Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ibanez TS808 Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue Guitar Pedal Review


In the world of guitar effect pedals, there are true legends, and one of them would have to be the Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive pedals that were introduced back in the early 1980s. These are blues and rock guitar staples, with players like Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Lynch having a fondness for them.

There were a few different models, but my favorite of these would be the TS808, which has spawned many imitators. These have become very collectible (i.e. expensive), but fortunately Ibanez has re-issued them so anybody with a small stack of cash can pick one up. Supposedly this unit uses the same circuitry and electronics as the original version.

The basic purpose of is to simulate the tone of a tube amplifier that is being overdriven, but at more reasonable volume levels.

This Tube Screamer reissue has a sturdy case with the distinctive green finish and square switch of the original. The controls are simple, with three knobs: overdrive, tone and level. Drive is for the level of distortion, tone is a treble cut and level controls the output.

And this Ibanez pedal works very well, providing super strong sustain and mids that really help a guitarist stand out in the mix, but without being a full-blown gnarly distortion pedal. I have found that it really is not going to take the place of a tube amp, but certainly does augment a tube amp’s natural tone.

The price of the Ibanez TS808 Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue is a bit steep, with an MSRP of $257.13 and a street price of $179.99, but it is worth every penny. If you are only going to have one guitar effect pedal, this is the one to get!


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