The 5 Best Tube Screamer Clone Reviews

Since the original Tube Screamer came out in the 70s, the overdrive pedal has become famous and widely used by a lot of guitarists. If you want to get the sound produced by the original TS808, you’ll need the best Tube Screamer clone.

There are a lot of these clones in the market today, but I made sure to pick only the top 5. I’ve had a lot of experience with these clones and can tell the high quality from the ordinary and the mediocre.

If you don’t have time to read the reviews, I have prepared this chart so you’ll see their main features and characteristics. But if you want to know the details I suggest you read the reviews.

Top 5 Tube Screamer Clone: Comparison Chart

Products
Controls
Size
 Operation
View On Amazon
Level, drive, tone
2.8 x 2.1 x 4.8 inches
Battery or power supply
Level, tone, overdrive
1.375″W x 3.5″L x 1.625″H
Battery or power supply
Effects, EQ, rate, depth
5.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 inches
or power supply
Drive, level, tone
6 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches
Battery or power supply
Drive, level, tone
5.3 x 3 x 2.4 inches
Battery or power supply

 

Best Picks of Tube Screamer Clone

#1: Behringer Vintage Tube Overdrive To800

Behringer TO800 Vintage Tube-Sound Overdrive Instrument Effects Pedal
  • Get vintage overdrive, smooth sustain and screaming fat tone
  • Uses original 4558 IC plus MA150 distortion diodes for authentic vintage sound
  • Captures every nuance of your playing from smooth overdrive to screaming tube sounds
  • Dedicated Drive, Tone and Level controls for awesome sound shaping
  • Status LED for effect on/off and battery check

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Behringer is known for making some of the top Tube Screamer clone products, and this is one of them. Made using of only the highest quality parts, the TO800 generates powerful fat tones while keeping the sustain smooth.

You get the classic overdrive, plus it has a high quality on/off switch so you’ll be able to use this without making any sound. All the parts are durable so it lasts longer than the average clone.

The TO800 utilizes the MA150 distortion diodes and the 4558 IC that allows it to produce that classic sound. With these features you’ll have full control over the tone. Whether you opt for loud tube sounds or a smoother overdrive.

The 50800 operates on a Behringer PSU-SB DC power supply (not included) or a 9 volt battery. Either way expect a solid performance, and battery usage is good.

The pedal also has LED status that tells you the state of the battery and if the effects are on or off. To shape the sounds there are controls for level, tone and drive so you’ll have the sound just the way you want.

What really allows the TO800 to produce its excellent sound is it put the MA150 and the 4558 amp onto the dirt box. The end result is the effect is you get that vintage sound and a more solid crunch.

Highlighted Features
  • Produces classic overdrive
  • Fat, screaming tone
  • Sustain is smooth
  • Made from high quality parts
  • Operation is noise free

#2: Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini

Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini
  • 100% Analog Circuitry
  • True Bypass
  • Made in Japan

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ibanez mini has the features you would want from a quality Tube Screamer clone kit. It is suitable for those guitarists who like to use several pedals. The way it’s been designed allows you to save space without losing functionality.

The pedal has a versatile touch sensitivity and its mid range growl is among the most powerful in its class. While compact, the Mini still has the high sonic quality you’ll need to get the most from your guitar.

Thanks to its small footprint you don’t have to give up any of the other pedals that you use. Designed with demanding guitarists in mind, the Ibanez has controls for level, tone and overdrive so you’ll get the sound right for your next gig.

Like other Ibanez products this one is built to last. The compact size is deceiving, but it actually produces better sound than the average pedal. Aside from the quality parts, it also helps that the pedal has true bypass.

This screamer clone is ideal if you’re looking to give your sound additional drive or grit. This also proves you don’t need a large clone to get that additional drive.

The 3 control set up is nice and they’re also responsive. When used with a good EQ setting you’ll get just the right amount of power and boost.

Highlighted Features
  • Excellent sound
  • Real bypass
  • Analog circuitry is 100%
  • Great for use with multiple pedals
  • Responsive controls

#3: Boss CH-1 Stereo Super Chorus

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The CH-1 is one of the best Tube Screamer alternative options today, giving your guitar or keyboard a nice, clean chorus. With its 4 controls you’ve also got the means to shape your sound the way you want it.

The depth, rate, EQ and effects controls are among the most responsive I have tried. You don’t need to exert a lot of force, and minute adjustments produce results.

Want to give your guitar a twist or a bit of that psychedelic touch? Just adjust the controls, push it up high and you’ll get the sound right.

Or would you rather have a wide, lush wave? Pull the controls back, turn the depth up and listen. Compared to other clones you’ll notice that the CH-1 has superior sounding chorus tones.

The outputs are easy to tweak, and the chorus effect is appropriate for different kinds of guitars. By adjusting the controls you’ll be able to shape the sounds and the dimensions until it suits your liking.

The pedal runs on a 9v battery or a power supply unit, the choice is yours. Whichever you choose, expect the sound quality to be good and consistent.

One of the cool things about this pedal is how you can do a lot with it, and it sounds great with other guitar pedals.

Highlighted Features
  • Offers excellent chorus tones
  • Durable construction
  • Powerful depth control
  • Has depth, EQ and level controllers
  • Works for guitar and keyboard

#4: Maxon 9-Series Overdrive

Maxon 9-Series Overdrive
  • Improved circuitry with a new chip yields ultra-smooth dynamic overdrive
  • Drive and Level controls tweak the intensity and volume
  • Hi Boost/Hi Cut tone controls adjust brightness
  • True bypass switching
  • Die-cast zinc case

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The -9 Overdrive makes our list of the best boutique Tube Screamer thanks to an impressive feature set. This pedal is equipped with the original OD-9 (TS-9) circuit.

