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Old 26th August 2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Default Diy bass amp.

Hi all, I posted a similar topic in the Chip amps section and was advised by a fellow member to ask here for advice also.

I wish to make a bass amp as this will increase my knowledge on electrical stuff and also give me something usable at the end of the process.

I am looking to build a practice amp, no more that 50W in power, simply because it is for the house and maybe the odd garage jam, nothing more.

I have been thinking heavily about a LM3886 power amp section as this chip can provide 50W of power. I wish to steer clear of tubes as I wish to gain some more knowledge before undertaking a tube project.

The amp needs to be able to do clean and distorted sounds, if I need to use a pedal then I do not mind as I can probably mod something or muster up a pedal specifically for the job. It does need an eq section in there and I would prefer a basic 3 or 4 pots (Bass, Mids, treble or bass, low mids, high mids and treble).

The circuits won't necessarily be simple and I do realise this, but the simpler they are the better, I work by the KISS principle as taught to me by my dad and granddad so keeping things simple is in my brain

in terms of tones I need a good varierty but I want that rip roaring lemmy tone as well, so i need to factor that in (although i am not rich enough for a ricky and a marshall!)

If you have any words of wisdom or ideas, I would love to read through them

many thanks,

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Old 26th August 2012, 04:31 PM   #2
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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Location: Cowican Bay , vancouver island
Well I don"t know how simple it would be but you would start with a basic adjustable gain stage going into a 3 or 4 band active EQ stage then into a LM3886 Power amp stage , you could add a couple diodes at the output of the gain stage to give you a fuzz bass effect .....

If you wanted something simpler you could skip the EQ stage and add an FX loop and use an outboard EQ pedal or rack EQ ......

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Old 26th August 2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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The effects loop is a cool idea and I will keep it in mind but for the minute the on board active eq would be better for me.

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Old 26th August 2012, 10:54 PM   #4
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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Location: Cowican Bay , vancouver island
Well here is a 3 band active controll I have used for a guitar amp that also sounds good for bass but you will need a gain stage/buffer before it .....

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 26th August 2012, 11:30 PM   #5
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How about something like this?

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Old 27th August 2012, 03:33 AM   #6
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Location: Columbia River Gorge, Washington
You might consider this one too. I gigged on bass with the preamp section quite happily for a few years, and the power amp part is also available already built if you don't feel up to doing it yourself. Lots of Fender vibe, if that appeals.
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Old 13th September 2012, 04:53 AM   #7
Struth is offline Struth  Canada
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Hi Guys

Lemmy's sound is predicated on a clipped output stage and some EQing ahead of it. He sets the bass and treble down a bit and cranks the mids.

Doing this in solid-state is pretty simple. The above suggestions for making a clippable gain stage using diodes is an easy start and allows you to get the sound without actually clipping the 50W output chip. EQ after the distortion stage will let you make the tone as crisp or fat as you want. You can build the whole preamp with three opamps, if you buffer the output of the diode stage into the EQ.

If you wanted to keep it really simple, you could do the first stage with variable gain and diode clipping, then a simple Tube-screamer style EQ stage with a single tone control, and a final volume before the PA. Just two opamps.

Since opamps have so much gain, you could also do a single opamp variable gain stage with built-in clipping into a passive EQ, volume and PA.

Opamps are pretty forgiving and can be made to sound however you wish. Fortunately with electronics you can use any path to get to your goal.

Have fun
Kevin O'Connor
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Old 13th September 2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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Even though three opamps sounds a little more complex, it does give me the EQ options I wanted.

Which chips would I use with that? and is there a schematic for a similar circuit or the same circuit as the one you are referring to?

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Old 13th September 2012, 08:19 PM   #9
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brighton UK

Hifi amplifiers have nothing much to do with musical amplifiers, as any
perusal of hifi amplifiers versus musical amplifiers will quickly prove.

Lots of tricks used in musical amplifiers and the only way to learn is
studying (and emulating) the schematics of other musical amplifiers.

rgds, sreten.

Look up TinaTi, an excellent free emulator.

FWIW I'd simply buy a good sounding small used bass amplifier.
In my case I learned more analysing what it did and how it
worked and how to fix it, than I would have done "designing"
my own bass amplifier, which would have cost a lot more,
and TBH a lot worse, reinventing the wheel is not good.

A used Ampeg BA112 would be a very good idea.

Last edited by sreten; 13th September 2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 13th September 2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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Cheers! Looks like a lot of schematics need looking up lol
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