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Microphone Month 5

Ibanez TSA15H 15-watt Tube Head Reviews

5.0 stars based on 18 customer reviews
Questions about the Ibanez TSA15H 15-watt Tube Head?

Questions about the Ibanez TSA15H 15-watt Tube Head?

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  • from March 18, 2017

    Incrediblle amp

    I bought this amp strictly based on the stellar reviews it had received. Once I plugged in, I was impressed. The cleans were very Fender like, but almost too clean. I could almost make my Les Paul sound like an acoustic when strummed. I swapped out the stock Chinese tubes with a set of JJ' s and it really came alive. The cleans are incredible, but dig in and it still sounds fantastic. It is so clean and quiet I can play my acoustic electric thru it. It's not just a great amp clean however, it can go from whisper quiet to a fire breathing dragon with the use of an overdrive or distortion pedal. The Tubescreamer circuitry works fine, however it's not really where this amp really shines. The tone rivals amps 2-3 times it's price, and in the 15 watt setting it's plenty loud. I play in a pretty large room and have it set at about 1/3 volume ( using an eq pedal) and it's pretty loud. The optional footswitch has a 6 dB boost if you need it, as well as being able to control the Tubescreamer I can't say enough good things about this amp. The only thing that could make it better is if it had reverb, but you can add a pedal for that. Ibanez may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of amplifiers but this thing is a gem. It easily outclasses anything in it's price range and can hold it's own against any amp reagardless of price

  • from Detroit, MI March 15, 2017

    Great amp that's cheaper than some pedals!

    Bought this as a back up amp and was pleasantly surprised. This amp really shines with pedals, it has a lot of clean headroom. With a Marshall in a box pedal and 4x12 it provides a more manageable stage volume with plenty of oomph! Non-pedal players can take advantage of the tube screamer channel to get their grit on. With a price this low, it's a no-brainer.

  • from shavertown, PA August 6, 2016

    tsa 15

    After having the amp for a month I want to update my review. After installing better tubes, anyone can do it, and putting a delay in the effects loop and finding the right settings for the tube screamer, I like all three knobs at one o'clock I honestly think its the best sounding amp I ever owned. I cannot believe the price tag, that's just my opinion though and it depends on what music you play but I plan on buying another one and just keeping it in the box. I'm actually afraid of it being discontinued.

  • from South Florida July 6, 2016Music Background:
    Songwriter/Home Studio Nut

    Ibanez Hits One Outta The Park

    Before purchasing the 15H I head read several product reviews on it. The main beef folks seemed to have was the sequence of the FX in relation to the Tube Screamer.

    I initially found this to be a bit irritating too. However, my solution was to put a gain boost in the loop (set pretty high) and not use the Screamer that much. I get a very natural tube breakup that way, which is exactly what I need! I can add fuzz, Screamer or whatever ITB when recording or at the end of the loop. Lots of options.
    This amp is a ton more usable than the Vox, Kustom and Line 'hybrid' amps I have owned.

    BTW I am using it with a 4 X 12" cab, and at 15w it's crazy loud! So much fun, and very flexible. I see myself using the Ibanez TSA 15H for many years to come. Thanks, Sean Geyer and Sweetwater!

  • from May 23, 2016

    TSA15H - Wow!!

    I was hoping this would be something to run my Mustang Floor Through - it does work great for that, but I have been enjoying plugging straight into the amp and using the built-in TS! No regrets

  • from Missouri May 10, 2016

    Out Fenders Fender

    Had been looking for the "Fender" sound. Actually initially bought a Fender Supersonic. The Supersonic hissed on the clean channel and if you turned the reverb up past 2, the hum was so loud, it was horrible, especially considering its over a grand for the amp.

    Had heard about the Ibanez TSA series of amps. Bought the TSA15 head & matching 1x12 cab. It's a 1 channel amp, with a Tubescreamer in the amp. The clean channel is warm, musical and quiet. I haven't used the onboard TS, as I have a pedal. At 15w, its perfect for home use, but could be used out if mic'd.

    The best part is it takes pedals like a champ. I am running a Wampler Tumnus, Clarksdale and Deluxe Plexi through it and they just sing.

    For 1/2 the cost of Fender, the Ibanez is a superior amp, IMHO.

  • from Champaign, IL September 15, 2015Music Background:
    50 yrs. pro and hobby

    Two things you should know

    The two things you should know about this amp:
    1. It produces a good, full tube tone at a volume level that can be controlled and comfortable.
    2. It has lots of headroom, which is often overlooked and underappreciated; I run an OCD pedal direct and a TC Helicon through the effects loop and have yet to push the amp too hard.
    I bought this as a sub for my Traynor custom valve Blue 50 watt combo, which needs to be cranked to produce good tone. This Ibanez TSA15H gets the tone right without having to rattle the windows or irritate the neighbors. I have it set at 5 watts and it is plenty loud enough for studio use. At 15 watts, it could handle smaller venues, or be mic'd for larger gigs, or tick off the neighbors.

