Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

TS9 Tube Screamer, Overdrive pedal from Ibanez in the 9 series.

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All user reviews for the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

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jkessel04/30/2012

jkessel's review"Perfect from vintage blues to boosted modern metal"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
This pedal's been around for decades and has been used by almost every professional guitarist at one point or another. Used either as a slight overdrive or as a boost to push a tube amp harder this pedal is very versatile.

UTILIZATION

My only real complaint about this pedal is the LED is very dim. Unless you're on a dark stage and in direct vision it's very hard to see if it's on or off. There are mods to replace it with a brighter one, but stock it's not ideal. Other than that it's great, haven't ever had any problems and I've owned a few. Switch has never gone bad, knobs never get static-y, and jacks have never cut out. Pretty solid pedal.

SOUND QUALITY

This pedal has a pretty natural tone, sounds pretty similar to a real overdriven tube amp. There's a slight mid boost to it which helps cut through other instruments as well as filling out the tone a bit. With the gain high and volume around half it gives a natural overdriven tone, similar to Steve Ray sounds. With the gain at minimum to half and the volume maxed it works as a boost. Put in front of a tube amp it'll push the amp harder resulting in even more overdrive than just either by themselves. Most modern metal bands prefer to use one as a boost into a high gain amp. The mid boost again fills out the tone a little along with helping cut through the mix. It also helps tighten the low end which is crucial for faster music along with low tuned guitars.

OVERALL OPINION

I've owned a few of these over the years and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to buy another if anything happened to this one. It's very solid built, looks and sounds great, and is a pedal that always stays in my chain regardless of what kind of music I'm playing. I'd recommend it to anyone playing jazz, blues, all the way to rock and metal.
Fireguy840212/23/2011

Fireguy8402's review"Too much of a Mid Hump!"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
The Ibanez tubescreamer TS-9 is about as basic of an overdrive pedal you are going to find out there. One tone knob to adjust the EQ of the pedal, one knob for overall volume, and one knob for the amount of gain, that’s it. It’s the tried and true seasick green color, and supposedly uses the same factory, components and housing as that of the original Tubescreamers. Input impedance of 500 Kohms, output impedance of 10 Kohms, maximum output level of 0dBm, maximum gain of +30dB, and equivalent input noise of –100dBm (IHF-A). The pedal can be powered by 9 volt batter or external AC adapter. Dimensions of the pedal are 4.9" x 3" x 2" and it weighs about a pound and a half.

UTILIZATION

The pedal is built very sturdy, with a nice stomp plate switch exactly like the original 9 series from Ibanez. I have never heard any issues with quality control on these pedals like I have the cheaper 7 series that uses a different switch design. I wouldn’t worry about this one breaking on you. It’s a very straightforward layout and the knobs seem sturdy and hold your settings well. The housing and jacks are metal and seem like they would hold up to a good amount of abuse.

SOUND QUALITY

This pedal really does nothing for me in this department. It is one of the most copied pedals out there, if not THE most copied pedal and honestly some of the clones I’ve picked up does the sound much better. This pedal has a decent quality of drive, but the EQ section kills me. It does have a tone pot that allows for minimal tweaking but no matter how you turn it, there is a built in midrange hump to this pedal. It does allow the pedal to be used for a solo boost, and in that sense it does very well, but as a straight up overdrive it leaves a lot to be desired in my eyes (and ears).

OVERALL OPINION

Overall this pedal is built very well and should stand the test of time in the durability department. Unless you like a very midrange heavy overdrive or have an amp that is equalized to handle the pedal, I would only suggest using this pedal as a solo boost into an already overdriven tube amp. I feel this pedal is overpriced based on it’s name and the number of artists who have used it. I feel that there are several copies of this pedal that do it’s thing just as well or better for far less money. If I were looking for a Tubescreamer sound in mass produced pedal, I would urge you to take a look at other options like the far less expensive Bad Monkey by Digitech. This pedal is pretty much a tubescreamer with four knobs, including a two band eq. Separating the high and low end of the tone knob really allows the user to get a more detailed sound, makes the pedal more versatile, and it comes in at less than half the price of the TS-9. Overall the TS-9 is a decent pedal for a boost or a mid heavy overdrive, but there are just far better clones for less money.
King Loudness09/02/2011

King Loudness's review"The classic overdrive/boost"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
The Ibanez TS-9 is a modern reissue of the ever popular TS808 Tube Screamer introduced by Ibanez in the early eighties as their take on the perfect pedal to get a nice subtle soft overdrive sound, or perhaps to push your cranked Marshall stack into sonic oblivion. Either way, the original (as used by noted players like Stevie Ray Vaughan) was a hit and vintage examples on the market regularly sell for big bucks. The TS-9 was introduced by Ibanez a number of years back to capture some of that magic from the original TS808, but bring it into the modern age and price it so that a wider demographic of players could afford to own one.

