Why couldnt you...

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Why couldnt you...

Postby Slim » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:57 pm

Build your own tube amp? I mean with a transformer, speaker, pots, caps, , resistors, etc and a bread board wouldnt it be fairly simple straightforward stuff from an electronics stand point? I was looking at my Twin Reverb and the schematic and got to thinking....hmmmm I would love to try to build a very small tube amp just to say "I did it!"

Anybody here ever done this?
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby Derekslide » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:13 am

Slim wrote:Build your own tube amp? I mean with a transformer, speaker, pots, caps, , resistors, etc and a bread board wouldnt it be fairly simple straightforward stuff from an electronics stand point? I was looking at my Twin Reverb and the schematic and got to thinking....hmmmm I would love to try to build a very small tube amp just to say "I did it!"

Anybody here ever done this?
I've tried doing soldering before and let me tell you I'm literately Tim Alan in the show home inprovement.

So I'll just leave the amp building to you guys.
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby ricochet » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:07 am

Yes, a basic tube amp is a fairly simple device. But it can get more complicated than planned, there's always something you did wrong and have to troubleshoot, and it will make it easier if you use a design (and especially if you use a kit) that's tried and true to get started. Won't save you money to build one compared to the inexpensive Chinese amps on the market, but it's great fun. Check out: http://ax84.com/
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby Slim » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:23 am

Thanks for the link Ric! Yeh that looks like what I wanna try just a simple 5w no bells or whistles. Decent price. Then I could build a sweet little cab for a 10 inch speaker or such........hmmmmmmmm. As soon as I get a few other honey do's done around home I might pick up one of those kits.

I remember as a kid having those radio shack 100 electrical project kits I loved that stuff!

Yeh plus it will be cool to say " Ahh thats just a little amp I built...." LOL!
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby Derekslide » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:45 am

Slim wrote:Thanks for the link Ric! Yeh that looks like what I wanna try just a simple 5w no bells or whistles. Decent price. Then I could build a sweet little cab for a 10 inch speaker or such........hmmmmmmmm. As soon as I get a few other honey do's done around home I might pick up one of those kits.

I remember as a kid having those radio shack 100 electrical project kits I loved that stuff!

Yeh plus it will be cool to say " Ahh thats just a little amp I built...." LOL!
use a toilet for the case bro.

That would be very cool shit and piss while playing :)
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby bignick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:22 pm

A friend built one for me last year. Yes it is true, you basically just follow schematics...and you can order all the parts from Mouser Electronics for much cheaper than a kit. All you need is a board, chasis, and components. The problem is getting all of capacitors and resistors set to the right values. There is a lot of tweaking involved.

I think I spent $60 on components but we fried my output transformer and I had to buy one of those for $40. I already had the cab, chasis, and speaker.

You are still looking at around $300 without the labor...but that is the fun part.

http://www.tedweber.com, stocks a lot of good kits if you don't want to buy the individual components.
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby Slim » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:58 pm

The problem is getting all of capacitors and resistors set to the right values. There is a lot of tweaking involved.


Huh?

Maybe I am not reading that right...I mean your caps and resistors are what they are value wise.....Youa rent going to change its value. If you follow a schematic you will end up within 5-10% of the theoretical unless you do something wrong. Or are you talking about figuring out what value components to use? This is why I would follow a schem. for one that has already been built. I aint got the time to do the math to figure all that out! Had to do that in a college class build a circuit on paper then build it on a board and test it to see if the numbers jived....fun fun fun!
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby bignick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:41 pm

You sound like you know what you're doing and will do just fine. I could never do that shit by myself without a lot of reading. Ordering the components was hard enough for me. My friend tried to explain it all and just lost me repeatedly. As soon as he moved past the basic components and started tweaking things here and there...he lost me.
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby left eye jumps » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:04 am

Hope you have good success with it. I want to build a tube amp but, am a little intimidated so I'm building this Ruby Amp from runoffgroove.com Its a little 1/2 watt ditty that I'm gonna put through two 4" speakers that will be mounted in an old Crosley Radio shell.

when looking for amp projects I found this forum thread. The guy talks about taking a Heathkit Signal Tracer and modifying it to run as a ~ 1watt tube amp. May try that out if I find one cheap.

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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby mike932 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:46 am

In reference to building ones own amp, I just read a method on how to drain the caps . According to the author , plug in your amp, plug in your guitar, turn on the amp, play for awhile, leaving the amp switch on unplug the amp and play the guitar until the amp goes quiet. The caps should then be drained to the point of only a minor shock.
I emailed my amp tech and awaiting his reply .
Anyone ever try this or have heard of it before?
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby guitarslim101 » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:51 am

I've made a few amps. The two I've kept around are a Tweed Deluxe clone and a Supro 1624 clone. At some point, I'm going to go through the Tweed Deluxe and tweak it to run with KT-66 power tubes, because I just love the sound of a KT-66 driven amp.

It is a lot of fun if you know how to build it without killing yourself (very important) and know how to troubleshoot.
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby ricochet » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:46 pm

mike932 wrote:In reference to building ones own amp, I just read a method on how to drain the caps . According to the author , plug in your amp, plug in your guitar, turn on the amp, play for awhile, leaving the amp switch on unplug the amp and play the guitar until the amp goes quiet. The caps should then be drained to the point of only a minor shock.
I emailed my amp tech and awaiting his reply .
Anyone ever try this or have heard of it before?

Oh yeah, that's standard stuff and kinda works. Problem is, the cathodes may cool down enough to quit emitting before the caps are discharged. In most circuits, pulling the plug is the same as turning the amp off. Still need to discharge the caps. Some amps are set up so the "Standby" switch cuts off the B+ voltage and the cathodes stay hot, which will bleed down the caps. Some have bleeder resistors set up so they always drain the caps within a few minutes after shutdown. I'd still manually drain the caps in any case.
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Re: Why couldnt you...

Postby guitarslim101 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:32 pm

I agree with Ric on that. It's always a good idea to make sure the caps are drained...and even then, still poke around carefully.
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