38 thoughts on “Ibanez TS-808

  1. Hi, Could you kindly tell me To, turn this ts 808 to ts 10 what are the changes need to be done.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Hi, i have some question about footswitch in général.
    I want to build it for bass, what is the différence between guitar and bass pedal? should i change some component? or just upgrading like Diamond write it R6 : 2.2k for more bass?

    Thanks for your answers

  3. Thanks for the layout! I built this as an onboard Tube Screamer for one of my SGs, because it‘s the smallest TS-808 layout that I could find 🙂 It fits in the guitar cavity nicely! I replaced the pots with small trimpots for this purpose. Perfect! Oh, and it sounds perfect, too 🙂

  4. I just finished building this, and it works great! Sounds even better than the unbuffered version of the TS that I had breadboarded, too. I had some trouble with the drive control at first, but it turned-out that I had bodged the soldering on the pot itself. Everything else was smooth sailing.

    I didn’t have 1.5Meg, 510k or 51k resistors, so I used a 1Meg (the biggest I have) for R22, 560k for R2 and R12, and 56k for R7. As far as I can tell, those changes didn’t make a lick of difference.

  5. So a friend asked for a pedal for her husband. As I was already in the process of building him one anyway that he didn’t know about, I thought this was a great idea. Now here is the cool part. I was going to build him a tubescreamer, but hadn’t settles on the art work yet. She says the pedal has to be green and say “Michelle’s Box” I said perfect. I have just the pedal. So I show her the Pedal with the text on it and say it needs something more. Chrome Lady! She loves it and says now on the right it should sa put it in here. OH MY! 😮 I said is there a story behind this pedal, she says yes, I say well don’t tell me, T.M.I. anyway, I ordered a green bean, it was coming fast enough,(my fault late order) hello Sabrotone. I hope you enjoy Michelle’s box as much as I did.

  6. Check out the “wiring” section for lots of different off-board options. You probably want to stick to the “true-bypass” wiring in the beginning.

  7. You’re welcome! I really don’t know if I could call it a TS808 anymore, but those mods help to counter some of the most common issues people sometimes have with Tube Screamers, (lack of bass, not enough drive, too much compression, etc) without overdoing it.

    I did one more mod after finishing it and playing with it for a while. I took out the 20kW tone pot and replaced it with a 5k linear pot to give it a more useable range. Even with the ‘correct’ w-taper 20k pot, the first half of it was nearly useless. I also tried 10kB, but the 5kB was perfect.

    This is a good read for people who are interested in Tube Screamers: http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/tstech/tsxtech.htm

  8. I built it, it works perfectly and sounds great! Nice fat and smooth sounding overdrive with plenty of gain. I did the following mods though:

    R6: 2,2k (more gain)
    R7: 10k (lower minimum gain setting)
    C3: 220nF (more bass)
    D1: 1N914 + BAT41 (more headroom)
    D2: 1N4001 + BAT41 (more headroom, asym. clipping)
    Drive: 1M log (more gain)

    I also used 2N3904 for transistors and RC4558p for the IC, because I already had those.

  9. I would look for a missing component/trace cut or maybe a cold solder joint or solder bridge that’s causing the pot to not have any effect. Good luck debugging.

  10. Got it built, omitted the diode on the power supply but otherwise it’s exactly as show. the gain pot is doing nothing at all, but the volume and tone knobs function fine. I’ve tried several pots, so I know that isnt it. I’ve also tried multiple IC and diodes.

  11. I substituted a 2K Linear pot for the Tone control and it does greatly improve the usable sweep of the control, instead of all the “good” tones being crammed into the last 10% of rotation as I had before, they are spread evenly around the pot’s entire sweep from Dark to Bright.


  12. Hi Harald,

    Yeah apparently the response of the tone control issue is common or DIY builds unless you use one of those “W” taper pots. I have also read where some DIY builders have had success using a 2K or 5K linear pot for the Tone control, I’ll give that a try and report back. Apparently a 25K log pot wired in reverse also gives a more useable response/taper, although it of course works backwards, ie. Treble is increased by turning Anti-Clockwise.

    Thanks for the comment on my build and thanks for the great layouts here.


  13. Let me just start off by saying I have very little practical experience with this circuit. Maybe a reverse log. taper is better for the tone control? I see smallbear advertising a special W taper pot for the TS tone control.
    Very nice build, by the way 🙂

  14. I just finished this build, it worked great first try. I also added the 808 mods detailed on the Keeley website. The only thing a bit strange is my Tone control doesn’t seem to do much at all until about 90% rotation, I checked and it is a 20K linear. Anyone else come across that issue?

    Here’s a couple of pics.

    The Guts

  15. I don’t think there’s anything you can do with this circuit that’ll just add more volume. You could replace R17 with a larger value to get more gain from the second opamp stage, but that’s probably going to mess with the tone control. If you think outside this circuit you could add a boost stage at the output; there’s no rule saying you can’t have two circuits in the same enclosure.

