Anybody else here build or modify tube guitar amps? - Page 2 - diyAudio
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Old 30th May 2012, 03:49 PM   #11
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Location: western pa
Cool location

by chance would any of you amp modifiers happen to live in western pennsylvania-
just askin
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Old 1st June 2012, 06:27 AM   #12
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Wow, this is a great discussion... I'm 55 and building my 3rd tube guitar amp. I'm an electrical engineer in Oregon and like the chance to run my own project once in a while. My goals are to have a smooth onset of distortion, good tone control and to be free as possible of hum, hiss and buzzing. I've been doing very little guitar playing in the last few years, but hope to spend as much time playing the creation as designing and building it. The days seem to get shorter every year. I hang around with friends in the Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective where people build amps from rigorous high end amps to affordable $100 units from recycled electronics. I've learned a lot and really enjoy the time together. It's not a bad drive from Portland once in a while and you may want to check it out. Steve
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Old 1st June 2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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I'm 18 and starting my first.

I've got some transformers from a 1950s radio, and have been given some more transformers (including another mains transformer that could be used as a push-pull transformer), and a pair of 6550s.

Building this
Single-Ended (SE) 6550 Tube Amplifier Schematic
for a start, see how it goes, then maybe try something bigger.

Chris
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Old 1st June 2012, 12:16 PM   #14
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When I'm not playing through them, I'm generally found to be building them.

I prefer high-gain, low output amps for my own guitars, but I'm getting the itch to build something with a bit more horsepower soon...
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Old 1st June 2012, 05:01 PM   #15
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did my own (modified from) based on a "california dreamer" design from the AX84 project a couple years ago(ax84.com). I weaseled the parts from an older gentleman who had a ton of bits and pieces.

I've since modified it a bunch of times, but it's solid and super clean. Had one musician try it out anh liked it more than his Marshal.

They aren't that difficult to do but ya gotta be careful as the voltages can stop your heart. Quite satisfying really (not the voltages, the project).
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Old 2nd June 2012, 12:26 PM   #16
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Here's what I've been building.

Got some interesting clipping from the 6550, as the grid goes positive when it gets loud.

Methinks there's some work to be done there, but I'm pleased I've got it working.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 10:13 AM   #17
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Tried a 6V6 in place of the 6550.

Sounds lovely.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 11:28 PM   #18
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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Probably the most interesting thing to me about guitar amps is that anything you do makes a difference that changes how you approach the music you make. From a transformer point of view, the E Field moments and the losses and phase induced FR peaks in small signal that occur because of them are the mother of tone. The difference between a Fender sound and a Marshall sound in an OPT is the addition of three pieces of slow plastic to the winding build. Everything else is right out of the first OPT winding design layout in the RDH, the one meant for the RCA pubic address amplifier from the back of that book. Interestingly, no other winding format will provide exactly Fender or Marshall character.

Bud
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Old 4th June 2012, 04:25 AM   #19
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Design and build, modify and restore. All just slightly different aspects of this great hobby.
Latest project (order from a friend) is a Push Pull 6V6 guitar amp using all 6SL7 octals for the preamp and phase splitter (concertina). That has to wait a bit for me to finish my new HiFi preamp (6DJ8) and that has to wait for me to finish the restoration of a Push Pull 807 Church PA Amp. So many jobs and so little time!!!

Bud,
Very interesting on the output trannies, for the 6V6 push pull guitar amps I'm been using
cheap Chinese Output trannies designed for PP EL84 Ultralinear HiFi (10W) but not using the Ultralinear taps.
mableaudio

I originally used them in an EL84 Ultralinear HiFi Amp bbut found that swapping to Hammond 1608 gave better HiFi performance. That left me with a pair of these for guitar amp use. They work so well (with a pair of 6V6 in pentode mode) I bought some more.
Cheers,
Ian
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Old 4th June 2012, 06:06 AM   #20
BudP is offline BudP  United States
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Actually Ian the use of Chinese hifi OPT's for guitar amps is a really good idea. They will have pretty good coupling surface to volume of winding ratio, not exceptional, and this is good. They will also have middle grade core material, rather than exceptional and this is also good.

For guitar amps you do not want excellent coupling surface to volume ratio's, usually called interleaving. The reason I say this is that a guitar amp is massively more dynamic in it's signal content than an audio reproduction amp and even a very good OPT that is from the hifi realm is too responsive, the sounds have too much edge, the rise and settling times are too fast.

You actually need a dumbed down OPT for guitar amps, not a poorly designed and built one, just a somewhat lethargic one, that still has extreme signal layering and depth to it. The Chinese mfg's cannot obtain high performance core material unless they have an in with the military and they are not going to use many interleaves, so you have stumbled upon just what you needed, but, you already know that...

Bud
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Last edited by BudP; 4th June 2012 at 06:10 AM.
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