Ibanez TS9 – a MUST-HAVE Pedal [REVIEW]

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In today’s article we’re going to review one of the most popular effect pedals in the world – Ibanez TS9. This tiny green effect is an often choice for both beginner and more advanced guitar players. What’s important, even the most iconic guitarists used it on their legendary recordings. If you’re considering a purchase of this pedal, you’re in the right place. As an intermediate guitarist with over thirteen years of musical experience, I personally tested a lot of guitar effects. Hence, I feel obliged to share my knowledge with you. Firstly, let’s have a deeper look at the Ibanez TS9. I think that it’s one of the best and most affordable on the market right now. On top of that, it offers a really versatile and classic tone. In the second part of article I’ll highlight other affordable guitar pedals comparable with the TS9. Ready? Let’s rock!

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Overview

According to Ibanez, this model is currently being manufactured in Japan. It’s a reissue of the classic and legendary Tube Screamer. In fact, it’s made in the exact same factory. In terms of sounds, the three knobs (drive, tone and level) allow you to access a really warm and sensitive amp-like overdrive. It is worth mentioning that Ibanez decided to stick to the original components – they didn’t change anything. It’s all the same as in the past – the tone, the parts and the legendary green paint color. Once you plug it in, you know that you’re dealing with something special. Actually, check this sound sample below. Sounds amazing, right?

Ibanez TS9 Demo

What I also like about this effect pedal is that it’s truly affordable. Although it’s not the cheapest pedal on the market, it’s definitely within the reach of any guitarist. On top of that, I think that it will be great for both amateur and more advanced guitar players. If you’re just starting your musical journey and you’re thinking about getting your first guitar pedal, the TS9 will be an ideal choice. Feel free to check out a more detailed specification on Amazon.

Ibanez TS9

History of Ibanez TS9

The first Tube Screamer in the history was actually created in late 70’s and it was called TS-808. A few years later, around 1982-1985, Ibanez started producing the TS9 model, which was pretty much the same as the TS-808 model. In terms of sound, it tend to be a little more brighter than the initial version. Nevertheless, this guitar effect pedal started being extremely popular among top guitarists in the music industry. This includes such musicians as Steve Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, John Petrucci and many, many more other legendary musicians. If you’d like to find out what kind of setup was Steve Ray Vaughan using on his Tube Screamer, check out the video below. It’s really interesting!

Steve Ray Vaughan Tone

Of course, the list of famous musicians who are using that pedal is very, very long. Today’s musicians who are frequent users of TS9 include Carlos Santana, Noel Gallagher, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) or The Edge (U2). These names prove that Ibanez TS9 is an absolute standard in the music industry.

In addition, the Tube Screamer sounds absolutely amazing when you combine it with a Stratocaster. I included a short sound sample below. Sounds good, right? If you’re into this kind of sound, you should definitely have a look on my review of Fender American Professional II Stratocaster. Amazing guitar that would sound exceptional with the TS9!

Ibanez TS9 + Fender Stratocaster

Other Affordable Pedals

Although the TS9 is absolutely amazing, there are also a few other and not that expensive guitar pedals that offer great tone too. I created a list of five other affordable overdrive pedals that will be suitable for both beginner and intermediate guitarists. I included short descriptions below feel free to check out the detailed specifications of each one of them under the links on the right.

EarthQuaker OverdriveSee on Amazon
Maxon OD808See on Amazon
JHS OverdriveSee on Amazon
Boss BD-2See on Amazon
TC Electronic MojoMojoSee on Amazon
Five Affordable Overdrive Pedals

EarthQuaker Overdrive

Earthquaker Overdrive - is it better than Ibanez TS9?
EarthQuaker Overdrive

>> Check Pricing on Amazon <<

Great and affordable pedal that offers similar sound quality as the iconic TS9. If you’re looking for a clear top end a sculpt low end, this effect pedal will be ideal for you. In addition, it will allow you for some serious shredding. EarthQuaker manufactures really cheap and top-quality pedals. I highly recommend checking them out, especially if you’re looking for other types of pedals, such as chorus, reverb or distortion.

Maxon OD808

Maxon OD808
Maxon OD808

>> Check Pricing on Amazon <<

A solid overdrive pedal that looks very similar as the legendary tube screamers created by Ibanez. Although it’s not the cheapest effect on the market, it offer an exceptional sound quality. If you like bands such as Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying, you should definitely consider purchasing this pedal. Their guitarists use it as a part of their gear. What I like about this one is the smooth and natural overdrive tone. I’m absolutely sure that it will be a great choice for both beginners and intermediate players. On top of that, it can be used in a variety of different genres. Well done, Maxon!

JHS Overdrive

JHS Ovedrive - Is It Better than Ibanez TS9?
JHS Overdrive

>> Check Pricing on Amazon <<

JHS pedals are manufactured in the USA. They offer a great quality and affordable pricing. Although the appearance of this pedal is much different than the TS9, it offers a very similar, warm and vintage tone. Personally, I really like that modern and minimal aesthetics. I think that it’s a great overdrive pedal which is suitable for all-level guitarists.

Boss BD-2

Boss BD-2

>> Check Pricing on Amazon <<

Boss is one of the most reputable and popular manufacturers of guitar effect pedals in the world. Undoubtedly, the quality of their electronics is outstanding. The BD-2 model will be a great overdrive for lovers of blues and rock genres. The distortion and overdrive in that pedal offer a really warm and a little bit crunchy sound. On top of that, it’s available at a really reasonable pricing. Indeed, it’s great choice!

TC Electronic MojoMojo

TC Electronic MojoMojo
TC Electronic MojoMojo

>> Check Pricing on Amazon <<

TC Electronic is one of my favorite brands that produce guitar pedals. They offer amazing quality at absolutely ridiculous prices. I own a few of their pedals, including reverb, looper and chorus. I had the pleasure to test MojoMojo a few months ago and it sounded absolutely good for its price. Certainly, I highly recommend it to any guitarist who’s looking for affordable gear and great tone. In my opinion, you won’t find anything better at this low price. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G overdrive.

Ibanez TS9 – My Thoughts

Undoubtedly, Ibanez TS9 offers really amazing and warm tone. Although it’s not the cheapest pedal on the market, it’s definitely worth it. Similarly as other pedals highlighted in this article, it sounds absolutely great. I highly recommend all of these pedals to all guitarists, whether you’re a beginner or intermediate player. Also, if you’re looking for a new pedalboard, feel free to check out top affordable pedalboard recommendations. It’s crucial to keep your effects under control, so if you’re interested in having everything organized, this article should be great for you.

I hope that my review helped you to find out more information about the Ibanez TS9. Indeed, it’s an amazing guitar pedal. In addition, it’s used by the best guitarists in the world. What do you think about the tube screamer? Let me know in the comments below, I’m really curious what are your thoughts!


Dave, the author of Best Guitars Now, is an advanced guitar player with years of significant experience within the music industry. The aim of this blog is to hihglight the best and affordable music gear, educate beginner guitarists and promote the best ways to learn guitar and ukulele playing. Thanks for checking out this blog and don’t forget to share this article. That will definitely help us grow!






4 responses to “Ibanez TS9 – a MUST-HAVE Pedal [REVIEW]”