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Fractal Audio DRIVE models: T808 OD and T808 Mod (based on Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer)

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by yek, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. #1 yek, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    yek

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    The contents of this thread, including updates, are available as a PDF Guide. Download it here.

    [​IMG]

    T808 OD and T808 Mod: based on Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

    Here we have it: the holy grail of overdrive pedals. Stevie Ray Vaughan depended strongly on the TS9 (or “on them”: he sometimes stacked them). One of his Tube Screamers listed for $11.000 in 2016. Other famous users include John Mayer, The Edge, Trey and probably just about every player out there.

    [​IMG]

    The first version was the TS-808 Overdrive Pro from the late ‘70s with the legendary JRC 4558D chip. This one is considered to sound the best, and people pay for it. The early ‘80s TS9 successor sounded similar (and can be modded to sound exactly the same) as the TS-808. A lot of versions followed.

    Vintage Tube Screamers were made by Nisshin/Maxon for Ibanez. Maxon now carries its own line of pedals.

    The Tube Screamer uses symmetrical clipping, opposed to asymmetrical clipping used in Boss’ OD-1, with which it competed. It’s said that the choice for symmetrical clipping was made because of Boss’ patent on solid-state asymmetrical clipping.

    Premier Guitar:
    “If you look at the schematic between a Tube Screamer and a Boss OD-1, they’re almost exactly the same thing,” Lomas says. “The OD-1, though, is what they call an asymmetrical clipper. When you put a signal in it, it does not distort the top and bottom of the soundwave the same. Instead, it distorts one differently—the way a tube would. The original Boss OverDrive was designed to be a tube simulator, which was really big back then because, of course, most amplifiers were starting to get away from tubes. They were solid-state, and they really sounded like shit. So there was a market for tube-simulation pedals. I believe that’s probably why the Tube Screamer was named the Tube Screamer.”

    “The TS808 also differed from the OD-1 in that it had a Tone control, featured a common JRC 4558D integrated circuit (IC) chip, and had a small rectangular footswitch. “The Tube Screamer was really the first pedal I saw that had an IC in it,” says Lomas. “All the overdrives prior to the Tube Screamer were built around transistors.” Lomas contends that the sweet, vocal midrange sound the TS808 is known for has everything to do with that JRC4558D IC chip—which explains why Lomas and many other overdrive aficionados prefer the sound of the original over other permutations of the pedal that have emerged over the years.”

    The Tube Screamer’s unique feature is its “mid-hump”: it boosts the middle frequencies. This helps to push the guitar to the front of the mix. This is why it’s a favorite of many blues players playing single coil guitars. Other players dislike the pedal just because of it.

    The TS is also used by rock players to boost a rock or metal amp, to tighten, fatten and focus the amp's distortion.

    Wikipedia:
    "The Ibanez Tube Screamer is a guitar overdrive pedal, made by Ibanez. The pedal has a characteristic mid-boosted tone popular with blues players. The "legendary" Tube Screamer has been used by guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan to create their signature sound, and is one of the most popular and most copied overdrive pedal".

    Professional modders like Analog Man and Robert Keeley are known for their modifications of Tube Screamers. These mods provide more gain, true bypass and more bass.
    More information from Analog Man

    Also, many manufacturers have designed overdrive pedals based (improving) on the Tube Screamer.

    If you want to read more about vintage guitar effects in general, I recommend Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects, written by Tom Hughes (For Musicians Only), a joy to read.​

    Technical information on Geofex
    Tube Screamer’s Secret

    The pedal has three controls:
    • Drive: controls the amount of overdrive (model: Drive). The entire range, from a little to maximum, is useable.
    • Tone: controls the tone (model: Tone). Adjusting Tone doesn’t affect the mid-hump
    • Level: controls the output level (model: Level)
    Like the pedal, Fractal Audio’s models of the Tube Screamer are popular. The manual states that they are based on the TS-808, but that should read: TS9.

    Cliff:​
    "The T808 drive is NOT based on the Ibanez TS-808 but rather the TS9 model."

    The T808 represents the real deal. The T808 MOD captures some of the popular mods, resulting in a broader frequency range and more gain.

    Personal note:
    I like the low drive / high level approach. Keep the Drive around 9 o’clock, Level around 7 and Tone at 3 o'clock.

    About CPU:
    • Fractal Audio's Drive models take up varying amounts of CPU. The T808 models require a medium amount.
    • When a Drive block is engaged, CPU percentage will rise during playing, because CPU usage is "amplitude dependent".












    Link to the list of published threads
     
  2. #2 iaresee, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
    iaresee

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    My bread-and-butter, in-every-preset, never-lets-me-down, absolute-greatest-overdrive-ever pedal.

    I've rolled with an Analogman-mod'ed Silver TS-9 for a long, long time because my guitar idol has always used a pair of them and the TS-808 model in the Axe-Fx II nails it. Spot on. No questions about it.

    While everyone in the USA was out voting, I did a comparison of the Analogman pedal to the model in the Axe-Fx. You can get my blk file and see how close they are here.
     
