The Ibanez Tube Screamer mini (or TS mini) is the replica in a modern chassis of the legendary, first and irreplaceable TS808.
Born in the now distant 1979, with its characteristic green color, the Tube Screamer has become an absolute must for every type of guitarist.

You can use it as an overdrive, always creamy but with a decisive attack at the same time, medium what it takes to not annoy but to come out well in the mix, as a boost for a solo, to make the amp saturate early, for … In short, for everything !!!
The Tube Screamer is that pedal you can use for pretty much anything, and as such every guitarist should have one in their pedalboard.
Even if you don’t use it every day you can rest assured that sooner or later it will come in handy, and you can rest assured knowing that it will perform its task perfectly.
Maybe even just getting out of trouble with an equalization that you can’t get over it …

Features

Countless versions of Tube Screamer have been made, all with some variations, some more faithful to the original, others completely revised.
The TS Mini wants to be faithful to the original as much as possible in terms of sound (it even mounts the same operational amplifier, heart of the sound, JRC4558D identical to the original), while modernizing itself in terms of appearance and functionality.
And here is a metal case in mini format, with the ignition pedal slightly inclined, strictly true-by pass (the original and it wasn’t) and… that’s it.
Because other upheavals weren’t actually necessary.
9V power supply with center negative (standard) and the three classic tone, volume and drive controls are enough to give you everything you need.

Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini

Sound

Spectacular, in my opinion it really has nothing wrong with it.
It has a nice punch in the crunch, but can also be velvety and creamy enough at the same time (it’s a real Tube Screamer in fact, not a cheap toy!).
The dynamics are manual, by varying the intensity of the touch with the pick the sound is modeled accordingly, and it is a real pleasure to stop even only on the same chord and create a song by playing only on the dynamics.
Obviously lower the volume of the guitar and the sound calms down accordingly, passing from sweet ripples to beautiful swollen saturations.

Its top is a Stratocaster with a Marshall, pure Hendrix sound, the single coils enhance the sound of the Tube Screamer without inflating it like the humbuckers, while the Tube Screamer in turn enhances the nuances and the twang of the single coils, obviously with the magical contribution of Marshall.
With a Les Paul or a telecaster, what do I tell you to do? Magic.

Are there any better overdrives around? Yes, there are, but they cost that much more.
In its price range (around 70/80 euros new, 50 used), I think it has no rivals.
But the point is, in my opinion you shouldn’t look at it as an overdrive, but as a Tube Screamer.
They are not the same thing? No, not really.
If you see it as the Tube Screamer, then it really has no rival for me.

But does size matter… (in sound)?

I just said that the TS mini like like Tube Screamer is unrivaled for me.
Not even with its trusted ancestor, the original TS808? No, in my opinion and according to the legendary video by Sebo Xotta, absolutely not! ????

https://youtube.com/watch?v=RhF5aNJiB4k

Conclusions

The best Tube Screamer ever (the first, the one who created the sound and concept of the Tube Screamer, forging our ears and tastes accordingly), the TS808 is now back, but in a modern, mini size, at a price far inferior to his older brother.
The mini format and the addition of a true-by-pass switch have brought it into the modern world, while the circuit, certainly revised to fit in a smaller case, has remained unchanged in its most important part: the sound .

In my opinion it’s a great pedal in and of itself, as well as in all probability the best Tube Screamer ever.
In addition, now it is in the modern mini format that really allows you to slip it into any pedalboard, as our Sebo would say, which leaves no more excuses to the undecided guitarist.

Recommended? Absolutely yes, for me it is one of the best Tube Screamers you can find on the market. It costs the right amount and sounds like it should. Up music market or reverb.com you can find both used (50 euros) and new (70/80 euros) Maybe there are even cheaper alternatives, but honestly buying it used I prefer to spend those 20 euros more (not crazy figures!) but have an original Ibanez Tube Screamer, rather than any esoteric green clone of even dubious sound.
Trust me, here you are on the safe side.

Published on musicanza.it on: 09/04/2020.