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Ibanez TS808 Original Tube Screamer Overdrive Pedal Reviews

5.0 stars based on 24 customer reviews
Questions about the Ibanez TS808 Original Tube Screamer Overdrive Pedal?

Questions about the Ibanez TS808 Original Tube Screamer Overdrive Pedal?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Aaron Christy

    They don't call the Ibanez TS-808 the Holy Grail for nothing. This is a must on my pedalboard anytime I am playing out. Whether I am trying to push the front end of my amp to a slighty dirty tone, more overdrive or a clean boost for soloing... the TS-808 never lets me down. Look at the versatility of the artist roster and know with confidence that this belongs on your pedalboard as well.

  • from East Greenville, PA May 6, 2017

    Ahhhhh...sweet memories

    I remember....I remember back in the 80's living in New Orleans playing Mardi Gras in Fat City....there was one pedal that was a main component in my pedal chain....and that was a Tube Screamer .... now all these decades later after trying many variants and copies I am pleased to say that once again I have this pedal on my pedalboard.....and i believe they did it....they replicated the original pedal....it sounds incredible and I am glad I decided to give the Tube Screamer one more shot. I wont make the same mistake I made all those years ago....this one is a keeper!!!

  • from Alcoa, TN April 29, 2017Music Background:

    The Classic Go To

    I've owned and played the main vairants of the Tube Screamer that are on the market now days and must say this one is my favorite. (personal opinion naturally) You can go watch all the videos online and see the comparisions, and I absolutely agree that there is hardly any difference in them all and you can with some focus and good ear adjust each one to meet up with 'your ideal sound' out of which ever one you own. (esp. once the whole band kicks into the mix)

    My own setup (so you'll know how is being used for me). Gibson Les Paul with 500T bridge pickup and Suhr Thornbucker neck, Tube Screamer 808 (assorted other effects pedals) Marshall 2061x (or Marshall 87' Plexi depending on venue size) and it is used as a boost/sustain for more straight 70s rock songs and as always on for 80s to heavier metal zone songs.

    The thing kicks it out and really helps me break through that mid range where you want to find the guitar in the mix. Good gear brings good sounds and this thing will hold its end up if you hold your end up with surrounding it with other good gear and good playing. It is sturdy built but you probably don't want to be slamming your boot heel down on the switch. It takes a simple tap and its on. Plus, it just looks cool, lol!

  • from January 28, 2017

    A classic for a reason!

    This is the only overdrive pedal I need. It sounds amazing, especially when paired with my dyna comp compressor, spark mini boost, and ns2 noise suppressor. I run an American Standard Tele through a 65 Deluxe Reverb, and I honestly have finally attained the tone that I've been dreaming of. Just jaw dropping tone. The 808 is a staple on so many pro's rigs, it's not even funny. If ya ask me...it's the overdrive pedal with the most focused sound, and most distinct personality. You'll be able to spot a tube screamer on radio songs all the time once you get used to this thing...it's that distinct of a sound. Get this pedal...you won' t regret it. In my opinion, it has more of a vintage sound than the other tube screamer models, and as a traditionalist, it had to be the 808 for me.

  • from Colorado September 30, 2016Music Background:
    Hobby guitarist

    Classic Overdrive

    The Tube Screamer can't be beat if you're looking for classic overdrive.

  • from September 19, 2016


    It was a hard decision for me because there are many great overdrives, but i was watching videos a comparisons and i decided to go for this pedal. It sounds amazing, love the classic tone, not like protone pedals or other that are more distorsion than an overdrive. And it works great for metal, i use it with an EHX Metalmuff and combined with a good tube amp distorsion works great.

  • from February 4, 2016Music Background:
    Blues & Rock

    Blues Players Need This!

    This pedal is so great I don't even know where to begin. I tried the Boss Blues Driver first but quickly pawned it off immediately after I upgraded to the TS-808. It is the only pedal I have that adds gain yet the signal remains smooth and colorful. It's hard to explain but this is a necessity for anyone who plays the blues, truly it's that simple. (Also I have tried the TS9 and it's not as good the 808 is worth the extra cash)

  • from August 13, 2015

    Everything I hoped it would be

    Built like a tank, awesome tonal variety and access to "that" classic sound. What more could I want?

