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Our SILVER MOD pedals will have the RE-J sticker on the top and the silver sunface sticker on the front as seen on the left. They will also have a date and the type of mod and modders signature on the inside of the bottom plate.
The Classic TS-808 sound is well known and loved by thousands of players and millions of music fans. It cuts through the mix in live situations very well and sounds full and warm, with a vocal frequency spectrum. However some guitar players feel it is a bit too heavy in the midrange and loses a bit too much bottom end, especially people who play fairly clean or alone or in a small combo. The TS-808 EFFECTS your sound, but in a good way. The SILVER option allows it to add the drive and warmth without EFFECTING your sound quite as much- it is more transparent, it does not sound like you are using an effect pedal as much.
In 2002 we came up with a new TS9/808/silver option to meet
the requirements of those few super discriminating players. This
modification is done in addition to our normal TS-808/Brown mod.
It uses many expensive components to make the TS-808 circuit
really come alive.
This modification was developed with the help of an engineer in Japan, Mr. Ohbayashi. As you can see in the picture, we also came up with a KILLER Boss BD-2/SUPER Blues driver mod!!! The BD-2 is a totally different overdrive sound, a very sweet sounding pedal after the mod. You can see Ohbayashi san's Japanese web site for more info on these mods (if you can read Japanese it would help!). For these new mods, we would change a few components to try to improve the tone, then email each other what we changed. While one of us slept, the other would test the mod and make suggestions and more small changes. We did this through many iterations until we were both convinced the sound could not be improved further, and were happy with the components we used. In Japan, high quality audio capacitiors can be found in many values and sizes useful for effects. These are very hard to find in the USA, and cost over $3 each here, so my collaborator is sending them to me for the mods.
For a clearer, purer sound you can try running the TS9/808 pedal at higher voltage, up to 16 Volts is safe. It may not be as warm sounding but some people prefer the higher voltage. It will give the pedal a little more output and headroom, more output before it clips and compresses. We sell a new 12V DC adaptor now, it sounds awesome with the silver mod and our chorus and compressor pedals (and many other pedals too). You can also use the Voodoo Labs Pedalpower2 which has options for 12V (outputs 1-4) or 16V (outputs 5 and 6).
The silver option has less of a mid range hump than a normal tube screamer. While I love the classic TS-808 sound, this mod takes it a step further, making the pedal even more transparent, with less of an effect sound. It has improved low end without the tone-degrading qualities that come with the common low-end enhancement mods you can find on the web, which are simply adding a larger capacitor (the other modes on the TS9DX are like this). Our silver mod does not have nearly as much low end as the + (2nd) setting on the DX, see our TS9DX MODE MODS page which shows that even the hot and turbo mods that we do, have less low end than the + mod on the unmodified DX.
If increasing the value on a capacitor would improve the sound with no additional cost, Ibanez would have built them that way in the first place. Mass produced products like a TS9 are built to a price point, and made to perform as well as possible at the lowest manufacturing cost. The parts we use in the silver option would cost Ibanez millions of dollars a year if they were standard in the pedal, more than doubling the cost of the components. Only the small and high end manufacturers can afford to use these high quality components, which only the discriminating guitarist will notice.
The SILVER option sounds clearer and truer- even the bypassed tone is improved a bit. If you have ever dropped a pure silver coin onto a wooden table, and compared it to the sound of a regular nickle/zinc coin, you will have an idea of what we were going for. If you use two tube screamers together or your tube screamer in combination with other pedals the silver option will help quite a bit, as more of your tone gets through the TS9/808/silver, so the next pedal has more to work with.
