Ibanez Tube Screamer
Guitar overdrive pedal
The Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS9/TS) is a guitar overdrivepedal, made by Ibanez. The pedal has a characteristic mid-boosted tone popular with blues, rock and metal players. The Tube Screamer, which various reviews give the honorific "legendary", has been used by many guitarists to create their signature sound, and is one of the most successful, widely copied, and custom-modified ("modded") overdrive pedals in the history of the electric guitar.
The Tube Screamer has a drive knob, a tone knob, and a level knob. The drive knob adjusts gain (which can affect the amount of distortion), the tone knob adjusts treble and the level knob adjusts the output volume of the pedal. The pedal is used to try to mimic the sound of a vintage tube amplifier. The classic Tube Screamer sound includes a "mid-hump", which means that the circuit accentuates frequencies between the bass and treble ranges (mid-frequencies). Some guitarists prefer this sort of equalization, as it helps to keep their sound from getting lost in the overall audio mix of the band.
The pedal was produced with many variants:
The Tube Screamer pedal was preceded by the orange "Overdrive" (OD) and green "Overdrive-II" (OD-II). These came in narrower boxes without battery covers. There was also a reddish "Overdrive-II" which had a housing very similar to the TS/TS The green OD-II had a circuit similar to the TS; however, the OD and OD-II had a more distorted circuit.
- TS/TS: The first Tube Screamer, the TS, was released in the late s. It was equipped with the Japanese JRC chip. Some units however had the Malaysian-manufactured Texas Instruments RCP chip.
- TS9: From to , Ibanez produced the "9-series" of overdrive pedals. The TS9 Tube Screamer is almost the same internally as the TS but the TS9 had a different output, which caused the pedal to sound brighter and less smooth. In later years, TS9s were assembled with a wide variety of op-amps, instead of the sought-after JRC
Once Ibanez discontinued the 9 series pedals, they introduced the "Master" or "L" series. These were only made in , and did not have the Tube Screamer in the line-up.
A rare and valuable version of the Tube Screamer was the ST9 Super Tube Screamer, which was sold only in Europe and Australia.
- TS10: In , Ibanez began production of the "Power Series", which included the TS10 Tube Screamer. The TS10 had three times as many changes to the circuit than the TS9 had had. Some TS10 pedals were made in Taiwan, using a MC chip. All TS10s (as well as other L and series pedals) used floating jacks and pots, which were mounted to the boards instead of the cases. This is weak point in the design sometimes causing the jacks to break off.
- TS5: The plastic TS5 "Soundtank" followed the TS10 and was available until The TS5 circuit is very similar to the TS9; however, it was made for Ibanez in Taiwan by Daphon. Although designed by Maxon as referenced by Maxons history website. The first year of production had a metal casing, afterwards the casing was made out of plastic (which resulted in more noise than a typical TS/TS9 box made out of metal). However, these plastic versions still have a shielded and grounded metal bottom plate for a slight interference reduction plus the needed weight to keep the pedal from sliding because of its light weight.
- TS7: The TS7 "Tone-Lok" pedal was released in It was made in Taiwan like the TS5, but in an aluminum case that was more durable. The circuit inside had a "hot" mode switch for extra distortion and volume. Most TS7 pedals came with the JRCD chip, like the TS and TS9.
- TSHW: In early , Ibanez revealed the TSHW. Marketed as a premium, limited edition pedal, TSHW is hand-wired with select JRCD chips and uses high-end OFC cables from Japan. HW is encased in a dark green, heavy duty metal box. It also comes standard with True Bypass, a feature many had to mod into the circuits of previous Tube Screamers.
- TSDX: A combined TS equipped with the Japanese JRC chip with a 20db booster to be used separately or in conjunction with the overdrive.
The TS9 and TS pedals have been reissued, and according to the company, feature the same circuitry, electronics and design components that helped shape the famous Tube Screamer sound. Some musicians have a technician perform modifications to the unit to change the sound to their liking. Also, Maxon, which produced the original Tube Screamer pedals for the Ibanez brand in the s–s, produce their own version of the Tube Screamer (called Overdrives: the OD and OD-9 as opposed to Tube Screamer, TS).
- TS9B: Released around , it was a bass overdrive pedal designed for bass players, in a dark green stompbox with five knobs: Drive, Mix, Bass, Treble and Level controls. The Mix and 2-band Eq. controls allow bassists to produce the sound they want while still maintaining the feel of the original Tubescreamer and keep their low-end original signal.
According to Susumu Tamura (田村進) of Maxon, the designer of the Tube Screamer, the initial design concept was to create something to compete with BOSS OD-1 and MXR Distortion+. In doing so, he used an innovative circuit, using the monolithic operational amplifier device, introduced in early 70s, to create a pedal sound different from the "discrete" transistorized 60's fuzzes.