It's basically an overdrive pedal that has a fairly low gain level - perfect for soft bluesy overdrive tones as well as boosting an already overdriven amplifier. Nothing more, nothing less. It's able to be powered by batteries or an AC adapter - a great plus for modern players.

UTILIZATION

Setting up the TS-9 to go is very straightforward. There are only three knobs which are Drive, Tone, and Level. The Level controls the pedal's overall output, the Tone controls the frequency at which the pedal sits (it sweeps from a bassier sound to a more trebly one) and the Drive control adds more gain or saturation to the pedal. It's certainly very simple to use and many players from young to old have had one of these at one time or another and used extensively, so it definitely hasn't suffered any backlash due to "user error." Sometimes people mod these pedals to attain a different tonal character too.

SOUND QUALITY

The TS-9 Tube Screamer sounds great with many different guitars. Using it into a clean amp such as a Fender Twin or Deluxe yields some great low gain and very dynamic bluesy tones that are perfect for S.R.V type tones if you're using a Strat type guitar, or for even thicker bluesy tones if you're using a Gibson such as a Les Paul or an ES-335. If you run it into an amplifier that's already distorted in some form the pedal simply adds more gain to the amp, allowing it to get the desired amount of gain that you want, but may not be able to get out of the older amps (IE: Marshall JMP) that really need that extra volume to get the gain out of them. It's definitely a versatile pedal that works for many settings. About the only thing it doesn't do is standalone high gain tones, but there are mods out there online that can turn the TS-9 into a firebreathing high gain machine.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think the Ibanez TS-9 is a great reissue of the classic TS808 Tube Screamer. For those players looking for a great boost that has good dynamics, a pure and true tone and excellent signal quality, the TS-9 is definitely worth a shot. At about $120 new, they're priced fairly for a new unit, though if you shop around online they can be had cheaper.
killerkgprime08/30/2011

killerkgprime's review"The only OD you'll ever need."

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
As one other review said, the TS9 is legendary. It is easily the most recognizable and used OD on the market, and this little green box has pushed the amps of practically everyone that uses an OD to get a dirty sound, or to give their already gained out tone a kick in the nuts! With 3 knobs, level, drive, and tone, it's a simple pedal to use, and delivers a smooth yet aggressive OD that is very musical and midrangey.

UTILIZATION

The TS9's knobs get a decent amount of tonal variation, but they are all variations on a theme, namely a muscly, thick overdrive that can add quite alot of hair to a clean tone, or give a gained out tone a sear and bite like no other overdrive can. Roll the tone back and get fat Queen/Cream tones. Roll it up and let some Lynch fly, it's all in this one little box!

This thing is solid too, I've never had any issues with the TS9 cosmetically, electronically, etc.

SOUND QUALITY

The TS9 does color the sound, but in a positive way. I usually keep mine on all the time if I'm running through my Orange Tiny Terror. This OD pedal will make your tone more aggressive. It will lend a thicker and more cutting tone to single note lines while still retaining an organic sound and feel.

When engaged, the bottom end feels tighter, and the highs cut right through a band mix.

When the TS9 is used as a clean boost, it performs admirably. It makes everything fatter, rounder and tighter, and imparts just enough gain for sustain without actually sounding hairy.