  • from Hockley, TX June 30, 2015Music Background:
    Performing musician, but not my day job

    You Need One!

    So I bought the Original Tube Screamer to replace an old Ibanez Super Tube I had from the 80's. HUGE difference. This new pedal is simply the best. It will give you just a bit of what you need in terms of that warmer, fuller sound you are after. I have it inline before the amp (Peavy 6505 +) and it warms up the crunch setting just right. I don't use it on the lead channel as the Peavy has plenty of what you need. I also run it before a distortion pedal and run through a Marshall tube amp and it sounds wonderful. My personal preference is to have each of the settings around the 12 to 1 o'clock position, but you can easily adjust the amount of overdrive, the level it comes in at and tweak the tone. It's a must have pedal and I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to get mine. I recommend this product.

  • from NC, United States December 6, 2014

    Best Pedal Ever Made

    I've owned a Tube Screamer since I got my first guitar. Its only 5 years old now, but I've been spoiled forever because this was my foundation for pedal standards. When I first got this pedal I remember being extremely unsatisfied with it, I was new and inexperienced, only wanting that high gain tone... I learned (Don't use overdrives when you want a distortion tone). Other pedals came and went. But my needs always allowed me to gravitate back to the best overdrive pedal on the market.
    The TS 808 can get dirty for rock, punk, and blues. But add this as a boost with distortion and you've unlocked a whole new level of possibilities with your playing. No alternative can capture the tone of the Tube Screamer, if you're thinking about possibly buying a cheaper pedal, don't. You'll thank yourself in the long run.

  • from Arlington, VA December 11, 2012Music Background:
    Professional musician for many years, years ago, now a hobbyist.

    Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer

    It's the iconic Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer, I love it. No surprise here, right? Great, great classic overdriven sound(s), and flexibility, all in a simple easy to use little green pedal.

  • from Palos Verdes CA USA October 19, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Guitarist

    The TS808

    Blown away and amused. This pedal is what you need for all your blues and even hard rock stuff. Thank you Austin Moss for the tip. And I also agree with all the five stars reviews above.

  • from Wilmington, DE March 7, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    The TS808 is the best.

    The TS808 is finally on my pedal board. I couldn't be more pleased.

    I've owned many other overdrive/distortion pedals, but they were just holding a spot for this Tube Screamer.

    I should have owned it years ago.

  • from California November 22, 2010Music Background:

    Amazing... if modded.

    Someone else mentioned that this is just a rehoused TS9. Very true. I've have the stock TS9DX, the keeley mod TS9DX, and the Keeley mod TS808. The Keeley mod makes this pedal wonderful. Without it, it's really nothing spectacular (There are other pedal makers out there other than Robert Keeley who do a fantastic job fixing this pedal, too). Anyway, this pedal is amazing for warm, smooth distortion. Very useful, and very easy to dial in.

  • from Wisconsin February 20, 2008Music Background:
    pro musician

    Original Tube Screamer

    This is the best overdrive pedal on the market, you can get so much tone from this box. I've used probably every distortion/overdrive pedal on the market and they all sounded kind of "fake" but this pedal is the real deal. I play through a Marshall Vintage Modern 100 Watt Head and a Marshall 1960 4x12 cabinet, and this pedal makes this amp scream. I like this pedal more than using the pre amp for overdrive on my amp, it just sounds the best. The TS808 emphasizes that original tube sounding overdrive that is extremely sought after. This pedal is more expensive, but it is definately worth it. Spend the extra bucks and get this pedal, it's an investment that will keep giving back.

  • from Tulsa, Okla September 12, 2007Music Background:
    concert promoter, 22 years of playing guitar


    When taken out of the box and opened, the circuitry is exactly the same as the reissue TS9! Further viewing revealed that other than the 4558 chip, there is nothing different from a TS9. I sent mine to Robert Keeley (he confirmed my thoughts on the lack of difference in components) and for $50, he can make her exactly sound like a vintage TS808. The pedal did not sound too bad out of the box, but now, it sounds like I expected. Don't be fooled, this is a reissue TS9 in a reissue TS808 box. My 5 star rating is for the pedal AFTER shipping to Mr. Keeley. 2/5 before shipping.

