TBX150H Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 02/04/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Ibanez: TBX150H
This incredibly high power amp head features 150 watts of solid state power for dependable performance gig after gig. Two discreet channels; Normal channel with foot-switchable overdrive and a hot channel with foot-switchable boost for face-melting solos.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Features: 8.3
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reviews (4) pictures (1) 17 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
TBX150H Reviewed by: `digitaL.braVo, on december 03, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: GuitarCenter Online

Features: The Tone Blaster Xtreme head has 2 solid-state channels switchable by hand or with the (separate, $50) 4 button foot Switch. It is 150w @ 4ohm, or 100w @ 8ohm and it regulates impedance all by itself (no switching necessary). The FX loop is front mounted, which may be an issue for some but I don't see it really mattering to me, and there is no headphone jack (Who expects one on a 150w head? ) The two channels are clean with switchable overdrive for a bit more dirt on the signal. The clean has the same EQ settings as the "Hot" channel: Gain, bass, mids (non-parametric), treble and reverb. The reverb is independent for each channel and foot switchable off/on. But NOT by hand. There is also an independent channel volume. The "Hot" channel comes loaded with gobs of gain. As above the Hot channel comes loaded with: Gain, bass, parametric-mids (so you can sweep what mid range you actually want), treble, reverb and, an independent channel volume. In lieu of overdrive, the Hot channel has an X-Mode feature that is hand/foot switchable. It increases treble and scoops the mids a bit. However I find this feature to be unappealing. It makes palm mutes have this vocal sound to them that isn't what I am looking for. For a solo, however, the X-mode really gets the extra treble from the amp. I personally pump this head @ 8ohms into an old Crate 4x12 cabinet. It has amazing low end, and if you remember that mid scooping is bad... then the sound is very thick and heavy. // 8

Sound: Through this, I'm using a Schecter Black Hawk guitar, tuned to either D standard or drop-C. I'm playing either metal, death metal or a pseudo-industrial metal. This map shines through perfectly. I have little experience with the clean channel. To be honest I mainly use it as a kill Switch for dead stops. But that's only because I haven't spent much time EQ-ing for a clean sound I like. So far the amp has always been used in a carpeted room, with me roughly 6' to 10' away, in this setting the most feed back I get is during dead-stops and at about 80% gain feedback is more of a glowing hum. In my (concrete floor) garage, I stand about 2' away and notice little undesirable feedback (that's important... as I find some to be intentional and creative). A friend of mine has used this amp on the Hot channel to pull off more classic-rock type sounds he likes. But I find the distortion goes from blues to the most br00talz death metal you can imagine, and just about everywhere in between. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I will admit I've only had this amp for about 2 months. But so far it's running as good as day 1. I'm not sure if I'd ever need a backup to be honest (guys Who hate solid-state contend otherwise) but I feel like one should have a backup for everything if gigging. The amp has a 5 year warranty. That's right. Get it registered the day after you buy it and you're set for a whole year if it fails. The foot Switch, despite coming with a warranty card, has no serial number so I wasn't able to figure out how to get a warranty on it... // 7

Overall Impression: The amount of gain this head is equipped with will satisfy any metal-head's taste for the grind. I have been playing guitar for a few years, and try to keep my setup as simple as I can. For the price I feel like this head was a steal (since the cabinet I received was actually free... ) so if you're a budget-pulled musician with a free cabinet lying around this head will do what you need and then some. I compared this to many an amp... and for my budget there just wasn't any amp good for the type of metal I play worth buying in my budget. I do not regret this purchase one bit! // 9

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overall: 9.5
TBX150H Reviewed by: Jairzinski, on august 03, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Casa Veerkamp

Features: First of all, it is a solid state amp, But A Good One. I really feel it gives a good overall sound that makes it versatile, not only for metal stuff but it lets get nice clean tones, blues tones in the overdrive channel and obviously some tasty metal tones out of the hot channel! I mainly play heavy metal, prog metal, thrash metal, prog rock, hard rock, classic rock, blues..well a lot of stuff and it does them all very well. It has 2 channels, both with independent boost. Clean channel with a warm overdriven boost and the hot channel with a high gain boost for solos ) It also features a HUE knob (I Dunno What It Means) and it allows you to make your tone sound brighter or darker, nice feature. I use this amp in my house at low volumes 'cause it is a BEAST. When playing live I don't even crank it up, i turn the volume at 12:00 and it makes everyone get crazy. You have 3 band eq in both channels, both with independent volumen, eq and reverb. The hot channel also includes a double knob (that's how I call it) which is a middle frequency knob with freq and level control wich really allows you to tweak differnt tones. // 9