OVERALL OPINION

I love my TS9, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an OD or distortion pedal regardless of musical style. This pedal will do it all. It's build to last a lifetime, and the bright green won't get lost on stage! I'd get an adapter for it, as the sound quality degrades the weaker the battery gets. It eats cheap 9 volts though, so don't skimp!
denied07/31/2011

denied's review"The legend itself"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
- Controls for volume, tone, gain
- Buffered bypass
- Powered by 9v battery or Boss style adapter
- LED indicator
- Easy battery access
- JRC chips
- Compact
-Durable


UTILIZATION

Very standard OD control, volume, tone, and gain. This is one of the more basic OD pedals on the market, and is a piece of cake to set up and use. I’ve never experienced any kind of reliability issues or anything like that. The bypass is buffered and can be converted to true bypass pretty easily.
It makes a pretty good boost, just set the volume all the way up, and roll off the gain completely. It sounds exceptionally good with a dying battery, some power supplies will even have a voltage bleed on them to mimic that.


SOUND QUALITY

You’ve heard this pedal countless times before. Rich and thick OD. Not really any kind of high gain pedal, but just good solid bluesy drive. Starts out pretty creamy, and can get quite gritty with the drive dialed up. Use it to push your amp right to the edge of breakup, or as a standalone drive unit. It has an inherent mid hump in it, so works really well as a boost. It can tighten up any high gain setup, and really helps you cut through the mix.

OVERALL OPINION

This is the sound that you’ve heard on countless albums and the pedal you can expect to see on every other board. That said, it’s worth noting that there are quite a few different versions of this one. There is quite a bit of discussion about the differences between the older ones and the current production TS9s. In my own opinion, it is a lot easier to go after one of the tubscreamer variations currently on the market, than try to track down or pay an arm and a leg for a vintage one. Most high end pedal companies make really nice variations on the tubescreamer circuit. Some of my favorites are the Diamond J Drive and the Lovepedal Kanji.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are something like three component variations between the TS7, TS9, and TS808, so it’s pretty easy to mod between them. If you’re after a TS808 but tight on cash, you might want to consider modding the substantially cheaper TS7 to 808 specs.
tjon90105/26/2011

tjon901's review"A time tested pedal that adds to your tone"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Ibanez began making effects pedals in the 70s. Back most Ibanez's were copies of other stuff. The Pedals Ibanez was making back then were all copies of MXR pedals. Ibanez got their first hit with the Tube Screamer. The Ibanez Tube Screamer at the time was way more responsive to dynamics than all the other overdrive pedals of the time. It has been used by all sorts of players from metal players to blues players. Anyone who wants a little more drive or tightness to their amps can use the Tube Screamer. The little green box is an icon now and is found in many pedal boards and racks.

UTILIZATION

The Tube Screamer reissue is pretty much identical to the old 80s one. The color is the same and the knobs are the same. It has the same controls for Level, Drive and Tone. It has a red LED that will tell you if the pedal is on or not and it can be powered by a AC adapter or a standard 9 volt battery. With pedals I always recommend using them with an AC adapter.

SOUND QUALITY

Some people say the reissues are not as smooth than the originals or they are harsher. I think these people are just mad that there is a reissue out of their favorite pedal. The type if resistors used has changed over time but the general construction and design of the unit is unchanged. With the volume on full and the drive at the minimum setting the Tube Screamer can be used as an excellent clean boost. Stevie Ray Vaughan used a Tube Screamer like this. It also works well for dirty sounds. You can really tighten up an old Marshall with a little kick from a Tube Screamer. When used for its overdrive ability the Tube Screamer also shines. It can be used to help get good tones out of an amp at low volumes. Most players use the Tube Screamer as a boost on top of the amps gain.

OVERALL OPINION

The Tube Screamer is the standard for all general purpose overdrive pedals. It has an infinite number of applications it can be used for. If can be used for just its gain or as a clean boost. It can be used to tighten up the gain of an already dirty amp or it can be used as a dirty channel on a clean amp. If you are looking for a good solid overdrive pedal that will give you a good solid sound the Tube Screamer is the way to go. There is a reason why so many pro's have a spot for a TS in their rigs.
glassjaw703/27/2011

glassjaw7's review"Good overdrive, but nowhere near the best"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is a classic. It's synonymous with rock and blues guitar tone almost to the extent that Marshall or Mesa Boogie are...well ok, maybe not to that extent. This overdrive pedal is widely recognized by musicians and non-musicians alike though, as a staple in any guitarist's rig. This is the "other" little green stomp box (the original being the Ibanez TS808)

Ibanez used several different op amp chips throughout the years (whatever was laying around, lol) and the results were that some TS9s sounded better than others. I believe the chip that was intended was the JRC4558 that was used in the more consistent (and much better sounding in my opinion) TS808. There is a reason why so many people mod their TS9s to 808 specs...

