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Rating and Reviews: Ibanez TSA15H Amp Head

Push the front end of your tube amp on the Ibanez Tube Screamer TSA15H amplifier, with 15 watts of power and an actual Ibanez Tube Screamer built right in.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Great sound; output transformer too close to power transformer" submitted March 8, 2012

By Frank H in Novato, CA
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Musical Background: Acoustic guitar, 30 years. Electric guitar, 20 years. Not profressional.
Music Style: Blues, alternative, rock, various.
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Sound: I bought this amp head in conjunction with the TSA112C cabinet. At first I did not like the sound so much. Perhaps the speakers needed breaking in. At this point I have used it for 2.5 months and I love the sound. It is an open back cabinet. There is a soft, low level but constant hum produced by the power amplifier section. I checked the pre-amp output via the send jack, and there is no hum there. The hum seems to be produced by the proximity of the output transformer to the power transformer: they are nearly touching each other. This is a poor design, but the hum does not increase when you increase the volume, so you cannot notice it except at very low volumes. Feature: Most useful features are: tube preamp and power amp, send and return jacks, integrated tube screamer circuit (using the "correct" op-amp, according to purists), optional boost applied to send output, 5W/15W output switch . With the optional footswitch, you can turn the tube screamer and boost on and off with your foot. This amp is very loud at 15 watts. I cannot play it at loud volume, and I never noticed any power amplifier distortion. It is a very clean, round sound, working well with distortion boxes or the built in tube screamer. Ease of Use: All analog, so it is as easy as it gets. Put the amp into standby before switching the power from 15 to 5 watts, or you will get a pop. Quality: I had to make two changes. The volume control was scratchy, so I opened it up and sprayed some deoxit into it. That fixed it completely. The other change was a blown fuse. Fuse F6, for the preamp section, was 500mA and blew one day when I turned it on. I reached customer support, and they told me to put a 1 amp fuse there instead. There was a bit of sawdust inside the cabinet, which may have gone into the pots. I tried to clean it all out. Internally, the construction is good, except the closeness of the output transformer to the power transformer. The jacks are plastic and mounted on pcb boards, as expected at this price. The resistors are metal film, the capacitors carrying audio information are all film, from what I can see. To change the fuses or tubes you must remove 8 screws. Dis-assembly is easy. Manufacturer Support: I found the support phone number on a web forum. The support number was not listed on the Ibanez web site, which was annoying. The support people are very helpful and quick to answer. The Wow Factor: I would prefer a different color. But the sound is wonderful. It is as good as they say in the reviews. Overall: I bought this amp head in conjunction with the TSA112C cabinet. I have used it for 2.5 months and I love the sound.
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"cool amp" submitted March 21, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: long time player
Music Style: blues ,metal,rock ,alternative
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Sound: i didnt get the ibenez cab=so my rateing is based on the sound of this amp through a marshall haze. the amp has plenty of chimey highs and nice low end=clean and ts. for the money you cant beat it=i bought a marshall class 5=before i saw this=you can do soo much more with this amp. ilove this amp =i can get awesome tube tone and very low volume Feature: it doesnt come w/a footswitch(i think it should) i thought there would be a bit more overdrive=but it does the job. the tube screamer and the clean share the cleans' eq=whitch i was hopeing so also you can punch the ts level like oldschool amps and get over drive that way. the 5to15 watt switch is cool-the boost works very well for leads-there are a bunch of speaker output options=thats cool=i love tube amps w/standby switches=all the jacks are the old school marshall/dunlop style=a perfect small tube amp Ease of Use: super easy for me to use very easy to get srv tones and early ac/dc tones=sounds mint w\weeping demon wah=by itself its not a metal machine but i ran my rocktron zombie pedal though the clean= to me it sounded like a super rectified mesa!!! tons balls for a 15 watt amp Quality: the quality of this amp is very well for the money=the only thing i noticed was thetolex around the control panel front/back was cut imperfectly it kind of pops up in the corners=no big deal to me=the best thing i think the standby/power switcthes=when you turn the amp on/off w/poer/standby its just comes on=just about every other amps ive had always popped when usesing the poer or standby switch=popping doesnt hurt the amps but i dont like it Value: for the money this amp is awesome and well worth the money= its cool to sample other cabs w/this amp=the ibanez cab price is the average price for a single 12 inch speaker cab Manufacturer Support: so far so good The Wow Factor: its cool looking=when i look at it i want to play Overall: i wish i found this amp sooner=i hope to own it for a very long time
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"A purchase well made!" submitted September 15, 2013

By Laurence Schwarz in Edmonds, WA
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Musical Background: Beginning guitar player
Music Style: Blues, Jazz, Classic Rock.
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Overall: Just received this amp yesterday. Bought it with the TSA112C cabinet. I tried out quite a few amps at the local music store prior to taking the plunge and giving this amp/cab a try. I must say, for the $$$ you get a very big bang for your buck!!!!! So far outside of a Mesa TransAtlantic, this amp is the closest to the sound I've had in my head. For starters, I absolutely detest noise. The clean channel is just that; CLEAN!!!!!! No noise. Rich and creamy. I'm playing an Ibanez AS93 through this amp, and it sounds precisely like I wanted it. Having the Tube Screamer circuit built in gives the kind of crunch I was looking for as well without it being too sloppy. The only thing I can say about the amp is that it isn't as loud as I thought it would be on the 15w setting. This is probably a good thing since I'm pretty much a beginner, and therefore no one outside the walls of my home has to be subjected to my caterwauling ;-). If I was going to buy a louder amp, I think I would be hard pressed to not go for the TSA30H! The only thing this amp is missing is some reverb, and that can be easily accommodated with the built in effects loop and a pedal. Can't say much about the quality of Hoshino Gakki support, as I've never had to have any Ibanez product I've ever owned repaired, but the one time I did contact them over e-mail with a question, they got back to me within 20 minutes!
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"Ibanez TSA15H Tube Screamer Head" submitted March 14, 2012

