Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

As an Andy Timmon's huge fan I try to get my guitar tone to sound similar to his. In one of his videos I saw that he uses the Ibanez ts808 tube screamer pedal.

I own an ENGL 50W screamer amp which has fantastic overdrive channels and I play on a Tom Anderson custom guitar (Fender like) which has a beautiful tone as well.

My question is will the tube screamer will help to get the more warm, cutting sound as you can hear in Andy's tracks ? I am aware that this alone will not do but will it help ?

A friend of mine told me that with this kind of amp there is not need in additional distortion/overdrive pedals as they will "mask" the amp's overdrive channels. Sounds logical but still I hear many players that do use them. Any thoughts on that ?


share|improve this question
I thought "warm" and "cutting" were contradictory descriptions of guitar tone, where "cutting" described an emphasis on the high end ("the Tele's twangy tone cut through the mix") while "warm" described an emphasis on midrange. – Dave Jacoby Aug 15 '12 at 16:40
Well, maybe cutting is not the correct word but if you will listen to Andy's tracks (lets say Beware Dark Days) you will know what I mean. Especially Listen to the amazing solos. – giorashc Aug 15 '12 at 19:36
You should check out my answer on this question:… – Jduv Aug 23 '12 at 17:14
@Jduv already read it when searching for this topic. Great answer. – giorashc Aug 26 '12 at 7:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'd put "that amp does not need any additional distortion/overdrive" as that person's personal preference; plenty of people put all kinds of distortion in front of amps that other feel have good intrinsic overdrive/distortion properties.

I've heard that a common use for a tube-screamer is to use it more like a "colored-boost" to push the amp even further, i.e. have the setting such that there is not much distortion in the pedal itself, but that when engaged, it drives the amp harder (more/different amp distortion). I've emphasized "colored" since the screamer will affect the tone of the guitar (not necessarily via distortion) more so than a clean boost pedal, which will typically cause a less dramatic modification in the tone.

share|improve this answer
Well, I am going to try it tomorrow... thanks for your answer – giorashc Aug 16 '12 at 7:28

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.