Alright, so its been a while since i've built something from start to finish that I haven't torn apart for something else. I got my tax refunds back and decided that some sort of Trainwreck clone sounds like a good idea. So i decided on a Trainwreck Express, and have ordered all of the parts except for the transformers. Some information about the Trainwreck Express for those that don't know.

3 12ax7 preamp tubes
2 EL34 or 6v6 poweramp tubes
TMB control stack
Bright switch
Preamp Gain control.
Presence control.
Roughly 30 watts with the EL34s, not sure about the 6v6

For my build I am using
Orange Drop Caps
Sprague Atom Filtering Caps
Carbon Film Resistors
I am changing the value of two capacitors to suit what I have
May also add a mid shift control if I don't like the mid response.

Pictures should be up sometime tomorrow morning after I get my camera and head out to buy some replacement soldering iron tips.
Looking forward to it. Seems like a straight-forward build that will sound great. I never realized that it had 3 preamp tubes, but I imagine one is a phase inverter. Still, thats a bit of gain.
Cant wait to see pics.
Quote by letsgocoyote
No I'm not Jesus. I would aspire to be though. I think under circumstances he would let you pay less if you needed to.
So since I could not find my camera cord these pictures are going to be very crappy. I drilled holes and mounted the tube sockets today, and after I receive the transformers tomorrow I should be able to drill the rest of the holes. Amp should be finished by Saturday if I get transformers tomorrow. I have to improvise a bias potentiometer, accidentally purchased a 25k and a 250k, and I need 2 250k, so i'll solder 3 100k resistors in parallel with the 250k pot to get a 29k maximum potentiometer.

Main Board

Power Board

Picture of a chassis full of parts

When I get the amp working it will have 3 JJ 12ax7 tubes and 2 NOS Sylvannia 6v6 tubes. Once I get some extra money I plan on getting some of the Mullard Replica EL34s
More updates today.

I drilled all of the holes except for the transformer mounting holes and wire holes, now if only the transformers will get here.

The transformers should come tomorrow. After I drill the holes and mount then I will wire up the tubes. Should start wiring up the control panel soon.
Last edited by XgamerGt04 at Mar 20, 2009,
Quote by kurtlives91
Looking good!

You following any guides or pics from the Amp Garage?

I'm using their layouts to an extent. The heater wires are going to be neatly twisted, which should make it a bit more stable than ones that use the "Lazy loop". I added a top mounted potentiometer to adjust the bias, and three test points on the backside of the amp to read the current through pin 5.

Pictures of preamp board wiring should be up later. If the transformers don't get here tomorrow then this won't be finished until mid April. I should also be able to get some better pictures up tomorrow night.
Last edited by XgamerGt04 at Mar 20, 2009,
I've seen a few clones built with neat heater wires that didn't have any problems. I got the boards from http://www.rjguitars.net/ already populated. The transformers are coming from toneslut.

If the heater wiring comes out to be a problem, which I doubt it should be, I will go back and rewire it the Lazy Loop style. I'm guessing that it is done this way because Ken found that it didn't induce any noise and its faster than getting a very neat wrap. I'm also leaving out the MOV for now, due to the fact that I can get one easily once I get back to college.
Wired some of the signal board up. I need to get the transformer so I can wire up the heater filaments before I do anything else.

Received my transformers today, if all goes according to plan this should be done by about 5.

All of the wiring is finished, and I tried to power up the amp, Everything looked good so I put some tubes in and there is no sound. My guess is that something is wrong with the input. Unfortunately it will be two weeks before I get a chance to do any more work on the amp. I left it at home due to the fact that I don't really have much time while I am back at school to devote to figuring out what is wrong. Updates should happen sometime the first weekend of April.
After a long time away I remembered why you always have a layout and take the time to mark out every component when you place them. I was missing a ground wire, as well as two cathode resistors. I don't have any pictures to put up yet. She lives.... but she got a bit bitchy when i got past 3, so i'll have to get this fixed. My guess is somewhere in the power amp section as the wiring to the power amp tubes got a little messy. My KF wiring abilities are a bit lacking haha. I'll work on it a bit, and if nothing helps then i'll order some new power section caps that are smaller and see what I can do and the redo all of the wiring to the power section.
There's really great schems on the sloclone board
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
^way better info at Amp Garage. There is a 80pg PDF that tells you everything you need to know about buioding the amp.

I would read up and compare lead dress to the real thing. TWs are really sensitive to lead dress.
Quote by kurtlives91
^way better info at Amp Garage. There is a 80pg PDF that tells you everything you need to know about buioding the amp.

I would read up and compare lead dress to the real thing. TWs are really sensitive to lead dress.

Yeah my preamp wiring is pretty good, i really think that the problem is where the power amp tubes are wired. there are so many components attached everywhere that its so difficult to keep everything nice and neat when you have larger hands. There is also the possibility that i need to run shielded wire from the volume control to its respective tube or put some sort of silicone between the two caps attached to the bright switch.

It sounds amazing when its not howling though. I'm impressed. I think the next project is either a Hiwatt or an amp design i've been working on. It'll be happening this summer though.
Quote by kurtlives91
Did you try adding a grid stopper on the first triode? I think stock there is no grid stopper. Something small like 4K7 might help your instability issues.

Yep i added a 42k grid stopper, i didn't have a 68k but didn't want to move up to the 96k or something like that resistor i have. That removed a lot of the stability issues, i'm going to run a sheilded wire from the volume control to the grid of V2, which should fix the rest of the stability issues. No hum at all, but there is a bit of hiss to the amp. From what i've read at the amp garage this is somewhat normal. The shielded wire should reduce some of this hiss and fix the end of the stability issue.
Out of an idea today i decided to move all of the wires from the controls a bit away from the body of the pots. This removed the upper stability issues, and now the only thing I have left is the hiss. There are a few odd sounds as I really start to turn the amp up, but i'm thinking this might have something to do with me running it through a weber mass and then to a 15 watt speaker. From the readings I took i'm getting something like 75 watts at full breakup. Biased at roughly 25-30 watts. I started at 20 and moved it up to see where i started getting red plating and then backed it down a bit. Currently have a set of Sylvania 6v6GT's in the amp, as well as three electroharmonix tubes until I get paid and buy some better tubes for it.

I'll work on getting some sound clips later if i can find someone with a camera or microphone or anything like that.