The dream of all pedal companies is to rival the sheer impact of Ibanez’s Tube Screamer Pedals. They’ve inspired countless clones, knockoffs, and variations in the years since they first came out and for good reason. Those little green beasts redefined what a boost could be, all the while providing an intense overdrive sound.
JAM pedals weren’t the first company to step up to the plate in an attempt to achieve that dream but, nonetheless, they searched for a way to break the mould. They set out to build a boutique boost that brought something new to the sound of the classics whilst also retaining what made them great.
And that’s how the TubeDreamer was born…
The TubeDreamer makes no effort to hide its inspiration – it’s in the name. That being said, it’s pretty clear the JAM pedals weren’t afraid to do something different when they designed this pedal. It’s not even green!
Now, the colour of the pedal might not seem important, but to break from the classic green of Ibanez’s iconic design is a clear signal that this pedal sets out to take the old and do something new.
So what else is new?
Although the TubeDreamer definitely has a similar sound, it takes a very different path to get there. In a way, the Tubedreamer isn’t a Tube Screamer at all. Due to the use of asymmetric clipping, one could argue it has more in common with Boss’s SD-1, but its topology is far closer to the TS-808. It also features the increasingly rare JRC4558D chip, which used to be all the rage between the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Anyone with experience of boutique pedal prices won’t be surprised to learn that the TubeDreamer does not come cheap. Retailing at almost $200, this pedal will set you back, so if all you’re looking for is a general Tube Screamer sound, then there are far more affordable options.
Alternatively, if you love the nuances of this pedal’s sound then $200 might not seem so bad. There are certainly more expensive boutique boosts out there, and you won’t find anything quite like this in mass-market production.
Try it for yourself here on Tonepedia and see if you think it’s worth splashing out for.