TS9 Tubescreamer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (157 votes)
Ibanez: TS9 Tubescreamer

Price paid: $ 181.7

Purchased from: Barrie Music

Sound — 10
I am playing this pedal with a Gibson Les Paul Studio and a Roland 30 Cube. It only produces feedback when the level is set really high, but nothing unmanagable. The effect is always there, even with the Drive at zero. I have been able to get sounds very similar to Hendrix almost right off the bat, and when I turn down the tone you can mellow out the sound to an "American Woman" type lead, smooth OD with lots of sustain. The Overdrive from this pedal is just great, you can get a find bit of grit, to an "all out" OD. It never slips into distorton which is good for my style of playing. Chords sound great with just the right amount of break up, which you can dial in to your tastes.

Overall Impression — 10
I play rock and blues and anything inbetween those two and it absolutely perfect for that. I've been playing for two and a half years and this is the best pedal I have come across for OD. If it was stolen or lost I would have to march right back out and buy another. I love the "feeling" of this pedal, the feeling is that your pickups are giving out a burning hot signal. I don't hate anything about this pedal and it suits my every need. My favorite feature would have to be how you think you have squeezed out all the OD you need, than oh, the knob still isn't up all the way. I compared this with the Boss Blues Driver and the Boss OD's and they couldnt hold a candle to this badboy. I couldn't ask for more from this pedal, and even when I take a very critical look at it, I realize there is a reason the TS9 is so popular.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I am really careful with my equipment, so this hasn't been tossed around at all, but it is a very solid casing. Never leave this around when your girlfriend is mad at you, if she threw it at you the pedal would be fine, but you would not be. I would gig with the TS9 without a backup, though I haven't yet, but I would bring an extra battery. It doesnt't last terribly long.

Ease of Use — 10
I was impressed right off the bat with this pedal. I plugged it in and it produced an amazing sound with everything at 12 o'clock, and no matter which way I turned the knobs, I kept getting a very different but excellent overdrive (three knobs: drive, tone, and level). It came with a small manual that explains how to hook it up, changing the batteries, and how to keep the batteries life lasting longer. You really didn't need it if you have used a guitar pedal before. An easy 10 for ease of use.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Stevie Ray used both. During the 'Texas Flood' period, he had an old beat up TS808 that screamed. By the time he got to 'In Step', it was a TS9. When talking about Stevie Ray's wicked tone, you also have to consider that he wasn't shy about kicking on his Fuzz Face. Later on he had the Diaz circuit put into an old Fuzz Face. Listen to the solo in 'Life Without You' for an example. I've never heard better tone or sound before or since. And you can still buy a Diaz fuzz.
    oscarmg_99 wrote: actually if dont think metallica uses it better look at some studio pics you can cleraly see kirk with a ts9 and a cry baby
    Kirk Hammett uses the tubescreamer quite a lot, particularly on the master of puppets album
    i need a booster for my solos to rise above the second guitar but will this give me much more volume?? should i look at a volume pedal instead?
    I have a question: Is it worth spending an extra 70 dollars and getting the TS-808? or is the will the TS-9 work well for someone who is low on cash? Thanks!