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How to mod your TS5


First take it apart!

You'll need to pull the 3 knobs (level, tone, dist.) off. They are usually very stubborn. Try to use your thumb and index finger to pull them off. Try not to resort to using pliers since they are plastic knobs. Each knob has a collar, so watch for it if the knob pops off quickly.

Next remove the 4 Phillips screws holding the base on. This will reveal a black plastic shield held on by a Phillips screw and a metal ground. Remove the Phillips screw, metal ground and plastic shield. The circuit board is now free to slide out with a little coaxing.

Identify the components!

The TS5 components, unlike on the TS9 circuit board, are all marked so it is very easy to identify which parts to change. Each component has a reference number: R1 for resistor number 1, C1 for capacitor number 1, etc. Locate the components using the following component reference numbers and refer to the TS5 circuit board picture:

IC1 - this is the TA75558P op amp chip which you will replace with the 8 pin socket and JRC4558D op amp chip.

R34 - this is the 470 ohm (yellow-purple-brown-gold) resistor that you will replace with the carbon comp 100 ohm (brown-black-brown-gold) resistor.

R35 - this is the 100K ohm (brown-back-yellow-gold) resistor that you will replace with the carbon comp 10K ohm (brown-black-orange-gold) resistor.

C10 (optional) - this is the .047uF capacitor (usually a silver 'chiclet' type marked 473K) which you will replace with the poly film .1uF capacitor (usually a green or yellowish/greenish 'chiclet' type often marked 104K).

TS5 circuit board picture (pre-mods)

The first 3 component changes (IC1, R34, R35) are generally referred to as the TS808 mod. Using carbon comp resistors along with the capacitor change (R34, R35, C10) is sometimes referred to as the brown mod. You could go out and get carbon comps and change all the resistors, but changing these 2 are supposed to give the most bang for the buck. The capacitor change is listed as optional since this change is not part of the original TS808 spec. It gives the box more bass. Maybe you want more bass or maybe you don't. I personally like the extra bass and am guessing the majority of you will too.

Get out the soldering iron!

Get a de-soldering bulb. Or use a de-soldering braid if you are handy with that. If you can, secure the circuit board so you can use both hands. Get as much solder off the leads of all the components you plan to change. Caution: Do not try to bend or push the component leads without the solder in a melted state! The copper on the circuit board separates from the board and will tear off very easily (take it from someone who has done it!). I suggest you try to push the component leads through using the soldering tip itself, and then use tweezers or needle-nose pliers at the same time to help wiggle it through. The chip is toughest to get out. Make sure you note the orientation of the chip before you free it from the board.

Installing the new components is much easier than taking off the old ones. Make sure all the holes are free of solder so that the components leads can slide fairly easily into them. If you force them through, you run the risk of separating the copper from the board and tearing it.

You will notice that the new resistors are much bigger than the ones being replaced. The easiest thing to do is stand them up on end. You'll notice that the carbon comp resistor leads have been pre-bent to be installed this way. Like the resistors, the new capacitor is much bigger than the one it is replacing. Just pull both leads through as far as you can and press the capacitor down a bit so it sits close to the board. Solder everything up and clip the extra lead lengths down close to the board.

Make sure you are grounded before touching the chip, or at least recently grounded (remember touching something metallic after rubbing your feet on the carpet when you were a kid?). Static electricity can ruin a perfectly good chip. Hopefully you noted the orientation of the old chip because the new one most be oriented the same way or it will blow immediately when you turn it on. Refer to the TS5 circuit board picture if needed. There is a notch in the chip that should face the middle of the board, and the lettering on the chip should read the same direction as some of the component reference numbers, like R23 right above it. To plug it into the socket, line up 4 of the leads on one side first, then the other 4. Once you are confident that the leads are lined up start pushing it in place. Be careful not to bend any of the pins.

Test it out!

Before you put it back together, try it out. Make sure the board is not sitting on anything metallic like an amp corner or handle. The switch SW1 can be pushed with your finger. If it doesn't work, here's some checkpoints:

- make sure the battery is hooked up and is not dead

- make sure the battery lead is not damaged

- check all the solder jobs for cold solder joints or spillover

- check chip orientation

If you think you might be doing more mods in the future, put a tiny dab of WD-40 on each of the knob shafts so you can remove them a bit easier the next time. Re-assemble and you're done!