Sound: I have two guitars, a cheap Squier affinity series with 3 single coils and a low profile Jackson (made in India). I was thinking about selling my Squier until I got this amp. It really makes it SCREEEAM and still getting clear tones in both clean and hot channel. On the other hand, the Jackson guitar doesn't sound that good on clean settings (because of the humbucker pickups, that's obvious) but squeals on the hot channel! Amazing tones out of this head. The distortion is the main feature of this amp and believe me, it's INSANE. It really makes few noise considering the amount of distortion you can get out of it. (I have the matching cab)You have 3 band eq in both channels, both with independent volumen, eq and reverb. The hot channel also includes a double knob (that's how I call it) which is a middle frequency knob with freq and level control wich really allows you to tweak differnt tones. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have never had to deal with it. So I can give it a 10; ) I Have Had This Amp For More Than A Year Though... Never had problems with it, until now... Have had problems with it because of my cheap cables, but it has nothing to do with the amp.. As I'm just a teenager, I don't have a backup amp (Money... Anyone? ), I just plug in this baby on stage and it sounds amazing. // 10

Overall Impression: As I have already said, I play different kinds of metal, rock, etc. It really gets the job done. I have been playing for about 5 years I think. I also own a Boss MT-2 which I never use with this amp, it delivers all the distortion I need. In the FX Loop I use a Boss BF-3 Flanger; it sounds very cool with crazy flanging settings; an Ibanez Weeping Demon wah and a MXR Carbon Copy Delay ( Sometimes I use it directly into the amp because it colours a lil' bit the tone because of the analong sounds and I like it) If this amp got stolen I would buy something different honestly..because I bought here in Mexico and it is way more expensive (That Sucks!). // 10

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overall: 8.3
TBX150H Reviewed by: Waylanderau, on august 31, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1000

Purchased from: Ellaways Underwood

Features: 100% Solid State 2 Channels; Clean and Hot with 2 modes for each channel, overdrive for the Clean channel and "X Mode" for the Hot channel. Independant reverb for each channel. Channel, channel mode and reverb switchable from either the front panel or 4 button footswitch (not included) 150 Watt @ 4 ohms 100 @ 8 ohms I bought this head as part of a package with the matching slant front cabinet (4 ohm) As far as I know RRP for the package in Oz is $1195 but Ellaways hacked $195 off without batting an eyelid so don't be afraid to haggle. Each channel is laid out in the same format with the same set of controls: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Reverb Level and Volume. The Hot channel adds a concentric Mid Frequency control to the Mid level knob that contributes greatly to it's versatility. The amp also features a master Hue control that functions a presence control for both channels. // 8

Sound: I have 2 guitars I run through this head, and LTD M-200FM and an Epiphone LP Studio, both stock. The LTD is usually tuned to Drop B and the Epiphone to everything else. I play in a Melodic Death/Core band and this amp fits the bill admirably, my main weapon of choice being the Hot channel but the Clean gets a work out too. The clean channel is very useable, lacking much of the brittleness I've seen in my other solid state gear and the addition of a gain control gives you access to some nice warmer sounds, which while not being as smooth as you might expect from a good valve amp are still very useable. The Overdive mode on the clean channel is a somewhat lack-lustre, not bad as such but it does sound a little thin at times. It works fine for someone like myself Who's main focus is metal and heavier styles but does like amuse themself with classic rock and blues on occasion. Summed up: Useable but if you're looking for something that shines in the clean to moderate gain arena this is probably not your amp. The Hot channel is where this amp really shines. The ammount of gain on tap here is simply terrifying, I usually have the gain control at about 2 o'clock and this provides more face melting awesomeness than any other amp I've ever owned. The level of tone shaping available is also quite impressive, the mid frequency control being the secret to getting the most out of this amp. I've found that keeping the bass control at about 12 o'clock and boosting the lower mid frequencys works wonderfully to achieve a very thick, heavy sound without being boomy or interfering too much with the bass player's end of the spectrum. The X mode function I have to say was frankly dissapointing, seeming to simply suck out all the low end and spike some of the mid frequencys, giving it an almost wah-like vowel sound at times. Although I can see the change in the sound being useful as a lead boost the lack of any kind of volume boost, either controlable or set makes it largely useless for this purpose. This amp gets pushed reasonably hard at rehersals, my band being blessed (possibly) with the loudest drummer I've ever worked with. So far the head has done great, not needing to be pushed even to half way to compete with the reast of the band, I have also been impressed with the way it maintains it's tonal character at high volumes. The other guitar player is using a Peavey XXX head and the Ibanez has gone toe to toe with it in terms of both volume and sound quality. // 8

