Video: JHS Offers Nine Tube Screamers in One with New Bonsai Pedal

A few years back, JHS came to the table with the Muffuletta—a svelt black box containing the circuits of six different muffs that quickly earned a spot as one of the most popular fuzz pedals on Reverb. Now, after three years of development, Josh Scott and team are back with the Bonsai, which applies this same combinatorial approach to the Tube Screamer in its many forms.

As you can see in the video above, the Bonsai offers circuits for nine different Tube Screamer and Tube Screamer-esque pedals. Modes include recreations of several classic Ibanez pedals including vintage TS-808 and TS-9 variations, a few related overdrives, such as the Boss OD-1, and even two modern mod circuits.

As Josh describes, this pedal doesn't set out to offer every conceivable Tube Screamer tone but is more a "case study" in the classic design. There are certainly Tube Screamer variations not included here, but as Josh explained, this was really more about offering his choices for the best tones of the batch.

With vintage pedals, for instance, "component drift" means that different examples from within the same make and model can carry drastically different sounds. As such, the Bonsai hones in on specific pedals from the JHS collection deemed the best in class and most worthy of replication.


The Replicated Tube Screamers
Boss OD-1
Ca. 1977
Ibanez TS-808
Ca. 1979
Ibanez TS-9
Ca. 1982
Ibanez Metal Screamer
Ca. 1985
Ibanez TS-10
Ca. 1986
Exar OD-1
Ca. 1989
Ibanez TS7
Ca. 1999
Keeley Mod Plus for TS808
Ca. 2002
JHS Strong Mod for TS9
Ca. 2009

While Josh was in the Reverb studio, we also took some to talk about the tonal archaeology behind the creation of the Bonsai. Watch the bonus video below for some insight into how this pedal came together, and a discussion of some of the prevailing myths that surround the historic and circuitry of the legendary pedal.


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