In addition to several capacitors in the signal path, we also use special high end audio power supply filter capacitors. This lets your hard overdriven attacks (especially on the low strings) come through without mushing out, while soft, clean notes will still come out smoothly with no alterations. There is less compression to the sound, more note articulation. The entire sound is fuller and richer, with an emphasis on picking attack. Ohbayashi san has made his TS-808 clones using six 1.5V AAA batteries inside (see the RE-J on his web site!) to get this type of tone, but we found that these special power capacitors will give the same benefit in tone without having to lug around a box of batteries! These power capacitors work and sound best after they are "formed" at working voltage, so the tone of the pedal may improve with use. The spec sheets for the power caps we use state that the characteristics are stabilized after 100 hours of running. Or simply leave it connected to a power adaptor overnight to get all the caps happy, and use it often, for best tone! These capacitors are specifically designed to work well at the high frequencies of digital switching power supplies like the Power-All and One Spot. These power supplies can cause some noise with some pedals, but our silver mod should filter any noise out. We don't recommend these cheap digital switching power supplies if you don't already have one, but if you do they should be ok if you are careful.
Modifications in Japan
Ohbayashi san, CAMTAC (Certified Analogman Modification Technician And Collaborator) will modify your pedal in Japan but does not sell new pedals at a shop. He is a modification technician, not a dealer. If you want to buy a new pedal with our mods in Japan, see the link at the top of the main TS9 page to the Japanese dealers for our Classic TS-9/808 pedals. Or you can buy any of the modified pedals direct from Analog Man.
Received the TS9/808/Silver yesterday. Placed it back on my pedalboard and "fiddled" a couple of hours at the house. As for first impressions, well I have really, really loved my Klon Centaur for the several years I have used it, and I have USED it. Well, HAS THAT CHANGED NOW!! I did not realize how much bottom end the Klon loses until I played the TS SILVER. Really shocked me. The Klon sounds really thin. The SILVER sounds round and warm. It sounds great in both clean boost and overdrive and I just can't decide how to use it.
Last night I was playing a Zion tele-style semi-hollow body with Bardens through my Alessandro Plott Hound and a 1x12 cab. By the way, I think the SILVER will cut through the live mix much better than the Brown mod did.
And later he wrote back:
Played a gig with all the new and improved stuff. Everything is awesome and I am very happy! Well worth the investment. I think the tsSilver is still the big winner. It sounds tremendous. My soundman came up after the first set and asked if I had taken some steroids or something. I asked why, and he started talking about the "unusually big fat tone". And remember, this is from a guy who has been used to hearing a Klon and the ts9/808 for the last few years. I'd say the SILVER mod was a PLATINUM improvement!
6/02 J.S. wrote:
Still loving it!!!
I played a gig with it and it really threw me for a loop. I set it up like my stock pedal and all night long I was like..."what's goin on..something sounds wierd/different". I got home and messed with it a little more and realized that I can actually use my tone knob..so I'm now crankin the tone to about 50%-75% and what a difference!!! All my life every OD pedals had to be set with the treble rolled way down. The Silver Mod has such a beautiful and usable tonal range that it's hard to get used to because it's like goin' against family tradition! "No treble or I break your freakin face!" (think Sopranos) You know what I mean!! Now when I use that knob I feel like I gotta ask permission...but it sounds sooooo sweet!! The psychology of guitar players and the weenie-tradition factor...I could write a book!!! I bet you could too!
Anyhoo, great job and I 'm extremely happy with the product.
9/02 J.R. wrote:
Wow!! Love it! It is exactly what I was looking for! As you know from my review that you posted on your site, I did like the original TS-9/808 mod, but since I have an original TS-808, my TS-9/808 was used as a back up. Now the silver mod and the TS-808 are both going to be in my pedal chain since they are now slightly different animals. Not too far apart, but just enough that I want them both on my board. The Silver mod, definitely makes each of the 5 selectable pickup positions retain their unique character compared to my TS-808 or normal TS-9. Performs very nicely as a somewhat uncolored staight volume boost with gain down (something the Klon I use to own did well (sold it anyway), but a normal TS-9 or 808 does less well) . It also seem to have more gain than the standard TS-9/808. I found my self cranking the gain on the pedal,and with my ES 335, playing "Still got the blues" by Gary Moore. That is simply not something you typically do with a standard tube screamer.
