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Old 5th August 2006, 03:32 AM   #1
Trepan is offline Trepan  Canada
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Default Guitar Power Amp

I'm looking to getting into building amps,

What I want to do is build a power amp for guitar, using a digital effects processor as the preamp portion.

I would like to build something that could power 2 full 4x12 stacks at 8 ohm or 16 ohm in a stereo configuration. I would imagine it would have to be 2x100w or more. I know enough about playing guitar but I do only have a basic electronics knowledge and a bit of experience. I thought it would be a nice project to get into electronics more.

Does anyone know what kit or plans are out there on the internet that would fulfill these requirements? I've looked at the class D or T style amps but I've been told I'd have to do a bunch of special stuff to have them be able to drive that number of speakers etc.

At this point I don't care what technology I use as long as it isn't tube. I just need a high quality power amp with very little distortion and no preamp at all, but perhaps an effects loop where I can plug in the preamp/digital effects processor.

Do any of the ESP Projects fulfull this?

Thanks!
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Old 5th August 2006, 10:28 AM   #2
latala is offline latala  United Kingdom
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If you look on the web there is a super brand of kits (Torres)
thats a start . But remember that a quitar amp is a strange beast you can build a perfectly good amp but note like the sound
Regards Trev
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Old 5th August 2006, 11:27 AM   #3
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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Quote:
Originally posted by latala
If you look on the web there is a super brand of kits (Torres)
thats a start . But remember that a quitar amp is a strange beast you can build a perfectly good amp but note like the sound
Regards Trev
Second that. There are not that many great SS guitar amps and most of them are products of extensive design and voicing to make them perfect. I have noticed that circuit topology is less important factor: Aside component values, good and bad amplifiers can have almost identical circuits. Most of the time you can't tell what sounds good just by looking at the schematic.

If you want a good tone you basically have two options: Copy the circuit of a reputedly good guitar power amplifier (i.e. some Peavey models, Lab Series, Roland JC120 etc.) or build a very transparent high power amp and concentrate on tone in the preamp circuit. However, in some cases it is wrong to assume that preamp creates all the tone and good undserstanding of the whole circuit is very important. Let me give you few examples of this: Some guitar power amps deliberately raise the output impedance to mimick tube amps. A circuit like this can have a major effect on the amp's frequency response. (I'm talking about many decibels of non-linearity here). Another, possibly even higher, factor for amplifier system's frequency response (and overall loudness) is the speaker system. It might be the most important factor for the tone of the amp anyway. And even more: some amps have a soft limiter before PA section. In some cases it can be the only factor in making the amp sound as good as it is.

To answer your last question, ESP has a 100W guitar amp project. I guess it was designed for max. 8 ohms and had an effects loop circuit too. The preamp in it didn't look very impressive though. I don't know how it sounds and I haven't heard that many people complement it's tone. This is all I can say about it and please do not take my words as a negative commentary - the circuit might actually be very good. You could build two and use a more powerful power supply.
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