My name is Kevin, and this is my little corner on guitar effects. Once a week I'll be posting some great info on guitar effects, and how to use them. I will also be posting info on how to modify, and tweak your effects.
This week is on the most popular effect to modify. The Ibanez TS-9! I know what your thinking. You don't want to sound like SRV. Well, almost everyone has used, or uses the TS-9 at some point in their career. For instance, Joe Satriani has a TS-9 hidden in his rack drawer that is on all the time for his lead channel. George Lynch has used one in his dokken years. Kirk Hammett used one for his leads. As you can see the TS-9 is not just for Texas style blues.
Ibanez has re-issued the original TS808. In reality this is a waste of money. You pay $170 for a vintage look. You can get the same tone by modifying an existing TS-9. These can be had on Ebay for about $60-80 USD. Some people sell Do-it-yourself kits to modify you stock TS-9. (Myself included) These are the easiest ways to go. It saves you time, and reasearch looking for the right parts.
Let's take a look at the heart of the Tubescreamer. The main component for the TS808 tone is the chip. There are several that work. Two different chips were found in the orignal. The JRC4558d, and the Malaysian chip RC4558p. The big difference between the two chips is the JRC has more gain. the RC4558p doesn't have the grit the JRC chip has, but it does not produce as much noise.
The last two parts you need are two resistors. They are 10k ohm, and 100 ohm resistors. These can be found in just about any common electronics store. (ie. Radio Shack)
Now let's get into where to put these parts.
Here is a recommended list of parts needed to perform this mod to your TS-9.
JRC4558d or RC4558p opamp chip 100ohm resistor 10Kohm resistor 8 pin chip socket (recommended if you want to try different chips!) Solder De-soldering braid Remove the battery cover and battery. Remove the back cover by removing the four screws. Remove the single screw holding the circuit board in place and carefully flip the circuit board over so the parts are visible.
Locate the square black chip with eight pins - marked "A" in the picture. This is the op-amp chip. Look on the other side of the circuit board and locate the eight pins of this part. Mark them if necessary. Remove the solder from these pins (one at a time) by placing the braid on the pin and pressing the tip of the hot soldering iron directly on it. In a few seconds the solder will melt and the braid will absorb it. (For best results use a pencil-type soldering iron rated at 15-30 watts).
Once the solder is removed from all eight pins, remove the chip. You may have to use a paperclip or something similar to slip under the chip and lift while touching the pins on the other side. Once the chip is removed, install the chip socket into the board and solder all eight pins. It doesn’t matter which way the socket is turned.
NOTE: Static electricity can damage the op-amp chip. To be safe, touch something metal before handling it.
Now gently insert the JRC4558d, or RC4558p chip into the socket, making sure it is turned to the position as in the picture. If the chip is installed backwards or upside-down damage to the chip may occur.
Refer to the picture to locate resistor "B". It is a 470-ohm resistor (with color bands yellow-purple-brown-gold). Remove it using the same method used to remove the op-amp. In it’s place install the 100-ohm resistor (brown-black-brown-gold).
Now locate resistor "C". It is a 100k-ohm resistor (brown-black-yellow-gold). Replace it with the 10k-ohm resistor (brown-black-orange-gold).
Carefully put the circuit board back into place fasten it with the single screw, replace the back panel, and install the battery. Your tubescreamer is now modded to TS-808 specs! Plug in your favorite guitar and make sure it works properly.
"Many ways to improve your playing"
"If you feel your fingers, hands and arms really getting sore and fatigued, even after rests, that's when you know that practice is over. Try not to worry over tunes that aren't going well, tunes that seem like they'll never come together-- you're tired-- and when you've *really* had enough, no amount of practice will help. It's time to rest, to do something else... Giving yourself a break from the instrument is almost as important as time spent with it." - Scott