TWA SH9 Scott Henderson Signature Distortion review

This co-creation between the jazz/blues fusion virtuoso and Tube Screamer designer Susumu Tamura is up there with the great distortion pedals of our time

TWA SH-9 Scott Henderson signature distortion
(Image: © TWA / Godlyke)

Guitar World Verdict

Inspired by the classic SD-9 circuit, but improved on all counts, this is the best Sonic Distortion you will find, and is up there as one of the best distortion pedals you can put on your 'board right now.


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    Brilliant layered saturation.

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    Superb responsiveness.

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    Simple control layout.

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    Top quality build.


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You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

I might be in the minority, but I’ll take a great distortion pedal any day over an overdrive. Why? For one, I love the sustain and saturation, and furthermore, by simply rolling back the gain or my guitar’s volume knob – voilà, I have overdrive. It’s not that complicated. 

What seems complicated, though, is that it took nearly three years to create the TWA SH9 Scott Henderson signature distortion pedal. The intensive collaboration between jazz/blues fusion guitar giant Scott Henderson and creator of the legendary Tube Screamer, Susumu Tamura, has yielded the TWA SH9 – a massive improvement and pronounced mod of the classic Ibanez SD-9 Sonic Distortion (also a Tamura original) and reissue Maxon SD-9 Sonic Distortion pedals. 

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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.