  16. Hi g. I also use electrolytic caps for C2 and C8 and as you already supposed right and Harald also confirmed, the orientation of C8 with the positive side towards pin 7 of the IC (i.e. pin d16) is right. C2, however, should be oriented with the positive side towards pin f6 on the vero. If you are still uncertain, maybe this hint could also help you to find it out: After you have completely finished the build with all connections (potis, jacks, DC, etc.) and fully populated the veroboard except of C2 and C8 and under the assumption that you build it with no errors and the circuit would work correctly, measure the voltages of each pin which would connect to C2 (i.e. f6 and i6) and the pins connecting to C8 (i.e. d16 and e16) relative to ground. The less positive voltage will be your negative pin for the electrolytic cap. For example for C2 you should measure something around 4.42 – 4.68V at pin f6 and 2.88V – 2.99V at pin i6; and for C8 the voltage difference is marginal, i.e. 4.61V (4.36V) at pin d16 and 4.68V (4.44V) at pin e16. (Note that all controls (Level, Tone, Drive) are set to zero). You can also test this with an already finished build. Once again, thank you for this fantastic site Harald! Greetings.

  17. Hi g. Sorry for not responding earlier. You can get bi-polar/non-polar electrolytic caps that look like regular electrolytics but can be oriented either way and they’re a decent alternative to proper regular caps in that size range.
    If you try regular electrolytics I’m fairly certain you have to orient C8 with the positive side towards pin 7. C2 I’m not so sure about, but if you orient it with the positive side towards Q1 and the negative side at pin 3 you’ll have a 50% chance 🙂

  18. ok. well, I guess I’m gonna find some non polar caps for c2 and c8. Other people claim that you can use two polar 1uf electrolytics, negative ends soldered together, to make a 1uf non polar cap, but that takes up space that I don’t have and sounds sketchy… Anyways, really looking forward to this one.

  19. So figured out the orientation of the tantalum capacitor (mine just had a slightly ambiguous label), and I can see from Marko’s pictures below that he used electrolytic capacitors for c2 and c8. Unfortunately I can’t tell the orientation from his pictures. I found from the general guitar gadgets site that they use 1uf film caps (labeled 1uf B.P. on the schematic). Anyone know what the B.P stands for? Anyway, they don’t mark the polarity on C2 and C8 there either.

    I’d really like to get away using my electrolytics so I don’t have to wait even longer to get this one up and running. If I had to guess I’d wanna say the negative side of c8 goes to “d-16.” Maybe the negative side of c2 goes to “f-6.” I’m not sure though, it’d be more obvious if they were output caps, or went to ground or something. Anyone have any thoughts?

  20. Hey, Harald. I was wondering about C2 and C8 which are both 1 uf capacitors. I usually use electrolytics for things 1uf and larger, but the layout doesn’t show polartity and I’m not savvy enough to figure it out for myself. Can use electrolytic capacitors here, and if so how do I orient them?

    Also, my C11 tantulums have both a + and a – written on the same side which is confusing. The leads are different lengths like an LED though. I figure I have a 50/50 shot of getting it right, so we’ll see what happena, but if you have ever encountered anything like this, maybe you can clue me in..

    Any chance you can help me out? Thanks for all the great layouts!

  21. Thanks for all your great layouts. I’ve just made this, and used a TL072 and a couple of “pn100” transistors in place of the 4558 and the 2n4401s because I couldn’t get them immediately locally, and it sounds fine to me. Worked first go, love that!

  22. The mods look like they’ll give you more gain, but nothing extraordinary. I’m guessing you either have a mistake somewhere (missing/misplaced/wrong component, missing/bad trace cut, bad solder joint maybe) or you need to treat your build as a hi-gain effect where you need to be very careful with how you put down your wiring (keep wire short, intersect at 90 degree angles, keep input and output wires well away from each other etc.). There’s a debug secton over at http://www.geofex.com you could consult or I believe there’s also a dedicated thread over at DIYstompboxes.

  23. hey I was wondering if you can help, I’ve built the pedal and in the top 25% of all the pots there is oscillation, I have changed a few values for the keeley mod R6:2.4k R7:20k C3.1uf C9:.18uf and the caps I used are 630v could the mods and the size of the caps be causing the oscillation?

  24. That’s OK, Marko. Nice work, looks really cool!
    And I’ll add your request to my list. Do you know where I can find a schematic for that one, by the way?

  25. Hi Harald sorry for being this late with my response.
    Here’s another look at the box
    I bought it in a local electronics store, paid around 8 euros for it, it’s very cool I like stomping on a pedal that has it’s enclosure on an angle.
    I really can’t help you with a way to purchase them yourself, I’ll do a little search and provide you with info on those boxes if I happen to see them elsewhere.

    Since I’m already writing this I wanna make a request 😀 could you please do Foxrox Wah Retrofit buffer? So that we all could enjoy our crazy fuzzes with wah in front of them!

  26. Make sure you’ve got all cuts and jumpers at the right place. Check that you’ve got the correct value components at the correct location on the board. Double check your wiring.

  27. Hello harald, just finished this layout, but i can’t make input work. knobs seem to work ok over the noise, but i can’t get any guitar input. I even hear the noise of my guitar knobs when i roll them , but when i strum the strings, no sound at all. Any suggestions? :/

  28. hi man, an enormeous thank you on my behalf for your work, I’m lovin’ your layouts, thank you man, for your effort, really!

    I just wanted to ask you about the C6 cap on this layout, it seems it’s not there?
    Is this deliberate?

    Thank you in advance.

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