Author Topic: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips  (Read 22567 times)

Jackie Treehorn

11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« on: April 20, 2007, 03:21:48 PM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I loaded up my 1983 TS9 (with the 2 resistor changes to make it a TS808) with 11 different chips. I recorded them, too!

Strat->TS9->homemade JTM45 style amp->Shure 545SD -> Symmetrix Mic Pre -> Soundblaster 16 (ahh, the weak link sorry about the hiss!)

It was really hard to tell the better chips apart. I'm going to provide my listening notes with the lURL for the clips because it's extremely difficult to hear the differences in the clips! Even while playing and listening, we're talking about splitting hairs... There were a few that had some extra harmonic goodness, though.

http://www.theinside.net/misc/Chips

Korean 4558 (scrounged out of an old Symmetrix Gate) - pretty raunchy, has a nice midrange harmonic content, good gain

JRC 4558 (the stock, holy grail chip) - a bit better than the Korean, nice midrange harmonic content, good gain, some raunch

TI RC4558P (the "other" stock TS808 chip)- Got some swirl, good midrange, nice gain sound, less ragged than the JRC4558

TA75558P (dreaded stock TS9 chip) bright and boxy, gargled transients, not the worst, though - typical stompbox sound, kind of fuzzy

TI TL072CP - less gain/volume, slightly cleaner, perhaps more natural sounding, doesn't have the push in the mids. Blander

TI NE 5532AP - less, less, less real typical pedal sound, blander. Yawn...

LF 353N - Oh yeah, nice harmonics like the TI RC4558P, perhaps a bit leaner, a little extra something in the attack...a good one!

ST TL072CN - Really balanced, clarity, warmth, and gain. Very clear, revealing, bright, bell-like attack. Might be good if your amp is really pushed. Doesn't have as much motion to the sound. Better than the 5532AP.

NE 5532P Malaysia - better than the 5532AP, sounds kind of gargled when you hit it hard, good gain, boxy sound

Burr Brown OPA2134PA - Bland, bright, sterile - gargled, grainy kind of distortion. No harmonics...move on...

ST LM833N - Raunchy, but clear & warm, not much swirl or harmonics, good for crunchy rhythm, articulate leads - perhaps a bit less compressed?

Ahhh...I'll never get those 2 hours back!! Waste of time, perhaps....

jonathan perez

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 03:31:46 PM »
not a waste, at all! very interesting... :)
no longer the battle of midway...(i left that band)...

i hate signatures with gear lists/crap for sale....

i am a wah pervert...ask away...

sfx1999

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007, 06:47:44 PM »
I guess the IC doesn't matter all that much. The TI 4558 and the vintage 4558 sound the same to me. I can tell a difference in some, like the TI TL072. It sounds really good to me.

I wonder what it would sound like with a pair of 741...

george

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 03:20:34 AM »
I reckon it's great that you took that time and shared the results with us.

Apart from the TA75558P which did sound relatively bad - I can hear why there's a burgeoning industry in modding new TS9s - the differences between the others were indeed subtle.

One thing though, if you wanted to be certain that you were only comparing chips, you would need to make sure everything else stays EXACTLY the same between test runs.

I can't help wondering how much of the apparent differences were due to slight differences in control settings.   When you are swapping chips out I'm pretty sure that you can't avoid bumping the knobs as you unscrew the base plate, unscrew the pcb swap out the chip then put everything back together again .... If you were using a battery, battery strength would be yet another variable ...


brett

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 04:14:40 AM »
Hi
interesting results.  I always like two chips for one simple and obvious reason.... The TL072 and NE5532 are much quieter than the 4558s.  I suppose some of the others are quiet, too, but it's hard to justify getting too excited about them given your overall results.
cheers
 
Brett Robinson
Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. (Mao Zedong)

aron

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 04:31:50 AM »
For an interesting time, try that 1K or so resistor in series with the clipping diodes and see what happens. I remember all the chips starting to sound similar with that mod that Jack mentioned a while back.

Jackie Treehorn

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 10:40:24 AM »
I can't help wondering how much of the apparent differences were due to slight differences in control settings.   When you are swapping chips out I'm pretty sure that you can't avoid bumping the knobs as you unscrew the base plate, unscrew the pcb swap out the chip then put everything back together again .... If you were using a battery, battery strength would be yet another variable ...



Yes, one certainly bumps the controls changing chips.  However, I noted the knobs' positions (level at 50%, tone and drive 2 markers past 50%) and probably dialed them in very close.

I went with the 353 in the end...

Sam

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 10:55:47 AM »
Wow.
"Where's the paper bag that holds the liquor?
Just in case I feel the need to puke." - Silver Jews

Fp-www.Tonepad.com

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 11:57:54 AM »
 :o
www.tonepad.com : Effect PCB Layout artwork classics and originals : www.tonepad.com

jmasciswannabe

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2007, 10:17:10 PM »
It's sad when you spend fifteen minutes before sending that order in to small bear trying to decide weather or not to drop the extra 4 bucks on the fabled burr brown.....looks like the decision to go with the TI rc4558p was a sound one. I'm taking a shot at the "MartyMart" tubescreamer build this weekend. With none other than the tonepad layout I might add!
....the staircase had one too many steps

RaceDriver205

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2007, 02:29:39 AM »
Excellent! Now we have real proof of what difference the IC makes. Good on you :)

Constantin Necrasov

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2007, 03:07:25 AM »
In the voice of Dude: "Mr. Treehorn treats tubescreamer IC chips like women, man!"