Reliability & Durability: So far no isues although it's a little early to say with certainty. Being solid state I'm fairly confident that withstanding some huge accident or manufacturing fault there will be no problems. If no problems reveal themselves in over the next couple of months I'd be happy gigging without a backup. // 9

Overall Impression: Let me be blunt: I freakin love this amp, it's makes exactly the sound I'm looking for and it fits into my band's sound and style perfectly. Before I bought this amp I tried out a fair number of other makes and models: Line 6, Randall, Marshall, Laney, Bugera to name a few and this amp outstripped them all. To sum up, I'd say that if you're looking for the ultimate in versatility or a smokin' blues/rock machine then this amp is probably not your bag. However if you're a player focused on heavier styles and you're looking for tone, volume and plently of control over your sound with the flexability to dabble in other styles then this is an affordable, well built amp that punches way, way above it's weight class. // 8

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overall: 8.3
TBX150H Reviewed by: X V I I, on february 04, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 530

Purchased from: Gilliam (Local store)

Features: Comes loaded with features for something in the price range. Two independent channels, both of which can be manipulated with the foot pedal (sold separately, unfortunately..). Each channel has a "boost" mode (Overdrive on "normal" channel, X Mode on "Hot") that give a little more bite to the sound and slightly tweak EQ. The Overdrive mode is a volume/gain boost that really makes the clean channel sing, and the X Mode boosts the hot channel's mids and treble, making it ideal for smooth soloing. It has an effects loop that is right on the front of the amp, which I find easier to deal with than rear mounted ones. Most unique features are the hue knob and the parametric mids on the hot channel. The hue knob is similar to a presence control, and the parametric EQ allows you to really dial in different tones. Also, there are two inputs for the foot switch; one allows you to change channels and toggle reverb, the other toggles channels and "boost" modes. // 8

Sound: Currently playing a Schecter Gryphon with GHS 11-50's in D or C standard, and a project Ibanez 7 string with an 81-7, all through the IS412C matching cabinet. The amount of low end this amp puts out is incredible, and to be honest, at times obnoxious. I find that a setting of 7 to be enough when at louder volumes, otherwise I overpower the bassist. That being said, this amp is targeted at metal guitarists, which it handles amply, but is capable of a plethora of other sounds. More versatile that most would expect from a solid state, I play anything from Melo-Death to straight up Death metal, blues jams every now and then, and even a little classic rock. The hot channel is equipped with enough gain for anyone. At 10, the distortion is ready to blister unsuspecting band-mates, but hardly and real feedback through my passive Duncan Designed (plenty of feedback on the EMG, mainly due to some wiring problems that I'm working on). Yet at lower settings, can really accentuate your playing, and make an old-school lick a la Page come to life. The clean channel's actually really good. Can be tweaked every which way but Tuesday thanks to the independent EQs and hue control. Reverb isn't studio quality, but isn't necessarily lacking either. Has the potential to be an extremely versatile amp, but needs a fair amount of time in front the amp tweaking the EQ. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This thing's a rock. I've owned it for about 3 years now, and the only thing wrong with it is from haulin' around, a few scratches (very few) hear and there, but otherwise like new. It's been well used and traveled, and still looks and sounds as good as it did the day I bought it. Seeing as how sturdy this thing is, and as I don't have a back up, I would definitely gig without a spare. // 9

Overall Impression: I really think that this could be a great amp for anyone who needs something a little "bigger". A wide range of tones and sounds on board, not to mention the effects loop, which takes whatever pedals you throw at it incredibly well; currently using a Boss Loopstation in the loop, and a Crybaby inline with the guitar, and it sounds great. Have used some DigiTech multi-effects and a Boss MD-70 (I think) and the amp loved them. I've been playing for 8 years now, and I can say that this amp is really a Diamond in the rough. Durable, loud, versatile, it does everything you ask it to, and then some. It's not the 6505 that I really want (because the 2X12 is alot easier to move around and has a sound I love), nor is the 6505 a TBX150H. I think people bash on the amp because of its market and how they're set up. Admittedly, the only cab I've played it through is the IS412C slant cabinet that I bought with the head. But it really accentuates the tone of the head, and I can only imagine how it would sound with some slightly better speakers. The only real downfalls are that the foot Switch comes separately (I paid $30 for mine) and that being a cab/head combo, it can be very tedious to move around (Is relatively light, just takes up space), but is bearable. I honestly can't say that I'm the least bit dissatisfied with the amp. I nearly bought a Mesa Triple Rec but ended up buying this to save money. I'm glad I did. // 8

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