The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is one of the most imitated overdrive pedals in guitar history. It is a classic stompbox pedal that is simple and easy to use. It has gain, level, and tone knobs that allow you to configure the perfect sound for you. It is a reissue of the original TS9 by Ibanez, which can be heard on countless albums throughout the 1980s up until today.
Back in the early 1980s, Ibanez came out with its original TS9 stompbox distortion pedal. The quality was spot on, and guitar players everywhere basked in the glory that came through the signal. It was used by a vast array of musicians through the final two decades of the 20th century and has continued to be a staple on many professional guitar players' pedalboards ever since.
The TS9 was discontinued at a certain point, with little documentation as to why. Whether it was from an outcry of musicians, or a coming to the senses of Ibanez production staff, it was reissued back to the market in its original housing, casing, color, and component makeup. The new TS9 is even made in the same factory that the original stompbox pedal was made. It is about as authentic as a reissue can get with a distortion pedal.
The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer boasts simplicity in every way possible. The design, function, and reliability leave nothing to the imagination. It is incredibly user-friendly, making it one of the perfect pedals to put onto your pedalboard no matter what your skill level is.
The tone you get from the Tube Screamer is also pleasing and straightforward. It is not a fuzzy tone, or a whining, crying tone. Instead, it offers a sound that is smooth, elegant, and interdependent of that of your guitar and amp.
With simplicity, you get a level of control that you may not get with a more sophisticated set-up. It only has three knobs: a drive, tone, and level control. With the drive knob turned down, the pedal offers a slightly dirty rendition of the natural sound coming from the amp on a clean setting. However, it is still smooth and reminiscent of the guitar's natural flavors.
As you crank the gain knob, the tone stays just as smooth and complimentary, without going too far in the wrong direction, creating an excess string and pickup noise. While you work with the tone knob, from the lowest end to the highest, it stays well within the parameters of acceptable and pleasant.
This is the type of distortion pedal that should almost be considered a must-have for guitarists. The quality of sound you can get from the Tube Screamer is hard to match. It offers a pure tone and works in perfect unison with a decent quality amp and guitar.
Whether you're a lead or a rhythm player, this pedal offers everything you need. When you want to cut through the mix and show off your fretboard skills, it allows you to be heard without becoming too shrill. When you want to hang back and hold down the back rhythm, it will enable you to blend in and stay comfortable and stoic. The Ibanez TS9 is one of the most coveted pedals in the history of the electric guitar.
Along with the accolades that come with the Tube Screamer, it is well within the affordability range for any guitar player. You really can't go wrong.
+ Reliable, smooth tone
+ Simple design and function
+ Original design, casing, and set-up
- Not super versatile in tonal ability
- No savable presets
Why We Like It
It is pretty much a must-have for any pedalboard builder. The tone is spot-on for rock, metal, blues, and country music. It is super simple to use and has virtually no learning curve to figure out how to use it. The original seasick green design ads a retro tough and makes you feel like you're playing an original Tube Screamer from back in the 80s.
It is made in the same factory as the original TS9 and has all of the original design and set-up features. It is an authentic reissue that guitar players everywhere have been screaming about ever since Ibanez decided to grace the rock world with its presence once more.
It is quite affordable and leaves money in your pocket compared to other distortion pedals that you need to fork out for. It is not super fancy and gives you exactly what you want in terms of tone and capability.
The sound is super pleasing and smooth, and it works for both rhythm and lead players. If you're looking for a reliable distortion pedal to kickstart your pedalboard building, this could be the perfect place to start.
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