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Ibanez TS808HW 9 Series Hand-Wired Tube Screamer Distortion Pedal
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- The ultimate Tube Screamer
- Limited in production - 100 per month (50 in US)
- Completely hardwired on turret boards
- True bypass switching
Buy this product as Certified Refurbished and save $46.00.
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Sometimes it's best to keep it simple. Which is why, in a world of dizzying often over-complex technology, the durable, dependable, and simple stomp box continues to be the most widely used and effective means to expand, color, distort, mutate, sustain, and twist tone. The Ibanez Tube Screamer, in its many versions and forms, can be found on pedal boards in every corner of the globe, on arena stages and in small studios and bedrooms. Its warm overdrive is a sound many players, from advanced to beginner, could never do without. Now, it gets even better with the release of the TS808HW, a hand-wired deluxe Tube Screamer built with the pro musician in mind. Encased in a special, heavy duty metal box, the TS808HW is hand-wired with select JRC4558D chips (same as the revered and often imitated TS808) and uses Japanese high-end MOGAMI OEC cable (AWG21). Equipped with True Bypass, this Tube Screamer sends pure guitar excitement to your amplifier with no tonal loss whatsoever. This is, by far, the most evolved Tube Screamer ever created. Features: Limited Production Completely Hand Wired Select 4558D IC Chip Japanese MOGAMI OEC Cable True Bypass Special Collectors metal box Input Impedance 500K ohms Output Impedance 10K ohms Maximum Output Level 0 dBm Maximum Gain +30 dB Equivalent Input Noise -100 dBm (IHF-A) Power Supply One 9 Volt Battery or external AC adaptor (AC-109) Size 125 mm, 4.9"(D) x 70mm, 2.8" (W) x 52mm, 2"(H) Weight 500g, 1.2 lbs.
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It's also one of those pedals and amps one has to try oneself than relying on audio or video demos and comparisons. Such demos provide only a small inkling of what the pedal sounds like and no idea whatsoever on how it'd *FEEL* like in your hands connected to your own gear. The harmonic content in the air and how it feels as you bend and sustain notes on the guitar are some of the things you can only get by testing a fine piece of gear like this.
Yes, it's expensive. When you watch the demo comparisons on YT to other TS units it only sounds 5~10% "better", if any, while costing 2~3 times as much so it will not seem like a good value at all. But that last 5% or less will always command a hefty premium. It's the same for guitars, amps, and any other piece of gear. The same can be said for cars, kitchen knives, golf clubs or whatever other products you can think of. That extra amount of attention-to-detail does add cost and a hefty markup.
Is it worth it? For me, yes. I've never been a big fan of the TS sound on its own. I always thought the mids were too humped and a bit too muddy - especially since I mainly use humbucker pickups. In the past I had an Analog Man-modded TS9 and a Maxon 808 (the large one) that I liked but still wished they were a little more transparent in the mids. This pedal finally has that transparency I've always sought while providing a livelier feel. It works wonders with my Friedman BE100 and with the Xotic RC Booster V2 in front of it and an EP Booster behind it. It's great through the clean channel for bluesy or mild crunch sounds and even better through the gain channels to provide more bite in the high-mids and a little more hair in the highs that are never harsh or shrill.
Again, the sound is only half of the equation. What is just important is how it feels when you crank up the amp. It's about how it interacts with the amp's power tubes and transformer to fully appreciate and understand what this pedal can do. I can't be happier with this pedal. It's got all the things I wished that the venerable Tube Screamer had and also leave out. Highly recommended for the incurable tone connoisseur.
Sometimes I plug-in my guitar for home recording/composing, and get even happier for having this item. I used to have an original vintage tube screamer, but a (insert bad word here) thief took it from me. I'm not the most professional musician/audio engineer around, but this one sounds exactly like my original one.
It's a bit expensive though, but the little difference makes it worthy!