Electric Vibes Pedal Review

Top view of the TS 9

Ibanez TS9 tube screamer

Tube amps produce a sound which is distinctive. In the reinforcement of the aural signal they can be pushed to overdrive their circuits and create a world of distortion. As more guitarists started to turn up and use this amplifier effect, the demand for a pedal that would reproduce that same type of distortion was created. One of the original pedals to accomplish this was the Ibanez TS 808. Released in the late 70s, it is an overdrive/distortion pedal which has a variable mid range emphasis. The 808 became the TS9 from 1982 to 1985. The TS 9 became the basis for an entire family of pedals: TS 10, TS 11, but it remains an original sound.1

The TS 808 'family tree': several pedals from the 808 series

The TS9 has three knobs. The first (left) is drive which adjusts the amount of distortion. The second (middle) is tone controlling the high frequency contour. The third (right) is level. This controls the level of the distorted signal but not the normal signal. This is effective in matching the distortion level to the normal level when switching on and off. It is also effective as all out crank.

  1. The Tube Screamer was the only effect used by Stevie Ray Vaughn on the album Texas Flood, issued by Epic Records in 1983.
  2. For more detailed history and content please see analogman.com
  3. For more pedal reviews please refer to www.pedal-of-the-day.com