It’s not just lead and rhythm guitarists who need great effects for their instruments. Bassists need them, too. Ibanez recognizes this, and that’s why it offers the new Ibanez TS9B 9 Series Tubescreamer that’s a different version of the famous TS9 pedal. As the B in the name suggests, this time you get more growl in your lower frequencies.
Give it a listen, courtesy of the team at Bassic Gear Review:
Features of the Ibanez TS9B 9 Series Tubescreamer
This is actually a very simple stomp box. That’s always great for beginners, who may get intimidated by the extreme complexity of some machines for guitars these days.
- This pedal measures 4.9 inches deep, 3 inches wide, and 2 inches high. It also weighs just 1.3 pounds, so it’s not exactly a problem if you want to bring it somewhere else. It sits on a nicely thick rubber pad, and under this you have the door through which you can put in your 9V battery. The analog circuit inside the enclosure offers properly soldered connections.
- The simplicity is quite apparent, even in your first glance at the control layout. Here you have five knobs: Drive (Gain), Level, Bass, Treble, and Mix. It’s an improvement over the single Tone Knob of the TS9, as you get two distinct equalizer settings.
- This also offers the touch sensitivity that the Tube Screamer line is known for. So it’s like the TS808 and the TS9. If you really dig into the guitar strings, you’ll find that muscled tone you’re looking for. Finger-picking on the low strings produces just a hint of grit even when you max the Gain and Mix knobs. When you start slapping the strings or using a pick, then you’ll get that scarily thunderous tone that makes it seem like the gods are angry. At the high end, there’s even a small tinge of distortion and fuzz.
- This offers lots of gain even though it’s an overdrive pedal instead of a distortion pedal. With certain types of bass playing, you don’t really need a lot of gain.
- This comes with a nicely thick rubber pad.
- It’s not too big.
- The controls are extensive and easy to use, with separate settings for Treble and Bass instead of a single Tone knob.
- The sensitivity to touch is fantastic. You can set the tonal characteristic by using different playing techniques.
- With this, you can produce bass lines that are well-defined and really multi-dimensional. The woolly tone is quite evident in the midrange, while the Bass control can give lots of available bass.
- You can experiment with the gain and mix controls for various styles of music to create. For blues, you can set the Treble to low, the Bass on high, and the Mix knob just a bit short of the high noon mark.
- There are lots of available gains, but not so much gain that you end up with a rather sterile sound.
- This is really an overdrive pedal, so you need a different gadget if you seek an angry distortion sound. You don’t get the level of gain you need for heavy metal.
- This uses a battery, but there’s no option for an adapter should you prefer it that way. While a battery is standard, sometimes you may get sub par performance and keep wondering whether it’s the pedal or the worn battery that’s at fault.
Ibanez has ruled the overdrive pedal roost for decades, ever since it shook the music industry to its very foundation with the release of its ground-breaking Tube Screamer TS808. It’s great that a company with such a revered reputation has decided to pay attention to “mere” bassists.
With this, you get a lot of growl for your low-end frequencies, and you have more control over the sound. The simplicity of the control layout is a welcome sight for newbies, as it is easy enough to adjust. It also encourages you to experiment with various settings to create just the sound you want to make.
It also encourages you to practice a range of different playing techniques. With this, you can adjust your use of the pick, and this alone can help control the amount of grit for the sound. You can learn how to finger-pick aggressively or use a slap technique that with this pedal can result in a raging sonic fest of doom.
This will last for a very long time, and for beginner bassists it’s quite invaluable. You get complete control over your tone. The foundation is quite thick, you get lots of bite at the higher end, and you can get volume for the overall mix.
It’s true that this isn’t for those enraged distortion effects. This instead offers a fat overdrive with a very natural feel. You really must check out the Ibanez TS9B 9 Series Tubescreamer if you’re playing bass.