  3. Jeff Engler

    Jeff Engler
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    nice post. thanks
     
  4. spx90

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    A bit of history, even here ....

    tube-screamer-all-pedals.png Tube_Screamer_Production_Years.png

    ibanez-ts10-tube-screamer-classic.png This is my pedal Vintage, first series produced Japan. Economic body, but sound great ! :D
     
  5. kirkosaurus

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    I'm still hanging on to my TS5 "sound tank" with the 808 Mastertone mod. Sounds awesome.
     
  6. 2112

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    Great thread; two TS style pedals in series (one for a mild OD, one as a lead boost) used to be my go to for a long time and the Axe models certainly capture that vibe well.

    I really like the Amptweaker tightdrive as a modern take on the TS but haven't quite figured out how to get the "tight" setting on it out of the Axe just yet.
     
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  7. jefferski

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    Same with me. At least I think it's the Mastertone Mod... I did it so long ago and I didn't know much about pedals back then. Still keep it around though. I should put it in the loop and experiment.
     
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  8. austinbuddy

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    Great info and history!

    Used this pedal in the early 80's on a clean channel to get an okay gritty rhythm sound, like adding an extra channel on a two channel amp...but I never got along with it after that.

    But, I am "one of those people" who can hear/spot it in a sound a mile away, and it usually rubs me the wrong way/not my favorite sound...eyt get why it's useful -- especially for lifting mids in single coil pickups.

    My understanding is that SRV used it with virtually no drive, mostly boost/output up, into his amps. Aside from the Keeley mod, Analog Man makes a "King of Tone" pedal that is like a tube screamer "made right" and I do love that one...more rounder and natural sounding than forced mids and forced hair around notes... ok now I'm just blabbing... this thread is so cool, drives really can change the whole character of an amp. Just put a Pi Big Muff in front of a Hiwatt to see what I mean.
     
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  9. electronpirate

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    Agreed that this is one pedal that I found nothing to really like about it. Nasal in a way that just didn't sound right to me. I'll try the settings posted again...maybe I am wrong.
     
  10. iaresee

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    scottp, dr bonkers, Cainer and 8 others like this.
  11. 2112

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    austinbuddy likes this.
  12. H13

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    I'm always baffled by people who don't like Tubies.

    A good 808 will push forward your mids so you can jump out in a mix. The compression that happens with the pedal sweetens everything up as well. Add a hair of distortion and you've got something that sweetens things. All up, you get something that adds a bit of excitement, a bit of cut and a bit of sweetness.

    Generally if I'm using something that doesn't play nice with a Tubescreamer...I don't use it.

    Are there "better" sounding overdrives? Well sure. The Timmy for one is freaking sweet as hell. The Klon (or literally any klone) is also a pretty nice OD. But there's something kinda raw about a TS808 that just makes me grin like a motherfucker.

    Even with the recent updates, the Tubescreamers in the AFX don't feel right to me. I can almost get them to sound identical, but there's a certain mojo that the real pedal has that a bunch of 1s and 0s can't replicate. If you've never done so, I highly recommend running the 808 into the AFX. You might not end up with something drastically better, but for me, it feels better and that's the whole reason why we play guitar innit?
     
  13. Severed

    Severed
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    Maxon claims it's their design

    http://www.maxonfx.com/reissue-series-effects-pedals/od808-overdrive

     
  14. austinbuddy

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    Ian, well it's not mutual! :)
    Different stokes for different folks.

    For me: "They can pry my Klon out of my cold dead hands...."
     
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  15. symphx

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    I had a lime green early 80s pedal called a IBANEZ SONIC DISTORTION, I used it to boost high gain and it was way cool, sold it on ebay.
     
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  16. H13

    H13
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    And that baffles me that you love Klons but hate 808s. The Klon isn't that different to a TS. Sure, the Klon doesn't hump the mids as hard and the note attack is genuinely pretty special, but it's got a very similar character.
     
  17. iaresee

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    I had one of those. Great pedal. Little different from the TS-9, but still similar circuit topologies. More clipping, less filtering so there's more high and low frequency content coming out of it. Michael Landau and Scott Henderson are users.

    You can probably get near'ish it's mid-point settings if you just lower low cut and raise high cut on the TS-808 model.
     
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  18. Will Schut

    Will Schut
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    I had the same pedal for years, used it to drive already barking Brits like Plexi's and JCM's a little bit hotter. Never failed, always deliverd!
     
  19. electronpirate

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    I accept your hostility.

    Do you have any beer?

    :)

    R

    (And yes, I'm going to give this another run tonight and see if it blows my skirt up more than it has...)
     
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  20. Hotplate

    Hotplate
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    Thanks again yek for the effort.

    I love 808's as well.. but they only work for me with certain rigs. Using single coils or humbuckers into a BF Fender amp and they work very well together. Tweed amps though, not as much- can get congested in the mids. I also have an original Klon and I do prefer it for a clean boost (or very low drive) vs. a screamer, although I like to use both for different sounds if there's room on the board. I'm not as into TS's for adding gain- more for the clean boost approach. When you run the drive up on them, they start to sound a little artificial to me, compared to actual tube amp drive (that they are supposed to be simulating).
     
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