Ibanez Tube Screamer VS BOSS DS-1: Which is Better?

I know it is a tough call to choose one between the Ibanez tube screamer and the great BOSS DS1. Which one should you choose between BOSS DS-1 VS Tube Screamer?

This guide will help you out. Let us get into it, as I will be getting into the details as much as I can.

Ibanez Tube Screamer

Ibanez’s Tube Screamer series of distortion/overdrive boxes has a reputation that has turned them into musical folklore.

The TS series as a whole has a comparable technical design, with the commonalities considerably outnumbering the differences.

Ibanez released the TS9 as the first version of the original TS808.

The TS9 was first produced in 1981, and despite all of the Tube Screamer modifications, it is still one of the most popular.

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is a pretty simple design with three knobs:

  • Drive: Controls the amount of gain.
  • Tone: Adjusts the tonal character.
  • Level: Controls the output signal.

The TS9 and the TS808 are the two most popular full-size pedals, but the Mini TS is a great alternative at a lesser price. I will be going into the details of each of these tube screamer pedals for better comparison


In every way, the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer exudes simplicity. The look, functionality, and dependability leave little to be desired.

It’s really easy to operate, making it one of the best pedals to add to your pedalboard regardless of your skill level.

The Tube Screamer also produces a pleasant and direct tone. It’s not a hazy tone, nor is it a whiny, sobbing tone.

Instead, it produces a sound that is silky smooth, beautiful, and reliant on the tone of your guitar and amplifier.

One of those guitar effects that have nearly mythological status is the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer overdrive pedal.

It’s a simple green stompbox with three little knobs, but it delivers a punch in the right hands.

The pedal gives a little muddy approximation of the natural sound coming from the amp on a clean setting when the drive knob is dialled down.

It is, nevertheless, smooth and evocative of the guitar’s inherent tones.

The tone stays smooth and complementary as you turn up the volume knob, without going too far in the wrong direction and generating too much string and pickup noise.

Working with the tone knob, from the lowest to the maximum setting, keeps it well within acceptable and enjoyable limits.

READ ALSO:  Best Strings for Yamaha FS830 & FS800

You might wonder how the TS9 is used for metal and hard rock. Well, let’s look at the following options;

The initial concept is to combine the gain from the pedal with the gain from your amplifier.

This increases the amount of overdrive in your amp, but it also colours the signal with the tone from the pedal.

The idea is to find a pedal and amp distortion combination that you like.

The TS9 can also be used as a boost in the second option.

For guitarists using amps that already produce high-gain distortion, this may be the best option.

The objective of the pedal in this arrangement is not to create distortion directly but to tighten up and compress the sound by pushing the amp harder (indirectly causing a little more distortion).

This pedal has everything you need, whether you’re a lead or rhythm musician.

It helps you to be heard without being too strident when you want to break through the mix and show off your fretboard talents.

It will allow you to blend in and feel comfortable and stoic when you want to hang back and keep down the back rhythm.

The Ibanez TS9 is one of the most desired pedals in electric guitar history.


Its primary applications are as a mellow overdrive for pushing clean tones into hotter regions and as a signal booster before a strong amp distortion. This last use case is highly popular among metal players because it alters the amp’s character.

The signal is boosted to the point of being compressed in a very specific way when the pedal’s volume is set to the maximum level.

The pedal is sturdy and long-lasting in terms of construction. The die-cast chassis is impenetrable to denting and damage. It includes an LED indicator that shows the battery and effect status.

On the surface, the classic version appears to be identical to the original TS808. A brilliant green frame with a vintage-looking footswitch is available.

The TS808 classic is identical to the original model in every way. Overall, the product is lightweight, compact, and easy to transport, and store.

Everything about the Tube Screamer TS808 in terms of performance is fantastic. The pedal may be found in practically any guitarist’s arsenal. The pedal can help you create beautiful, smooth tones without sacrificing quality.

Within minutes after setting up the pedal and turning the volume knob, all of your sound’s flaws will be gone.

READ ALSO:  Best Overdrive Pedals for Boss Katana [Reliable Recommendations]


The three controls of the TS10 are the same: Drive, Tone, and Level.

This type in particular is incredibly sensitive to your playing dynamics, making it a perfect pedal to crank up and then regulate via your guitar’s volume knob for complete overdrive control.

