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.
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