It's a simple pedal: foot switch and three knobs, which control drive, tone and level.

The TS9 is powered by a 9 volt battery or standard 9 volt AC adapter.



UTILIZATION

This pedal is extremely easy to use, though not always easy to dial in a pleasing sound with every rig. The tone control can be a bit finicky.

SOUND QUALITY

The TS9 debuted in the early 80's as a variation of the TS808. The circuits of the two units are similar, but the sounds are not. Someone stated in another review that the differences in tone between the TS9 and 808 are subtle, when in actuality they are quite different sounding, as one listen will tell.

The 808 has a very transparent and smooth character due to its Japanese JRC4558 chip. It isn't harsh or bright, and has a very musical and pleasing tone and is still the standard box that most of the boutique builders copy! The TS9 in comparison, is very bright and much thinner sounding, with less transparency, and more obnoxious biting high end sound. It doesn't sound as thick as the 808, and doesn't provide the smooth and singing, violin-like lead sounds that the 808 can provide.

Many players have coaxed fantastic blues sounds out of the TS9. This is especially possible through thick and dark sounding amps, as the thin and bright character of the TS9 adds just the right amount of bite and grit to turn a Fender or Boogie clean sound into a gnarly stinging blues tone.

Another strength of the TS9 is its boosting capabilities for rock and metal where tightness and clarity are needed in distortion tones. The TS9 is a great unit for boosting an already distorted amp into that pushed realm, and simultaneously cleaning up the bottom end response, and adding some presence. However, I feel that only certain amps, preferably dark and muddy ones, benefit from this boost sound. If an amp already has a bright and present character, the TS9 may be too crispy and biting and may warrant unpleasant results.

The 808 is a much more well-rounded boost, and provides the same benefits with none of the drawbacks.

One other important thing to note about the TS9 is the range of the Tone control. I found that it was really only usable in the 7:00-11:00 positions. Anything more than that produced very bright and unpleasant sounds. The high end frequencies in this thing are just too piercing.

OVERALL OPINION

The TS9 has been heard on many great recordings and can be used effectively as a rock/metal boost, or a straight up blues overdrive. That said, I feel that there are literally hundreds of better overdrives on the market, and one of them (possibly one of the best ever) is the TS9's big brother, the TS808.

Skip this one and go for the ultimate in overdrive, the TS808.
nickname00903/27/2011

nickname009's review"a classic overdrive! "

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

The TS-9 has been a staple overdrive pedal for many years. It's been reissued, and modified and reissued, and then copied, and then reinvented etc. It goes on!
The one i'm reviewing is just a standard reissue, not the ts 808 version which, for years has been said to be the better sounding with the original circuit. Though I try not to get mixed up in all of that, it just confuses the hell out of me. The difference is so subtle that you'd have to own both or be a/bing both to notice the difference.

UTILIZATION

Simple and easy to use.

Tone shape the overall sound from 'dark' to 'bright'

Level controls the overall output

Drive controls the overall amount of gain.

This is an overdrive pedal, and can be used in mainly 3 ways.

1. As a clean boost

2. As a bluesy overdrive

3. As a high-gain/metal boost!

SOUND QUALITY

1. As a clean boost:

Decent, though though not transparent in terms of being a clean boost. It adds mids which is subjective to how you have everything else set. It can also add dirt.

2. As a bluesy overdrive:

Great! Listen to some live SRV for the bluesy tones to die for! Mixed in with just the right amount of dirt through a strat or humbucker equipped guitar and a decent tube amp you'll get some great classic blues sounds.

3. As a high gain/metal boost:

Awesome with modern amps! A lot of metal amps today have a naturally scooped sound. Boosting the signal with a TS9 brings back some mids, not too much, but just enough to get a very saturated, yet clear distortion. Of course it adds noise as do all other overdrive pedals used in this type of situation. For years, this has been one of the main ways to go for achieving a great saturated metal tone. I personally prefer it for only modern sounding amps, for vintage amps I prefer the sd-1. The TS and the sd-1 are like polar opposites, so they should be used as so.


