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Old 21st February 2005, 09:53 AM   #1
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Question wickedly awsome guitar amp

Hey everyone.. this will be my first post here... I have some experence in electronics.... I play guitar for fun and I want to build a tube amp that will blow the paneling off my walls... I Want to build it myself but i kinda dont know how.. any ideas on like a guitar amp that will be ablw to take the punishment of Black metal and other various types of music.... lol?
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Old 21st February 2005, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: wickedly awsome guitar amp

Quote:
Originally posted by eartaker
Hey everyone.. this will be my first post here... I have some experence in electronics.... I play guitar for fun and I want to build a tube amp that will blow the paneling off my walls... I Want to build it myself but i kinda dont know how.. any ideas on like a guitar amp that will be ablw to take the punishment of Black metal and other various types of music.... lol?
If you don't know what you're doing with high voltage electronics, get someone to teach you. The voltages inside tube amps are potentially lethal.


My suggestion is - clone a Marshall. You can buy suitable replica or equivalent power and output transformers and the schematics are here.
http://www.drtube.com/marshall.htm
Then buy or build a decent cab and buy everyone within a large radius some earplugs.

Tone is really personal, so it's best to find something you like, and clone it, and once you have it working properly, tweak from there. Looking at a schematic won't tell you what it's going to sound like.
A friend of mine wanted me to build him a 'better' EVH5150, so we cloned the 5150, but as we began to tweak it's tone with his cabs it has evolved a long way from the original, but it now has the sound he wants. Loud is easy.

50W is usually more than enough unless you are playing huge rooms with little PA support, but lots of geetarists seem to think 100W is neccessary. Decide before you start building, but remember that whilst 100W will mean you can be 3dB louder (which isn't much), it often means you're too loud before the amp starts to distort nicely. More is not always better.

There are also lots of smaller designs at www.ax84.com
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Old 21st February 2005, 04:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: wickedly awsome guitar amp

Quote:
Originally posted by eartaker
I have some experence in electronics.... I play guitar for fun and I want to build a tube amp that will blow the paneling off my walls... I Want to build it myself but i kinda dont know how..

I can only reinforce Bret's remarks ...electronics fair enough.....but the HV stuff. ????.....I get asked this several times......Bit like firing steam trains....a touching finesse...one has to start from the low ranks and the big'ons get ever more challenging and can come later. If youv'e never had a brush or been stung by high voltage before....there are basic bench rules....which in all fairness most of us get away with a slip of the stuff....there is a safety site in this forum.
In the 50's I enrolled in evening safety courses..(perhaps don't exist anymore) then examine a modest low power design. It's only right that whatever advice you get on these websites would insist starting on the safe side.


richj
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Old 21st February 2005, 07:58 PM   #4
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cool, yeah I understand the whole HV thing and the lethel amperages inside the tube's... and 50 watts yeah just wont cut it... the one i have now it 120W where could I get schematics for a Mesa?
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Old 22nd February 2005, 02:52 AM   #5
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I could hope you would be more interested in tone than volume BUT each to his own as they say.

I recently flogged my 180W Fender Super Twin to some young dude because he wanted to blow away Marshall Stacks. It did this nicely BUT you need to put the amp on 8 to get the TONE by which stage my ears were bleeding. Thats why it had been sitting in my practice room untouched for the last 6 years while I used a 15W 6V6 Amp.

For Guitar Amp Schematics look here
http://schematicheaven.com

For more schematics including Mesa Boogie Schematics look here
http://www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/tom/schematics.htm

For even more schematics look here
http://www.blueguitar.org/schems.htm

You should find something to suit you amongst that lot.

Warning: Mesa Amps are REALLY tough on preamp tubes AND they are right on the edge regards stability. You will have to select from amongst 12AX7s to get one that will tolerate the 1st gain stage position without it breaking into oscillation or simply self destructing.