  • from Atlanta, GA October 1, 2014Music Background:
    Play guitar

    Ibanez TSA15H

    I saw the TSA15H and TSA112C combo in black. I ordered it on a Friday night. I got it on Wednesday in perfect condition. Brought it home and upon first look, I was impressed with the look and quality. I plugged my Stratocaster and was blown away. The tone range, volume, sound. You can tell the difference in sound between 15w and 5w.. But at 15w, it is still not that loud. You will not get high gain on it, not for metal. You get from very clean, then you can add slight boost. Then the tube screamer, and again with or without boost.

  • from Northern California April 13, 2014Music Background:
    Semipro glorified hobbyist, about to celebrate 50th anniversary of my first guitar.

    out-Fender"s my Fender

    i was looking for a second small all- tube amp tor a home practice replacement for my Blues Jr, which i leave in our practice studio now because i'm getting too damn old to be hauling amps back and forth all the time. I picked up a Blackstar HT-1R and it's a fun and versatile little beast but i couldn't really get "Fender tone" out of it, so the GAS attacked again. Snooping around in Fender and steel forums I encountered several threads where players were singing this thing's praises and saying it had more sparkle and clarity and 'classic Fender tone" than my Blues Jr, or the Blues Deluxe, partly because this unit's 6V6 power section is supposedly more true to the old blackface circuits. Well, they didn't lie. It may nor be an entirely fair fight because i had a custom cab with vintage series Webers built for it. Holy cow. this is like DRRI tone at bearable volumes. i haven't tried it with pedals yet and probably won't use the TS-9 circuit much because I've got a more versatile King Of Tone, but its natural voice with just a touch of my Boss/Fender '63 Reverb pedal is to die for. .So far I've run my Tele, my Melbert Steel and my Kokocaster (Charvel Surfcaster tribute) thru it and it loves them all, especially the single coils, which absolutely sparkle.. Don't hesitate. For three bills this is one awesome head!

  • from Cleveland, Ohio November 22, 2012Music Background:
    serious hobbyist

    Very impressive affordable amp!

    I've owned many amps over my 35+ years of playing. Buy, try, keep a select few, sell most, try another. This one will be a keeper. The 6v6's give it a warm and butter smooth personality; really shines with single coils. Definitely not as aggressive as a 15 watt EL84 powered amp but that is what i love about it. The tube screamer circut does what it is supposed to do and the boost gives you a more robust, chimier sound. If you need aggressive, put your OCD in front of it and it will wail appropriately for most needs, excepting metal. With the tube screamer on, a bit of reverb from a pedal in the effects loop and your favorite strat pluged in, the amp nails the SRV sound --- and at a very tolerable volume. This amp is not super loud and i like that cause you can drive the clean channel in a gig situation and not get dirty looks form the singer(s). Very gigable for 95% of the places most people play. I don't normally take the time to review products but i had to with this one. Summary: this unit is super affordable, has switchable power output, a built in tube screamer, an effects loop, multiple spkr ohm outputs,it's light and portable, looks cool and it's easy on the wallet.. Oh, wait, i said that already. Bottom line: You will not be disappointed. Buy one.

  • from Port Huron, Michigan July 6, 2011Music Background:
    Accomplished Hobbyist, Home Recording Studio

    Ibanez Tube SCREAMER amp head

    What a wonderfully awesome amp head. Unbelievable Tone AND volume for a 5/15 watt all tube head. This is a great sounding and very well built, good looking amp head, especially at this price point. Don't let the 5 or 15 watts deceive you, I run this through a 4x12 Marshall cabinet with four 12" Celestion 30 Greenbacks and this little thing can get LOUD or should I say SCREAM!!? Every guitar I own (12) sounds great with this setup, especially my 335-really beautiful. tones. Check one out, I promise you won't be disappointed.

  • from Philadelphia, PA July 3, 2011Music Background:
    Semiprofessional musician, part time

    Smart. Very smart.

    I got this amp as a main rig for the guitarist at my church. This little head is a game changer in the world of the faddish "lunchbox" amps. Not only is it generously featured at a price that's remarkably low, it's also packing unique features that other amps of its kind just don't have. First, it features 6V6 power tubes rather than the customary EL84's in amps this size. That allows you to get some convincingly "fat" tones. It's particularly noticeable with the cleans. This amp does clean better than most heads of this type. The Tubescreamer circuit is the real thing! It includes independent EQ and level controls just like the pedal would have in addition to the well-known smooth overdrive tone that has become legendary. This makes the amp behave almost like a two channel amp, even though it's clearly a one-channel amp. The options for cabinets are very generous. You can drive anything with this head. The 5/15 watt setting...again, this is just a super-smart feature. It makes a pretty big difference, more so in tone but definitely in volume. At 5 watts, the tone is thin and chimey like an EL84 low-powered head. At 15 watts it fattens up nicely, is quite a bit louder, but it never gets unbearable. It has a standby switch, which is cool, even thought I would have gladly swapped it for a preamp-master volume. I guess that's shared with the drive knob on the Tubescreamer circuit. Finally, it's worth noting that this amp has a nice-looking white Tolex finish. This is a refreshing change from the typical metal grille or tin lunchbox finish in most amps of its kind. It's a great finishing touch. All in all, this amp is feature-packed, great sounding, and an unreal value. For the price, I haven't seen anything better out there.

