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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer

Overdrive pedal from Ibanez belonging to the 9 series.

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King Loudness King Loudness

« The classic overdrive/boost »

Published on 09/02/11 at 21:52
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.
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