Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: AMS
Sound — 10
I love this box and I look forward to getting the white OD TK999OD model if it is half as good as this puppy it will be a sweet pedal. This is my fav gain box and I am not easy to please in that arena. Please understand, high gains are made for clean channels not gained up channels. Do not use it wrong or under power it and offer complaints. Use it as designed and be prepared for some glorious tube gain. Dist quality is as good as it gets, you can adjust the unit from any range of metal to heavy Zep like tones. It is not designed to clean up via the dist knob but does like all tube circuits with guitar vol. I do not find rolling off my guitar vol to be useabel option for me but some might. I find it to be really quiet, and just an all out tone monster. The special "void" noise reduction knob is there to tighten up the bass for all out metal chuga palm mute tones. Most of the time I keep it just on. Lots of low end and lots of mids and high ranges, everything is there, just tweak to your tone. Dist is full on tube gain and sounds better than any other high gain I use. I think it sounds better than my high gain tube channels. It can mimic a Satchurator voice but in an A/B this better and it can do much more. Put a light gain OD in front of it and it sings to the heavens.
Overall Impression — 10
It's hard to say something is the best. I have been playing for decades and have used about everything. As a high gain dist using a real tube pushing high voltage inside, I cannot imagine what you are going to find better than this pedal, and at $150, please..., it is a steal. Some dislike the Diamond shaped orientation of the box complaining of pedal board space, seriously??? Turn the box like I did and integrate it. This is real and true 10 level box!!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I was impressed my this unit before I took it out of the box or saw it. It is heavy and one gets the immediate sense you are holding a quality design and build. The color is deep and rich and a quality job. Ibanez does not disapoint. The pics do not really do it justice, yes it is larger than most most but is has a transformer inside to step the voltage up. Using a "real" tube at a 9v or even 12v level is really not getting what a tube does. By the way, you will love the way Ibanez has the tube visable and the way it lights up, looks HOT and sounds hot! Some complain to toss the tube; really..., stop listening to all these Jr players and their tube myths. There is NO discerable difference in any 12AX7 at this level of gain, PERIOD. The EH is a highly rated 12AX7 the same basic price as a Tung Sol which I use a lot. The Tung Sol might have a slightly better potential noise level and less microphonic rating but you are wasting your time and voiding your warrenty digging in there to change a perfectly great tube. If you want to try another tube w less gain then why mess with this box, Your interests would be served better on the OD model.
Ease of Use — 10
This is a supurb pedal in quality and tone. Hard to get a bad sound out of it, although some can't seem to understand you do not power this off a brick or budget daisy chain. This is a 12v high current 400mA unit and it requires the supply Ibanez provides for the unit OR one that can sustain 12v and 500mA. The voltage is stepped up inside this unit to a 100v which is more than any tube dist or OD pedal I know. Sure it is not a 300v amp plate voltage but it is a floor pedal! Start w the knobs at 12 and tweak away. It has any range of gain you might need and it sounds fantastic.