Review: Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808DX Overdrive Pro Pedal — Video
Guitarists often prefer the flexibility of having two overdrive pedals in their signal chain: one dialed to increase distortion/gain and another set up strictly as a volume/signal boost.
In celebration of the Tube Screamer's 35th anniversary, Ibanez engineered both into one pedal and used the reference-quality TS808 as its platform. The 808 gained almost mythic status when players learned that it was Stevie Ray Vaughan's go-to overdrive pedal.
The new Ibanez TS808DX Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro offers the revered TS808 overdrive circuit, an independent clean boost and a few long-awaited performance-enhancing features, honoring the pedal's history and taking its legendary organic tones to new heights.
The TS808DX is really two pedals in one box: the classic TS808 overdrive on one side (using the original’s JRC4558D IC) and a clean booster on the other. Standard controls are provided for the overdrive, including overdrive, tone and level. A single boost knob controls the amount of signal increase, up to 26db, and the post/pre switch places the boost effect after or before the overdrive circuit.
Overdrive and boost can be used simultaneously or on their own, and thanks to Ibanez’s new relay-based true-bypass switching, there’s no “pop” when turning either effect on/off. Ibanez gives users the option of switching the TS808DX between nine or 18 volts, but it still only requires a single battery or standard nine-volt power adapter to power the unit.
The TS808DX has all of the original 808’s tube-like warmth gain, sweet overtones and glorious midrange, and it adds a beautiful grind to clean tones and drives high-gain channels into effortless harmonics, singing sustain and buttery highs. Bass frequencies are not rolled off, as some users of the original TS808 pedal claim; rather, the mids are pushed higher in the mix.
The 18-volt power setting increases headroom, note separation and low-end definition for a more transparent sound. The boost on its own maintains the tone of your guitar and amp. Combining the boost with overdrive in the “pre” Tube Screamer position adds more compression, while the “post” Tube Screamer boost preserves more of the overdrive section’s natural dynamics.
LIST PRICE $357.14
MANUFACTURER Ibanez, ibanez.com
THE BOTTOM LINE
Ibanez’s 35th anniversary TS808DX Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro finally gives players all of the legendary 808 tone, a separate boost, silent switching and an 18-volt option in one amazing, amp-kicking box.