Guitar tube amp self-made

Hi all.
I'm very newbie in self-made tube amps.
I'm a guitarist and electronic engineer (so, i know the basis).
I would like to realize a tube amp for my guitar.
Can you help me to choose a well-documented project? I would like a simple PP amp, with enough power to play outdoor in a rock band.
Thanks in advance
 

Tesla88

Member
2011-12-21 8:37 am
Italy
Most depends on tone you want to get and also power ! If you want to play outdoor you need 50 - 100W , so a four EL34 or 6L6 design for the output , EL34 are more midrange sounding and start distorting in the good way earlier than 6L6 , 6L6 are more punchy , i'm a lead guitarrist and i prefer EL34 in my output stages , anyway , is not that difference.
Preamps are really different in terms of tone , number of channels , gain ammount ,ecc

Don't know about "well documented" projects , i'll always choose an amp i like and starting by the schematic and info to build a clone.
Marshall are easy to clone and so Fender (maybe Peavey) because schematics are easy to find and corrects (not so for Mesa , ENGL , Bogner) , parts are easy to find (Transformers included)

A well documented project is the AX84 ... if you like it's tone.
AX84.com - The Cooperative Tube Guitar Amp Project

Also Ceriatone is a good start point
CeriaTone.Com - DIY Guitar Tube Amp

Other sites :
Kits - Das Musikding

Amp Maker: Guitar amp kits and parts

AMPAGE -- Tube Amps / Music Electronics

Watts Tube Audio ~ Everything Tube Amps!
 

JRGuitarGuy

Banned
2012-10-09 11:25 am
they might be pretty bass light and not very powerful but still the 6v6 tone has some magic in the mids and highs unlike anything else depending on which manufacture, some sound like mini 6l6 while others sound more like aggressive mini el34s and the preamp has lots to do with it as well. Popes/brimars have a more pissed off midrange/snarl like an el34 while american ones rca/sylvania/ge etc are more detailed in the bass sweet mids but more laid back and that sweet singing top end. I have some Sylvania grey glass late 50s I have no clue why but these sound better than some RCAs I had. much more detail in the mids and very vowel like scream lol and just gorgeous harmonic content, its out of this world.
 
A pair of 6550s p/p should get the power down.

Might work out cheaper than a quad of some of the other valves.

Chris

PS - you could get an awful lot of power with a quad of 6550s. Most guitar cabinets probably wouldn't stand it, but if you could find one that would, you'd never need more power.
 

JRGuitarGuy

Banned
2012-10-09 11:25 am
you don't need a whole 50 watts.... 4 6v6 output section 30-40watts with some efficient speakers will blow you a new one lol plus 6v6 is best bang for your buck tube imo.a **** **** load of NoS is still floating around out there and can be had relatively decent price, as well as being built 100x better than current production, although if you go 6550s try to get those GEs those suckers were some bomb proof bastards lol
 
It all depends on what he means by "enough power to play outdoor in a rock band"

If they don't mic the guitar amps and everything is from a backline, outdoors even for a small area he'll want one or two 100-watters. If they do, but don't put instruments thru the monitors, he'll need 50 watts and an extension cabinet on each side of the stage. If they run instruments thru the monitors, then it doesn't matter what he uses, a champ will drive a mic.
 
I'm a recent newbie to this too.

1) Decide whether you want a 6L6, 6V6, EL34, or EL84 (or even SS) power amp character. Lately I've been getting into the chimey EL84's. (also whether you want a single-ended sound).
2) Decide on preamp tones needed, and whether you need channel-swtiching.

Then you can choose a kit or design.

Be aware beforehand that this is a way to get very high quality and get what you want and have something flexible and re-configurable. It is often not a way to get it cheaper. A Ceriatone EL84 amp will have big durable high-quality pots and good transformers, sound great and last a long time. But you can pick up a used Peavey Classic head much cheaper. If you have a lot of parts handy, that's a different story. I like kits because I hate making a list and ordering, dealing with backorders, etc. On the other hand, next time I want to use 3 chassis: 1) power supply to mount low 2) power amp to mount chassis-down/tubes up, 3) preamp & reverb with controls convenient.

So what do you lust for? Go to a good boutique store on a rainy day when nobody is out, and try some. If you know you want a Matchless or Vox AC30, for instance, that makes it easier to choose a kit.
 

JRGuitarGuy

Banned
2012-10-09 11:25 am
say you have a 4x12 loaded with the gbs at 103db more like 105-6db coming out all together with 1 watt.... I don't know about you guys but I think 120ish db is getting up there and starts the point to where it and everything above it is Fing loud lol. its tonal bliss though lol
 
no way 30-40watts with efficient speakers you would not need to mic at all.... like eminence gb 103-104db....

Unmiked? Outdoors with a bandshell maybe. For a pool party at home maybe. Yes, speaker efficiency helps. But outdoors an open back cabinet doesn't help, unless there's half the audience behind you, and closed-back cabinets are going to be less efficient. Outdoors in an open field with amps facing forward the other side of the band often can't even hear you to play together. Depends on the noise of the venue, crowd, area etc. too. For a rock show you're not going to get very far with the volume of a spherical wavefront going down with the square of the distance. Some of the problem can often be handled with an extension cabinet rather than more power, so at least the band can play together and the near audience get a nice direct stage mix too. But nowadays even a lot of small bar bands mic everything. I have (but not necessarily use) 15,000 watts tri-amped for my home stereo in 2-channel mode so I'm the wrong guy to ask.
 

JRGuitarGuy

Banned
2012-10-09 11:25 am
that's exactly what I think of with el84s is a wild top end chime, it sounds quite a bit different than all the others to my ears. Just a chime, while I would describe most 6v6 as sweet on the top end if not slightly piercing. but 6v6 are crazy because of the different characters. the RCAs have a really nice defined lows and a more smeared mid range to me, the sylvania's are pretty bright but they have this interesting mid/upper mid snap/zing thing that the RCAs I had were lacking in. the GEs were really different, tight lows, the mids were really detailed but the highs were quite a bit more laid back. the JJ 6v6 kinda reminded me of an RCA but more sterile sounding lol. A lot guys would love the JJ though because of that 6l6 like low end wahhh/warble thing lol, it was too harsh on the high end to me though.
 
say you have a 4x12 loaded with the gbs at 103db more like 105-6db coming out all together with 1 watt.... I don't know about you guys but I think 120ish db is getting up there and starts the point to where it and everything above it is Fing loud lol. its tonal bliss though lol

If a 4X12 is loud at 50 meters, its because it's beaming straight like a laser and you'll need one on each side of the stage or outdoors with no room reinforcement or the rest of the band won't be able to play along unless your backline is way behind the whole band and pointed across.
 

JRGuitarGuy

Banned
2012-10-09 11:25 am
I don't know maybe I perceive loudness quite a bit lower than other people, wish I could hear stuff through other peoples ears lol. my ears are very sensitive I can pick up a 3db change easy I swear I think I can pick up like a 2db change sometimes. but for someone that doesn't have a trained ear whats the threshold or level when they start really noticing a difference 6-7db? or even 10db?..... that sounds crazy to me lol...so like you would hear something then you would hear something totally different would it be twice as loud or twice as quiet? lol