Thanks for the quick reply. So, if I understand correctly, it is not the IC chip that sets the TTL signal's level but the rest of the circuit. So, even if I dropped in a MAX3232 chip, I would still have to solder in a resistor on the TX line. Right? The bottom line, I would rather not do any soldering. This is a feeling I am sure many people share.
I was smart stupid enough to get one of those MAX232EPE-based converters before reading up on it on this resource. Thankfully, the IC chip is socket-mounted and is easily removed. Could I just get a MAX3232 chip (which I understand operates at 3.3V TTL level) to replace the original 5V one? Or will it not work with the rest of the circuitry? I am still planning to supply 5V from USB. Thanks for being gentle in your replies.