Anybody else here build or modify tube guitar amps? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Live Sound > Instruments and Amps

Instruments and Amps Everything that makes music, Especially including instrument amps.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th May 2011, 08:04 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Default Anybody else here build or modify tube guitar amps?

I dabble with it, but it seems lately I've been collecting old amps to mod and they just sit and look at me accusingly. My latest aquisition to the pile is a Traynor Voice Master PA amp. It is a stellar candidate for conversion to a high gain guitar amp - it has four 12AX7s and two EL34s along with lots of knobs and jacks in a robust, spacious cab. I haven't decided yet what to make with it - I've thought about trying a Soldano SLO clone (and replace one tube with a pair of power Mosfets to use as cathode followers, since I'd be down one preamp tube compared to the SLO). I've also considered making a Komet Concorde clone, but haven't found a good schematic floating around yet - with that I'm ahead one tube (I could add an effects loop with it I guess if I want to risk a haunting by KF's ghost).
Any advice on getting my butt in gear is appreciated.
  Reply With Quote
Old 4th May 2011, 09:01 PM   #2
Boofers is offline Boofers  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ontario
Blog Entries: 1
Iíve messed around with modifying guitar amps.
This site has been valuable: Schematic Heaven. Where All Good Amp & Effect Designs Await Resurrection...
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 12:46 AM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Bob Richards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I've researched designed and built several guitar amps. Click on Audio Electronics and scroll down. They all sound superb to my ear. I play both electrics and acoustics through a digital special effects system (I have several), which then drives the amps.
http://www.spiritone.com/~rob_369/
  Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2011, 01:21 AM   #4
BudP is offline BudP  United States
diyAudio Member
 
BudP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: upper left crust, united snakes
A huge number of my customers rebuild their amps. For the SLO Clone I recommend C3 Amps. Rob has everything you need on hand.

Bud
__________________
"You and I and every other thing are a dependent arising, empty of any inherent reality" Tsong Ko Pa
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th May 2011, 01:40 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Thanks for the replies. Got a link to the C3 site? I can't seem to find it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th May 2011, 08:31 AM   #6
BudP is offline BudP  United States
diyAudio Member
 
BudP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: upper left crust, united snakes
Here ya go

C3Amps - ONetics Transformers & Soldano Chassis - O Netics

Bud
__________________
"You and I and every other thing are a dependent arising, empty of any inherent reality" Tsong Ko Pa
  Reply With Quote
Old 9th June 2011, 03:52 AM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
jazbo8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In Transient
Default Improving the Look

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdinger View Post
I've researched designed and built several guitar amps. Click on Audio Electronics and scroll down. They all sound superb to my ear. I play both electrics and acoustics through a digital special effects system (I have several), which then drives the amps.
http://www.spiritone.com/~rob_369/
Nice builds, on the Bluesman, where did you source the parts, chassis, cabinet, etc. And did you make the face plate yourself? So far, I have built a small Fender 5F2-A (Princeton) head from a kit, it works, but looks "home made", I want to mate it up with a 10" Celetion or Eminence driver in a small combo cabinet, so basically I need a new face plate for the head and an enclosed cabinet (or partially open one) for the driver. Can you please offer some tips for a newbie to make the amps look professionally made like you have done?

Thanks,
Jaz
  Reply With Quote
Old 9th June 2011, 05:03 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Columbia, MO
Hey Racket!

I, too, have been amassing a small collection of amps to modify to guitar amps, primarily PP 6v6 and 6aq5 projector amps. At first my main deterrent was the learning curve, as I really was more interested in a 10-15w amp on the cheap than diving into the DIY world. However, I've found that I've plenty of interest in the subject now that I've broken the ice.

So, why do those amps sit there looking at me accusingly still? Well, I've got no shortage of projects: mixing projects, musical projects, house projects, automotive projects. To add to that, I'm married and hold down a 40+ hr job.

Perhaps there are some other aspects of your life usurping your time? Maybe making a list of priorities regarding your free time would help? I've had to reevaluate mine. Its funny - I thought I was going to have to give something up, but the reevaluation really just helped me organize my mind and time, which helped me to pick a project to complete first before getting into the others. Now those amps have sort of taken a number.

But if you are on your butt playing video games (I sneak one in from time to time), a method I've used is to think: If I die right now, would I rather have people remember me for being an excellent Uncharted 2 player, or for making some pretty excellent amplifiers? I don't mean fame, but friends and relatives might get the results of your labor if its tangible. The intangible gives them little for your legacy to live on through.

