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Old 07-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
GARAGE HERMIT
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hacking old valve/tube radio into guitar amp,question's,

just bought this EVEREADY SKY QUEEN valve/tube radio, would like to turn it into a guitar amp, where do i start, i'm a complete newbie at this so any help woud be appreciated,



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Old 07-29-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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1. Do you have any experience at all working with tube amps?

2. What kind of tubes are in there?

3. Do you have a schematic?
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quick! Someone call Cathbard!
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culler Amps
1. Do you have any experience at all working with tube amps?

2. What kind of tubes are in there?

3. Do you have a schematic?


no experience at all with valve amp's, but i am an electrician, so i know not to just power it up and then start sticking my finger's in amongst it,

tube's are DK96, DF96, DAF96, DL96,

no schematic yet, i'm still looking for one,,
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:51 PM   #5
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Quick! Someone call Cathbard!



who's " cathbard " ??
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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Cath is an amp builder rounf these parts, but Flightless is probably more interested to be honest he does this sort of thing a lot
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARAGE HERMIT
no experience at all with valve amp's, but i am an electrician, so i know not to just power it up and then start sticking my finger's in amongst it,

tube's are DK96, DF96, DAF96, DL96,

no schematic yet, i'm still looking for one,,



Most of these older radios were handwired point to point, and they really crammed that stuff in there on some radios. It could be a bit daunting for someone new to figure out what is going on in there.

Personally I'd gut the chassis, and start from scratch. For someone just getting into this hobby, I think you'd have a better chance of building a working, good sounding amp if you worked from an existing design.

Maybe build a champ style circuit in there.

Hopefully you can read a schematic.

If you are indeed completely new to this, I recommend going over to AX84 and thinking about building one of the projects over there. A great way to learn and get started.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GABarrie
Cath is an amp builder rounf these parts, but Flightless is probably more interested to be honest he does this sort of thing a lot


Hey, that's me. I guess I can try to help you out here.

First off, check my signature for the basics of tube electronics when it comes to guitar audio. There are some good links in that thread as well.

Second, here is a great resource to find the tube data for about any tube there is:
http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/tubesearch.php Be sure to check at the bottom for actual data sheets since the website's info is often incomplete.

Most likely, you're going to want to completely remove the receiving part of the circuit. I don't have a schematic for your radio either, but here's a pretty standard receiving circuit: http://www.next.gr/uploads/15-7f5594e81c.gif

The DK96 is a heptode and you're going to not want to use this one at all. The DL96 is your output pentode most likely in a single-ended cathode biased output circuit. The DAF96 and DF96 are both candidates to use for your preamp tube. Several old Gibson amps as well as the Matchless DC30 used a single pentode as the preamp stage. Although the electrical characteristics of the DFs might make them less suitable for guitar frequencies.

This particular Valve Wizard page would be a good thing to read for your preamp stage: http://www.freewebs.com/valvewizard/pentode.html

I'm sure there is a lot more that could be said to help you out, but we'll see where you have questions first.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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ooop's, listed the wrong valve's, the actual one's in the set are,

6516ND/CV4063 KB/DC
6AT6
6064NJ/CV4014 KB/D
6AM6KJ/CV138 KB/D
and one with no writing on at all,
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by end_citizen
Hey, that's me. I guess I can try to help you out here.

First off, check my signature for the basics of tube electronics when it comes to guitar audio. There are some good links in that thread as well.

Second, here is a great resource to find the tube data for about any tube there is:
http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/tubesearch.php Be sure to check at the bottom for actual data sheets since the website's info is often incomplete.

Most likely, you're going to want to completely remove the receiving part of the circuit. I don't have a schematic for your radio either, but here's a pretty standard receiving circuit: http://www.next.gr/uploads/15-7f5594e81c.gif

The DK96 is a heptode and you're going to not want to use this one at all. The DL96 is your output pentode most likely in a single-ended cathode biased output circuit. The DAF96 and DF96 are both candidates to use for your preamp tube. Several old Gibson amps as well as the Matchless DC30 used a single pentode as the preamp stage. Although the electrical characteristics of the DFs might make them less suitable for guitar frequencies.

This particular Valve Wizard page would be a good thing to read for your preamp stage: http://www.freewebs.com/valvewizard/pentode.html

I'm sure there is a lot more that could be said to help you out, but we'll see where you have questions first.


thank's for the link's, and i'm sure to have lot's more question's,
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARAGE HERMIT
just bought this EVEREADY SKY QUEEN valve/tube radio, would like to turn it into a guitar amp, where do i start, i'm a complete newbie at this so any help woud be


I feel compelled to go out on a limb here and also at least commend those trying to provide helpful advice.

Personally I'd rather restore the radio if it was mine. You could have saved the money towards an amp if you needed one or a kit if you're looking to learn.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:38 AM   #12
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No offense intended, but isn't it really worth a lot more as a working radio?

It looks collectible, even from a sentimental perspective.

Besides most of the circuitry has virtually nothing to do with amplification, it's mostly front end for the tuner.

You still would have to design the tone control and pregain stages. And it's doubtful if the radio has a heck of a lot more that 1 watt of power anyway.

