“that green pedal”

A brief synopsis of “over drive” effect pedals.

You may have seen the trademark green pedal in many rigs known as the Ibanez TS-808(Tube Screamer), and wondered what it is and what it does.

In this article we’ll be discussing not only one of the more notable overdrive pedals that’s stood the test of time, but we will also discuss overdrive effect pedals in general, briefly. We picked the TS-808 to discuss because it is easily, and arguably, one of the most useful pedals out there.

what do they do? 

Overdrive pedals can differ in design and function, but the general use is to clip the original signal somehow, via soft-clipping or hard-clipping, but the objective is typically the same, put food on the plate; boost your signal and get desired gain level, no matter what taste you like; soft-clipping or hard-clipping.

If you’re looking to take your amp up another notch, a green screamer type pedal is probably what you are looking for. The biggest reason people love an overdrive in front of a mid to high gain amp so much is because it not only hits the front end of your amp harder causing you to get more “juice” saturation out of the amp, but! It will also cut and tighten up your low end. As well as give you a nice tight mid hump in the mid range. The “808” circuit is one of the most replicated and modded circuits in the overdrive game, and there is a good reason for it. In it’s early days it was one of the smoothest and best overdrives on the market. These days so many amazing companies make variants of this highly respected circuit. All with different clipping options, bandwidth setting, mid boosts, different tone stacks. You name it and someone has added it to the circuit, and here at Gear Snobs you will see us review and show off many of these variants of the 808 circuit as well as all kinds of boosts and overdrives.

Models we recommend at a starting point in the fairly friendly “green screamer” market or around 200 USD;

Ibanez TS808

Airis Effects ProtoDrive Dual Channel Overdrive v3

Maxon OD808

Ibanez TS9 & TS9DX

Abominable Electronic Hellmouth

Protone Deadhorse


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