Review: Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini Pedal — Video


Since Ibanez first introduced the Tube Screamer in 1979, it has been one of the most recognizable, respected and employed overdrive pedals on the market.

Anyone who has ever wanted creamy overdrive and added signal boost has definitely tried, and probably owns, one of Ibanez’s many iterations of its green machine.

For all its intended purpose, the Tube Screamer never needed a facelift. But as guitarists continue to jam-pack or streamline their pedal boards, it makes perfect sense that Ibanez now offers its most celebrated flagship pedal in a smaller footprint with the Tube Screamer Mini.

FEATURES The TS Mini measures 1 1/2–inches wide and 3 7/8–inches long, and like the rest of the Tube Screamer series, it’s made in Japan. Ibanez pulled out all the stops to create this solidly built, all-analog stompbox in a compact design, while retaining the sonic integrity of their acclaimed TS808 Reissue. To accommodate its diminutive size, it features an internal surface mount JRC4558M chip, which is similar to the beloved JRC4558D chip found in the full-sized TS808 pedal. The TS Mini requires an external nine-volt adapter for power, and also features true-bypass switching and controls for Level, Tone and Overdrive.

PERFORMANCE The TS Mini sounds so superb you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and its full-sized counterpart in a blindfold test. I compared it with my trusty TS808 and to my ears the boosted tone is nearly identical with the same transparency. The TS Mini works best in front of a tube amp, turning up the Level control and setting the Overdrive below 12 o’clock for buttery sustain and rich overtones. It’s remarkable for making single notes sound fatter and softening your low-end register with warmth and clarity, all while preserving the tonal nature of your amp. Pushing the Overdrive past 12 o’clock adds wicked squeal to pinch harmonics and lets you coax out some righteous musical feedback.


THE BOTTOM LINE The Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini has all the same warmth and punch of Ibanez’s classic TS808 overdrive in a pedal board–friendly size.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.