Budget tubescreamers construction comparison: Joyo Vintage Overdrive vs Behringer Tube Overdrive TO800

This post briefly looks at comparing two of the budget favourites when it comes to classic sounding, mid boosting overdrive pedals. In the UK, both pedals can be found around the £20 mark second hand, and both use either a 9V battery or a standard centre-negative pedal power supply. Both are built in China, with an LED to show when they are activated. I haven’t attempted to compare the sound and noise performance of these two units (there are plenty of existing sound demos on YouTube), but rather look at the construction quality, and examine factors that may sway peoples’ decisions to use them in either home recording, rehearsal or performance environments.



Both pedals are in green livery to show that they were obviously ripping off  inspired by Ibanez / Maxon’s Tubescreamer pedals. The Behringer’s bodyshell is made from ABS plastic, whereas the Joyo is made from metal (feels light, so I am guessing some sort of zinc steel?)


Originally, both pedals had rubber on at the bottom, but I removed the one from the Joyo and added velcro for ease of pedalboard mounting. Both pedals’ casing are secured using four screws, with the Joyo’s have all four at the bottom, but the Behringer having two woodscrews at the bottom, and two small machine screws at the front of the pedal.


The thickness of the Joyo’s case can be seen in this photo, and the battery compartment is access via a plastic snap open door.



The Behringer has a more traditional BOSS style underfoot battery compartment. However, it requires two of the plastic pins to be push in and the ABS plastic “door” to be removed. This places strain on the hinges if a suitable tool couldn’t be found to push the pins in hard enough.


Comparing the switch operation of the two pedals, the Joyo uses a standard latching metal footswitch that has mounted onto the casing, with a positive click upon engagement. The Behringer however, uses a tiny PCB mounted shallow push switch, that is operated via a rubber stalk. The additional spring provides resistance against hard stamping. Neither the rubber nor the ABS tubing around the rubber itself looked particularly shock resistant.




Similarly, comparing the mounting of the potentiometers, the Joyo uses potentiometers with locking knobs, and is attached to the metal housing. The Behringer have the small bodied ones that have conductive plastic stalks. These are directly mounted onto the PCB with only the push-on knobs providing any sort of contact with the case. 



Finally opening up the backs of both pedals also affirms that the Joyo, although still possessing components that are directly mounted onto the board, have tried to isolate the board itself from any sort of stresses and strains from operation and impact, by mounting parts onto the housing where necessary. The Behringer appears to utilise more surface mount components (despite having many standard sized electrolytic capacitors), with the majority of the pedal’s weight being the metal baseplate.




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