This pedal is an extremely high quality tweaked version of a tube screamer…very transparent sounding…great with fender amps…can be used as a “clean boost” or set for a very SRV “in your face” type of overdrive sound.
With its basic black and white screening offset with paduk hardwood knobs and bright orange LED the Musicians Junkyard Screamer is one strikingly good looking pedal. To say that alot more is expected out of an overdrive in current times as opposed to when the original tube screamer came out might be an understatement. Denny Coleman of Musicians Junkyard has had years to look at the shortcomings of the 808 pedal that everyone loves but still had some major issues to deal with.
First issue would be the noticeable bass loss that happens. This was addressed in the Junkyard Screamer and keeping the original base guitar tone was not only a goal but an achievement with this pedal. Unlike the 808 the Screamer does not have that nasty bass cut off and keep your original tone in full force.
Next on the list is the bypass / tone loss issue issue. Old greenie seemed to never be happy being off and had to suck your tone even while it was off. Not only does Denny uses all true Bypass switching but uses the most expensive Fulltone TB switch on the market. Thats right, no corners are cut on this pedal. All top notch parts are used. When this pedal is off it takes itself out of a chain and retains all of your original tone. The Junkyard Screamer also totally eliminates that nasty compression that just never felt right in the 808.
A big gripe with the 808 was the horrible tone control. I think it should have been labeled "less blanket" or "more blanket." The tone control on the original 808 for me was almost hard to find a useable setting. Most of the controls sweep just sounded like mud. If I had to guess I would say this is where Denny spent most of his time designing. There is not a bad setting on the entire tone control sweep. Its a very open and uncompressed tone that sounds equally as well into a totally clean amp or to drive an already dirty amp tone.