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Old 24th June 2015, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Small Guitar Amp Kits by Zeppelin Design Labs

Zeppelin Design Labs of Chicago produces the Percolator, a 2W all-tube guitar amp kit. It uses just ONE Compactron 6AF11 tube (NOS). The contents of this one tube duplicate the topology of the Fender Champ, but in one bottle! The amp is available DIY or ready-to-play; with the solid wood cabinet or without; as a head with matching 1x8 cabinet, or as a combo. All in-stock and ready to ship!
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Last edited by Zeppelin Design Labs; 15th September 2015 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 6th July 2015, 04:39 PM   #2
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PCB Assembly Fixture - Low Cost - by Zeppelin Design Labs
Don't you wish you had one of those terrific holder-fixture-thinggies for populating PCB's, but can't see spending $150-$400? That was our situation too, but our Lab is attached to a sheet metal shop, so I ran out and invented this thing. You can get a "some assembly required" kit from us and have a functioning board fixture in about an hour at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 15th September 2015, 08:06 PM   #3
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1x8 Speaker Cabinet DIY Kit features a Jensen C8R loudspeaker and solid poplar cabinet, with partially-closed back. Designed to pair nicely with the Percolator 2W tube amp, the speaker is rated for up to 25 watts. Also available ready-to-play from Zeppelin Design Labs.
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Old 15th September 2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Percolator 2W 1x8 Combo Kit makes an enormous, rich, tube amp sound suitable for small spaces -- your apartment, studio, coffeehouse gig, etc. See above for specs on the amp and speaker; this kit puts the two products in one box. Also available ready-to-play. The amp features a single Compactron 6AF11 (NOS) tube.
http://zeppelindesignlabs.com/wp-con...T-CONTENTS.jpg
http://zeppelindesignlabs.com/wp-con...Combo-3_4w.jpg
http://zeppelindesignlabs.com/wp-con...mbo-Rear-w.jpg
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Old 15th September 2015, 08:16 PM   #5
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Compactron 6AF11 (NOS) Tube, as used in the Percolator 2W tube amp kit.
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The Compactron Tube was developed by GE (General Electric) in the early 1960’s. Compactron tubes have multiple amplifier sections in one bottle. The Compactron 6AF11 has two triodes and one sharp cut-off pentode. That’s the same topology as the Fender Champ, but in one bottle! This tube was never intended to be used in an audio circuit (it was originally designed for use in various parts of a TV circuit), but it works and sounds great in a guitar amplifier. Since this tube is rarely, if ever, seen in guitar amps, it offers a rather unique tone.

Compactrons were developed in a time of fast technological growth. In the early 1960’s transistors were becoming more stable and practical for use in more demanding circuits. They also were much smaller and didn’t require as much power (via heating filaments). The tube market was being challenged and threatened by this new solid state competitor. The GE corporation (which was one of, if not the most prolific tube developers in the world at the time) was well invested in their miniature tube line and wasn’t too interested in making the transition to transistor development. So to compete with transistors and give tubes a few more years in the market, the engineers at GE developed the Compactron that could take the place of several tubes with just one bottle. It was the tube equivalent to the integrated circuit. They were mostly designed for use in the color TV market, but some of them did find their way into radios and hifi amps. Ampeg even used a Compactron in some of their preamp circuits.

GE made a big push to promote and use these tubes in their products, but eventually transistors did win the technology battle and tubes were altogether replaced in televisions, leaving large stockpiles of unused Compactrons in warehouses. The last Compactrons were made in the early 1990’s and are still readily available today as “new old stock” (NOS) items. The Percolator Amp, with its single Compactron tube, gives us a chance to re-purpose a piece of tube history, while offering unique tonality in this modern market.

For a step back in time, check out this article:
“Compactrons: Advance In Tube Design”, Electronics World, October 1960
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Old 21st October 2015, 09:55 PM   #6
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That kit looks so attractive!
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Old 23rd November 2015, 06:43 PM   #7
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Thanks.
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Old 29th January 2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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Default Customer Reviews Percolator Combo

A rosy customer review, almost embarrassing:
"Where do I invest! I have been playing guitar for 30 + years. Like a lot of people, I own a boatload of guitars and a fair # of amps. I sat and played this amp for over an hour before I forced myself to stop.

"The clean tone has an excellent slightly dirty/clean chime to it. The dirty is fantastic. Everything in between is awesome.

"I believe that Zeppelin is the best kept small amp [secret] ever. The majority of my amps are 10 watts or less. From Vox, Blackstar, Fender, Swart,.. on.. and on... I have been searching for an amp just like this. The amp provides a great sound at a low volume. Perfect!!

"You are onto something here. I really like what you are putting out.... Keep going Zepp. You have a new very satisfied customer."

-- Tom Lefaivre , Roscoe Illinois
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Old 25th March 2016, 03:57 PM   #9
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Default Custom Finish 1x8 Speaker Cab Kit Build

Tim C in California built this 1x8 kit and finished it with Varthane Dark Cherry with gloss topcoat. Vurrry vurry nice!
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Old 21st April 2016, 03:54 PM   #10
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Jim Smith of Louisville, Ohio customized his DIY Percolator 2 Watt 1x8 Combo Tube Amp kit. He distressed the solid poplar cabinet, applied pecan stain, subbed a red leather handle and larger feet, and added cable hooks to the back. Nice work Jim!
The Percolator incorporates a single Compactron 6AF11 NOS tube -- the same tube topology as a Fender Champ but in one bottle!
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File Type: jpg Combo_J_Smith (1).JPG (242.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Combo_J_Smith (6).jpg (135.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Combo_J_Smith (3).jpg (203.2 KB, 12 views)
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