OVERALL OPINION

This is a great product that retains its used value as it's one of the most impersonated overdrive pedals out there today.

Known for both blues use and high gain metal, it's quite versatile! Though it is not true bypass. It is still very good at what it does.

Good, sturdy, reliable and consistent tone!
iamqman03/18/2011

iamqman's review"Classic guitar tone Staple"

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Probably the most used stomp box overdrive on the planet. Anyone from small clubs to arenas have played this little green box. I have been using this pedal now for bout 6 years. It has remained on my pedal board since I got it in the mail.

I decided to pick one up that has been modified by Mike at Analogman effects. I got the silver mod which I guess adds more low end. He says most guys wouldn't be able to tell the difference and this mod is for the picky. I probably couldn't tell the difference in this and the brown mod that he offers. I have not matched this up against the regular mod but I really found a good box for what I am doing musically. I am able to get great warm and driving tone when slamming the front of my overdriven amp and also just giving a clean amp a little hair.

UTILIZATION

This pedal is very easy to use. It has three knobs consisting of Drive, Tone, and Level. There are several different variations when using this pedal. You can use it in front of a clean amp with the gain on high and it gives a nice smooth overdrive suitable for classic rock and pop. You can also lower the gain to almost nothing and the level up to slam the front of of a Marshall style amp that is already overdriven to give it a pissed off Marshall tone. You'll get a good 80's tone throwing this in front of a JCM800 with a clean boost to the TS9. Keep the tone around the middle and bring the level all the way up and the drive all the way to 9:00. It just screams 80's hair metal.

SOUND QUALITY

There have been so many clones and knock offs of this pedal. Some good and some not so good, but that just goes to show how important this pedal has become to modern music.

I ran this in various different configurations. My favorite was with a Strat into a Fender Hot Rod. I put a Line 6 DL4 in between and got some great smooth and rich tone with this combo. It was suitable for church playing and fit really well in the mix. Another favorite was using it in from of a Marshall JCM2000 on the clean channel. This pedal gave it enough drive to really give a nice Zeppelin tone or AC/DC type tones. I was very happy with this setting and pretty much kept it there when using it with this amp.

OVERALL OPINION

I would like to give it a perfect but the reissues need some tweaking to sound closer to the originals. I like the mod that I had done on it and it fits well with the sound I'm going for. It is probably my go to pedal when it comes to getting a little bit more hair on my tone. I also like the Boss Sd-1 and OD-2 for similar applications.

I would buy this pedal again if I ever lost it or it got stolen. I think I would go with the 808 version or the DX which I prefer just a little bit over the three knob TS9.

I would recommend this pedal to anyone who plays guitar. It is must own and I cannot live without it. I think the price is very fair for the pedal and with the mod at $160. Many other pedals start at that price and your paying for the boutique price rather than the functionality and economics.
moosers08/09/2009

moosers's review

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
The Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer is an analog overdrive pedal designed for use with electric guitar.  It has both a 1/4 inch input and output and is powered by either a nine volt battery or power supply.  It isn't rackable as it is a foot pedal.

UTILIZATION

The configuration of the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer is extremely easy to follow as it simply has three knobs for controlling the sound of the effect.  The pedal has parameters for drive, tone, and level, each of which will change your sound pretty drastically if you move it the full distance that it can go either way.  Even if you don't have any experience with distortion pedals, this one is a good place to start as it is easy to use and is a classic.  I don't have the manual for this pedal, but one isn't needed as the pedal is easy enough to use without one.

SOUND QUALITY

The sound quality of the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer is overall pretty awesome.  This pedal has made a name for itself for a reason because it has its own unique tone.  To me it has the perfect amount of crunch and drive as it isn't too heavy for my taste and is really great for rhythm guitar as well as lead.  The small amount of parameters makes it easy to dial in a good tone and even though there are only three parameters you can still get a good amount of differing sounds from this pedal.  Every guitar player should experience the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer by at least trying it out!

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer every since I started playing guitar about eight years ago.  It is the quintessential overdrive pedal and definitely lives up to its name and hype.  It isn't all that expensive and is really a great deal considering how great this pedal sounds and how easy it is to use.  If you are playing any type of music and need a great overdrive pedal, the Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer is a great place to start looking for one and chances are you will stop at this.