ibanez tube screamer


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ibanez tube screamer

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All tube 60w combo, with 2 x 10 Celestion speakers, switchable bias, designed by the legendary Bruce Zinky. The Prosonic was Fender Custom Shop’s attempt at producing a high gain boutique amplifier with features you would expect to find on a MESA / Boogie.

The MESA / Boogie style features found on the Prosonic are:

  • switchable channels
  • dual cascading gain controls on drive channel
  • switchable rectifier / bias
  • effects send & return

I first heard one of these about 15 years ago when they first came out. I had never been gotten a decent sound from built-in pre-amp drives, preferring to drive the input on non master volume amps using my old Ibanez Tube Screamer. However, 15 years ago, I can distinctly remember it being one of the best pre-amp drives I had ever heard. I also remember they were pretty expensive new (boutique pricing?) which partly explains why Fender ceased production after 6 years.

I eventually managed to get hold of my Prosonic about 18 months ago.

The Prosonic offers switchable bias / rectifier settings:

  1. solid state rectifier, class A/B 60w – Mode 1 sounds like traditional clean Fender tones, especially on the clean channel. Very clean, sparkly and very loud.
  2. tube rectifier, class A/B 50w – Mode 2 is slightly softer and darker due to compression of tube rectifier
  3. tube rectifier, class A 30w – Mode 3 is true class A mode, and at 30w super warm sound with early natural break up, but still loud, as is a decent Voc AC30. Maybe not exactly an AC30, but doesn’t disgrace itself at all, and you could spend a lot more money than this on amp 30w class A amp.

These modes can be switched using the chicken head dial at the back, even whilst switched on. Beware though, 30 class A mode is hard on tubes.

Great, great tone. Before I got hold of this one, online review described the Prosonic as one of the best amps Fender ever made. Clean channel will do classic clean Fender tones, and although I don’t normally use much drive for my playing, the Prosonic seems to entice me to play harder and dirtier, and its so much fun – a bit like a fast bike willing you to stretch the throttle cable. The 2 x 10 Celestions give warmth and crunch to the sound – perfect for single coil pickups playing in a small combo. It is a hot amp, and loud, even in 30w mode.

Downsides:

  • The reverb is noisy. It doesn’t bother me, but for studio use, could pose a problem. A known issue with these, and there is an easy mod for it
  • The channel switching produces a pop – again, known issue with these, and there is an easy mod for it

The Prosonic is my current do it all amp, and after taking nearly 15 years to get hold of one, it’s a keeper.


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