Blackheart BH5H rebuild - diyAudio
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Old 7th November 2011, 07:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Amesbury, MA
Default Blackheart BH5H rebuild

I didn't like the jacks and pots that are mounted directly on the PCB. I actually don't like the whole PCB and figured I could get better tone from better components. The glue that holds the large radial caps to the board was not doing its job very well and amongst other issues drove me to spend about $60 and an afternoon rewiring this thing. The results are fantastic sounding and here are some pics. For those of you that notice I don't have a cathode bypass cap on the second triode after the volume to get less gain because the original amp had really no clean sound at all and when the amp was turned all the way up the gain was too much. I have a nice balance now. And I can always buy and try a couple of different values in the future. I also went with AC for the heaters but created an artificial center tap with two 100ohm resistors and routed them to the cathode of the EL84. The amp is much quieter than before and sound great. I built the turret board with 1/8" G10 fiberglass board.
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Old 7th November 2011, 10:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
And you also take really good pictures.
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Old 19th November 2011, 12:12 AM   #3
shanx is offline shanx  Canada
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Thumbs up Nice work!

Really nice work, and like the turret board alot..much better IMO your amp is now much more servicable and "mod-able" and the best is you get to decide how you want it to sound.
Just curious, I have not played on a BlackHeart, and interested in more of your impressions overall of the sound.
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Old 20th November 2011, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanx View Post
Really nice work, and like the turret board alot..much better IMO your amp is now much more servicable and "mod-able" and the best is you get to decide how you want it to sound.
Just curious, I have not played on a BlackHeart, and interested in more of your impressions overall of the sound.
Well out of the box the Blackheart sounded pretty good. It had some intermittant noise here and there. Also after rolling some tubes (mullard, amperex, raytheon, sylvania, rca, etc..) I noticed any tubes sounded better than the stock russian tubes. But the amp was lacking in overall warmth and didn't bring out my pick dynamics. During the rebuild I did change some values here and there so it isn't exactly the same circuit. After the rebuild I also rolled lots of tubes and liked the results of GE 12AX7 with horseshoe getter, and Amperex El84 (I also liked Sylvania blackplate 6BQ5). In general I think the original could have been changed to my liking but with me rolling tubes a lot I did not like the idea of having tube sockets directly on the PCB. I also disliked the input/output jacks and vol/tone controls on the PCB board. So after all said and done the amp now sounds really warm and articulate, more hi-fi than original (some people might like real dirty) but still a guitar amp. Now even played wide open you can really appreciate what you are playing and the notes don't get lost in the mud. I also noticed the amp had more of a natural sustain, the notes seemed to ring out really pretty like with my semi-hollow body. I am also playing through a 12" celestion greenback which is an improvement over stock speaker. At practice the other night my little 5 watt amp was cutting through drums and bass and keeping up nicely with the marshall 18 watt the other guitar player was using

There is nothing like doing something yourself!
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