Whether it’s the TS808, the TS-9, or even the TS10, Ibanez’s Tube Screamer Pedals are, quite frankly, iconic. For many guitarists, the Tube Screamer defines their sound, making it a crucial must-have on their effects board.
In recent years, however, there’s been something of a trend for smaller, more compact pedals. Not only are these pedals often more affordable, as the lower material costs makes them cheaper to produce, but they also allow guitarists to cram more effects into a smaller space.
That brings us to the Tube Screamer Mini.
When it comes to sound, the TS-Mini knocks it out of the park. Its chip is based on the TS-9 and, head to head, the two pedals sound near identical. It almost perfectly recreates everything from the clean boost to the full-on overdrive, with the great tone control guitarists know and love.
What more could you want?
If you’re looking to buy any full-sized Ibanez Tube Screamer, then you’re looking at a triple-digit price tag. Not so with the TS-Mini. Retailing at around $60-75 the TS-Mini is about the best compromise you could ask for, offering you an affordable Tube Screamer with an amazing quality of sound.
At this point, you’re probably thinking the TS-Mini sounds pretty perfect, and while it is an amazing pedal, there are two major trade-offs.
Firstly, you’ll have to say goodbye to that battery compartment. This might not sound like a big loss to some, but for a pedal that markets itself on portability, it’s a real problem. Sure you can carry it around easily enough, but you’ll need access to mains electricity if you want to play.
That being said, unless you’re busking, you’re unlikely to find yourself performing somewhere you won’t be able to plug in, so it’s not the end of the world.
The second trade-off is visibility. Put simply, with a normal-sized pedal, it’s easy to see what your levels are from a standing position, but with the TS-Mini, you’ll have to take a closer look to properly examine the settings.
Although for some players these problems will be hard to overlook, for most guitarists, using the TS-Mini will feel almost exactly the same as using a TS-9. At the end of the day, this little green box packs an incredible punch, and that’s all that really matters.
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