Monday, December 27, 2010

Top Finds of 2010 / Jam Pedals Tube Dreamer 72

One pedal all us players can agree is a must on our pedaboards is the OD. As simple as these pedals are they can be used to achieve an enormous palette of tones, for just about any style of music. Overdrivers get along with anything from the cleanest of signals to the dirtiest and muddiest. Since the beginning of the stompbox revolution players have been hunting down, experimenting with, and hoarding many different breeds of overdrive boxes - All in the name of taking their sounds to the next level. It is the OD that is responsible for many of the signature tones of yesterday and today, and the favorite of many'a stompbox builder. Google overdrive and you will be sure to come across an endless sea of boutique, mainstream, and one-off creations. But of all these creations there is one circuit that is copied and tweaked far more than the rest.... the mighty TS808. If you've ever had a chance to run a proper old school Tube Screamer through it's paces you know just how and why these pedals are so special. Only problem with many of the modern designs is they come off more as distortion boxes than actual overdrives. A proper TS style pedal is subtle and pushes out a signal that works with your tone instead of  against it (which is where many builders miss). Well, here is a company that hasn't steered me wrong yet, and with this here design has been able to take the mighty 808 to rockin' new levels. I promise you one thing - you won't have to worry or be confused about what is or isn't an overdrive here. 


Tube Dreamer 72
Vintage Overdrive

* Controls: Level, Tone, Gain
* High quality components
* True Bypass Switching
* Power: 9V battery or standard 9VDC adapter
* Uses only 6mA of power when On
* Custom artwork available
* Point-to-Point version available
* Bass version available
* Lifetime warranty


The Jam Pedals Tube Dreamer 72 is a spot-on true to heart classic sounding overdrive pedal with some characteristics of it's own - and a look to die for. This baby was designed specifically for achieving that cranked tube amp tone at both high and low volumes. You won't have to worry about this pedal taking your tone hostage or coloring anything you stack it up on top of (thanks to a special secret chip). These pedals are hand built in Greece with the finest parts and components, and added upon each one is a bit of artistic flavor. The Tube Dreamer 72 sports true bypass switching for the ultimate in tone preservation, and like all Jam's pedals carries a lifetime warranty. A LIFETIME WARRENTY!!! But it's gets better? There isn't only one version of this pedal available, no siry Bob. Besides the 72 version which we will be looking at here, Jam also offers a 58 version based around the famous JRC4558 chip, an 88 which stacks the other two version together and adds a high gain switch, and last there is a + (plus) version which is a heavier version of the 72. Each one of these pedals can be built point-to-point and come with an array of different custom art works. And so the bass playing cats don't jealous - there are also bass versions of the Tube Dreamer ready at the helm. Pretty nice huh? Now for some tones.

Running the Tube Dreamer 72 through all of my amps was indeed an absolute dream. This was also true of my guitars, through every type of pickup, and with many other pedals. It sounded best with my tube amps of course but I was surprised to hear how well it sounded with a few solid states as well. When you got a pedal of this caliber in your signal path things are just bound to come out sounding awesome no matter what you plug it into. I began using the TD72 through a few different low watt amps, from 5-22 watters. I started with some super mellow pedal settings to see what kind of use I could get as a booster. With it's level at unity, it's gain at about 5-7%, and it's tone at noon - the TD72 let the amp's characteristics shine through beautifully. My root tone's nice'n'warm signal was converted into a more powerful version of itself, which let me dial in many more tones on the fly. I noticed that by turning up the TD72's level I could get plenty of punch and grit from tubes. Then with the pedal's gain rolled up even further things would only get sweeter and much much smoother. Something else you'll find quite nice about this pedal is it's tone control. With most overdrive pedals you get decent gain controls and even plenty output on some occasions - but when it comes to their tone controls they come off a bit too weak and unresponsive. What ends up happening is the builder either has to choose one sweet spot amongst the sweep spectrum. With the TD72 I was able to both maintain my amp's key tones and also help them into new grounds. Cranking the tone low I was able to hear a huge difference in the amp's tone, a difference that was usable and created a sweet and warm overall feel. The TD72 was able to kick out lots of sweet spots within every one of it's controls, giving all my amps new territory to walk upon. Another amp that worked quite well was a Fender 22 watt Deluxe Reverb. Completely dry with no verb and it's tone controls at noon, the Deluxe Verb was able to dish out some of the smoothest and meanest dirt sounds when combined with the Tube Dreamer. Being such a simple amp, all you really need to do is roll everything to noon and you're home free. Highlighting the Deluxe Reverb's capabilities was really something that brought upon some impress classic rock and blues guitar tones. An overall great match. From here I began exploring with higher gain amplifiers - first with some clean character amps, then with the big crunchy bad boys. My modified 4x10 Hot Rod Deville was a great place to start. Having a ton of clean headroom to play with really came in handy for dialing tons of different dirt tones at all levels. I was able to go from an inkling of grit to the smoothest grittiest growls. Alone it is damn near impossible to get an overdriven tone from my Deville - thanks to it's four 100 watt 10" speakers (I did do this on purpose though). With the pedal in the mix I had any dirty tone I wanted. I noticed that the louder I'd get, the more my picking attack was accented. This brought upon some very tasty sounds, harmonics, and wildness. As I'd push the 72's gain control higher, the grit would become dirtier yet the output would stay the same. And it sounded great at low volumes! With the gain at around 15% the pedal began tossing out these really nice mildly crunchy blues tones that brought my amp to life and had it singing like a little devil. Then there was converting the Deville into a true machine of dirt of growl - a very easy task when setting this pedal just right. Last came a Super Lead, one of my favorite amps of all time. Here the TD72 once again did things that sounding awesome. Taking the Suepr Lead's tone and accenting it, really brought to the amp to life in ways I thought were not possible. I found myself able to dial the pedal in in many different settings, leave it be, to have access to tons of tones on the fly. Working my guitar's tone and volume controls came in handy here, which made for some great tone shaping on stage. Semi-clean tones I was able to take to rich'n'thick overdrives, leaving me with a wider collection of overall dirt tones. At higher gain levels the TD72 was able to convert the Super Lead into an absolute beast! The sustain that came to be was very nice to play with and gave me new textures to play with. By the end of my demo with this pedal I had plugged in a handful of different single coil guitars, semi-hollow and solid humbucker guitars, and an array of others. Same went for amplifiers, from the lowest gain to the meanest. The TD72 got along beautifully with every piece of gear I through at it and gave back a killer results. We've had a chance to put a handful of Jam Pedals through their paces and are yet to be disappointed, and doubt we ever will. If you suffer from the same tone seeking sickness that I suffer from go out and grab yourself one of these Tube Dreamer versions, you're amps and guitars will thank you for it.

If you need more info on these hand made Greek masterpieces go to or go to our direct links. We will continue bringing you guys more and more of these magical pedals as they come and keep giving you the best possible insight. Stay tunes for more from Jam Pedals. Pictured above is another version of the Tube Dreamer, the TD88. Just another of the cool and crazy creations from our friends at Jam Pedals.

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