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Ibanez Tube Screamer Mods

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I've been reading about old style vs new style tube screamers and the chip mods some people have carried out on the newer models to get the "classic" effect achieved by 80's pedals.

Is it a worthwhile mod to carry out? I love the overall output of my tube screamer but do wonder about making it a little less raspy sometimes.

Thoughts and opinions are all welcome!

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I've been reading about old style vs new style tube screamers and the chip mods some people have carried out on the newer models to get the "classic" effect achieved by 80's pedals.

Is it a worthwhile mod to carry out? I love the overall output of my tube screamer but do wonder about making it a little less raspy sometimes.

Thoughts and opinions are all welcome!

right a lot of people say the chip mods are very overrated but i disagree. Ibanez used to have a certain chip (Texas Instruments 4558P, I put this one in SD-1's and it sounds great) in their tubescreamers years ago and then switched to a 455D or something, as it was financially viable to produce them with a cheaper one. the old chips are still available and make a very big difference (to my ears anyway)

however a tubescreamer sucks tone, no argument there but a lot of people may not notice. i do but i just strive to have that perfect sound from pedals. best thing to do with a tubescreamer is put a 3DPT switch right where the Ibanez logo is and wire it up for true bypass (you cant have true bypass with the original switch) also this involves removing components to divert the signal path but this is really worthwhile.

you then come to the point where you can modify components for things like smoother gain, less or more bass, hi-fi clarity, more mids, more or less gain, sharper presence, boost or gain switches and so on.

Am not saying a normal tubescreamer is terrible but its an incredibly enhanced pedal when these mods are done. but as i say not all people will notice the difference or even care. a lot of guys out there have a great sound from just standard unmodded gear as they have perfect tone in their fingers. but then you get the picky fussy b*****s like me :D

You can also stack the opamps. it enhances the sound and gain (some people solder up to 3 or 4 on top of each other if they have the room), but be careful here as the heat can damage them and also this can generate a lot of noise in the circuit.

another opamp thats really good is the Brown Burr OP2134. really nice sounding hi-fi clarity chip with a more modern sound. I prefer the TI4558P as it has more of a warm vintage sound to it. the harmonic range is lovely.

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I've been reading about old style vs new style tube screamers and the chip mods some people have carried out on the newer models to get the "classic" effect achieved by 80's pedals.

Is it a worthwhile mod to carry out? I love the overall output of my tube screamer but do wonder about making it a little less raspy sometimes.

Thoughts and opinions are all welcome!

ps the chip mod wont really take the raspiness or harshness away without several other component changes to smooth things out.

i have a few tubescreamers that are modded. one of them very extensively, the insides are totally reworked. maybe a bit excessive but i got carried away

2 of them were originally keeley modified ones i bought before i got into all this but i found them to be too harsh.

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I wouldn't bother with chip swaps. I used to have a JRC4558 equipped maxon 808 which sounded no better than a current TS9 reissue.

My favourite tube screamer mod was to sell it and buy a Reverend Drivetrain. That improved the sound immensely.

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Interesting.....

I have 2 of them, one that's dead stock, and the other that was modded by analogman in the states. BIG difference between the 2. The modded one is more touch-sensitive, and just bigger sounding.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

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I wouldn't bother with chip swaps. I used to have a JRC4558 equipped maxon 808 which sounded no better than a current TS9 reissue.

My favourite tube screamer mod was to sell it and buy a Reverend Drivetrain. That improved the sound immensely.

as i said the chip swap wont make the difference unless most other parts of the pedal are modified. but i dont think anyone could compare a standard ts-9 and one thats been modified and say it doesnt sound any different.

was it a JRC4558P or was it a JRC4558D

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Interesting.....

I have 2 of them, one that's dead stock, and the other that was modded by analogman in the states. BIG difference between the 2. The modded one is more touch-sensitive, and just bigger sounding.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

does the analogman one have true bypass as well. yeah totally big difference i bet between a modded pedal and one unmodded. Did analogman put the JRC4558P chip in as well? I love the sound of that chip, really nice vintage tone behind it.

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Hmmm...I'm currently looking to get a tube amp but this is something I'd probably consider later in the year. I'd love to do a comparision sometime to hear the difference.

I've got a tube screamer that's supposedly been modded (got it off ebay). Would like to compare it to normal ones as well.

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Think mines a TS10 with a TS808 chip in it. I should really open up the back and have a proper look though.

Just give me a shout and I can come over with it.

