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Thread: Tube Screamer or EQ

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    Super Toneologist Coma's Avatar
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    Default Tube Screamer or EQ

    Not asking for purchase advice, just trying to wrap my head around something. Seems to me most people recommend using TS style pedals with the gain bottomed out, level up and tone to taste. So basically, a clean-ish boost with a mid-hump for cutting through a loud band and/or mix.

    Is there any reason not to just use an EQ with a gain knob (like say, the MXR 10-band or equivalent)? Wouldn't it give you the same effect, with the added option of being able to further dial in mid boosting and bass cutting?
    Last edited by Coma; 04-10-2019 at 04:37 PM.
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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I can’t see why that wouldn’t work. Sounds plausible to me.

  3. #3
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    How much do you wanna tweak? A little or a lot?

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    Super Toneologist Coma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Pigbacon View Post
    How much do you wanna tweak? A little or a lot?
    Neither. I don't own any of those. I'm just wondering if there is any reason to go TS over EQ beyond tradition and availability.
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  5. #5
    Little Pigbacon
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Does the TS do anything desirable with harmonics or nonlinearities?

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    Mojo's Minions dave74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I use my mxr-6 like that sometimes just for a change, and/or in front of the OD/distortion, except it has no gain slider like the 10, so you have to use the db-boost from the mid hump if you want to add some dirt flavor.

    Like i just posted in another thread, Boss should do a Waza EQ-7 with some upgrades and extras.

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    Super Toneologist Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I used an eq pedal exactly that way for years. The only advantage I can see for an OD pedal is that you can add more gain if you want to. The EQ maxes out. But 15 or 18dB was always plenty o'gain for me!

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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Quote Originally Posted by dave74 View Post
    I use my mxr-6 like that sometimes just for a change, and/or in front of the OD/distortion, except it has no gain slider like the 10, so you have to use the db-boost from the mid hump if you want to add some dirt flavor.

    Like i just posted in another thread, Boss should do a Waza EQ-7 with some upgrades and extras.


    I use the MXR 6 band with TS-9 & another overdrive.
    Ive had 10 band & 15 band Eq's. IMO those are overkill.

  9. #9
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I would think either would work fine. Or even a parametric EQ with sweepable mids. It would probably be better than a stock TS.
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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Its the ability to add additional clipping that makes the Tube Screamer work well. Not a lot, just a little, plus it’s not equal on all frequencies.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Usually there’s some additive sweetness from a sound passing through a particular amp circuit, whereas running through just an EQ is like listening to the band through an open window from outside the club. But at the pedal level, you probably wouldn’t notice that difference so dramatically.
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    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I regularly recommend;

    An Overdrive
    A Compressor
    A Clean Boost
    and yes - an EQ, depending on what and how you want to do it....
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    there is a difference in feel if nothing else between using an overdrive and an eq

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    You can get a TS-ish flavored out of an EQ pedal in front, but the thing about the TS is that even with the gain set at zero, it still has a little grit. This grit is mixed with the clean signal inside the Tube Screamer, so by the time it hits the amp, it does it in a particular way that a plain EQ'd clean boost doesn't. There is a little saturation added behind the clean EQ'd signal, so the tone ends up sounding more squishy and less dry while still retainining clarity to the attack that a plain EQ'd clean boost doesn't quite achieve, IME.

    Not to say an mid-boost EQ won't get you close, or that there's other possibilities that sound good as well for tightening a high-gain tone, but only a TS sounds like a TS.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 04-12-2019 at 02:28 PM.

  16. #16
    Super Toneologist Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    You can get a TS-ish flavored out of an EQ pedal in front, but the thing about the TS is that even with the gain set at zero, it still has a little grit. This grit is mixed with the clean signal inside the Tube Screamer, so by the time it hits the amp, it does it in a particular way that a plain EQ'd clean boost doesn't. There is a little saturation added behind the clean EQ'd signal, so the tone ends up sounding more squishy and less dry while still retainining clarity to the attack that a plain EQ'd clean boost doesn't quite achieve, IME.

    Not to say an mid-boost EQ won't get you close, or that there's other possibilities that sound good as well for tightening a high-gain tone, but only a TS sounds like a TS.
    Excellent answer!
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  17. #17
    Tone Member Francois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    I do not have a clean boost : I use the TS (TS808) with bottomed out gain for that when needed.
    So this thead was quite interesting
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  18. #18
    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Both would respond differently to picking strength, would clean up differently as well. TS style pedals have a EQ curve of their own and I'm not sure you can mimic that with an EQ pedal.

    Also, even with the gain on zero, the TS will introduce some sort of compression alongside the boost, which might be desirable or not.
    In the end, nothing wrong with trying all possibilities out. I used to get a nice fat fuzzy tone out of a Behringer bass preamp pedal with my guitar. Just try **** out.

    If I recall correctly, Tom Morello used a GE7 with the EQ flat and the volume all the way up as a boost at least in early RATM albums. So there you go.
    Last edited by Diego; 04-15-2019 at 07:01 AM.
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  19. #19
    Super Toneologist Coma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    Heh, so in a funny twist of fate, as of today, I'm probably going for either a TS or an EQ (or maybe a treble boost). I just got a used OR Jim Root Terror for quite cheap, and as I already happen to own an Orange 4x12, it seemed like the obvious choice. But tis quite muffled and very fuzzy and there's not enough gain in it to satisfy my dirty, dirty needs. I'm gonna have to bring in some high end a bit more gain before I'll be happy.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    1973 Aria 551
    1984 Larrivee RS-4 w/ EMG SA/SA/89
    1989 Charvel 750 XL w/ DMZ Tone Zone & Air Norton
    1990's noname crap-o-caster plywood P/J Bass
    1991 Heartfield Elan III w/ DMZ mystery pups
    1995 Aria Pro II TA-65
    2001 Gibson Les Paul Gothic w/ PG-1 & SH-8

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tube Screamer or EQ

    It always sound to me with the TS will always have a little bit of that flavor in it....which is fine but I tended to want the sound I already had, just louder, when I went in for a solo.
    At most I might tweak some of the mids and highs up a bit to cut through but not much. Mostly I just wanted that volume boost.

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