Our much-loved former columnist Jeff Bober returns to explain how to check and reset the bias of your amp’s output tubes—and delivers some potentially shocking warnings about a few common but dangerous techniques.

Hello again, Premier Guitar readers! It’s your old bud Jeff here, author of the once popular Ask Amp Man column. Editorial Director Ted Drozdowski asked me if I would be interested in writing about bias, and, of course, I said, “Sure, I know a thing or two about that!” So here I am, temporarily returning to these pages. Now, let’s get started.

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The father of the Tube Screamer dishes a refined take on the pedal that propelled an overdrive revolution with the Apex 808.

Fender Telecaster > black panel Fender Tremolux > Universal Audio OX with AC30 cabinet simulation > Apple Logic.
Rhythm track is Maxon with drive at 11 o'clock, level at 1 o'clock, and tone at one o'clock.
Lead guitar retains level at one o' clock, but cycles through drive levels at 7 o'clock, noon. 3 o'clock, and maximum gain.
Tone adjustments range from 11 o'clock to maximum.


Does all the things a great TS does with warmth and detail. Not overly compressed or nasal-sounding. Nice range in controls.

Pricey. Still very midrange focused, if that’s not your thing.


Maxon Apex 808


Ease of Use:


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