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Super Squirrel Monkey - First from-scratch tube amp build, first guitar amp build
Super Squirrel Monkey - First from-scratch tube amp build, first guitar amp build
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Old 27th March 2016, 07:42 PM   #1
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Default Super Squirrel Monkey - First from-scratch tube amp build, first guitar amp build

so i've been working on a tube practice amp for my 7 year old niece who bought her first strat a few months ago. She's been using her dad's practice amp, which is ok but not special. She's a pretty neat kid (what kid saves up their pennies and buys musical instruments?) so i figured she needed a special amp.

I don't play. I picked up a First Act for $15 at a thrift store so i can test it.

Anyway, it seems to work but i am getting some screechiness if i turn up the volume. Some kind of bad feedback?

The tubes haven't had enough time for the getter to get rid of whatever gasses may have seeped in over the last 40 years, and I need to check some voltages. Also, the output transformer I am using was intended for a 50c5, so the load on the output pentode might be too great (2.5k impedance, I think the original squirrel monkey design landed on 3.5k as the ideal).

Oh, video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgLU...ature=youtu.be
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Old 28th March 2016, 11:15 AM   #2
Thomasha is offline Thomasha
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I read at the hundred buck challenge that sometimes these compactrons have the high mu triode near the pentode and that could create feedback, but there scott, from the 100buck thread tamed this kind of feedback and removed the squeal. The schematic is buried in the 100buck thread, you just need to scroll down>
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/instr...lenge-159.html

As for the screechiness, i had same thing with subminiature tubes, volume and gain decreased and the sound was horrid. I used a big grid resistor and that solved the problem, but I'm not sure if that was really the problem.

Last edited by Thomasha; 28th March 2016 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 28th March 2016, 01:55 PM   #3
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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i should have mentioned, i have three examples of the 6af11 with visibly different internal construction and they all did the same thing.

but thanks, I'll look into it.
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Old 28th March 2016, 03:00 PM   #4
Thomasha is offline Thomasha
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Now that I looked for a schematic for this amp I see that the 6Af11 triodes are the first stages, with lower signal levels, and there is no feedback resistor.

First thing check the wiring, squealing noises are mostly lead dress problem.

Second, you could try the feedback resistor and see if that tames some of the noises.
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Old 28th March 2016, 03:41 PM   #5
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Well, this is my first point-to-point 'air wired' tube amp, and some of the wiring is a little, eh, horrifying.

Particularly my attempt at a star ground, which is fairly hideous. I think I'll rip it out and go with a 12ga solid copper wire as a ground bus.

i'll see what improvements i can make.

Thanks
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Old 28th March 2016, 10:24 PM   #6
Printer2 is offline Printer2  Canada
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Tried to tame a compactron way back when, finally gave up on it. Squeal at anything greater than low gain. Anyone looking for some 6T10 or 12T10's? Maybe set up the pentode as a triode and add another stage. But then why bother when I have other better tubes to use?
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Old 29th March 2016, 12:46 AM   #7
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Sure, but people do build these successfully.

Here's the original amp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YFqkp_JocQ

Last edited by ericj; 29th March 2016 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 29th March 2016, 02:36 AM   #8
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Revised layout. Less buzz, still squeals

Click the image to open in full size.

I think the output iron may be a problem. It was labeled as being for a 50c5, which would, i guess, mean it has a 2.5k impedance. Which is probably too low for the 6af11.

If i can make head or tail of how to hook up my universal stancor transformer, I'll try that.

That big sandstone resistor is a 1r dropping about 1.5v from the heater supply, to get it down to 6.3v. Got a pair of 0.5r 2w on the way from mouser along with some theremin parts.

Last edited by ericj; 29th March 2016 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 29th March 2016, 02:37 AM   #9
Printer2 is offline Printer2  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Sure, but people do build these successfully.

Here's the original amp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YFqkp_JocQ
And some have problems, do you feel lucky today?

Just looked at the schematic and using an added 12AX7 takes some of the heat off the 6AF11. Using a 4.7k and 15k resistor in the cathodes of the 6AF11 triodes probably helps to tame the tube. Just using the one tube to build the amp might be harder.
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Old 29th March 2016, 02:53 AM   #10
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Sure i feel lucky. I also feel tenacious. And I'm pretty sure that while these tubes were harder to use in TVs, they were successfully used.

Here's the schematic link, in case anyone is somewhere they don't want to hit youtube. Like at work.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14312589/Sup...l%20Monkey.pdf

Last edited by ericj; 29th March 2016 at 03:12 AM.
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