Now I know why I had lost that Ibanez MS10

Received my vintage mid 80s MS10 from UPS today and just plugged it in, dreaming of those old days and 80s hard rock distortion. The first thing it did was short out… and then the reality of the old days came flooding back. Somehow I had only remembered good things about the Metal Charger and not the bad things: the distortion is very cheesy “80s” and the thing always shorts out. In fact, I can distinctly remember it shorting out during my guitar solo for “Funk This College Life” at the Gallery in Normal, IL, causing Chopper Newt to howl with dismay at me. Surprised he didn’t axe me with his Strat (which never had any effects between it and the amp). I probably got rid of the pedal in 1993 or 94, quite possibly I threw it in the garbage. Strange that I forgot entirely. I’m glad I only spent $25 on ebay to get another one.

Being a little smarter now, I took the pedal over to my work table, unscrewed the screws on the back plate and opened it up. No wonder the damn things shorts out: for some reason Ibanez mounted the jacks right on the circuit board, and they seem to be cheap plastic, too. They also used extremely short wires, so you can’t flip the board over and resolder anything with much ease–when I tried to flip over the PCB I thought I’d pull the wires loose. The difference in workmanship between the MS10 and my old TS9 is remarkable. The TS9 is heavy duty and easy to work on, the MS10 is cheap. It’s just so 1986.

Well, I put it back together, hooked it up, jiggled the output jack and rocked away to that cheap 80s sound… until it shorted out again. Anybody want to buy an MS10? I have one for sale for $40.

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8 Responses to “Now I know why I had lost that Ibanez MS10”

  1. Now you can do a demo for one of my 80s metal lyrics.

  2. I did manage to get some good sound out of the thing with a little tweaking of the parameters. On max it does an interesting cross between fuzz and tubescreamer: i.e., it has some of the midrange scoop of a tubescreamer combined with the superfuzziness of, say, a RAT pedal.

    Of course, I should probably just play it nekkid right into the amp and forget about these effects.

    Did you send some 80s-style heavy metal lyrics? Which ones?

  3. I’d have to look. There’s no point in doing an 80s metal song. Nobody could sing it, even if Chopper could sing it he probably wouldn’t like it, and I think anything I had that fit a cheesy 80s style wasn’t really good.

  4. Oh, if we could do a song like Metal Health, I’d be SO in support of it. I don’t think I could do a Dubrow style vocal, though. Chopper might be able to, maybe. But Pearcy style? That’s some high pitched stuff. We’d need somebody like you to do that. he he.

    Poster Child was sort of early 80s hard rock, but not really 80s hair metal in style. I can’t categorize it, really. It was too indie-rock in concept. Too ironic to be 80s.

  5. I had one bought it used and broken in ’86 or ’87. It sounded fuller and thicker than the built in distortion in my Peavy Bandit65. By 1990, I’d given up on all these things for a JCM800 and a 4×12, thankfully…

    Mine broke alot, and it’d take a month and 80$ to get fixed, but since it made my crappy amp sound better, I’d go through all of that, I remember having to do that at least 3 times. I did give up on it a bit and used a sturdy and better sounding Boss HM2 for awhile too.

    I’m not going to be buying one for nostalgic reasons. I’ll be happy to never hear that raspyness again.

    • I dunno, after fiddling with it, I like it well enough again. It has a unique sound. I’ve been getting some very nice tones by putting my ts9 after it with the gain turned down—the Tubescreamer really gives it some balls.

      It’s big problem is definitely reliability. You can’t stomp on it hard, you have to treat it like a delicate flower, I suppose. Even then, the connections are obviously poorly made and, to make matters worse, there’s really no good way to get it apart to resolder the connections. I tried. I can take apart my ts9 easily, but not the ms10. So, I wouldn’t count on it in a gig (and I know this for a fact because I DID count on it in gigs, and it failed on me more than once).

      Rock and Roll is all about notalgia.

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