THE SCREAM

CLASSIC OVERDRIVE

This pedal is discontinued. Please check our dealers or our Reverb store for any remaining stock.

Schematic created by BuggFX

THE SCREAM is based on an overdrive pedal so ubiquitous that there’s probably one in your grandmother’s basement. Countless derivatives have been made from this core circuitry just by changing a few components. Our design allows you to re-create these sounds and find countless new ones with just the twist of a knob. Version 2 features our original HCC circuitry for new shades of tonal bliss.

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

THE SCREAM BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Variable HCC

Custom Alpha Pots

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Variable HCC circuitry allows you to fine tune the harmonics, compression, and clipping character of your tone.*

*Applies to SLA control only.

The GAIN, FAT, HARD, and SOFT controls are built in the USA with custom-designed tapers specifically for the Alpha Dog.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

PRP Audio Resistors

We used low noise, low inductance resistors made for audio circuits by Precision Resistive Products in the USA.*

*The Scream & The Scream TS9 only.

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 18V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

100K to 1M-ohm (set via internal trimpot)

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~10ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

21 RESISTORS

19 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

4 TRANSISTORS

13 DIODES

1 OP AMP

2 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
9 POTENTIOMETERS
3 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE SCREAM CAME TO BE

THE STORY

What pedal designer hasn't played with the TS808 tubescreamer circuit? I experimented with this circuit a lot in my hobby days, and through it I began to understand the physics of how audio circuits work. I remember hand-wiring a clone of this pedal with a 12-way clipping switch, bass switch, EQ switch, etc. Yet with all that craziness, that design still doesn't have the tonal flexibility of The Scream.

 

Variable HCC circuitry was the final step in achieving my original vision of creating a pedal that's like a mod kit...except this one comes fully assembled. Create your own modifications to the classic TS808 for a signature tone without any soldering involved.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of The Scream circuit:

 

#1 - When the current control layout was first created, the jacks wouldn't fit into the thinner enclosures we use now. So I combined two effects into one box. One of these pedals was called the Killer Rabbit, which combined the effects that became The Scream and Alpha Dog.

 

#2 From the very beginning, the feature set of The Scream has changed very little. Since the goal was to stay true to the circuit of the original TS808, but give the player control over every tone shaping section, only minor tweaks have been made over the years. Here is a list of possible features that may or may not be in one of the early, hand-painted The Scream pedals:

- Extended gain range

- Internal FREQ trimpot to adjust center frequency of TONE knob

- Extended range and/or adjusted taper of FAT and FILTER knobs

 

#3 All The Scream pedals with silkscreen graphic are pretty much the same internally. For a few months early on, the S - L - A switch was labeled in reverse, but internally all silkscreen The Scream pedals still function in the same way (left = S, right = A). The only tweak that was made during this version was a new, better tapered DRIVE control.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Extended gain & tonal range

- Custom taper FAT & FILTER pots make it easier to use

- Variable HCC control with infinite shades of harmonics, compression, and clipping characteristics

- American-made, audio-grade resistors

- Dual-Mode switching