Sometimes people ask me what I recommend in order to get a Tubescreamer tone. I usually take a minute, look like I’m pondering the myriad of boutique ‘screamer clones, and then look them right in the eye and say, “There’s a really great Tubescreamer out there—it’s made by a company called Ibanez. In fact, they made it first. And it’s still great. Check it out!” It seems to be a rite of passage for a company to make a ‘screamer clone—the market is flooded with them. JHS pedals has finally thrown their hat in the ring with the Moonshine Overdrive—but this thing is far from just another ‘screamer clone.
The Moonshine, though based on the TS circuit, has more grit and way more tonal flexibility. It can accept up to 18v for increased headroom and output and it also has a 2 way “proof” toggle switch (ha ha, good one, JHS!) that let’s you tweak the tone. In the down position the pedal seems to adds some mids and compression to really smooth out your solos so you’ll want to crank the gain up a little bit. The up position is a cleaner, boost-ier tone that is also nice and smooth. I ran the Moonshine into my HRDx and it smoked; it works very well going into a totally clean amp. Then for fun I ran it into my Ibanez Tubescreamer amp (TS-15A) and compared the Moonshine to the stock TS circuit. The Moonshine definitely has a unique tonal character and is not at all transparent—compared to the stock TS, the Moonshine has way more “hair” on tap—the gain can be dialed up to be much more gritty and thick, and when using 18v, you can simply get a greater variety of tones out of this box. Stacking the Moonshine on top of the symmetrical TS channel gave me wonderful gainy tone that was fairly responsive to the volume pot of my guitar—I was able to produce a wide range of volumes and gain levels by backing off a bit then ramping back up to ten.
If you’re looking for TS tone without grabbing just another clone, the Moonshine is a damn fine option.
WHAT WE LIKE
The Moonshine is more than just a tip of the hat to the Tubescreamer—it takes inspiration from the TS but still has its own unique tonal character and way more sonic versatility. Handmade in the USA!
None, not even the price—which even though it is steeper than a stock TS, is worth it for a pedal this great that is handmade in the USA.
BUILD QUALITY ★★★★★