Tubescreamer TS9 / TS808 PCB Assembly

This circuit board started out as a way for us to test some PCB design features that we wanted to bring to other products that we offer. In the first photo you can see our first shot at making tubescreamer circuit board and our revised board (lower) that was cleaned up a few years later.

This 54mm x 21mm layout can fit in a 1590B enclosure (think MXR Phase 90) or we could put two in a single 125-B enclosure. This is a great option to be installed in a Big Muff like in our Tripel Big Muff.

Overall this was a fun build. Some key upgrades include using film caps instead of 1uF electrolytic caps, a socket for the op amp that holds a vintage JRC4558DD, Nichicon high voltage caps so it can operate at 18V if needed, and TS808 resistors are labeled separately since that’s a common swap on the TS9 circuits. Another design choice was to place the diodes on the back side of the PCB. This gives easy access for installing diode-selecting switches in the future or if we wanted to try some oversized or oddball diodes. Below is a quick video of what a typical assembly process looks like. It’s a 2 minute video but covers about a 30 minute process. Please enjoy the generic, royalty-free rock music.

PCB assembly video
Finished project; white knobs are a stand-in until the black aluminum knobs arrive.
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