By Jonathan P in San Francisco, CA
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Musical Background: I have been playing guitar for 17 years and playing in bands/recording for the last 10 years.
Music Style: garage/psychedelic/space rock
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Overall: I was looking for a lower wattage tube amp to play in my apartment since my Silvertone twin Twelve is way too loud. I came across this thing and decided to give it a try. Forgot to mention that I am running mine through a 2x12 cabinet with Jensen C12s instead of the stock cabinet. First thing I did was replace the stock preamp tubes with JJ 12AT7s. I didn't have another pair of 6v6s so I left the stock ones in. I have to say that the clean sound on this amp is excellent. Better than a lot of the more expensive amps. i was really amazed. When you crank it up it never really distorts. You just get this really smooth breakup. The Tubescreamer side i didn't care for at all. My Visual Sound Route 66 sounds which is a 808 clone sounds a lot better. I found that when i ran through the input of the amp it made my Route 66 sound tinny and distorted in a bad way when engaged. Luckily you can bypass the Tubescreamer circuit by plugging directly into the Return jack in the back.other than that it does take pedals really well. I will say it doesn't seem like a loud 15 watts even with the bigger speaker cabinet. You might be able to gig with it if you used a clean/volume boost as well but this would be an excellent recording amp for the studio. Bottom line is the cleans on this amp really make it a keeper
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"great sounding small amp" submitted May 20, 2013

By jonathan k in camdenton, MO
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Musical Background: 10 years guitar and bass hobbyist gigger
Music Style: rock country metal contemporary
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Overall: i traded a guitar for this and am quite pleased nice cleans and excellent crunch. not an extremely loud amp by any means but i would say its definitely gig able. i also own a marshal dsl 2000 and would say there is a definite difference in the gain but the tsa15h offers some nice sounds as well and you dont loose your hearing in the process.
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"Ibanez Tube Screamer" submitted December 2, 2012

By Lance L in Jacksonville, NC
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Musical Background: Since 2003, guitar, drums, bass, vocals. Was in a jam band for 3-4 years. Now i play at home, just guitar, for educational.
Music Style: Just really a mix, i am still a beginner so i just play what i can manage. I do excercises and scales and try to find chords.
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Overall: So, i bought this amp and head as a starter amp for myself. Previously, i played out of a Carvin 1x15 my uncle bought sometime back. It was a very loud and powerfully heavy amp and i wanted something different that wasn't heavy and wasn't super loud. The Ibanez Tube Screamer is great for that. It's a light amp weighing in under 25 lbs. and the cabinet itself is probably only about ten pounds, extremely light. It's not a very loud amp at all. Compared to a Marshall of the same size it is puny! That to me is good. I'm not a a shredder and i don't really need alot of power in my sound yet. I don't play shows and i am a consistantly beginner level player. I bought this amp with the intention to use it to learn and experiment with sonically by myself and for a personal home amp for guitar it is excellent. I play a jazzmaster and it expresses it just as it should and with the stompbox i.e. the Tube Screamer and Boost it expresses both sides of the Jazzmaster just as the Jazzmaster is made to sound on both switching types. The Boost adds some nice fullness to the warm jazz side of the switch and some pump and pomp to the clear tone side of the switching. The Tube Screamer puts the clear channel into distortion and gain just the way it should be done and is a fine example of the Jazzmaster used as a gain affected guitar through an amp. I personally believe the Jazzmaster to be a unique instrument and the Ibanez Tube Screamer head and cab really sonically puts into view and perspective what kind of instrument it is and that really suprises me but it also brought me alot of pleasure to have an expressively correct sound device that not only captures the meaningfulness of the capabilities of the guitar i play but the inspiriation it gave me personally that educated me to the ability of an instrument to be multifaceted outside of pedal effects and add ons. Great starter amp and great price for a nice looking and playing amp. Stomp box sold seperately and people complain of course but the switches are cool and learning about the amp first is, to me, the primary reason all the parts and capacities are created. A fine amp. The covering is not that strong. I sit near my amp all day and rest my foot on it alot and it's starting to tear it up. I'm not going to lie to you i definitley want the cover intact but it's gonna get old regaurdless so just take it as a weak cover and not getting vintage....not yet anyway...it may get "cool" at some point. The Insets for the head on the cabinet is a neat feature so the head doesn't rip the cover or get knocked off easily. Don't set anything on the top of the head or near the head. It has a grill for heat dispensation and if somebody spills something in it's direction it's GONNA get in there and you can kiss your head goodbye if you get liquid on that board inside. You can look directly into it and see the transistors and stuff so just know....you can't let people be near it drinking or eating or working with liquids or corrosive powders or solutions. NOTHING. That's most amps but that's why amps stay on a stage or suspended in the air because sweat, beer, water get in random places during shows. Don't cover the grill or you may damage the amp. Just be careful and think about it's value and it's purpose. Read the schematics and take care of it. It's a good little amp with a good purpose. Learning. Great starter amp.
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