  • from Western New York May 12, 2011Music Background:
    active musician

    One dynamic amplifier

    I can't adequately put into words how impressed I am with the tone this amp has to offer. It's a very dynamic amplifier - the tone is rich and warm in any setting with great string definition. Very impressive cleans and a very true Tube Screamer overdrive sound. Even driven hard, the amp retains a warm tube tone - it's never shrill or jagged. And it's very simple to dial in - volume, bass and treble make up the clean section, while the Tube Screamer section has the same overdrive, tone and level settings of the pedal. Outside of that, there is a boost switch for the clean section.

    With my Gretsch Power Jet (w/TV Jones Powetron pickups), I can get a great classic rock tone in the clean setting with the boost engaged. When I plug in my Fender Strat (w/Jeff Beck Hot Noiseless pickups) I get that crisp blues rock tone.

    Outside of aggressive metal, I would say this amp has a tonal palate to cover it all. I'm glad I purchased this amplifier.

  • from Applecreek,Ohio February 21, 2011Music Background:

    Ibanez TSA15 Head

    Just received my new TSA15 Head! WOW! Cant believe the great tube tone, 15 watts can be very deceiving. With the tubescreamer engaged this amp Rocks! Hooked it up to a BluesDeluxe cab w/ a vintage30,What tone,It will be plenty loud to keep up with the classic rock band Im in.Just add a reverb pedal and your all set! Thanks Sweetwater! Great service!

  • from April 29, 2017

    Very Impressed

    There are many reviews on this amp so I didn't think I had much more to offer than what has already been posted, but now that I have played this everyday for a month I feel I have something to offer. After 35 years of playing I have owned everything out there in amps. I was a huge tube snob, toured with tube amps and endured their breakdowns, their fussiness with "dirty" power and the general extra noise when pedals are introduced into the mix. I switched to solid state amps, modeling amps, the latest and greatest pedals (some of my pedals cost more that some of my amps) only to be left wanting more. This head was so inexpensive that I thought not much money to loose and the reviews sounded good and I have a Jensen loaded 2X12 cabinet doing nothing anyways I might as well pick one up.
    I am very impressed. The cleans out Fender my Fenders. There is some acceptable bark from this amps natural overdrive when it's pushed but it shines with pedals. I love the sound of this amp as a clean platform and then introduce any pedal you want to it, I havn't found one it doesn't like. I am also impressed with the low noise from this amp even with the volume pushed. The versatility of the cabinet configuration is just a pleasure, this is the only head I have owned that I can use with any cabinet I own, very cool.
    Here is why I cannot give it a 5 out of 5. No line out, for me I like a line out.
    One last thing, I didn't buy this because the tube screamer. For my taste a TS only sounds good for a slightly dirty blues break up, I set mine on around 2 for just a little dirt, after that the TS is to thin for my ears. Overall great amp, the 15 watts offers good headroom and the 5 watt switch works well I just never use it. I keep the boost of full time as I have a boost on my pedal board and notes bloom with the tsa boost on.

  • from Pennsylvania June 4, 2016

    tsa 15

    I bought this amp head because of the 6v6 platform and the 15 watts. Never thought the built in tube screamer would replace my overdrive or the boost would replace my booster pedal but they did. The only thing this amp needs is better tubes, that's a inexpensive fix. I also put a delay in the effects loop. Considering my overdrive pedal and boost pedal was more expensive than the TSA 15, and it sounds great I'm more than happy with it. Definitely recommend this head.

  • from Maryland, USA June 7, 2016Music Background:

    Ibanez TSA15H - A Great Amp After Some Modifications

    I've owned this amp for about two years and I have to say that I love it. As provided it is an extremely quiet amp that is almost tailor-made for Strat players. You see, stock this amp is almost too quiet and lacks the ability to break-up with heavy pick attack. The reason for this is vacuum tube V1b has a VERY high value cathode resistor (47k). I have never seen an amp purposefully crippled in this way just to make sure it is dead quiet. Also, this amp employs no cathode bypass capacitors, anywhere. So, replace the 47k resistor at R20 with a 1k or 1k5 resistor and bypass it with a 22F/35wvdc capacitor. Also, bypass vacuum tube V1a cathode resistor at R19 (1k) with the same capacitor and this amp transforms into an amazing-sounding fire-breather that SRV himself would be proud to own. Be forewarned that this will make the amp noisier, but capable of much higher volume levels than the stock amp; those sweet, sweet tones are worth it to me. I started with this mod then removed it to add a pot in place of the fixed resistor (R20). I drilled a hole in the back panel between the 16 SPEAKER OUT and the FOOTSWITCH jacks to mount the GAIN control pot. Now, I can dial-in how much gain I want and balance it to keep the additional noise at a reasonable level. I smack the front-end of this amp with my Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Blue, sometimes in addition to the built- in TubeScreamer and it really sings.

  • from peoria il February 20, 2012Music Background:
    guitar player since 1968


    sounds really good and even in the five watt mode its plenty loud enought to jam with the band
    i am very happy
    4 stars because the tubes could be a little better
    i have lots of amps and this one is now my fav

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