Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer – The Classic Reincarnated!

The Ibanez tube screamer is a classic, and could be called the ‘Father’ of overdrive pedals. Now this pedal, the Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer, is a made in Japan reissue and brings with it some new features that the original standard tube-screamer didn’t have, although I do like how it’s retained the traditional green and style of the original so you know immediately what it is.

So lets have a listen as Darren puts it through it’s paces. Playing his custom modified made in Japan E serial Fender Stratocaster through a Peavey Delta Blues amp.

Vintage Ibanez 1981 TS808 TUBE SCREAMER Overdrive Pro - TI RC4558P Malaysia

$2,280.00
End Date: Thursday Sep-28-2017 14:15:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,280.00
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Pro Guitar shop’s website states…

“The Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer Overdrive Pedal features the slightly warmer JRC4558D IC found in most of the old TS808 Tube Screamers and also offers 3 new settings for increased low-end crunch: +, Hot, and Turbo”.

Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer

Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer

So in terms of actual controls, this pedal has Volume, Drive, Tone and Mode, with the mode control knob having four click in ‘Stop‘ points.

On this subject, I will say that I like the way that when you switch from one mode to the other it clicks into place, so you can easily adjust it to the exact setting your after, which is perfect for when your on a stage etc… just turn the mode control knob and it clicks into place and you know exactly what mode you are in, a small feature but well thought of.

Overall, the build quality and hardware ie; Knobs, Steel casing, Input – Output jacks are all very sturdy and totally gig worthy and therefore a trust worthy unit you can rely on.

So let’s look at it tonally!

The modes, Turbo, Hot, + and TS9 actually do sound different.

Starting from the top, the ‘Turbo’ mode had more bass and gain than the traditional TS9. Not starting with negatives, but it was a little too Bassy and loud for my liking! However, if used correctly it would make a great solo boost feature for a single coil style guitar to help get you over the top of the mix.

The ‘Hot’ mode had more midrange, increased low-end and was a bit more usable. On the Hot and the Turbo modes I had to turn the Tone almost all the way up to a more treble setting, just so I could dial in some more sparkle. Still a little too much bass but still cool if your needing an extra hit in volume.

The ‘+’ mode, along with the standard ‘TS9’ mode were my favorites because I felt they were more natural and ‘organic’. I thought they were not as bassy as the other 2 modes and they didn’t alter the tone of the amp as much as the Turbo and Hot. The + had slightly more crunch than the TS9 and could drive my little Valvetone amp harder on the frontend and was just a little bit grittier than the standard TS9 mode.


The final mode, ‘TS9’ I have basically discussed, it is a pretty standard and traditional sounding Tube Screamer setting and it’s hard not to like the classic tubescreamer tone found on this setting, unless of course you don’t! It’s Warm, Sparkling, and great for chord work and any SRV or Hendrix style playing. I found this setting was the best for retaining the tone of the amp.

I did check out some other reviews before I expressed my own opinion on this pedal and I noted that there was also a few other comments that said the Turbo and Hot modes were a bit too bassy, but did work good for leads, which is most likely what they are designed for. There is quite a bit of volume difference between the modes, so keep an eye on it. However, a minor point and definitely wouldn’t put me off buying it!

One more thing, if I was going to suggest something, I would put a bit more gain on tap. Yes I know it’s not a high gain pedal, but just a bit more would have made this pedal more versatile.

All in all, it is built like a tank, features high quality components and tone, but… would I recommend it?

Yes, this is a great boost pedal and it stacks with other ODs and pedals very well. However, the OD world is amazing BIG, and although this is a great pedal, you might want to try one first to see if it is what you are after, as it may not suit everyone for that TS ‘mid-range hump’ or lower gain.

There are so many choices out there that I can’t help but feel that Ibanez are trying to reincarnate a classic to try and keep up with competition from manufactures such as OCD, Cmatmods, Sparkle Drive, Timmy, and the list never ends!!

Vintage Ibanez 1981 TS808 TUBE SCREAMER Overdrive Pro - TI RC4558P Malaysia

$2,280.00
End Date: Thursday Sep-28-2017 14:15:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,280.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Ibanez 1981 TS808 TUBE SCREAMER Overdrive Pro - JRC4558D glossy type

$1,890.00
End Date: Friday Sep-29-2017 10:56:50 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,890.00
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Vintage Original Ibanez Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro TS-808 RC4558P (R) MIJ JAPAN

$1,499.00
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 16:50:24 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,499.00
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Mint! 1980s Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer Tubescreamer TS-808

$1,349.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-5-2017 15:40:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,349.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

!ORIGINAL VINTAGE! 1980's IBANEZ TUBE SCREAMER overdrive pro TS808

$957.42
End Date: Saturday Oct-21-2017 14:13:02 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $957.42
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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