“I use the Tube Screamer because of the tone knob. You can turn it on slightly to get a Guitar Slim tone”: The Tube Screamer that Stevie Ray Vaughan really used – and why it may not be the one you expect

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer composite image
(Image credit: Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty / Future)

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is one of the most popular overdrive pedals of all time, used by dozens of famous guitarists on hundreds of well-known tracks – but the main reason for its perennial success is overwhelmingly due to its association with Stevie Ray Vaughan. 

If you’ve looked around for info on the Tube Screamer model that Vaughan used, you’ll likely see the first iteration TS808 lauded as the ne plus ultra version for authentic SRV tone.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.