The TS10 also works well with other pedals, particularly a strong boost, which can force the overdriven sound to drive your amp nicely, just beyond break-up but still clean and clear.

TS Mini

Ibanez released the tube screamer mini as a current version for musicians looking for a more compact overdrive solution.

It has a lovely overdrive sound that really brings out the midrange. When you need to pop through the mix for your next solo in a live environment, this mid-range peak is fantastic. If you don’t want as much of a middle peak, simply reduce the tone control for a smoother rhythm overdrive tone.

Tube Screamer Comparison

In comparing these three versions of the Ibanez Tube Screamer, I will be looking at sound, control, and power.


Despite Mini’s size, the full-size Tube Screamer TS808 and the Tube Screamer Mini sound identical. Because the Mini is based on the original TS808, it has everything of the TS808’s mid-boosted overdriven tone and power, but in a smaller package.

Some will argue that the TS Mini sounds less smooth than the TS808, but it’s nearly impossible to discern the difference if there is one at all. So, if the mini fits the bill for you, don’t pass it up simply because you’re scared it won’t sound as good as the full-size TS808, as this isn’t the case.

The TS9, on the other hand, sounds nothing like the TS808 or the Mini. The Tube Screamer TS9 is a newer version of the Tube Screamer with a brighter, grittier tone than the original TS808, which sounds smoother. In comparison to the more classic TS808, the TS9 is designed to give a more current tone.


The drive, tone, and level controls are the same on both full-size Tube Screamers (TS9 and TS808) and the Mini version.

The controls are;

  • Overdrive: controls the amount of overdrive.
  • Tone: it controls the tonal quality. Moving it anti-clockwise emphasizes the bass and produces a warm tone while turning it clockwise emphasizes the treble and produces a crisp and incisive tone.
  • Level: it controls the output.

These three controls let you utilize the pedal in a variety of ways to generate various effects.

READ ALSO:  Best Strings for Martin D28

Power Source

The power supply is one of the most noticeable changes between the full-size TS9 and TS808 Tube Screamer and the mini version.

Tube Screamers in full size are powered by either an internal 9V battery or an external power supply (usually in your pedal board). The Tube Screamer Mini, on the other hand, requires an external power supply to operate and does not have room for an internal battery.

This can be a hassle because you’ll need to buy an additional power supply if you don’t already have one, which raises the price, making the tiny version less affordable than it appears if it’s your first pedal.

However, connecting the power source is simple; simply plug in a DC 9V power supply or use a pedal board power supply to connect the pedal directly to the mains. 

Boss DS-1

Before the introduction of DS1, distortion pedals were created to produce harsh, buzzy sound at a high gain setting.

DS1 was introduced in 1978. The brand changed by developing a unique distortion circuit for the DS1 that produces tight, hard-edged gain with rich harmonics while also retaining the features of guitars.

Boss’ first distortion pedal has a bold new sound, delivering a hard-edged attack and smooth sustain that has been used by guitarists.

It has a modest three-knob interface, with many different sound colours with two-stage circuits with both transistor and op-amp gain stages.

It has a tone circuit that has an innovative design that has a wider range than most other distortion pedals.

You can turn the knob of the pedal clockwise to increase the high if you feel it is low and decrease the lows, while anticlockwise vice versa.

This allows you to be in control of almost everything as far as the pedal is concerned, from the tight and cutting rhythm sounds to the smooth and fat lead voices.

The tone control allows for efficient and effective maintenance of the low end. It also offers rougher and more aggressive distortion which is made towards the start sound of the British amplifier.

Why You Should Buy

  • Quality
  • Durability

BOSS DS-1 VS Ibanez Tube Screamer: Our Choice

Now, to the big show. Which is better between the BOSS DS1 and the Ibanez Tube Screamer? The two pedals are both incredible in my own opinion, and should be chosen based o your needs as a guitarist. I am sure that if you read the guide, you most likely already know which of the two fits your narrative as a guitarist.

Ibanez Tube Screamer VS BOSS DS-1 – A Recap

I trust you got the necessary you need on the comparison between BOSS DS-1 vs tube screamers. I wish you all the best in your guitar-playing journey.

Victor Loore
Victor Loore
Articles: 77
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments