Through The Underground With Roots Air - Page 20

20 Roots Air Magazine/March, 2014




The tubescreamer has been on the pedal boards of the most soulful blues players to the heaviest of metal players. First introduced in the late '70s; it has spawned hundreds of different clones and mods in the overdrive family and is regarded as the swiss army knife of overdrive pedals. The IbanezTS9 that I have is the reissue of the 1980s pedal of the same name and it is my go-to pedal for any sort of dirty tones.

Sound :

It is a pretty simple pedal with only 3 controls to muck about (Drive, Tone, Level) but you would be dead wrong if you think it is limited in its applications. The signature sound of the pedal is the ever present "mid hump" or boosted midrange which helps the guitar to cut through the mix. The lows and highs are accentuated to create a smooth, creamy top end tight bottom end. The drive knob goes from a very subtle and a dirty clean sound to a crunchy overdriven tube amp like tone. The pedal is very sensitive to picking dynamics and how hot

the signal is to its input. The noisefloor on this pedal is pretty low as well and it doesn't seem to add too much noise when pushed really hard. The pedal is not true bypass but there is no audible loss in tone when it is off.

Versatility :

I have personally used it on a ton of different styles of songs from crunchy classic rock to modern high gain metal. The trick is to know how to use the pedal in conjunction with your amp and other pedals in your signal chain. On clean amps you can easily get great smooth crunchy overdrives using just the drive from the pedal. However, the way I really like to use it is to push the gain on an overdriven amp. It tightens up the sound, boosts the midrange adding excellent articulation to the notes. In high gain situations, I use it to push the amp into more distortion and getting rid of the loose bottom end.This is THE pedal to get if you play multiple genres. However, it does not really produce super high gain distortions or fuzz tones from a clean amp.

Final Words:

At a price point of about $99 or about 8000BDT, this is a must buy for your collection. This is great for beginners as it doesn't have too many controls to mess with and always sounds good, as well as seasoned players who are looking for an overdrive that works in most situations. It is very durable and all the knobs and connections seem sturdy and well built. I have dropped and thrown around the pedal and apart from scratches and a peeled off layer of green paint, it showed no signs of any sort of damage to its components. If you are looking for a straight up overdrive, a gain boost pedal or a pedal that will make your overdriven amp sound better - THIS IS THE PEDAL TO GET!

Pros :

+ Great tonal range

+ Excellent build quality

+ Cheap price point

Cons :

- "On" LED is very dim

- Not for mid-scoop players

- On/Off button could be better

Alternatives :

Boss SD-1, Joyo Vintage Overdrive, Digitech Bad Monkey, Maxon OD808, Mooer Green Mile




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