The World's Most Famous Stompbox is Back!
There is no single stomp box more famous than the Ibanez Tube Screamer. The Edge from U2 uses a TS9 for most of his overdrive tones, as do countless other famous rock and blues players. Thanks to tubelike distortion, smooth sustain, and fat tone, the Tube Screamer has been and continues to be the world's most popular solid-state overdrive. So much so that after production of the TS9 ended in 1984, used TS9s were going for as much as 4 times their original price at vintage shows a few years later.
The TS9 reissue features the same careful hand wiring and analog circuitry as the original classic. Like almost all of the original TS9s, the reissue features the TA75558 IC chip. The TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer adds three new settings for increased low end crunch: +, Hot, and Turbo.
What's the difference between the TS9 and the TS808? For one, the TS9 reissue is less expensive than the TS808 and for two, they sound somewhat different. Why?
On paper, the original TS9 (circa 1981-84) was supposed to feature a JRC4558 chip. But in practice, that's not what happened. Most TS9's ended up being loaded with the more "high-fidelity" TA75558 chip. Which is why, for historical and tonal accuracy, the TS9 reissue features the TA75558 chip. The TS808 (circa 1979-80), on the other hand, was spec'd with the JRC4558 chip, and that's what most of the original TS808s did feature and that's what the reissue features.
Players who prefer and cleaner, clearer sound tend to prefer the TS9 with its "high fidelity" TA75558 chip.Eleven years after its reissue the TS9 Tube Screamer is still going strong. On July 23, 2004 the TS9 was awarded the first Guitar Player Reader's Poll Award for Stompbox of the Year.