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as i said the chip swap wont make the difference unless most other parts of the pedal are modified. but i dont think anyone could compare a standard ts-9 and one thats been modified and say it doesnt sound any different.

was it a JRC4558P or was it a JRC4558D

If we're being pedantic... :up:

There is only one JRC, which is the JRC4558D present in both the OD808 and Drivetrain. Because of this, I agree with the above that it's the rest of the circuit, not the IC that makes more of a difference.

I don't mean to knock the modded Tubescreamers, I'm sure they do sound better than stock, in the same way that if I took my car to Star Performance to get all the major components uprated, it would be a better car. The question is will it be cost efficient?

As we both seem to agree that the original tube screamer circuit has been surpassed, all I am suggesting is that there is an alternative to a man with a soldering iron. Tube screamers command a price premium on name alone, when other more well sorted TS clones (such as the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, The Reverend Drivetrain and The Visual Sound V2 Route 808) don't. You might save some cash selling and buying on ebay, as I did.

P.S. Before anyone mentions authenticity, any new tubescreamer (not made by Maxon) is technically a copy.

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If we're being pedantic... :up:

There is only one JRC, which is the JRC4558D present in both the OD808 and Drivetrain. Because of this, I agree with the above that it's the rest of the circuit, not the IC that makes more of a difference.

I don't mean to knock the modded Tubescreamers, I'm sure they do sound better than stock, in the same way that if I took my car to Star Performance to get all the major components uprated, it would be a better car. The question is will it be cost efficient?

As we both seem to agree that the original tube screamer circuit has been surpassed, all I am suggesting is that there is an alternative to a man with a soldering iron. Tube screamers command a price premium on name alone, when other more well sorted TS clones (such as the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, The Reverend Drivetrain and The Visual Sound V2 Route 808) don't. You might save some cash selling and buying on ebay, as I did.

P.S. Before anyone mentions authenticity, any new tubescreamer (not made by Maxon) is technically a copy.

I don't need a man with a soldering iron. i mod my own so its cost efficient for me to do it.

Yes there is just one JRC4558 but there is several versions. you have the JRC4558P or D or DX or DT..and so on. The Malaysian JRC4558P i think it was, was in the early models and was apparently better. you then have the japanese 4558 which they say wasn't as good (no idea if it was) which was placed in later models of the tubescreamer. the 4558D i think now is placed in the pedals and is cheaper and not as well sounding as the 4558P. The JRC4558P sounds great in home built overdrive circuits as well and is more expensive compared to the D which seems to be stock in pedals like the ts-9 and sd-1 and so on.

I agree with the fact that it can be more expensive to have, say for example a pedal from keeley. he sells a ts-9dx for about 190 quid or something when all he is really doing is taking the stock pedal that you can get for about 70 quid if you shop around, putting about 5 of parts in and making a huge profit, its more than the pedal is worth.

modding pedals isnt as expensive as these guys like analogman and keeley will want you to think. really good parts like metal film caps, better chips and so on cost as much as a first class stamp. i can take a dx and mod it with 5 to 10 quid worth of parts. only thing thats expensive is the new footswitch for them. plus its nice to have that unique pedal you have worked on and made it to your own tastes.

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i said i would post mods for the tube screamer on here for alkaline. I will put them on when i get the time and a list of the parts so anyone that wants to have a try of it can have the instructions and schem's

I wont put the mods for my own ones though as thats my own unique spec that mines are modded too. can't have anyone having my sound :D

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I don't need a man with a soldering iron. i mod my own so its cost efficient for me to do it.

The Malaysian JRC4558P i think it was, was in the early models and was apparently better. d to the D which seems to be stock in pedals like the ts-9 and sd-1 and so on.

[/pedant mode]Do you mean the TI RC4558P? [/pedant mode]

:up:

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The photoessay that leads off the above link (tonepad -- photoessay) is really really good! Very user friendly. Wouldn't mind giving that a shot some time.

I heard the tonepad projects are pretty good. apparently you can build clone pedals that are top notch. There is a section titled "modifying a ts-9 to ts-808 spec. as far as i know there is a lot of controversy over that. Milkman may clarify. you can buy a handwired ts-808 reissue from soundsgreatmusic. its about 250 but apparently as close to the original as you can get

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aha apologies here but it wasn't the JRC4558D that they are using now in the tubescreamers. Its the TA75558. Got a bit confused with it. Thats the one thats the cheaper and not so good sounding. But the JRC4558D have changed as the years have went by. Some people say the newer ones sound better than the old and some say the other way around. No idea myself as i haven't used any old ones. There still does however exist a JRC4558P as well as the texas instruments 4558P. I have them at home. Also as i mentioned, The brown burr OPA2134 is a great chip in pedals like the tubescreamer but is a bit more modern sounding

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