I'd really just clean it up, then find a special place for it on a bookshelf. It's more or less what I'd call, "a conversation piece"

It'd be way better to mock up a whole new box using the radio's exterior design, then build a tube amp to go in that. You could even modify the size, and just keep the overall shape, to accommodate a larger speaker, better cooling, etc.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 07-30-2012 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by end_citizen
Hey, that's me. I guess I can try to help you out here.

First off, check my signature for the basics of tube electronics when it comes to guitar audio. There are some good links in that thread as well.

Second, here is a great resource to find the tube data for about any tube there is:
http://tdsl.duncanamps.com/tubesearch.php Be sure to check at the bottom for actual data sheets since the website's info is often incomplete.

Most likely, you're going to want to completely remove the receiving part of the circuit. I don't have a schematic for your radio either, but here's a pretty standard receiving circuit: http://www.next.gr/uploads/15-7f5594e81c.gif

The DK96 is a heptode and you're going to not want to use this one at all. The DL96 is your output pentode most likely in a single-ended cathode biased output circuit. The DAF96 and DF96 are both candidates to use for your preamp tube. Several old Gibson amps as well as the Matchless DC30 used a single pentode as the preamp stage. Although the electrical characteristics of the DFs might make them less suitable for guitar frequencies.

This particular Valve Wizard page would be a good thing to read for your preamp stage: http://www.freewebs.com/valvewizard/pentode.html

I'm sure there is a lot more that could be said to help you out, but we'll see where you have questions first.
It is indeed you, I don't actually know your name and flightless is cooler than end_citizen Merlin's site should be moving within the next month btw
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix V
I feel compelled to go out on a limb here and also at least commend those trying to provide helpful advice.

Personally I'd rather restore the radio if it was mine. You could have saved the money towards an amp if you needed one or a kit if you're looking to learn.


thanks for your input, but over here these radio's are cheap, this one was only 5.00, and for it to be a collectable one would have to be in a lot better condition than this one, i have a valve amp, a epiphone electar, amp kit's are i think too expensive, especially as i have bought several old valve reel to reel tape machine's, valve record player's, and a few valve radiogram's, plus a few more valve radio's all for less than 50.00 to practice on, i think i'll learn more about valve amp building trying to convert these than a kit, and i appreciate everyone's comment's,
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captaincranky
No offense intended, but isn't it really worth a lot more as a working radio?

It looks collectible, even from a sentimental perspective.

Besides most of the circuitry has virtually nothing to do with amplification, it's mostly front end for the tuner.

You still would have to design the tone control and pregain stages. And it's doubtful if the radio has a heck of a lot more that 1 watt of power anyway.

I'd really just clean it up, then find a special place for it on a bookshelf. It's more or less what I'd call, "a conversation piece"

It'd be way better to mock up a whole new box using the radio's exterior design, then build a tube amp to go in that. You could even modify the size, and just keep the overall shape, to accommodate a larger speaker, better cooling, etc.


the radio was 5.00, and the condition it's in it is'nt collectable, 1 watt would be more than enough for what i want, thank's for your input,
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARAGE HERMIT
thanks for your input, but over here these radio's are cheap, this one was only 5.00, and for it to be a collectable one would have to be in a lot better condition than this one, i have a valve amp, a epiphone electar, amp kit's are i think too expensive, especially as i have bought several old valve reel to reel tape machine's, valve record player's, and a few valve radiogram's, plus a few more valve radio's all for less than 50.00 to practice on, i think i'll learn more about valve amp building trying to convert these than a kit, and i appreciate everyone's comment's,


Well it's yours to do what you want. Was just saying if it was mine Id be reluctant to butcher it.

As a beginner I still believe a kit is a better way of cutting your teeth into this. Kits use stock readily available components, come with schematics and the build information. As you learn how the circuits work you can also mod and customise various things like the tonestacks or running bias, etc

Anyway, you'll need to get a schematic before you can get too far into it. Failing that, you'll have to accurately trace the circuit by hand and eye to generate the schematic as the audio section would be one of 4 main blocks in the circuit and there is also some overlap between blocks and feedback loops youll need to overcome.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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been reading a bit about valve amp's and came up with this circuit, it's all probably wrong, cap value's etc, if someone can correct it for me, i'd be very greatfull,



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Old 09-25-2012, 07:31 PM   #18
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Curious: Why did you tie the two preamp grids together?

Also, assuming you don't want the two preamp tube grids tied, you'll want a 1M resistor after the 47k input resistor as a ground reference.

Another: Why do you have diodes on your tube rectifier?
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:23 AM   #19
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I believe wiring the anode to the grid like that will fry some tubes in a hurry... correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that be an oscillator? I've converted an AA5 radio into an amp, people said it couldn't be done/wasn't worth it but I did it anyhow. It was great for practicing when I was in a dorm. But now I'm back home and I haven't run it since...
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by end_citizen
Curious: Why did you tie the two preamp grids together?

Also, assuming you don't want the two preamp tube grids tied, you'll want a 1M resistor after the 47k input resistor as a ground reference.

Another: Why do you have diodes on your tube rectifier?


diode's (1N4007) are ther to protect the PT in case the rec/tube short's out,

yes, i will need a 1M resistor, thanks for that,

i'm using 2 x 6AT6's in parallel instead of a 12AX7, so i thought i'd parallel everything out, is that wrong, ??
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