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THE IBANEZ TS MINI

Over the past 4-5 years, pedals have gotten smaller. The realities of smaller stages and travel restrictions have made it imperative that pedalboards become smaller. Virtually every manufacturer makes mini pedals. I've got a small tuner and an MXR Sugar Drive(more on that one in a later post). And a small volume pedal.

Ibanez has produced a line of mini pedals to augment their line. The TS(tube screamer) Mini is one that recently acquired a space on my board. The tube screamer is arguably the most well-known and copied overdrive pedal in existence. While there are many companies that have modified the basic sonic blueprint, in my opinion, there is only one authentic one, the Ibanez Tube Screamer.

There have been a number of designs from Ibanez, from rather inexpensive to a somewhat pricey hand-wired version. Recently, i tried out three TS models; the TS9, the TS808, and the TS Mini.

The Mini, to my ear, represents the ideal marriage of the TS9 and the 808. It has the warmth and give of the 808, coupled with the high end stridency of the TS9. And to my ear, it has a bit more headroom than either one. 

One of the wonderful aspects of the TS is that regardless of which guitar I play it through, the sound of the guitar comes through. The Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with P90 pickups is a big sounding instrument, and because of its girth, the guitar sounds bigger and wider with the pedal. In fact, the overdrive knob is kept relatively low. With the John Page AJ, the tele quality really shines through.

Another quality is that with the overdrive knob turned up, the pedal doesn't lose clarity. While it doesn't have as much headroom as other pedals I use, unity gain is easily achieved, and in some ways, easier to dial in.

A special thanks to Ibanez for producing the most famous overdrive pedal on the market.

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