[SOLVED!] Tube Screamer Vs. Klon: The Overdrive Odyssey


Both Tube Screamer and Klon both fall into the overdrive pedal category but they feature unique characteristics which lead to distinct performance in use. Tube Screamer is known for its ability to provide a midrange boost that enhances amp presence and cut through the mix. On the other hand, Klon excels at sumptuously preserving and improving the amp’s natural tone. In the case you struggle to choose the winner in Tube Screamer vs. Klon, continue reading.  


  Tube Screamer Klon
Circuit Type Classic Overdrive Transparent Overdrive
Tonal Character Warm, Midrange-Boosted, Smooth Transparent, Enhances Original Tone
Tone Control Shapes Tonal Balance Shapes Tonality
Sustain Control Smooth Sustain with Midrange Emphasis Dynamic and Touch-Sensitive Sustain
Controls Drive, Tone, Level Gain, Tone, Level
Application  Overdrive, Boosts, and Crunch Clean Boost, Subtle Overdrive, Light Distortion

Tube Screamer Vs. Klon: Breakdown 

Tonal Character

For your information, Tube Screamer offers a warm and creamy overdrive sound that focuses on guitar tones’ middle frequencies. Thanks to the honky quality that it adds to your sound, Tube Screamer will help your guitar cut through the mix in a band. Meanwhile, Klon gives a transparent overdrive that enhances the natural guitar sound. In use, Klon adds a subtle touch of smooth overdrive without dramatically changing the guitar’s original character.


Tube Screamer is able to guarantee a smooth and sustained sound that’s ideal for lead playing and holding notes. It boasts a midrange boost that contributes to singing sustain, especially when playing solos. In the case of Klon, it delivers a unique sustain that reacts to how you play and responds to your playing dynamic. By taking advantage of Klon, you can make your notes bloom and improve sound quality at the same time. 

Build And Design

Tube Screamer features a straightforward design that makes use of a sturdy metal casing. It’s also small so it’s going to work well alongside other pedals, a big plus if you like using pedal chains. About Klon, it incorporates a durable metal enclosure and it is slightly bigger than Tube Screamer. As a whole, the elegant design of Klon and its fantastic golden finish make it an iconic overdrive pedal.

Playing Style

Tube Screamer is a solid choice for players looking for classic overdrive with midrange focus for rock and blues. It is especially useful for lead players as it helps solos stand out in most of the cases. For Klon, it’s well-suited for players that wish to preserve their guitar’s original tonal character while adding subtle overdrive. Needless to say, it’s held in high esteem by those that want their playing dynamics to shine and desire a touch-sensitive response.


The excellent availability of Tube Screamer means guitarists can locate it regardless of location, shopping budget, etc. Because of that, getting your hands on Tube Screamer should be a walk in the park. On the contrary, a combination of limited production and high demand makes it hard to acquire Klon. Even though a number of sources still sell Klon, the cost per unit is kind of high. 

Tube Screamer And Klon Control Manual


To put it plainly, the Drive control on Tube Screamer adjusts the amount of overdrive/distortion applied to the signal. You can either lower the settings to get a cleaner and boosted sound or increase the settings for more sustain and saturation. Start with the drive at the 9 o’clock position for classic bluesy crunch and apply adjustments from there. 

On Klon, the Gain control is what you use to manage the intensity of overdrive. The settings resemble that of Tube Screamer but you should start with the gain at about 8 o’clock for a transparent and clean boost.


The Tone control works the same for Tube Screamer and Klon: it shapes the tonal character of the overdrive. Turning it clockwise adds clarity and boosts highs and turning counterclockwise reduces highs for a smooth and warm sound. Noteworthily, you can get a balanced rock tone by setting the Tone control at the 12 o’clock position on Tube Screamer. Doing the same on Klon will let you retain your guitar’s natural tone. 

Feel free to tweak the control based on your guitar and amplifier to get the ideal tone for your music.


All in all, the Level control adjusts the pedal’s output volume. You should notice a drop in perceived volume as you increase the drive so it is wise to compensate via the Level control. Start by setting the level to match your clean sound and adjust it until you balance the clean and overdrive sounds. 12 o’clock is a good starting point for both Tube Screamer as well as Klon and you can fine-tune the settings from there.