Sometimes I'm overworked, and I sit on my butt because I damn well deserve the rest! But I have been underworked as well, and then the couch is a refuge of depression for me. It is good to be employed, and when I was self-employed, I found "need of money" combined with "opportunity" as the best motivational force. I was able to stay motivated during my free time then as well, almost out of spite for having to work.

I also sneak in tweak time by "watching" a movie with my soldering iron, chassis and parts, headlamp, wife, and dogs! It helps if it is something I've seen before, or don't have a ton of interest in.

Whatever your situation, don't let the amps "accusations" put a burden on you - you probably have them because of some joy you felt in regards to the possibility of modifying them, or even in acquiring them. You will have the most reenforcing experience if you set to work on them out of joy, I think.

Well, enough rambling for me. I hope these ideas aid your quest for motivation and modification!

Peace,
Jeff

Last edited by brilliantblue; 9th June 2011 at 05:08 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 12:53 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
doozerdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
I too suffer from procrastination. I bought all the parts to make a stereo guitar amp, basically a stereo Fender Deluxe, about 10 years go. I finally started a build about a month and a half ago using those parts. haha.... the final amp is not stereo, and almost nothing like a Deluxe.

Racket Scientist, the amp I'm just finishing up started as a Bogner Shiva based amp, but evolved into a cross between the Shiva and an SLO. I've got 5 12AX7's in there with one triode unused. One is dedicated to the effects loop, and the half one is a concertina phase splitter. If you were to do it like the SLO and come off of the first DC coupled cathode follower into the effects send, then use a single triode gain stage on the return, and a concertina phase splitter you could get away with 4 12AX7's. Just make sure you have as much voltage as possible on the concertina and effects return so you maintain enough headroom to drive the power amp.

I just realised this thread is almost a year old... sorry for bringing it back from the dead. haha...
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st March 2012, 07:55 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
Bob Richards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I designed and built the cabinets myself, put on the tweed covering, fabricated and painted the aluminum Hammond brand chassis, lettered them with dry transfer lettering, etc. It was very labor intensive and time consuming, but I'm laid off and like being able to create the amp much more exactly the way I want it.

As an Engineering Assistant Tech, I've been building circuits since the 70's professionally, and I've been building speakers systems and cabinetry since the 60's as a hobby. When I started playing guitar in the early 70's, I could never afford a decent guitar amp (I had a 10 watt Gibson). A few years later I decided to build 3 Fender Single Showmans; and sell two to be able to afford keeping the third. A year later I sold everything and moved from Detroit MI to Oregon to start/build a new life and get back in college (Detroit was a war zone). Guitar was on the back burner for years and years. Now I'm a 56 yr old "semi-retired" guy with a lab and the perhaps foolish passion to design and build all this stuff that I always wanted but could never afford. I had to sell my house after being laid off, but it left me with a chunk of change big enough to take some time off and do these projects. Projects work better than shrinks. The world might be falling apart with corruption, but my projects give me pride and hope every day. You can learn a hell of a lot on the web, but do know that most of the info is wrong or half right. Pretend you are mining for gold. You've got to dig up a lot of info to develop the ability to tell what's right. I generally enjoy all parts of the process, but I guess I'm used to raking through bullsh*t looking for good info.

Antique Electronics in AZ is one of the main places I buy parts from. Also Digikey, Mouser, Parts Express, Madisound, Weber (for guitar speakers), Newark, Allied... PCBsupplies.com for the dry transfer lettering. smallbearelec.com has lots of great knobs for cheap, along with many other guitar part places.

Many parts are being discontinued. I'd hate to be in the business of building audio electronics these days in this country; competing with China and the likes. The costs add up fast, and parts come and go. It still makes a great hobby though.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How can I modify this grommes little jewel amp for guitar. JZatopa Tubes / Valves 10 2nd April 2010 10:39 PM
Modify & build out (2) Western Electric 300B / 2A3 Hammond monoblock amps & UTC LS-5 quality sound Tubes / Valves 0 9th May 2009 03:59 PM
How to modify Our Bass Guitar Pickup? thomgun_lc Instruments and Amps 28 22nd June 2008 06:25 PM
modify eagle el84 for guitar psychosteve Tubes / Valves 7 17th November 2004 10:58 PM
Op Amps in Solid State Guitar Amps MrGuitardeath Instruments and Amps 1 11th February 2004 07:43 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:29 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2