The overdrive is produced using two silicon diodes in anti-parallel arrangement into the negative feedback circuit of an operational amplifier ("op-amp") circuit, to produce soft, symmetrical distortion of the input waveform. When the output exceeds the forward volt drop of the diodes the amplifier gain is much lower, effectively limiting the output to + and - one diode volt-drop, although due to the exponential I-V curve of the diodes this is not a hard limit. A "drive" potentiomenter in the feedback path provides variable gain. The original based circuit uses transistor buffers at both the input and the output, to improve impedance matching. This is mathematically equivalent to mixing the input signal with a clipped version of itself, however. Thought of this way, it is said that this "preserves the original dynamics of the input signal which otherwise would get lost at the threshold of clipping" and "avoids muddiness and vastly improves clarity and responsiveness."
Characteristic of the distortion is the symmetrical nature, which produces mainly odd-orderharmonics for a sine wave input. All this justifies the "vacuum tube" sound, and the "screaming" tone. As well, Tamura added a simple but effective post-distortion equalization circuit with a first-order high-pass shelving filter that "is linearly dependent on its gain", an approach called "progressivity". The overdrive stage is followed by a simple low-pass filter and active tone control circuit and volume control, using the second op-amp available on-chip.
The circuit uses transistorbuffers at both the input and the output, and a modern electronic field-effect transistor (FET) "noiseless" bypass switching to turn the effect on and off. The TS7 allows switching between a "TS9" mode, in which the circuit and all relevant component values are identical to the vintage model, and a "Hot" mode, which introduces an additional gain stage. Yet another variant is the Ibanez ST9 Super Tube that features a fourth knob ("Mid Boost"), which provides a harder attack.
Much has been made of the operational amplifier chips used in the various versions of the Tube Screamer pedal, and several "fairy tales" about the merits of these devices have been written on the subject. The JRCD chip is well-regarded by some.
The (RC) is a low priced, general purpose dual operational amplifier, introduced mid 70s by Texas Instruments as an "improved" version of the early , and used in thousands of consumer and industrial designs. In fact, JRCD is nothing else than the licensed product manufactured by Japan Radio Company (日本無線株式会社), and identical to any other chip. Other popular chips used included the TL (a JFET input type, highly popular in 80s), "original" TI RCP, and OPA The TA (yet another version, made by Toshiba), standard in the TS10 alongside the , is strangely regarded as the "ugly duckling of TS opamps".
In reality, the type of op-amp has little to do with the sound of the pedal, which is dominated by the diodes in the op-amp's feedback path. (See Op-amp swapping.)
The pedal was popularized by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio implements two TS9 Tube Screamers in his rig. It is widely used in genres as diverse as country, blues and metal. The Tube Screamer has since spawned many clones and modified versions. Possible modifications include use of mismatched, or different diodes (for example, a silicon and a germanium device), or more than two diodes in various arrangements, or modified tone circuits. It is also used by many metal guitarists before the lead channel of the high gain amps to make distortion more focused and to cut the low end. Notable modifiers of the pedal include Robert Keeley of Keeley Electronics and Mike Piera of AnalogMan.
- ^ abcHunter, Dave (). Guitar Effects Pedals: The Practical Handbook. Hal Leonard. pp.68– ISBN.
- ^ ab"Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Review". Guitar Verdict. 6 June Retrieved 27 January
- ^"How Not To Dial A Metal Sound". CSGuitars. 9 December Retrieved 7 February
- ^Bolembach, Kevin (3 October ). "State of the Stomp: Maxon's Susumu Tamura Interview". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 17 September
- ^Keen, R. G. (). "The Technology of the Tube Screamer". GEO: The Guitar Effects Oriented Web Page.
- ^ abTopaktas, Bogac (). "Tube Screamer's Secret". BTE Audio. Archived from the original on 15 August Retrieved 13 September CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- ^Dutilleux, P.; Zölzer, U. (). "Nonlinear Processing". In Zölzer, U. (ed.). DAFX: Digital Audio Effects. Wiley. p. ISBN.
- ^Hordijk, R. (n.d.). "Harmonic Distortion". G2 Workshops and Tutorials. Retrieved 7 February
- ^Piera, Mike. "Ibanez Tube Screamers History". AnalogMan. Retrieved 13 September
- ^Möller, Andreas. "The "true" TS chip" Stinkfoot Electronics. Archived from the original on 12 June Retrieved 13 September
- ^"Converting modern Tubescreamers into the real version"(PDF).
- ^"The JRC Myth". electrosmash.com. Retrieved 9 February
- ^"Ibanez Tube Screamer". musicradar.com. Retrieved 1 September
- ^Wacker, Dirk (6 February ). "The Ultimate Tube Screamer Mod Guide". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 4 April
- ^Tucker, Lindsay (November ). "Builder Profile: Keeley Electronics' Robert Keeley". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 20 January
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The Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer is a reissue that's just like the original in so many ways. Same housing, same instantly identifiable green paint, and the same crankin' overdrive that makes it one of the all-time classics in guitar effects. So, plug it in, crank it up, and you'll hear what all the fuss is about.
•Drive, Tone and Level controls
•Required Current: [email protected]
•Power Supply: One 9 volt battery (P) or external AC adapter (Use only DC 9V (Center-negative))
Overdrive, Tone and Level.
Input is on the right side. Output is on the left side.
Required Current: [email protected]
Supply: One 9 volt battery (P) or external AC adapter (Use only DC 9V (Center-negative))
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