Purchased from: Thomann
Ease of Use — 9
The Tubescreamer is a traditional pedal that makes tube amps sound better. It can be used on really clean amps to dirty things up or just to boost the amp and shape the amp dirty tone and make the amp sing. My pedal is a more recent reissue. The pedal is relatively easy to use and easy to get a great sound out of. First you set in the amount of gain you wish to have. Then set the level so when you switch it on you do not have neither a boost nor a drop in volume (unless you are using it as a lead boost) and finally you set the tone to shape the brightness of the sound.
Sound — 10
This pedal sounds great and is really flexible. It can be used from blues and pop just to get things dirty all the way to metal to enhance the amp distortion sound. I play the pedal through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. The amp does not have a nice overdrive but this pedal is the solution to that. I use the pedal with a list of pedals, but the Boss DD-3 seems to be the perfect match to this pedal especially for lead playing. The TS9 being an overdrive, it amplifies the noise by nature of its operation, but it is not too noisy. The pedal makes the amp sound warmer and richer and with the tone knob you can set how bright it sounds. This pedal has a nice midrange punch and allows me to separate my guitar tone from the bass tone.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The pedal seems reliable enough as I have had it for a number of now and it never failed. The metal body casting feels really solid. I take good care of the pedal and it has no dents or signs of damage. The pedal does not seem lit it would fail but it has some minor negligence, such as, corrosion on the pedal switch. It does not disturb the pedal sound in any way, but makes it look inferior to other pedals. It has been on my pedalboard since I got it. I have a replacement to this pedal only because I bought the other overdrive before buying this one.
Overall Impression — 7
This pedal lacks attention to detail. The pedal switch started to corrode after a couple of years. It is just esthetic but still I expected to last longer. Also, the box it comes in is really badly made. If you have only this pedal, I still would not recommend carrying it in its box as it offers little to no protection against smaller impacts. I do not use batteries but the plastic battery hatch feels a bit cheap compared to other pedals having a metal hatch. Also, the pedal LED is not really visible. From certain angles you cannot tell if the pedal is on or off. Those are all minor negligence but it would be nice if they were improved. Those do not effect the sound of the pedal it still sounds great. The great sound it produces overcomes any minor issues it has.