If you are looking for kits or partial kits do a search on Kevin O'Connor OR London Power and look at what he can offer. Mix and match amongst his offerings of preamps and power amps - his TUT Series of books ("The Ultimate Tone") are also highly RECOMMENDED. TUT 3 (or was it TUT 4) has examples of the "Icons" of guitar amps with construction details for cloning them.

Cheers,
Ian
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Old 22nd February 2005, 04:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by gingertube
I could hope you would be more interested in tone than volume BUT each to his own as they say.

I recently flogged my 180W Fender Super Twin to some young dude because he wanted to blow away Marshall Stacks. It did this nicely BUT you need to put the amp on 8 to get the TONE by which stage my ears were bleeding. Thats why it had been sitting in my practice room untouched for the last 6 years while I used a 15W 6V6 Amp.
I build some MI amps and get this all the time. If they're over 30 the chances are they'll listen first, then ask details. My friend with the 5150esque amp is only using 50W to play metal and uses a 4x10 or two stacked if he's playing somewhere big. And it's loud!
Quote:
If you are looking for kits or partial kits do a search on Kevin O'Connor OR London Power and look at what he can offer. Mix and match amongst his offerings of preamps and power amps - his TUT Series of books ("The Ultimate Tone") are also highly RECOMMENDED. TUT 3 (or was it TUT 4) has examples of the "Icons" of guitar amps with construction details for cloning them.
The site for London Power is
http://www.londonpower.com/kits.htm#PROJECTS
Nice stuff it seems (never read the O'Connor books myself - on the 'to buy' list) but the airmail shipping is a bit steep.
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Old 22nd February 2005, 05:21 AM   #7
Illusus is offline Illusus  Canada
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Increase speaker efficiency not amplifier power... 15W into a 105db efficient driver is pretty damn loud.
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Old 23rd February 2005, 07:40 AM   #8
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ok i understand the loud vs tone... I want something that will be loud but have awsome tone.... i have 3 amps 12W, 130W and a 120W the 120w is a full stack... and i love the tone..... but my 130w has only 2 12's in it..... it is also a tube amp...... the tone on this amp is AWSOME.... but if ui could combine the tone of my Peavey with my Crate.... I would be in heaven.... I want it to be a tube amp because the tube just has a fiffrent tone than all others... but maybe a hybrid amp... part amp and part solid state? what would you guys suggest... I would like to go wit 100 - 200 watts
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Old 23rd February 2005, 08:24 AM   #9
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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If you are into tube tone, then don't mess with hybrids. Tubes are much easier to tweak and experiment with. If you want to alter gain, you can swap a 5751 or 12AT7 for a 12AX7 in a miinute. In a solid state amp you would be changing out resistors and things to alter gain. If you have never built an amp, stick with 50 or 100 watts for a loud amp. That way you will have no trouble coming up with common parts, and there will be plenty of others out there with similar experiences for you to draw from. You want a 200 watt tube amp and BOOM your choices for transformers just evaporated to not many.

Mesas are built with everything crammed into a tiny space. parts are literally stacked on top of one another in there. COmpact sure, but a service nightmare. They sound nice enough, but you can't just copy the circuit without considering their layout. You just build from the schematic and spread it out like an old Fender Twin and you will indeed have instability.

I would also suggest that you build a project first to get a feel for it. AMp building is more complex than it looks, and cloning a MArshall is not my idea of a good first project. Build a little Bassman or Deluxe clone first. Even consider a kit.

If you are determined to build a 100 watter first off, well OK, but look into kits and other short cuts. You can buy a chassis already made and drilled, and cabinets, and all manner of things to help.

I like O'Connor's books. All the above mentioned resources are great. I like a website www.ampage.org where you can get a lot of support. It is a site for guys building and modding their own amps. They have links there to all the other sites mentioned above too.
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Old 24th February 2005, 01:36 AM   #10
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ok well I have a GT1200 120W Crate Head laying here..... Anything I could do to it to make it better..... i knoticed on the inside of it their are 4 large Transistors...... any way to convert it to tube
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