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Thread: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

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    Default Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Hey guys,

    I bought recently a Tube Screamer pedal TS9 model. I intended to use it as a booster. I'm an amateur and I got almost no experience on analogic pedals. My effects set up for now is a Zoom G2 multi effects and the TS9. I use a Jackson with Seymour pick ups and a Fender princenton 112 Plus as amp. So I'm getting a hard time on setting the TS9. I got a bad defined sound (especially on the low notes) with the distortion and even more if I add a delay on the G2 patch. I appreciate any lessons or tips you give me. Thx.

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    Mojo's Minions Bludave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    All of your modulating or time based effects like delay,chorus, flange and stuff like that should run through your effects loop. The overdrives & wahs should go straight in.

    As far as TS9's are concerned they are one of my favorite OD pedals. I own 2 of them & have them on 2 of my 3 boards.

    Its a pretty simple pedal. What I would do is experiment with your amp set clean. I usually set the gain on mine at about 9:00, sometimes I will crank it up to about 12:00 but not ever much higher then that. the volume to give me a boost in volume & the tone I adjust according to which amp I play through and what guitar I am using.. You will find that a tubescreamer works exceptionally well with a tube amp, hence he name. If my memory serves correct your amp is solid state. The whole idea of a tubescreamer is to push the amp a little harder to get the tubes in a frenzy. This doesn't mean that it won't sound good with a SS amp, but it will work better with tubes. There are some mods that could be done to smooth out some issues with tone on them, but I have one that is modded and one is a stock RI. The RI is not quite as nice as my other, but it still sounds really good. Try staying in the clean channel with it for a while, then once you nail down a tone in the clean channel it should just enhance the drive channel as well.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker xxxplorer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    I will second what Bludave said! The tube screamer circuit is popular for a reason... they sound nice. I actually run a modded SD-1 to TS-808 specs with other options and tweaks basically but I still like the plain ol TS-9.

    How are you running it into your amp? On the clean channel? Dirty? If you are using it as a clean boost, keep in mind it will boost the mids a little. Some like it, some don't. I personally love it. Usually turning that tone knob to counter clockwise darkens the tone and clockwise brightens it. I like mine just above noon to add some sparkle without getting thin. If running mine into a clean amp, I set the volume to about 2 or 3 o clock and the drive around 10 o clock. Gives me a pretty nice dirty/clean tone that is dynamic. For clean boosting my dirty sounds I run the volume all the way up and the gain or drive just above 0. Good luck and have fun!

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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    TS's are not very versatile, but do sound great as a smooth mid (lead) boost. Take your G2 out of your setup. Set your amp so it is clean, but not totally clean (so it distorts only when you pick hard) and give it plenty of mids. Set the TS to 0 for the drive 5 for the tone and the volume to 6-7.
    The sound is very responsive to the way you touch the strings, so you may have a hard time getting used to it - many amateurs are used to relying on the heavy crunch and heaps of effects to cover their lack of sensitivity. But if you pick softly and cleanly there is a huge amount of expressiveness and sustain using a set up such as this.
    Tube screamers are not a magic tone box, but a very useable tool if you create your sound with your fingers and it works especially well with tube amps. It does not really give a great "dirty" sound on its own - it works best pushing against a tube amp as a booster.

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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bludave View Post
    All of your modulating or time based effects like delay,chorus, flange and stuff like that should run through your effects loop. The overdrives & wahs should go straight in.

    As far as TS9's are concerned they are one of my favorite OD pedals. I own 2 of them & have them on 2 of my 3 boards.

    Its a pretty simple pedal. What I would do is experiment with your amp set clean. I usually set the gain on mine at about 9:00, sometimes I will crank it up to about 12:00 but not ever much higher then that. the volume to give me a boost in volume & the tone I adjust according to which amp I play through and what guitar I am using.. You will find that a tubescreamer works exceptionally well with a tube amp, hence he name. If my memory serves correct your amp is solid state. The whole idea of a tubescreamer is to push the amp a little harder to get the tubes in a frenzy. This doesn't mean that it won't sound good with a SS amp, but it will work better with tubes. There are some mods that could be done to smooth out some issues with tone on them, but I have one that is modded and one is a stock RI. The RI is not quite as nice as my other, but it still sounds really good. Try staying in the clean channel with it for a while, then once you nail down a tone in the clean channel it should just enhance the drive channel as well.

    Yes my amp is a SS one. The clean channel that you refer on my amp is named as normal channel. I don't use the drive channel because I use the distortion from the Zoom G2. I like the TS9 the both ways I've seen it been used (as a booster and an overdrive). My idea was to use it like a booster but with an "extreme distortion" like a guy I saw playing with it and something like Paul Gilbert.


