#1
Well I'm really interested in building my own stuff for guitar.
I ordered a Saga guitar kit (I know the guitar is gonna be crap, but it's for experience ) as a first guitar painting project and also to know the insides of the guitar better.
When I'm done that, I'll have some fun stripping down an old Squier bass and repainting it again.

However, I just found out about building pedals and amps, and I just thought...WOW I WANT TO MAKE MY OWN!
But... I have no experience whatsoever in electronics, soldering and reading schematics. BUT I WANNA MAKE THEM PEDALS AND AMPS!

I'm sure building a pedal is easier than an amp , so I figured I'd start off with that.
Eventually, I'd like to build amps. That is my goal.

To get to that goal, what steps do you recommend for me?
I thought of something like this:
1. Build a few pedals from kits (like BYOC or GGG)
2. Build some pedals NOT from kits
After that, I'm not sure... Do I go straight to an amp kit?

I know this'll take a lot of time, but I'm up for the challenge!

Tips, links, what to do or not to do, anything is very much appreciated
If the most sought after things are often the most simple, then:

6 shoelaces of varying sizes tied onto a branch
+ 1 Quarter (pick)
----------------------------
= ULTIMATE TONE
#3
I wouldn't bother buying a kit, your only going to learn how to solder which you could practice yourself by joining wires together and making LED's anyway. There is no learning involved in following instructions and soldering things in place where the instruction manual tells you to put them.

I would read up on basic electronics, get a book from the library or something, I studied electronics from books, it takes a very long time to understand how it all affects audio signals etc. but it's worth it.

When you have grasped the basics, try making a simple boost pedal (they are very basic, especially MOSFET transistor based) however they require knowledge of amplifier circuits and transistors.

You can find some schematics on www.schematicheaven.com or www.generalguitargadgets.com. download the schematics and wiring diagrams and the parts list, buy the parts from your local electronics store (or online). And if need be buy the PCB from general guitar gadgets.

Good luck!
#4
Should I be able to build amps from a kit after building a good amount of pedals, and reading/studying?
If the most sought after things are often the most simple, then:

6 shoelaces of varying sizes tied onto a branch
+ 1 Quarter (pick)
----------------------------
= ULTIMATE TONE
#5
You could build amps from kits now that's the problem. You won't learn much if you just follow the instructions. There are a few forums on the web for DIY guitar amp builders, try them for some better advice, there are some easy projects to get you started like the Trainwreck Liverpool, simple amps that sound amazing.

But don't forget to get reading up on electronics and the principles of amplifiers, both tube based and transistor based.
#6
^Trainwrecks are not easy at all. Simple circuit yes but if you dont get the perfect parts your not going to have a Wreck. Also lead dress is so key, its not standard stuff.
#7
Quote by kurtlives91
^Trainwrecks are not easy at all. Simple circuit yes but if you dont get the perfect parts your not going to have a Wreck. Also lead dress is so key, its not standard stuff.


Its deffinetly not a starter amp but its not too difficult to build. The parts also don't have to be dead on to get a good sound. Hell you can really only clone a specific wreck. The ampgarage forum is deffinetly the place to look for Wreck and Dumble information. And as far as the express goes you can easily source most of the parts, seeing as how most schematics are based upon Francesca. The Mallory CDE caps can easily be replaced by sprague, or anything with a low ESR.
Last edited by XgamerGt04 at Mar 7, 2009,
#8
^Well the parts do make a lot more difference in a Wreck than they do in say a Tweed Fender.

Also check out Amp Garage if your into building Dumbles and Wrecks. Their forum is dedicated to building them, its quite a cool place.
#9
Quote by kurtlives91
^Well the parts do make a lot more difference in a Wreck than they do in say a Tweed Fender.

Also check out Amp Garage if your into building Dumbles and Wrecks. Their forum is dedicated to building them, its quite a cool place.


True but KF used Orange Drops and carbon film resistors in a lot of places, which can make the build very inexpensive. You have to take some of what the guy said about his stuff with a bit of salt, seeing as how he said "red" insulated wires sound the best.
#10
Ok, seems like the Trainwreck could be a good project once I'm more experienced.
Any recommendations for a first-time amp kit? I'd like it to be simple enough, but also get a good sound out of the amp once it's built.
If the most sought after things are often the most simple, then:

6 shoelaces of varying sizes tied onto a branch
+ 1 Quarter (pick)
----------------------------
= ULTIMATE TONE
#11
Many of the AX84 amp kits are pretty nice. The p1 is the standard starting kit, it produces a pretty nice tone. If you want something with a bit more wattage you can look for an 18watt lite kit. I know brown note sells them. Ted Weber has kits as well as ceriatone.

I'd recommend either the P1 or an 18watt lite. Either way you should be ready to put a bit of work into these. The heater wiring will be a bit annoying, so I always recommend that you do that first.
#13
Does this sound like a good plan?
1. Read a lot
2. BYOC kits (about 2)
3. Build pedals not from kits (around 5, or more)
4. Mod amps (Epi Valve Jr/Blackheart Little Giant)
5. Build amps from kits
6. Eventually build amps not from kits

Am I missing anything?
If the most sought after things are often the most simple, then:

6 shoelaces of varying sizes tied onto a branch
+ 1 Quarter (pick)
----------------------------
= ULTIMATE TONE
#14
I skipped straight into building my own pedals.

Try building a LPB-1, they're pretty simple. That'll be good experience.
#15
Quote by MCRibz
Does this sound like a good plan?
1. Read a lot
2. BYOC kits (about 2)
3. Build pedals not from kits (around 5, or more)
4. Mod amps (Epi Valve Jr/Blackheart Little Giant)
5. Build amps from kits
6. Eventually build amps not from kits

Am I missing anything?

Sounds good. You could skip the kits if your careful and dont mind learning as you troubleshoot. I did pretty much the same thing as your list minus the kits and I am happy where I'm at now.
#16
If you aren't confident in your abilities then a pedal is a good place to start. Its actually entirely possible to jump directly into amp building and be successful. You just have to be a lot more meticulous about how you build the amp if you do it the way I did.
#17
kits are a great place to start if theres a certain pedal you want but dont want to spend top dollar buying it. if yr looking to learn you'll learn a lot more by teaching yourself how to read schematics and how to assemble the components on perfboard/stripboard/breadboard/piece of cardboard... wait a sec... cardboard?

either way the first post in the pedal building thread is your place to start and i'll bet that if that thread was stickied to the top of the forum threads like these would not exist.
#18
all electronics has an amplifier kit... a preamp kit, too, come to think of it. It's a really simple solid-state amplifier that you could build in two hours. I did it when I was twelve, and it wasn't /too/ bad.
Quote by conor1148
who cares if they're drawn,


boobies



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