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Old 3rd November 2014, 08:26 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Default Guitar amp and bass amp

Hello, everyone.

I'm new at building amps, so I would like some opinions and a little help on how I'm going to proceed.

Me and my band are looking into building some tube amps, one for me(guitar amp), and one for our bassist.

The reason why I want to build this myself is:

1. I'm able to make my own sound the way I want it to sound.
2. The price for a good tubeamp here in Norway is insanely expensive.
3. I would LOVE to be able to build my own tube amps! I love electronics, and I'm currently building some stomp box clones. Lets hope that ends up successful.

Ok, let me explain a little what I want to build.

I wanna build a guitar amp(tubes ofc) around 120-200 watts, and a bass amp(still tubes) 200-500 watts.

One of the most important thing about these amps is the noise. I'm tired of buying amps that got noise. Buzzing, hissing, etc.

How to build a completelly quiet amp that is all quiet with a lot of power.
I only need a clean channel. No need for any gain channel. I got pedals for gain.

I would need advice, schematics, etching transparrents and a lot of people having confidence that I will be able to do this. I will put out pictures and videos of both making it and trying it out.

I really hope someone wants to help me with this.

Sincerely,

John
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Old 3rd November 2014, 10:31 AM   #2
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Buenos Aires - Argentina
You can, but looks like you never built tube amps before, so I suggest you go step by step, and readjust your goals a little.

To begin with, the power levels you aim at are not technically impossible but way beyond what's usually reached with Tubes.

It's very easy to get 50W, just 2 6L6/EL34 ; normal to get 100W`( 4 of 6L6/EL34) ... and a nightmare beyond that.
200W tube amps for Guitar is unusable in practice, when necessary all big players use more than one 100W if playing Stadiums and such.
300W is the practical limit for Bass, and that means a very heavy, big and expensive amp, practically impossible for the home builder.
Tube 500W? .... never ever saw one, anywhere on Earth, go figure.

So a realistic setup would be a 50W Guitar amp and a 100W Bass one, given that Bass requires higher power.

To practice, I suggest you build a 5W Guitar amp, some of the AX84 projects, which sound incredibly good, are very well documented, parts are reasonably available, etc.
AX84.com - The Cooperative Tube Guitar Amp Project

There you will practice working with tubes, tweaking for best sound, fighting hum and buzz, etc.

Then you apply that practical knowledge and experience to the larger ones.

There are larger tube amp kits available (Weber, Ceriatone, etc.) but do not get straight into any of them before practicing first with a smaller one.

There's also the problem of parts: I'm certain that in Norway you can get parts for almost any SS amp, but Tube amp parts are very specialized, you will most certainly have to import many from USA or Asia, specially transformers and chassis, bulky and expensive, plus any tax you may have to pay at Customs.

That alone may drive final parts cost way above what you imagine.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 01:23 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tromso, Norway
It can, and has been done, take a look at this web page: Champ 1000 Watt Tube Amp


He has built a monster, 1000W, using 4 x 813 tubes. He also has a 500W version using 2 x 813 tubes. But with 2500 volts on the plates, it sure is'nt for a newbie to try.

Last edited by toriversen; 3rd November 2014 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 04:50 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
As JMFahey says, start with something simple. Gain experience there.

Best to ask your questions in the Instruments & Amps forum, not the valve hi-fi forum.
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Old 3rd November 2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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Location: Helsinki
A hobbyist in Norway could order from Germany, and not pay that much in shipping and no import fees. There are several well stocked webstores that deliver abroad.

What kind of cleans are you looking for?
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Old 3rd November 2014, 06:42 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Needing amps for the band, that is how I got started
One question: what makes you think you need all that much power? Often valve power amps sound much louder than similar powerfull sand amps. Furthermore, the speaker efficiency can make a big difference. For example, my old AC30 with its high efficient alnico speakers can blow away a more powerfull amp with less efficient speakers.
What I did when I got started, was to experiment a bit with guitar preamp designs and a little later my friends and I bought some old power amps to modify to our own taste. It didn't have to be well known brands, just something to experiment on. Look for something that has valves that you are interested in (EL34 most likely in Europe).
Like learning to play an instrument, learning to build amps takes time. Both are great fun
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Old 4th November 2014, 07:07 AM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tromso, Norway
To buy parts I suggest that you take a lok at: Tube-Town GmbH in Germany or: UralTone amplification Web Store - Home page i Finland. They also have some kits for guitar amps, that could be a good thing to start with. In Norway you will get some import fees from these countries as well, but the shipping will be a lot cheaper than from USA.
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Old 4th November 2014, 10:05 AM   #8
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Location: Helsinki
I live one city block from UralTone. Great service and selection, and the kits are very good.

Isn't Norway inside of European economic area, so there's not supposed to be any fees?
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Old 4th November 2014, 10:32 AM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tromso, Norway
Hi MrCurwen,

Yes we are "inside" the European economic area, but not a member of EU, and have some rather strange customs regulations, so there are some fees to be considered (not that big, but still there). The fees isn't very different when ordering from US, but there is a big difference in the shipping costs.
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Old 4th November 2014, 12:13 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
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Location: nowhere
If u've only built a few stomp box clones u may need to set ur goal a little more realistic. What on earth makes u think u need that much power?


1. I'm able to make my own sound the way I want it to sound.

Have u ever heard good tone from a 120watt amp? With an amp like that the only variation in tone is from ur pedals. Talk to some people who work as sound men, none of them will allow u to crank the amp till it sounds good (which is when the output stage starts to break up).

2. The price for a good tubeamp here in Norway is insanely expensive.

Building ur own from scratch will cost about the same. Espescially something this big. All the parts need to go thru customs, the size of the transformers will make shipping costly. etc.


3. I would LOVE to be able to build my own tube amps! I love electronics, and I'm currently building some stomp box clones. Lets hope that ends up successful.

Yeah its great fun, but seriously, try something more manageable.
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