I'm gonna be brief here. I've had it all. Really. I've been gigging weekly since the early 80's, and still do. I've bought (ugh), and sold (ugh), and traded (double ugh) so much gear, I'm not sure if I'm in the black yet what with all I've made over the past 20 years.
OK, back to the TS-5 (with 808 mod). A friend of mine had an original TS-5 a few years back. It sounded OK. Not as good as my original TS-9 or TS-10. But it sounded very close. When the battery was weak, it sounded better. Well, I needed a 'screemer' to keep at home to play through a coupla years back. I keep all my real gear in the truck, and since it's all in cases and so forth, I don't drag it all out to practice with, or 'jam' through. Anyway, I see one of these TS-5's on e-bay claiming to be 808-modded. Well, nobody bidded on it and I picked it up for $25. I figured it oughta be ok, whether it was really modded or not. It'd work at home, or I'd give it to my son.
So. I get it, and opened it up, and sure enough, had the JRC4558C chip, and had some other caps replaced. Cool. What really floored me, is it actually sounds better than my modded TS-9, unmodded TS-10, and Maxon OD-808. Fuller sounding, more transparent. AND works the best in conjunction with any one of those pedals.
So I use it before my Maxon OD-808. (They sound the best together with leads, and I have each one set a little different for slightly different sounds using one or the other. I don't like effects much, I'm a 'roots' guy. A little flange, or delay as needed to cover a few songs, but pretty much a GTR, slight OD, and Tube Amp sound period.
I am being brief, I can get long winded, hehe.
Also understand, these (as all 'tubscreamers')are NOT fuzz pedals. They are for overdriving Tubes. They sound OK with a GOOD SS amp, but through a tube amp, they make THAT amp, at low volumes (stage or practice) sound like THAT amp CRANKED up getting that smooth power tube bite/sustain.
This pedal, as any other, will NOT make a $200 Hondo guitar, and a $200 Crate SS(no offense Crate- their high-end tube amps aren't too shabby), sound like a $3,000 rig. Ain't gonna happen.
But this pedal CAN be put between a $2,000 guitar and a $2,000 tube amp AND enhance their sound in a good way. Seriously.
Also note: There's no such thing as a perfect '10'(except maybe Bo Dereck in '79), a '9' is reserved for a super professional 'recording quality' sound that costs BIG bucks. So an 8 in my book are VERY good.
I hate the fact that it sounds the best of all my heavy duty metal 'tubscreamers', because it's plastic. I use a pedal board, and take care of my stuff. I HAVE had to intercept a few fat chicks, and drunk dudes, that persist in jumping on stage- and keep them from spilling/stepping on my stuff, MANY times, hehe. I have others for backups. I'm sure this one will break before my others- but as far as 'working'- it should be fine.
Good pedal. Can't believe it sounds as good as it does. I play mostly classic rock, country-southern rock, blues, and funk. I've loved tubscreamers since 1980, when I started playing seriously.
Somebody will have to steal my whole rig, and PA to get it. It'll probably break first, and I'll be kinda sad. Seems these pedals all have their own 'character', and my TS-5/808 mod's got plenty.
My overall rating of 10 is because of all of the above, with emphasis on it's value.