THE HAIR BALL
BY LYLE ZAEHRINGER
Most guitarists are familiar with the sound and concept of the famous
Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer. But while it
has become a must-have for blues-rock players and SRV fans, it’s easy to forget how versatile the TS-808 was in its original incarnation. The Tube Screamer could enhance technical metal riffage or lend a subtle boost to
jazz lines just as easily as it could add grit to
Texas blues. That range is part of what makes
the original TS-808 so valuable and why it
spawned so many clones and variations.
The Dallas Rangemaster treble booster is
a similarly misunderstood, or underutilized,
effect in many respects. And while it’s most
famous for adding a slashing quality to solos
by Rory Gallagher and Brian May, it can lend
presence and cut to rhythm parts as well.
For all of its functionality, the Hairball
comes in a relatively compact enclosure. The
pedal’s wacky cartoon graphics (how can you
not love a pedal featuring a barfing feline?) are
applied to the face of the unit with a poly-
urethane-coated dome label that will certainly
stand out on your pedalboard.
Switchable Treble Boost