Very nice!!! Good listen.

shredgd

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2007, 05:36:25 AM »
Very interesting and really worth doing it!

I did something similar long time ago but with a very limited number of IC (TL072, TL082, JRC4558, NE5532) and with a SOS and a SD-1 (I still hadn't built my trusty and slightly modded TS-9). I couldn't post the results because I have no webspace.

I can hear a difference in all the clips, at least with headphones (I didn't try with loudspeakers).
If the differences weren't generated by other variables, as someone pointed out, I might say I prefer the JRC4558 over all the others, probably because of the mid richness (I tend to favour mids) and gain structure. IMO harshness is one of the biggest and most common problems with OD/distortion stompboxes. You might favour brightness over darkness at bedroom volumes, but that darkness often reveals very friendly at stage levels, smoothing out your sound. Of course excesses aren't good in the darkness direction, neither.

However we are really talking about ultra details: the Tubescreamer invention remains a real gift to guitarists!

Last, but not least, one important thing we cannot spot even with the most standardized recording conditions is the feel of a pedal.
I always tell non-guitarist friends that sometimes two completely different circuits might sound pretty the same to the listener (let's think of some accurate amp emulations vs. the real thing) but completely different to the player. I also believe if one recorded a dry guitar signal and fed it to the two circuits, then the listener as well would hear the difference, while normally it's the player's way to play which often compensates for the sonic differences - but obviuosly the player will feel the extra effort he's doing to achieve this.

Giulio
Protect your hearing.
Always use earplugs whenever you are in noisy/loud situations.

My videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/shredgd5
My band's live videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/swinglekings

Fret Wire

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2007, 11:15:07 AM »
Hi
interesting results.  I always like two chips for one simple and obvious reason.... The TL072 and NE5532 are much quieter than the 4558s.  I suppose some of the others are quiet, too, but it's hard to justify getting too excited about them given your overall results.
cheers
 

I always liked the 5532 also. Back in 2004, I lined up 6 Tubscreamers at once with different chips too see for myself what all the fuss was. I don't have recording gear, so with six lined up in a row, you don't lose hearing reference like you would when you have to stop and change out the chip. Anyways, my winner was the TI 5532, sound wise and noise wise. A little noiser, but the 4559 (not 4558) had some nice bite.

Different ears for different gear, that's why we have sockets. :icon_wink:

Even when you push alot of air, the TS is pretty forgiving what IC you use, just a matter of tase. I found that the difference is biggest in ckts that are kind of op amp dependant, like the D+ (odd biasing) and the Rat (slew rate dependant). In those, the chip not only can alter the tone of the distortion, but how it distorts, which definately affects the feel.
Fret Wire
(Keyser Soze)

km-r

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2007, 11:56:39 PM »
i hear only sliight differences... poor me.. ive been stuck with rc4558 and tl072
but hey, youre really like the ts!
Look at it this way- everyone rags on air guitar here because everyone can play guitar.  If we were on a lawn mower forum, air guitar would be okay and they would ridicule air mowing.

Fret Wire

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2007, 01:34:10 AM »
i hear only sliight differences...

That's really all there is. :icon_smile:
Fret Wire
(Keyser Soze)

darron

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2007, 04:37:19 AM »
the 4558's and the 5532's in those clips sounded PRETTY similar... that was a fantastic comparison. i mean, to play around with the chips and have a listen there's the pause in between where you can forget the most minute differenced. and the differences certainly are minute! seems the TL072CP gives a bit more noise, so the quality of tone sounds a bit cheaper. other than that some of them seemed to has a tiny, tiny bit less treble? like the t5558p.

so, from listening to all of those samples i've made up my mind that the JRC4558d chip sounds as good as the better ones up there, so i my as well stick with it for the mojo factor (:

thanks! (:
Blood, Sweat & Flux. Pedals made with lasers and real wires!

MartyMart

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2007, 04:40:58 AM »
Here's a better way to A/B :
Get yourself two x the exact same pedal, let's say a pair of SD-1's
Leave a classic 4558 in "A" and try others in "B" simply switching
between the two with all controls set to 12 o'clock ( or whatever )
Stops any "memory of how that chip sounded a minute ago" errors :D

Having done it, there are changes but as stated they are often VERY subtle and
if done with just one circuit, I wouldn't be able to compare/remember the differences !

MM.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm"
My Website www.martinlister.com

km-r

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2007, 05:17:02 AM »
or go stereo with two amps, each with a different IC'd ts[or whatever]...

place one on each side... left n right...

meh... im a goner.
Look at it this way- everyone rags on air guitar here because everyone can play guitar.  If we were on a lawn mower forum, air guitar would be okay and they would ridicule air mowing.

jschwalls

Re: 11 Tube Screamer Chips with clips
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2007, 01:35:15 PM »
Excellent post... thank you!