It has also been enhanced with true bypass for superior sound. The PC board has not been replaced and is the same that has been used for the past three decades.

Thee Overdrive also has the NJM (JRC) 4558D Op Amp that gives it that genuine TS tone. Compared to other pedals the Overdrive NUM has a smoother sound.

The compression is smaller compared to the regular Op amp so there is less noise and better sound quality.

It doesn’t have any FET switching circuit, providing the OD-9 with a rich open sound and extra output. This is what gives the pedal that classic rock sound..

This version of the TS-9 is exceptionally good, and with more output and drive than the OD808 you get more bang for your buck. Specs wise this is a genuine reissue of the OD-9/TS-9.

I also want to point out that this pedal has the JRC4558 IC circuit which provides a dynamic, creamy, smooth sound. It is this dynamic that allows the pedal to produce the sound your guitar needs. The cut tone and hi boost controls let you tweak the brightness easily too.

Highlighted Features
  • Solid die cast zinic case
  • Switching is true bypass
  • Hi cut and hi boost controls
  • Responsive level and drive controls
  • Enhanced circuitry

#5: Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Classic

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer - Classic
  • Classic tone Tone, drive, and level controls
  • Tone, drive, and level controls give you access to warm, amp-like overdrive that's touch sensitive and ready to rip
  • The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is a reissue that's just like the original in so many ways
  • Same factory, same components, same housing, same famous seasick-green paint, and the same crankin' overdrive that made the original one of the all-time classic pedals
  • Guitar Player called it the best

Last update on 2020-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Anytime we talk about the best Tube Screamer and the TS9 needs to be mentioned. There is a reason why this is called a classic after all.

The overdrive distortion is first rate, and this reissue of the classic shows why it is often imitated but never equaled. When I say it’s a reissue I mean that, down to the paint job, the casing and the parts.

The sound is the same as the original, and that is not surprising since they are made in the same factory. Just plug this in and you’ll hear the difference compared to other clones.

The distortion effect has that classic sound, and the dark tone generates a richer tone than most. The sustain is top notch and the consistent sound is suitable for a variety of tracks.

The controls are responsive and it works great at shaping your guitar’s sound. Cranked all the way up, the tone adds an intensity to your playing that wasn’t there before. For versatility alone this one is hard to match.

Whether you’ve been playing guitar a long time or not, this will make an immediate impact on your performance.  The guitar also serves as a powerful booster that won’t affect the low end sound of your guitar.

Highlighted Features
  • Easy to use controls
  • Adjustable level, drive and tone
  • Built form high quality components
  • Superior sound quality compared to other pedals
  • Same housing and paint job as the original

 Why You Need a Tube Screamer Clone

A Tube Screamer clone produces the same effects as the original screamer. With this you can overdrive your guitar’s signal and produce distortion.

Don’t confuse a Tube Screamer clone with a distortion pedal. Even though they have a similar function, the sounds are very different.

With a Tube Screamer you’ll be able to overload your preamp, giving it a “dirty” sound. It covers the level under a distortion pedal.

What that means is your guitar’s sound warms up. There’s also added saturation when it’s activated in front of other pedals for more sustain.

How to Choose a Tube Screamer Clone

Here are the main factors to consider:

Replica vs Upgrade

Clones of Tube Screamer pedals should have the same features as the original.  If you buy a clone, it will have the same specs, features, housing and paint job as the original.

It’s okay if they have some added parts like true bypass as it enhances the sound. These are upgrades. Their specs are very similar to the original but have added some parts to make the sound cleaner.

If you want the sound to be exactly like the original, buy an exact clone. If you want the pedal to sound the same but minus the extra noise of the original, buy an upgrade.

Controls

Most of these screamer clones have three controls – level, tone and overdrive – and most will be happy with that. But other clones have more for depth, EQ and so on. It is up to you to decide what is ideal.

Power Supply

Most of these run on both 9B batteries and power supplies. Most require you to buy a power supply as they don’t come with the screamer clone so you’ve got to keep that in mind.

Things to Consider Before Buying Tube Screamer Clone

Whether you’re buying a Byoc Classic overdrive or another model, keep the following in mind.

Durability

You will be using the pedal a lot so make sure that it is built for durability.  Get only those made from high quality components.

Size

If you use a lot of pedals, a compact screamer is appropriate. Just make sure that it is high quality so the sound is not compromised.

Layout

The layout varies a little, with some brands opting for a foot pedal while others go for a foot switch. But apart from that the design is basically the same.

Brand

Buy only from reputable companies, those that have developed a solid reputation for creating high quality Tube Screamer replicas.

Feedback

What do guitarists think of the clone? Is it as good as advertised? A product can make all sots of claims about the sound quality, but you will only know for certain how it works by checking the customer feedback.

Final Verdict

After careful deliberation and thorough testing, I have chosen the TO800 as the winner. I like its size, just right for using other pedals, and the controls respond very well to your adjustments.

More than that, the T0800 adds warmth, power and dynamics that ordinary clones cannot provide. You can do a lot in terms of control and the tone is exactly how the original Tube Screamer sounds. For these reasons I declare it the best of the five products here.

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