS9. It's always going to have that mid range color to it. The Bad Monkey on the other hand does not, but when I try to dial some mid range with it. To me it sounds to harsh, or way sharp. The TS9s mid range is much smoother. The Monkey does give you a wider EQ range than the TS9 as M explains why.

 

Even though the Bad Monkey is not all that transparent, compared to the TS9 it could be darn near invisible.

 

IMO you got two types of folks when it comes to OD pedals. Those that like the way the pedal colors and those that want transparency....plus how well they do either. When folks rave about a particular pedal they pretty much rave about how well it does for them what it does. So through time the hype builds up, sometimes without taking in account what the new technology has to offer.....also what was the best thing offered at the times too.

 

I got mine years ago, and I don't even think I bought it. Like a lot of old stuff I have, I inherited some how :D . But I don't think I would buy a new one now a days myself. Not with so many other good inexpensive overdrives out there.

 

A perfect example, and very close to the TS9 IMO, is the 40 dollar(?)Ibanez TS7 Tone Locks...if they still make them. I have a couple that I darn near get the TS9 sound out of them...the mids are still not quite the same, but close enough. Much smoother than the Monkey I think.

 

Again not ditching the Monkey, great pedal. But IMO, as is with everything else, very different sounding.

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I don't know about the schematics and circuits, but to me they cant be the same cause they sound so different ....or I hear so anyways.

The differences you're hearing between the BM and TS9 are the active vs. passive eq section. Some of the variants use different clipping diode arrangements, and that can result in some very interesting differences.

 

No matter what you do with, or EQ, the TS9. It's always going to have that mid range color to it.

That's because it's the component selection on the board that's creating that mid hump, and the tone control knob doesn't touch that frequency range.

 

What you're descrbing as "smoother" is what I call "congested and compressed," and it's one of the things I don't like about tube screamers. Interestingly, on the particular model that you have, the op amp that was used is one that many consider "harsh" (unless you have a very early ts9). I've had two buddies who've had me swap those out, specifically because of the harshness of the clipping. Just goes to show that you can't always go by what one person says about anything tone-related. It's very individual and subjective.

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A lot of people like the Bad Monkey because with the separate bass and treble controls you can dial out the midrange hump that Tubescreamers are known for having until you have the amp turned up pretty loud.

I had the Bad Monkey for a bit ,and it was built really well, and sounded fine, but I never used it. My amps have all the gain I want, so I traded it in on a Blackstar HT 5C combo amp.

I got on a kick of building a few effect pedals recently, and even though those are fun to build I still don't use those very much. My favorite tone is still just the guitar straight into the amp.

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What you're descrbing as "smoother" is what I call "congested and compressed' date='" and it's one of the things I don't like about tube screamers.[/quote']

 

Maybe smoother was not the correct word to choose in decribing the difference in mids I hear between the TS9 and BM. But...well, no. I can't think of any other way to describe it, LOL. The mids on the TS9 are there all ways IMO. On the BM they are not, so when I do try to dial some in I either get to muddy or icy sounding...the TS9 mids is much smoother sounding to me :D .

 

Anyhoot the ts9 can sound like that to me at times also if I dime my guitars. I'm always messing with my guitar's controls, and when I use a grit pedal I very rarely dime them though. LOL, I guess I'm one of those weirdos that rather have the amp loud and my guitar around two. Probably why I always seem to come back to the Blackface type Fenders that stay clean all the way up.

 

Interestingly' date=' on the particular model that you have, the op amp that was used is one that many consider "harsh" (unless you have a very early ts9). I've had two buddies who've had me swap those out, specifically because of the harshness of the clipping.[/quote']

 

I've had it for over 20 years I think. I've had it before I got my Twin, and I got it in '89. Sure of the Twin because the friend I got it from keeps reminding me everytime I see him....LOL, he wants to buy it back. But the pedal not to sure so don't quote me on it. Hell, just the other day my wife and I was arguing about how old I was...she almost had me convinced I was older.

 

Just goes to show that you can't always go by what one person says about anything tone-related. It's very individual and subjective.