  • from california October 21, 2006Music Background:

    Vintage Overdrive Tone

    This is a great unit that gives you the vintage overdrive tone, it is different from TS9 however, this has a warmer, older tone to it. This green pedal is very quiet at the same time! a Boss pedal would make a lot of undesirable noise when you start to turn the gain up, but TS808 will not! I like using it as a booster for solos with the amp with sone dirt, and then turn this thing up to boost up the sound. This ledgendary pedal stands strong to its name, but it is expensive however, but I'm sure if you care for tone, it'll worth the money.

  • from Chicago, IL August 25, 2006Music Background:
    Professional Guitarist

    Awesome & Very Musical!!

    Very responsive overdrive that does not mask the "woodiness" of my guitar. I use this unit through a Mesa Boogie Blue Angel (4X10) combo with a 1964 ES-335 and also a strat 1957 reissue. Both guitars maintain their character through the TS 808. Sounds like an extension of my amp, not an ad-hoc overdrive that is slapped on top. Very pleased!

  • from Sarasota, FL March 15, 2017

    Great little pedal

    Great for pushing a clean tube amp into overdrive. The switch is a bit janky since it is designed as the original, but you get used to it.

  • from January 22, 2017

    tube screamer

    great pedal love the sound and boost it has

    great survive at sweet water

  • from New York City July 31, 2016

    The original tone is here

    This provides the great tone of the original Ibanez Tube Screamer and it sounds great. I like it much better than the Ibanez TS9 version which is a little harsh in the top end. The one negative thing about this unit is it does not provide a true bypass button. So it will. It provide the true tone of your amp if you have it off and it's in your guitar pedal board. This is important to me as I use my gear in the studio as well as live. I want my Fender Twin 65 DI to maintain the true sound of the amp when the effects are off. So you babe two options.

    1. Buy the Ibanez Tube Screamer 808 HW which cost more money or
    2. Buy the Seymour Duncan 805 which provides a very similar sound to the T808 but it has 3 separate tone controls, and also provides a true bypass. The tone difference is this is a little bit clearer sounding than the Ibanez which can be a good thing or bad thing. The Ibanez has a little more color to the sound which for classic rock some may prefer for a more analog sound. But the 805 costs a lot less

  • from Lilburn, GA July 11, 2016

    Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer

    This is my first effects pedal ever. It is easy to use and the overdrive is so smooth. I use it with VOX AC15-C2 amp and various guitars. Of the guitars I use the best sound comes from the Telecaster and Casino Elitist. Be sure to locate the power adapter in the box! I, accidently dropped it on the floor when opening the box and it was lost in the tangle of wires for a while. I had not known there was an adapter included so I was a bit confused until I finally found it.
    I made a great choice for a first pedal.

  • from chicago April 26, 2012Music Background:
    musician of 20 years

    Ibanez ts 808

    I know this pedal wasnt designed for metal, but it sure works well for it.. I purchased a seven string that had passive pickups, and I wasnt completely happy with the amoun of gain i felt i had lost due to the lower output from the guitar. I was on the verge of ordering new pickups, when I decided to try this pedal.. I'm so glad I did... It was just the kick in the arse that was needed. On the down side, if you're using this pedal for high gain, it does get a bit noisey.. You will also want to buy a noise suppresser to go with it... If I had it to do all over again would I? No... I would buy the maxon od 808... Its the exact same thing, but a bit cheaper, and I doesn't have the( barely functional) square style button, or the senseless adapter needed to plug in a power adapter..

  • from Switzerland, Florida USA June 17, 2014Music Background:
    Casual player and collector

    Nice warm tone

    Able to dial in a variety of smooth, realistic tube tones at a fairly reasonable price The only two things I didn't like were the LED indicator (hard to see if it's on unless you're standing right over the pedal) and the foot switch (somewhat stiff and balky, but that may improve with use). All in all, a really useful addition to the pedal board.

  • from December 20, 2016

    with the right guitar

    good pedal. worth the money a very good chip!

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