TS9B Bass Tube Screamer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (5 votes)
Ibanez: TS9B Bass Tube Screamer

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: MADAPE Ebay

Sound — 9
I use a MusicMan Stingray5 Markbass Little Mark III Shroeder 1212L Dunlub Crybaby Bass Wah Joyo Compressor. I use this pedal at the end of the chain with the compressor right in front of it. This way I have a nice clean tone and when I click on the TS9B I get a nice grit with a slight boost that can go to a cruchy grind if I hit at the strings harder. If the TS9B is on when I click on the compressor, I get a bit more grit and a nice tubey growl. With both of these clicked on, the Bass Wah sounds like a pulsating chainsaw - its effing AWESOME! It's not noisy. I Imagine dialing the Drive knob to maximum will produce some hiss but like I said, its not made for that. It's not a true bypass pedal so there is just the tiniest change to your clean sound when bypassed but it doesn't bother me. I only use three pedals so I don't have enough to really make a difference to tone when bypassed so the small change (That no-one else on earth can hear but me) is acceptable.

Overall Impression — 10
I play funk, blues, blues funk and funk blues and soul. I also do some alternative hard rock/Metal sort of stuff. I've been playing for 15 odd years and have done everything from easy listening rock to crazy funk metal. My passion is funk - Hey, I like to show off he he. I also play guitar and have a tube screamer clone that makes my little tube amp sound amazing which is why I bout the TS9B without even hearing it and despite some of the crap reviews it gets. The other one I was looking at was the Catalinbread SFT but I just kept coming back the TS9B. If it were lost or stolen (and could afford it) I would definitely by another one. My whole rig is pretty mid oriented and the TS9B really punches out the mids nicely and REALLY suits my rig. I tried a few other ones such as the Boss ODB but it was horrible. Its a great pedal but it sounded bad with my rig. The VT Bass by Sansamp is great for my rig but not really the sound I like. I kind of wish it was a true bypass pedal and if I find some spare cash in the future I may just pay for it to be converted but it's not a real issue. Bottom line: If you wan a nice, responsive and touch sensitive overdrive that you can tweak into a nice grind to a full blown growl then go for it, you wont be disappointed. If you want a balls out crazy face melting distortion, get a Big Muff ;-)

Reliability & Durability — 10
Its a solid metal, emerald green box. I Imagine after 50 gigs, throwing it into gig bags, stepping on it with a variety of shoes, thongs, feet and ice-skates, this thing might develop a few character scars and trophies of individuality but that's kind of what makes having pedals so cool. The knobs and the switch aren't as hardcore as the case but they're not obtrusive enough to get damaged too easily. I'm pretty sure it will be fine. So far dependability is fine but considering the way I use it, I could get through a gig without it if I had to. The way I play and the way this pedal shines is that it's designed to be noticed once it stops.

Ease of Use — 8
I plugged this thing in without touching the knobs and liked the sound I got immediately. I'm playing a MusicMan Stingray Five String through a Markbass Little Mark III into a Schroeder 1212L. I'd heard that these sort of overdrive pedals only really work well with passive basses into tube amps but it sounds great through my rig. I don't use it for face melting crunch or metal etc and it's not really made for that but when I need a touch-sensitive overdrive the breaks up just right and cuts through the mix without getting lost in mud - this is the one I use.

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