Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ibanez - Tube Screamers

Effect pedals

Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer Pedal

Based on the earlier Overdrive I and II pedals, Hoshino Gakki began releasing the first Ibanez Tube Screamer, the TS-808 in the late 1970s. These contained the famed JRC4558D integrated circuit (IC). Many players consider this one of the best solid state pedals to emulate the sound produced by an overdriven vacuum tube guitar amplifier.

Over the years, Hoshino Gakki released many different kinds of pedals bearing the Ibanez Tube Screamer name. The first was the TS-9 Tube Screamer, which included only a few component changes and often, but not always, different ICs. In 1985 the Master or L series were introduced and sold only for a year. Many claim that in this series, there's no Tubescreamer. Looking closer circuitwise shows that there is one but in the disguise of the Metal Screamer with slightly changed component values. The name change was most likely for marketing reasons.

Based on the Master series but with slight changes in housing in 1986, the Power Series were introduced, which included the TS-10. Like many of the Master and Power Series pedals, there were not many differences in the circuitry between these and their 9-series counterparts. To make production cheaper, these pedals used circuit board-mounted potentiometers (pots) and jacks. In 1992, Hoshino Gakki began re-issuing the Ibanez TS-9. Then in 1996, Hoshino Gakki added a CE mark to the back of the Ibanez pedal, which is required for it to be sold in Europe.

In the early 1990s, Hoshino Gakki released the Ibanez Soundtank series, which, except for the first run which was metal, had cheap plastic enclosures and like the Power Series before it, used less expensive parts. Around 2000 came the Tone Lok series, and the TS-7, which included a switch for added gain. In 1998, the new TS-9DX was introduced, which included a 4-way switch for capacitor changes and changes in the clipping section. Then in 2002, Nisshin Onpa stopped production of the TS-9 for Hoshino Gakki. Post-2002 circuit boards say Ibanez instead of Maxon.

Due to popular demand, Hoshino Gakki reissued the Ibanez TS-808 in 2004, complete with the JRC4558D chip. Original TS-808's, and to a lesser extent, TS-9s, have become highly collectible. Many overdrive pedals in production, especially those by "boutique" manufacturers, are a modified version of the Tube Screamer circuit.

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