J. Hawkins is a session player in the midwest, he is now working on a new band called the Pringle Movement with some very famous members and the best producer in the country (I am not able to mention them by name yet). He wrote:
Mike, thanks for the GREAT pedal. We absolutely love it!!! Very warm without the harshness/"tin-lie" annoyances of "other" modified pedals.
(Producer) actually liked the way it provided a startling contrast to the obscure, primordial approach of (the drummer). The Clone Chorus also went over extremely well! Very lush, but more importantly, VERY quiet!!! No tonal discoloration when disengaged. That holds true for the Silver TS9. (you obviously knew that.) We plugged it into a SLO-100 and it provided us with one of the most immaculate sounds we have ever heard. Then I used it as a boost for the Lead channel on the SLO and I must admit, I will never use it any other way again! It stripped the SLO's lead channel of the "chainsaw buzz" and made it totally digestable. All the while it was able to maintain the clarity and articulation of which I have grown so fond of in my SLO. Impressive seems to provde a certain amount of injustice to the impact your work has had, and will continue to have on the tonal junkies out there. Thank You.
In Mid 2004 I got this email:
I got a chance to put your silver TS9/808 to work today for the first time. I compared it to my original TS-808 for perspective. What it does it pretty interesting. It sounds like the 808, but the highs are clearer and the lows are truer. Its funny; I would think that the silver sounded alot like my screamer until I hooked the 808 back in line to check for a difference. The lows would drop out and the highs would recede when playing through the old guy. Your silver mod really retains the character of my old pedal, while adding dimension and width. Switching back to the silver after hearing the original 8o8 reminds me of flipping on the bright and deep switches on an amplifier. I love that midrange THRONK the original has, but your Silver mod is definitely a keeper, and maybe a new staple. I think I will have many uses for each pedal, using them for different amps or guitars, and depending on the context. I am looking forward to seeing what happens, and if they get along and multiply.
It is an excellent pedal, and I thank you.
Another observation from Chuck in 2005:
Running two silver mods together into the front in of my Marshall JTM45 clone (which only has clean channels) gives you incredibly lush harmonics - not possible with two stock TS9s. I've tried infinite combinations using every imaginable pedal and nothing compares to it. You mention that somewhere on your site but you really have to try it to believe it.
A lot of people are running multiple pedals together, "stacking" them for various tones. The silver mod is really good for this, especially the Maxon OD9/808/Silver. Here is a note I got :
I am playing a Fender USA strat with the "TONE" (one in a thousand strats) plugged into a rebuilt Fender 70s silver face to blackface recreation. I just got your Silver Modded Tube Screamer last week and loved it from the start. I A/B'd with a friends brand new Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer and the difference was easily noticeable (I can't believe people like them stock?)--but now I have discovered (in my humble opinion)the true genius of your work on this mod. Besides bringing back the long elusive CLASSIC sound I was looking for, your Silver Modded Tube Screamer makes every other distortion/overdrive effect in the chain sound great. I play in a classic rock band and was experimenting with trying to get some more crunch out of the Super Reverb (I know this may seem sacrilegious to some) but anyway, being in a experimenting mood, I took my stock Boss DS-1, PW-2, and my Digitech DF-7 and chained them in front of the Tube Screamer, Man what a difference. The Tube Screamer makes all these other pedals sound the way they should. When I turn off the Tube Screamer, I don't care what combination I try, how much I tweak the other pedals etc...they sound horrible. I have tried all these pedals by themselves into the Super Reverb and it is a lost cause. I can't believe the difference. Hats off to you. I usually use a Digitech GNX4 these days and these other pedals were collecting some serious dust. Now they can be used again. I never thought the Super Reverb could rock so hard! I can't wait to order a modded DS-1 or SD-1, or maybe even a Sun Face from you next. Rock on!Scott Henderson has been using our CLASSIC mod since very early 2001 when he sold his original TS9 and TS808 pedals. They did not sound as good as our classic mod so he no longer needed them. In July, 2002 a friend brought him one of our SILVER mods and I got this message on my answering machine which Scott allowed me to put on the web site. On the left is Scott and Ohbayashi san when they met in Japan in late 2003. Scott was stuck using a solid state Roland amp in Japan, but tried a new BD-2 mod from Ohbayashi san and it worked out great!
