Users Of The Legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer

Over the years, Ibanez and its competitors made different modifications and issued different models, striving to replace the Tube Screamer. After decades of experimentations, trials and errors, Ibanez gave up on the newest models and reissued the same Tube Screamer as it was in 1981

Article photo - Users Of The Legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer

Since issued in 1981, Tube Screamers have been used in countless recordings. You’ve heard them everywhere – stages, studio recordings - you simply couldn’t miss it. Over the years, Ibanez and its competitors made different modifications and issued different models, striving to replace the Tube Screamer. The pedal was also cloned in many occasions, but none of the clones managed to achieve the success of the original Tube Screamer. Thus, after decades of experimentations, trials and errors, Ibanez gave up on the newest models and reissued the same Tube Screamer as it was in 1981.

Article photo - Users Of The Legendary Ibanez Tube ScreamerThe Tube Screamer features three knobs and True Bypass. When the drive knob is turned all the way down, it gives the signal a great clean boost with a little bit of grit. You can immediately spot that mid bump the Tube Screamer is so famous for. It lets your guitar tone to poke out of the mix. Once the drive and tone knobs are turned up, the sound becomes sharp and tight. The Tube Screamer has a great musical voice even with the tone and drive being at max. It’s surprisingly touch-sensitive due to a soft clipping diode which retains a little bit of the original signal. Tube screamer is great at boosting an already distorted amp. It doesn’t clouds or gives away the sound. It just adds a little more gain and volume to it, and slightly bumps up the mids. It sounds good in a channel switching situation as well. In practical application, the Tube Screamer can be used almost like an additional channel.

The Tube Screamer is used by countless famous guitarists. Some of them are John Mayer, John Petrucci, Keith Richards, Mike McCready and Stone Gossard. This confirms the fact that the Tube Screamer is serious gear used by professional musicians. Here are some more Tube Screamer users you’d be interested to know about:

Jonny Buckland

Jonathan Mark “Jonny” Buckland is the lead guitar player for Coldplay. He enjoys Fender guitars and looks like he’s also in love with the Ibanez TS9. He has a huge pedalboard, and the TS-9 is usually one of the first pedals in the chain. 

Feed Me / Spor


If you’re wondering whether the Tube Screamers are still relevant nowadays, you should take a look at Spor’s gear. Jonathan Gooch is a modern dubstep and house producer and DJ. He uses a Ibanez TS9 as one of the main pedals in his chains.

Gary Clark Jr.


“The Tube Screamer is a go-to pedal” – says Gary, an American guitarist and actor based in Austin, Texas. He’s well-known for his unique and innovative ways to play Jazz and Blues.

Jack Johnson

“The more the better” – that’s what Jack thinks about the Tube Screamer. In one of the latest interviews he revealed that he uses two Ibanez TS9 in his electric guitar pedalboard. Jack Johnson is a Hawaiian-born folk rock singer and songwriter, known for his soft rock and acoustic songs.

Billie Joe Armstrong


Known as the lead guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of the American alternative rock band Green Day, Billie Joe has captivated the audiences with his killer riffs and fiery solos. Great part of his sharp guitar tone is the usage of Ibanez TS9.

The original 1981’s Tube Screamer is perfect as it is. It never gets old, and there’s simply no way to make it even better than it already is.

Stevie Ray Vaughan


Stevie is nothing less than a rock legend. He revolutionized both rock and blues by fusion them together. He performed many shows with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and other starts. One of his favorite pedals was the Ibanez TS9.

The Edge

"Tube Screamer replaced the Boss SD-1 during the Elevation Tour" – said David in one of the interviews. David Howell Evans (stage name “The Edge”) is the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of U2.

Kirk Hammett


According to Metallica's 2010 tour gear list, Kirk Hammett uses a Ibanez TS9 pedal along with his favorite Mesa Boogie and Randall amplifiers.

Over the years, the Ibanez Tube Screamer “spawned” thousands of clones. Virtually every music gear manufacturer tried to re-create this pedal with some kind of tweak or modifications, but eventually they all failed. Even wonder why? The reason is simple – Ibanez got it right. Three decades of experimentations, modifications and failed attempts confirmed the fact that the original 1981’s Tube Screamer is perfect as it is. It never gets old, and there’s simply no way to make it even better than it already is.

About George Cassadrian

One of the two lead singers of Mobvibe, George is an avid songwriter with a refined taste in retro music and beautiful electric guitars.

Contact George Cassadrian at georgecassadrian@musicngear.com