We offer the reissue TS-808 with one of two mods, Silver (clarity) or True Vintage (warmth, same as old TS-808). We can also do the Classic/Brown mod which Oz Noy uses, for $20 less.
In early 2004 Ibanez finally reissued the TS-808 pedal due to
popular demand. This pedal uses the new 2002+ TS9 reissue board,
made by Ibanez,
not the older, slightly better quality MAXON board like the original
TS808 and pre-2002 TS9. It does have the correct JRC4558D op amp and output
resistors, so it sounds good, pretty close to our CLASSIC TS9/808 mod.
We have 2 mods for these, the SILVER MOD
(seen on the left) which will come out sounding
just the same as our TS9/808/Silver, or the TRUE VINTAGE TS-808
mod, to add some MOJO.
For more info on the silver mod and how it differs from
the TV mod, see our
SILVER mod page.
The TV mod looks the same exept
no RE-J sticker on top. They are both $75 if you send in a pedal,
or $235 for a new TS-808 reissue with the mods.
The TRUE VINTAGE mod is a fun mod,
like putting original PAF's into a '59 reissue Les Paul (but
a lot cheaper!!). To do this, we use a new Old Stock (NOS) actual early 1980s
IC chip of the exact type used in an old TS-808. We can use the
famous JRC4558D chip or can use the rare TL4558P chip. The TL4558P chip
is a Texas Instruments chip, made in Japan as is the JRC chip.
The TL could be a little clearer sounding. We also install a
bunch of original style capacitors, replacing the cheap little capacitors
that are now used.
We are almost out of old JRC chips, so we will offer a new JRC chip at a discounted price. We have to charge more for the old JRC chip just because we are running out of them. The sound of the new chip is about the same as the old ones.
Also important to this mod are the CLIPPING
DIODES- we found some of the original blue striped
TS-808 diodes and install them.
These special diodes, along with the chip and capacitors, make the
ultimate vintage TS-808 replica!! Not quite as clear as our SILVER
MOD but the tone is true vintage TS-808, nice and WARM and smooth.
We don't do the common 10 year old mods from geofex or other
diy effects sites, like the other "gurus". Those mods do what they
say (more low end, more or less drive, etc). But if you have really good ears,
you will find that the basic tone and sweetness of the tube screamer
sound is compromised. The low end will get flabby on those mods.
Our mods, which we used our own R & D to create,
are for the purest vintage tones possible, not just to make
a buck and capitalize on something that someone else started.
The exact original TS-808 sound is what we are going for
with the TV mod, it is a classic
due to the components they used which worked together wonderfully.
We are not "fixing problems" with the TS808, as they have been used
for some of the best live and recorded tones ever. That would be
like plastic surgery on Halle Berry- some people might
like larger, um, "parts" but sometimes the original is just wonderful!
Have you ever heard anyone say
"SRV played great but he needed more low end"? By the way, Cesar Diaz was
a friend and we communicated a lot about pedals and amps. I helped him
and sold his pedals and he was very generous with info and even gave
me a vintage Fender amp transformer free. He didn't modify
SRV's Tube Screamer, but did modify his Fuzz Face.
We are getting as close as possible to the subtle nuances of the
best of the old TS-808 pedals with this TRUE VINTAGE mod.
On the left is
Jim Weider comparing his
old TS-808 (which he rebuilt into a TS9 case after Rick Danko stepped
on it- note the TS808 knobs!) with our new TS-808 reissue
True Vintage mod. I used
a dual loop box with a switch to switch between the loops. It also
has a toggle switch to turn off the LED so you can do true blind
comparison tests. After testing for a while, you determine
which one you like best and why, then turn on the LED switch
and see which one it is. You have to use this blind method otherwise there
will be psychological bias. When we did this, Jim picked our
new pedal as often (actually more often!) than his, proving
we had FINALLY been able to capture the true vintage tone of
his old TS-808.
We don't like to put a true bypass stomp switch on these as they look funny
that way. They lose their cool vintage look which is the real reason
to buy a reissue TS-808 over a TS9. If you want true bypass, the Maxon OD-9
with one of our 808 mods is the best bet and cheaper, and looks
fine as the stock switch is true bypass. But if you want a TS-808 or TS-9
with true bypass we can do that for $40 more along with one of our mods.
Here is a
picture of the TS-808 silver (RE-J sticker) with the bypass switch.
What is the difference between the TV mod and Silver mod?
Someone asks me this every day so I will put some info here.
The silver mod is explained in detail on the
Silver Mod page.
The Silver Mod is designed for people who
want more clarity, less compression and midrange than a standard
tube screamer. The TV mod is the exact vintage TS808 circuit and
sound, ultimate warmth and smoothness. But the differences between
silver and TV are pretty subtle, if you have not played tube screamers
much you probably will not hear a lot of difference. Just choose silver
if you strive for clarity, or TV if you like vintage tones and warmth.
You really can't go wrong with either choice.