Here is a TS9/808/silver mod sample from Scott's new CD Well to the Bone, track 5 Well To The Bone.
Here is another sample that
Scott Lerner put together
quickly (one take!). He is quite a player and did great
in the Guitar Center Guitarmeggedon contest!!
Jethro's Slow Torture.mp3
Here is another one from Scott Lerner, the TS comes in at 2:10 if you want to fast-forward: Bluetude mp3
Here is a video realplayer file from Scott Lerner, using the TS9/silver
with his Fuchs amp
: Scott Lerner rm file
In late summer 2002, Trey Anastasio from Phish obtained a pair of our silver mod TS9/808 pedals along with our bicomprossor. He has been using them on his Phish and solo tours and recordings since 2003. See our PHISH page for more info. Here is a shot of Trey with them, on the phish.com website.
Michael Katon has been using our Silver mod since it first came out, after a few years playing our Classic mods. On tour in Europe in spring 2002, people would come up to him after the shows to see how he got his great tone. They looked at the pedalboard and saw the KLON. When they asked Michael about it, he told them he didn't turn it on all night, they were hearing the Silver mod!
Andy Powell and Ben Granfelt from Wishbone Ash are using our Silver mod in their TS9DX/808/Silver with mode mods, they have four of these pedals including one bought by their guitar tech in the UK! See my TS9DX page for more info on these pedals and Andy and Ben.
Here are some Japanese Reviews if you can read them!
The silver mod is $75 instead of the normal 808/brown mod which is $45. The parts we use are very expensive (only available in Japan) and the mod takes twice as long to perform, with three times as many component changes as the standard TS9/808/brown mod. If you are a beginning player this option may not be worth it, but if you have top of the line guitars and amps it will let more of their tone come through.
Please go to the bottom of my TS9 page for online ordering of a new pedal.
Modification on your pedal
For mods on your pedal, please see our TS9 page and fill out the form choosing the TS9 SILVER OPTION box. We can do this mod only on a TS9 or TS9DX, or the new Maxon OD-9 which is a TS9 without the FET switching. The form will explain all charges and tell you where and how to send your pedal, please send a copy of the form to me with your pedal.
If you already have the Analog Man Classic TS9/808/Brown mod, the silver option can be added to it. The silver option is in addition to all the mods that we do on the classic TS9/808/brown, so nothing has to be undone or redone. It takes longer and costs us more to add the silver option than to do the classic TS-808 mod. So we will be charging $45 to add the silver option to a TS9 or TS9DX pedal that has the analog man sticker on it, or $75 for a pedal that we have not previously modified.
We can also add the SILVER option and True Bypass to the MAXON OD-808 ! The MAXON is close to a TS-10 circuit (same as TS9's output section, not TS-808 style) but the cool thing is the stomp switch can easily be replaced by a 3PDT switch for true bypass if you are crazy about having true bypass pedals. The Maxon's STOMP switch is much better than the TS9's micro switch which could fail after some time. We convert the OD-808 into true TS-808 specs and add our SILVER upgrade and true bypass in this mod. The Maxon silver/bypass mod is the same $75 silver charge, plus $15 for the 3PDT switch and $20 extra labor for installing the switch. But if you don't already have an OD-808, it's better to get a TS9, TS808, or OD9 and get it modified. The OD-808 has special, fragile pots and jacks that are attached to the board, and they are easily broken and not easily fixed. These other pedals are hand wired, a lot stronger construction, and anyone can fix them with normal parts.
In late 2002 we came up with some MODE MODS to make the
3 TS9DX modes more useable on the TS9DX (Turbo) tube screamer.
We offer these mods along with the SILVER option for the
ultimate Ibanez Tube Screamer! Click on the picture on the
left for more info.
Keep on Screamin!
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