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Old 3rd December 2004, 12:14 PM   #1
elmer is offline elmer  Philippines
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Default i want to build a guitar amplifier

hi! there,

i have little knowledge about electronics, but with the desire of having my own selfmade amp is so much fulfilling.

my first project was a distortion and lucky i made it work and it sounds great. now, i'm trying to built an amp. the easy way or should I say for beginners.

need support! anyone who has an idea on how to start?

thanx
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Old 3rd December 2004, 05:51 PM   #2
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ax84.com
Plenty of well thought through projects there.
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Old 3rd December 2004, 06:55 PM   #3
AGGEMAM is offline AGGEMAM  Denmark
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I hear this is also a good bet

http://sound.westhost.com/project27b.htm
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Old 3rd December 2004, 09:29 PM   #4
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Get in touch with Guytronix, they have a few kits. They are excellent on customer support and those little extras that make for a really unique kit. Chassis work is first rate!

Cyclotronguy

Email them as:
sales@guytronix.com
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Old 4th December 2004, 11:16 AM   #5
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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And visit www.ampage.org and look for kits at the sponsored links scattered about. Places like Mission Amps and Weber VST come to mind among others. The site is devoted to guys building their own, whether from scratch or from kits.
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Old 13th December 2004, 02:29 PM   #6
Giaime is offline Giaime  Italy
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It looks like that the guy didn't mention if he wants it tube or solid state... Go for SS, boy. Tubes are hard and dangerous (see the safety lines thread in the "tubes" forum).

And please, make clean one channel SS and add stompboxes. Do not try to make that project that is listed at
http://sound.westhost.com/project27b.htm
'cause it is a SS meant to be overdriven.... Plain BAD brittle sounds... Build a clean amp! And add your stompbox before it.
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Old 17th December 2004, 05:36 PM   #7
tomi is offline tomi  Wales
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I'd be tempted to aggree with the contibutors who've recomended kits - as a beginner you can't really go wrong.
For a general amplifier, I've had good results from a "SalesKit" kit, which produced a bridged amplifier from the 2 halves of a TDA2004 (stereo power op-amp), delivering 20w into 2ohms. However, whilst I'm sure you could get hold of the chip, I don't know if you could get the kit outside the UK.
If you don't want to build from a kit, then I would recomend using a power op-amp - designing discreet amplifiers is hard, and even using an existing design they are far more complicated than op-amp designes. The TDA2050 is a 35w IC that I've had success with in the past, it only requires a few external components (a circuit is suggested on the datasheet), and can be bridged easliy for higher power.
I have constructed a workable guitar/multipurpose amp using a pair of these for the power end, and OP275GP's as preamps (although I'm no guitarist, and can't say whether it is really any good ;-).
I believe you said you allready have a distortion pedal made, but overdrive can easily added by including a [switchable] pair of diodes back-to-back in the feedback path of your preamp (an idea I think I first saw in a book by R.A. Penfold). Seems to work quite nicely.
Finally, I've got to agree with the preveous post: Valves are surely too much bother for a first-time amp, besides, you've got to leave something for you next project haven't you??

All the best
TOMi
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Old 17th December 2004, 07:51 PM   #8
Giaime is offline Giaime  Italy
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Please, don't suggest diodes as clippers for guitar distortion... all we guitarists want is not "distortion"... is sweet overdrive from a tube amp... The only way to archieve it is to use a well designed stompbox (that is more than just an opamp and diodes...) or go digital. Many modelers out there, try Line6 stuff and tell us.

Yes, the power opamp are a very good option. I would suggest the LM3886, high power and hi-fi sound. If you feed it from a decent guitar preamp you obtain pro-level results (at least I do that thing this way)

Enjoy!

But there are also easy tube projects out there, maybe for a beginner is just a safety issue to avoid them.
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Old 18th December 2004, 09:29 AM   #9
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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For a basic small SS amp, the TDA2040 and others of that family are ubiquitous. It is easy to use and not expensive. The data sheet shows all the circuit you need. It is a whole power amp in a five legged chip.

For preamp, a plain old vanilla 4558 op amp works fine. If you need more than the two stages in it, add another 4558. I think high performance op amps are wasted on a guitar amp.

I agree that clipping diodes provides distortion the same way McDonald provides dining. it is not pleasant. "There. It has distortion. Now eat your dinner." "Awwwww, Mom."

I wouldn't be so quick to poo poo a tube amp. I takes a bit more work, especially making the chassis, but a basic Deluxe, bassman, or even a CHamp clone is not a complex amp and it sounds good. Amd it is a "real" guitar amp rather than a practice amp. Ther are numerous kits available for tube amps. Probably more than SS amps.

If you have never built something, I think a kit is a good way to go. It already has done all the detective work for you. And you won't get halfway through the project and discover, "Oh, I never realized I would also need..."
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Old 18th December 2004, 12:41 PM   #10
Giaime is offline Giaime  Italy
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Enzo, what "poo poo" stands for? I think "to avoid"?

IMHO kit tube amps are a great deal. But If the guy was my son, I don't think I will suggest him such a project. Think about it:

- much more chassis involved. You may end up (if you haven't made metal working before) with an unusable piece of alluminium, full of bad-made holes everywhere. Instead, for a chip amp I suggest an old PC power supply. Plenty of them out there, and cost is zero. So you can practice making amps out of them, instead loosing 100$ on a pre-made chassis.


- the guy may not have the experience in soldering, component layouting, mains wiring, heat precautions, and other thing. And to ruin a $5 chip amp is better than to ruin that tube sockets or that expensive output trasformers (remember that only in USA you get tube sockets and transformer everywhere! If I want one in Italy, I have to order it from the States. Bad situation)

- Ok, you've wired your tube amp like said on the intructions. But when making them, the producer lost a step in the process. You end up with an anode connection on a pot. You put 100$ of tubes in, you power it up, you fry all the tubes and probably kill yourself. Bad idea.

Ok? just my thoughts, after all.
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