 

Ain't that the truth! To me that's the beauty about it all. How everybody works on getting their own finger prints, or personalities, to shine through with the gear they choose....just love it. LOL, darn boring if we all sounded the same I be thinking. I'd also add that familiarity, or getting use to something, has a lot to do with preferences too...maybe?

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My Ibanez TS5 Tube Screamer is one that I bought years ago, back in the 80's or early 90's, I think. It's a plastic case cheapo model with a rounded foot switch cover. I've never taken it apart to see what's on the board, but it does a decent job. I generally use it in front of a boosted overdrive channel for a little more edge. This one has volume, tone, and distortion knobs.

 

Overdrive pedals are not that unique in construction as far as components are concerned. They are all preamps in the strict sense. The output is either clipped sine, square wave, triangle, or some other variant of clipped waveform, whether digital or analog. Tone circuits are generally variable RC networks (passive) or amplified tone stages (active). Other than that, you have a pedal that creates a clipped signal and allows you to vary the tonal range that passes through to the amp.

 

There may be differences in rise and fall time of the signal and limited tonal control that emulates some mode of scooped or boosted signal. All of this adds up to the differences from one pedal to another, so we decide that one is markedly different than the other. I'm surprised that no one has produced a "do it all" pedal in a small package that allows the user to re-create all pedals in one package. Patent liability, I guess.

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Speaking of these pedals; does anyone have any experience with the Boss BluesDriver ?

 

One of the two OD pedals that seem to be on my board permanently, or make it back on my board, is the Boss BD2. Although use to have mixed feelings with this pedal in the past.

 

Great for a boost, no gain, for sure. People say it's transparent, but it really isn't. Gives you a trebel boost, and I mean that in a good way.

 

IMO with no gain or a bit of gain added its very good for blues, old school rock, rock-a-billy, jazz. Stock, the gain can get real ice picky at higher levels, but I've heard there are lots of mods out there to help with that.

 

Then again just a matter of taste really...LOL, or more so learning how to use the pedal. I've had the gain on mine up to 12 o'clock with pleasant results, before I could not stand it above 9 o'clock. Use to belive it was one of these pedals that in order to use the gain and sound good the amp had to be turnned up insanely load. Like I said, just needed to learn how to use it instead of yelling at it...or rather the proper use.

 

FWIW...this is another pedal I've had for along time, so not sure I'd pick one up now a days myself. Not with the many other less expensive and just as good, or better, sounding pedals out there to choose from...just my opinion anyhow.

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Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver BD2 is the only overdrive I've kept in my signal chain for longer than a year.

I like simple valve amp tones and only use 3 pedals max - Keeley/BD2, Keeley compressor & a reverb.

 

VJr. loves the BD2 -- headroom, dirt, "phat" switch to cut treble when really dirty and works well as a master volume.

It is a bluesier voiced overdrive than the harder rock-edged TS9 (sold it). Hear what it can do with a VJr. at the Keeley website ---> Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver BD2 link

 

Hit every BLUE NOTE baaaby..., I'm going to play on:-"

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And then there are folks who prefer the sound of certain stompboxes used with a battery that is on the verge of going dead to get that perfect tone. Some players hate the twangy sound new strings. We all have our preferences and those are frequently based on what sounds best with a certain amp and guitar combination.

 

I, as Steven Lister said, like the natural even order harmonics of an overdriven tube amp. There's something about overdriven tubes that is satisfying to the ears. The problem there is that you have to abuse your ears to get that tubey output stage overdrive that we all crave unless you are using a 30 watt amp in a stage setting. Getting that sound at home can cause your phone to ring if the neighbors are too close, so we revert to the stompbox to get there.

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Personally, I just use the sampled overdrives on my Boss ME-50 or turn up the gain on my Epi Valve Standard. However, if I was to buy an OD stompbox, it would probably be the Maxon OD808. Maxon originally manufactured this circuit for Ibanez to use in their "Tubescreamer" TS-808. I am told that it is as good as/better than the Ibanez version, as well as cheaper. Maxon's website:

 

http://www.maxonfx.com/Reissue_OD808.php

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