A historical account of guitardom’s
most iconic overdrive pedal—the
Ibanez Tube Screamer.
By Lindsay TuCker
pho Tos Cour Tesy of iBanez
signal to overload a tube amp’s preamp, it
distorts the signal in a way that adds sustain, edge, and harmonic liveliness, while
preserving the innate tonal characteristics of
the guitar and amp—and without obscuring the player’s dynamics. For the Tube
Screamer, the design goal was to distort the
signal symmetrically, not asymmetrically
like a vacuum tube does.
First designed by one S. Tamura in the late ’70s, the Ibanez Tube Screamer is
arguably the most beloved of overdrive
pedals. It’s been rocked by guitar greats as
diverse as Eric Johnson, Trey Anastasio,
and Brad Paisley, and some would go as far
as saying no single pedal has had a greater
impact on musical expression or played
as important a role in the development of
Stompboxes emerged as the guitarist’s tone-warping tool of choice in the wake of the
guitar mania fueled by British Invasion
bands like the Stones, the Beatles, and the
Kinks in the mid 1960s, and then Hendrix,
Beck, and Cream toward the end of that
decade. Though these bands predominantly
series: Top Ten
overdrive, Tone, Level
notes: first Tube screamer.
Considered by some to be the
holy grail of overdrives.
Country of Origin: Japan