    Quote Originally Posted by xxxplorer
    I will second what Bludave said! The tube screamer circuit is popular for a reason... they sound nice. I actually run a modded SD-1 to TS-808 specs with other options and tweaks basically but I still like the plain ol TS-9.

    How are you running it into your amp? On the clean channel? Dirty? If you are using it as a clean boost, keep in mind it will boost the mids a little. Some like it, some don't. I personally love it. Usually turning that tone knob to counter clockwise darkens the tone and clockwise brightens it. I like mine just above noon to add some sparkle without getting thin. If running mine into a clean amp, I set the volume to about 2 or 3 o clock and the drive around 10 o clock. Gives me a pretty nice dirty/clean tone that is dynamic. For clean boosting my dirty sounds I run the volume all the way up and the gain or drive just above 0. Good luck and have fun!

    I'm running on the normal channel wich is the same as clean channel, but I use the distortion from the Zoom G2. I intended to use it as a distortion boost, but if I can't make it good I'll use as a clean, and as you, I really like the sound of it =). I'll try the both ways you said. Thx.



    Quote Originally Posted by gibson175
    TS's are not very versatile, but do sound great as a smooth mid (lead) boost. Take your G2 out of your setup. Set your amp so it is clean, but not totally clean (so it distorts only when you pick hard) and give it plenty of mids. Set the TS to 0 for the drive 5 for the tone and the volume to 6-7.
    The sound is very responsive to the way you touch the strings, so you may have a hard time getting used to it - many amateurs are used to relying on the heavy crunch and heaps of effects to cover their lack of sensitivity. But if you pick softly and cleanly there is a huge amount of expressiveness and sustain using a set up such as this.
    Tube screamers are not a magic tone box, but a very useable tool if you create your sound with your fingers and it works especially well with tube amps. It does not really give a great "dirty" sound on its own - it works best pushing against a tube amp as a booster.

    Gibson175, I'm not THAT amateur. I don't think I lack sensitivity. My profession got nothing to do with music, so It is like a hobby for me, but I don't like put it that way cause I love music too much. I don't have 6 hours per day for playing the guitar like 9 years ago, so I play only 1 or 2 hours/day usually. Unffortunately I'm a noob about pedals because they are SO expensive in my country =(, imagine a TS9 costing something like 550 bucks?!?!?!? I got mine from Japan for 120 US dollars wich is something like 300 US dollars on my country money reallity.

    So gettin' back on the subject, I'll try as you say and will post the result. Thx.


    Guys Thank you very much, I really love this forum, it solved my problem some years ago and now I'm here learning again, please keep posting on this thread is really usefful for me.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Tone Slacker millsart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Simply put, you can't really push a SS amp, or especially a MFX unit with an OD or Booster and expect it to behave the same as a tube amp.

    Hit the input of a tube rig harder and it drives harder and saturates nicely

    Do the same with a digital/ss rig and it clips and produces harsh noise.

    A tube screamer or other boost are going to be something of a waste of money if your trying to use it in that manner I'm afraid.

    It can work to make your level louder, but once it goes past the point of clipping, your not going to get a musical result, which I think is what you wanted the pedal for.
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Hmmm I see... I'll test everything, and if I notice that's the case, I'll sell it or store for playing another style once in a while.

  8. #8
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    Wink Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bludave View Post
    All of your modulating or time based effects like delay,chorus, flange and stuff like that should run through your effects loop. The overdrives & wahs should go straight in.

    As far as TS9's are concerned they are one of my favorite OD pedals. I own 2 of them & have them on 2 of my 3 boards.

    Its a pretty simple pedal. What I would do is experiment with your amp set clean. I usually set the gain on mine at about 9:00, sometimes I will crank it up to about 12:00 but not ever much higher then that. the volume to give me a boost in volume & the tone I adjust according to which amp I play through and what guitar I am using.. You will find that a tubescreamer works exceptionally well with a tube amp, hence he name. If my memory serves correct your amp is solid state. The whole idea of a tubescreamer is to push the amp a little harder to get the tubes in a frenzy. This doesn't mean that it won't sound good with a SS amp, but it will work better with tubes. There are some mods that could be done to smooth out some issues with tone on them, but I have one that is modded and one is a stock RI. The RI is not quite as nice as my other, but it still sounds really good. Try staying in the clean channel with it for a while, then once you nail down a tone in the clean channel it should just enhance the drive channel as well.
    +1 Thats how I use mine an early Japan model. It's my fave!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer TS9 How should I use?

    Guys I made some tests...

    My guitar has a strong output, is not a guitar meant to play clean. So when I put on clean channel and put the drive on 0 even a slight pick on the strings, the sound comes out with distortion, sounds good anyway, but is not exacly what I want.

    If I set up with the zoom g2 and let the drive on 0, the sound of distortion still unprecise, undefined... its pretty difficul to equalize

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