The TS9 Tube Screamer Classic Ibanez guitar pedal rightfully features the word “classic” included in its name as that exactly the kind of sound you’ll be getting from this fine piece of equipment.
As one of the company’s signature guitar pedals, the TS9 Tube Screamer Classic comes with a distinctive overdrive vibe and somewhat of a niche tone. Specifically, the device hardly covers the metal domain and delivers more of a subtle crunch with less fuzz and overall heaviness.
So although the pedal isn’t the most versatile product on the market, it’s definitely one of the top picks within its own category, which isn’t exactly narrow to begin with. Furthermore, it comes in a sturdy casing with a great price. Depending on the type of deal you’re able to fetch, the TS9 Tube Screamer Classic can be yours for as little as $80, but typically goes for around $150.
So to underline it, this pedal is pretty much the best item on the market within the given price range if you’re in search for a bluesy or classic rock vibe. If you’re aiming for the full-on metal groove, you might want to look elsewhere. So you are still interested in additional TS9 details, make sure to scroll down and join us in the full review below.
The sonic side definitely comes as one of TS9 Tube Screamer Classic’s up sides. The device features three classic knobs for tone adjustments (Drive, Tone, Level) and allows the player to tweak the sound well enough to find the desired tone. As always, the device truly shines when combined with a tube amp, but delivers great performance even with budget amplifiers.
As noted, the pedal’s tone is crunchy and rich with midrange gain, resulting in heavy blues vibe similar to Stevie Ray Vaughan or AC/DC. What the device doesn’t deliver is the fuzzy, distorted gain featured in the thrash metal genre, grunge or heavy rock. And just so we’re clear, saying that TS9 Tube Screamer Classic is not a versatile pedal would be quite wrong. The device is extremely versatile within its own style and delivers exactly the thing players need.
And when you think about it, that’s the kind of approach that works the best. An attempt to cover a too vast array of styles can have the musician overwhelmed and ultimately put off from playing. So it’s always best to pick somewhat of a niche style and focus on it extensively before switching to different genres. And if such a style includes blues or rock, this is the pedal that you want.
The device comes with a pretty much standard set of basic features. Apart from the input, output and an on/off switch, TS9 includes a total of three knobs – Drive, Tone and Level. These allow the player to adjust the tone from mellow blues and even lightweight pop to fuzzier heavy rock or mid-gain heavy metal. It also gives you the possibility to make the guitar stand out volume-wise for solo parts.
The pedal’s 5.2 x 2.5 x 3.2 inches (13.2 x 6.35 x 8.13 cm) size and 1.3 lbs (0.59 kg) weight come as a standard and are therefore hardly much of a surprise. As the image shows, the device comes with a distinctive green color and will likely stand out on your pedal board when it comes to esthetics. Whether you see this as an up or a down side is a matter of personal preference.
Speaking of exterior, the pedal’s metal casing is quite sturdy and matches the quality standards set by similarly priced and sized devices. We’ll focus more on that aspect in the next section. Finally, TS9 can be power both by batteries and via power adapter. Adapter usage is more recommended as always, but having battery as a backup option is always a good thing, since it makes the device more reliable and versatile.
Durability and Reliability
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Classic is a solid, sturdy device. Featuring a fairly strong metal casing, it’s not prone to transport or stomping damage, not by a long shot. Rough use does come as an option, but as always, it’s bound to take its toll, so treat this screamer with care. In case you drop it or stomp a bit harder, it will hardly break. The inner circuits are also very well connected and are unlikely to cause the player much trouble in the long run.
The device earns high grades in the reliability department as well, since most players have reported little complains over the years. The three knobs and the on/off switch are also mounted properly, making failures an unlikely turn of events. In general, if treated properly, the TS9 is able to run smoothly for quite some time.
Overall: Pros and Cons
You should have a fairly clear image of what this Ibanez guitar pedal has to offer by now, but just in case, we’ll make a brief rundown of TS9’s pros and cons to sum up the review. Check out more details in the section below.
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Classic Pros
- Sound – The thing that matters the most with guitar pedals, the sound itself, is well covered with TS9. As noted, it’s a niche rock/blues sound the device delivers the best, and when we say delivers, we really mean top quality audio output.
- Price – The pedal can be purchased new for as low as $80, but typically falls within the “under $150” category. This makes the TS9 a great bargain and a purchase you’ll hardly regret making.
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Classic Cons
- Versatility – The pedal is meant for blues and rock players. It can cover the pop style or not too fuzzy metal, but if it’s full-on metal crunch you’re looking for, you might want to give this screamer a pass. This is still hardly a typical con, but more a matter of personal style and preference. So either you want this vibe or you don’t, at least you always know for sure.