TS9 Tubescreamer review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (159 votes)
Ibanez: TS9 Tubescreamer

Price paid: $ 90

Purchased from: Local Music Store

Sound — 9
I use primarily Ibanez guitars through Randall amps, and it sounds great. Somewhat noisy with my fender, but only if your playing raw and non-silenced. Its tone is great, feels right for lighter genres, and fits most things.

Overall Impression — 9
IT'S REALLY GOOD. But not right for me. Any jazz or alternative artist would love this pedal, but not if you like metal. GET IT!

Reliability & Durability — 10
IT'S INVINCIBLE, I've literally, not even joking when I say, I've thrown it on the ground, stomped on it, and tossed it around. Definitely tough. Yes, I would use without backup.

Ease of Use — 10
Well the TS9 isn't the best tube screamer, isn't to great when it comes to doing anything other than lightweight distortion, or a little increase in jangliness. It is great for a Vintage sound, and you can get a great bluesy tone. Turning the tone and level knobs actually make a pretty big difference. Not just a light, pussish "rang", more like, "BRAAANG" and it goes great with a split humbucker. Easy to use, sounds good, looks good. Simple.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have owned many of these TS9 pedals over the years. I have never been in love with them. At least not until recently. For the most part I started going head first into the digital age like many others and got away from the pedal idea. Digitech was one of my main tools for many years and then this Line 6 stuff came along and man I have to say this comment don't belong here because were talking about the TS9 but Line 6 has come very close to my heart and ear. I kept looking for this one tone. I knew what it sounded like but I couldn't find it. I went threw buying different amps and guitars to swapping out pickups left and right. And I bought a Line 6 Vetta and sold all other amps I had. The Vetta stayed for a long time. And that tone I had been looking for I could dial up in this amp with any of my guitars. But I got to longing for that real tube amp sound so I sold the Vetta and bought a Blackheat BH100H and I love this amp it rocks. Me and my son own many guitars between the two of us so I tried out as many as we could hook up to it the night I got the amp. Out of them all my sons cheap old Ibanez with two double coil pickups sounded the best. So I went out and bought a slightly used Ibanez RD350DX and brought it home and hooked it up. I found it not as bright as my sons cheap Ibanez. So I started thinking about beefing it up and jerking the INF pickups out and going in with some high dollar ones. Well a TS9 with a Keeley Mod Plus came up on Craigslist for $100.00 in the box with the sticker and everything else. So I bought it and brought it home and hooked it up and boom there was. I played with the pedal and without the pedal and I have to say my pickups are fine everything sounds perfect now. It's strange how a great sounding amp and guitar can sound even better. We also brought the cheap Ibanez back up from the basement and it sounds wonderful. The funny part about this cheap Ibanez is were are not sure what pickups are in it. Someone put some money in it at some point and changer out the hardware. The neck and body are so cheap Ibanez didn't even care to put a model number on it. But it's been tweaked out.
    IT'S REALLY GOOD. But not right for me. Any jazz or alternative artist would love this pedal, but not if you like metal. GET IT!
    That's why this isn't called a "distortion" pedal. It's an OD that means it doesn't have that much distortion, it's more like a boost. It's meant to be used with your amp's OD channel to boost it for solos and if you just need more gain. And I think many metal bands use it for that. Of course you can use it with clean channel too for light overdrive.
    Don't take the TS9 for the original Tube Screamer, which blew away the stages in the '80s. If you want that Tube Screamer, you must buy the TS808 Hand Wired Edition. Its price is three to four times higher than TS9's. If you can't afford the real thing, but still want the genuine sound, then you must get the TS808: the same thing, but with printed circuits instead of hand-wired Mogami cables. It's only two times more expensive than the TS9. As for the TS9, it's a cheap, digital copy of the original Tube Screamer. It sounds good, but it's a noisy effect. At this price, you have a wide area of effects, some of them slightly better. As usual, MaggaraMarine was right: the TS9 is meant to be used with your amp's OD, for a good metal sound. A little too muddy to my taste, but nevertheless metal.
    gregg freeman wrote: to best describe the sound this baby creates, think of the stone roses - This is essential in a guitarists arsenal!
    Can't believe I'm quoting a 5 year old comment, but this is so true. "I am the Resurection" has so many different tones coming from the TS.