MohoMods Guide to Ibanez Tube Screamers
Ok so you own, purchased or are planning to purchase an Ibanez Tubescreamer. This page will help identify your pedal to be an original, reissue or modded pedal. I will also go into the characteristics of each pedal and mods.I will first go through the line of Tube Screamer pedals in order of production then go into Mods in the next section. If you ever have questions or need help with a pedal give us a call or stop by our shop, our shop number and address is at the bottom of this guide.
TS808 (Vintage) - This is the original Tubescreamer Pedal which began being produced in the late 70's. These original pedals sell for upwards of $500.00. This is the pedal Stevie Ray Vaughn made famous and the sound everyone searches for.
The first production line of these pedals had the now highly sought after JRC4558D OpAmp. The second production line of these pedals then replaced the OpAmp with the RC4558P. There were a few rare versions which had the TL4558P OpAmp. All versions of these original pedals are highly sought after by players and collectors.
Below is a photo of a vintage TS808 (notice the "R" symbol to the right of the Ibanez logo)
TS9 (Vintage) - From 1981 to 1985 Ibanez repackaged their line of pedals and the TS9 Tubescreamer was born. These vintage pedals have a black label or silver label on the back WITHOUT a "CE" Symbol. The true test for a vintage pedal is the resistors were all dipped in a sea foam green coating (instead of a tan coating like reissues have) and have a grey (instead of black) battery connector. Be sure to always ask a seller to get a picture of the circuit board when buying a vintage pedal. I have seen reissues sold as vintage by replacing a reissue cover with a vintage back cover.
These pedals had either the JRC4558D OpAmp or the rarer JRC2043DD OpAmp.
The photo's are as follows, from left to right
- The TS9 (the front of these are identical from year to year)
- A TS9 Vintage Black Label (notice the grey battery clip)
- A TS9 Vintage Silver Label (again, notice the grey battery clip and lack of a CE symbol)
- A Vintage TS9 board (notice the green dipped resistors)
TS10 - After the 9 series pedals were discontinued in early 1986 Ibanez replaced the TS9 with the TS10. These pedals were produced until 1989. The circuitry was heavily modified from the TS9 and were more cheaply made than the TS9. These are metal case pedals.
Below is a TS10...
TS5 - The 5 series (Soundtank) replaced the 10 series pedals in 1989 and were produced until 1999. These were cheaply made pedals in a plastic case. The circuitry is again different from the TS9 pedal and either used the JRC4558D or the cheap TA7558P chip. The plastic case is prone to noise due to the pedal not being shielded properly.
Below is a TS5....
TS9 (Reissue) - In 1993 Ibanez began to produce the TS9 due to high demand. From 1993 to 1995 these reissues had a silver label WITHOUT a "CE" symbol. These are the pedals that create so much confusion with vintage pedals. Again look at the resistors, if they are dipped in tan it is a reissue. If they are dipped in green, it is a vintage!
Below is a Reissue TS9 back (notice the CE symbol)....
The TS9's were again changed in 1996 and the Infamous "CE" symbol appeared on the back, making it much easier to tell reissues from vintage. Then in 2002 Maxon no longer produced the boards for Ibanez and the boards are stamped with Ibanez instead of Maxon. The battery covers also began saying Ibanez instead of Maxon. This created the TS9 pedals that are being produced to this day. You can expect to pay around $105 for one.
TS808 (Reissue) - In 2004 Ibanez reissued the TS808. These pedals have the exact same board as the reissued TS9's. The circuitry is not even similar to the original TS808. The easy way to tell these pedals is a "CE" symbol on the back of the pedal. Expect to pay about $175 for one of these.
(The TS808 Reissue looks the same as the picture of the Vintage TS808 except is has no "R" symbol next to the Ibanez logo and there is a CE symbol on the back of the pedal)
TS9DX - In 1998 Ibanez began producing this pedal for those who want more volume, distortion and low end. It has an added mode knob which allows you to select 4 different modes. These pedals are still produced today. Expect to pay around $130 for one of these.
Below is a TS9DX (notice the fourth knob which has four settings)....
TS7 - In 2004 Ibanez began producing this more budget oriented version of the TS9. The circuitry is very different but the pedal is packaged in a more rugged metal case (yes they look plastic in pictures, but they are metal). These are still being produced today and expect to pay $40.00 for one.
Below is a TS7....
This is become the big buzzword in guitar circles and becoming more and more popular. A mod is a modification to an effect pedal circuit. These range from easy DIY fixes to highly involved complex circuit and package changes. This can range from changing a resistor to drilling holes in a pedal case and installing additional switches. Keep in mind Ibanez NEVER put a socket in a pedal from factory, if you have a socket installed the pedal has been modded! We also sell the standard and "MoBrown" options in a kit format for the DIY'er for TS9 pedals.
Keep in mind when purchasing a modded pedal that most people modding pedals are just people sitting at home with a cheap soldering iron. Here at MohoMods we are a professional shop with a retail store front. We will be here if you ever have a problem and you can stop by our shop during business hours 7 days a week!! Our store address and number are at the bottom of this guide so stop in if you're ever in town! If you buy a pedal from a hobbyist, they could quit doing mods tomorrow and then you are basically out of luck. We have seen many many people come and go and our shop will be here to help you in coming years!!!
Ibanez Tube Screamers are typically modded to reproduce the sound and tone of the vintage TS808 at a budget cost. Below are examples of mods that we do at MohoMods ( http://stores.ebay.com/mohomods ).
Standard TS808 Mod - We take a TS808, TS9, TS10, TS7 or TS5 and change the internal components to reproduce the circuit of a vintage TS808. Each mod is specific to the pedal model, but all reproduce the same sound as the vintage TS808. You end up with the same sound at a fraction of the cost. We also install an OpAmp socket and provide both the JRC4558D and RC4558P OpAmp. This allows you to hear both versions of the original pedal.
"MoBrown" TS808 Mod - We take a TS808, TS9, TS10, TS7 or TS5 and change the internal components to reproduce the circuit of a vintage TS808. We then change a few additional key components to make the sound a little more warmer/creamier than the vintage TS808. You end up with sound similar to a vintage TS808 but with the added warmth.
"MoBass" TS808 Mod - We do either our standard or "MoBrown" mod. Then in addition we change the Low End Output of the pedal in one of two ways.
The first is a change which is not selectable. The stock TS9 or TS808 circuit does not allow frequencies below 720hz to pass through. Keep in mind your A string is 440hz, so basically your low E string (approximately 83hz) is filtered from the sound. We can change the circuit to allow frequencies down to 14hz to pass through, which is low enough for Bass guitar.
The second is a micro-switch installed in the case. We install a switch which allows you to select between either our stock TS808 mod or allowing all frequencies down to 14hz to pass through the pedal. This is done by drilling a hole in the case. If you want bass, this is the option for you. (We can also combine the first option and this option)
Either option has selectable frequencies built to your custom specs. Email us for more details.
This should have helped identify your Tube Screamer and also explain a little bit about what mods are. When selecting your Tube Screamer pedal, the bottom line is that everyone's taste is a little different and it's all about what YOU want. If you need help selecting or identifying a pedal email us at by contacting us through our store http://stores.ebay.com/mohomods. We can also discuss via email or phone what sound you are searching for and help come up with a pedal solution, because at MohoMods.....
"It's All About The Sound!"
MohoMods, 5562 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227, (317) 787-0733