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?

  • 2
    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. Aug 15, 2012 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, 2012 at 19:36
  • 1
    You should check out my answer on this question: music.stackexchange.com/questions/3099/…
    – Jduv
    Aug 23, 2012 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


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.

  • agree, I used to use an overdrive medal to sharpen the raw sound a little before letting the amp channel do the hard work Jul 16, 2018 at 8:10

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