#1
hey guys! so i was thinking of trying out to build a tube amp witha mate. we'd love to try and get the parts here. ordering kits from abroad would be a HUGE hassle here with the custom house and taxes...

so what is the simplest/cheapest amp? schems? help? i read thru a lot of tube amp building material and seems like i know what im heading to but I'd lvoe some help whatsoever. Have got background in pedal building/designing and like soldering and whatnot...

also i thought may be it'd be easier to build a standalone preamp first??
#2
Make sure you have the right tools to get the job done first. This ain't no model airplane glue and paint project.
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#4
Quote by Vendetta V
hey guys! so i was thinking of trying out to build a tube amp witha mate. we'd love to try and get the parts here. ordering kits from abroad would be a HUGE hassle here with the custom house and taxes...

so what is the simplest/cheapest amp? schems? help? i read thru a lot of tube amp building material and seems like i know what im heading to but I'd lvoe some help whatsoever. Have got background in pedal building/designing and like soldering and whatnot...

also i thought may be it'd be easier to build a standalone preamp first??

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#5
Quote by mastershake575
Make sure you have the right tools to get the job done first. This ain't no model airplane glue and paint project.


I have more problems with model air planes and paint than I do with guitar amps honestly.

The simplest tube amp is somewhat of an interesting idea. You have a few options as to what to do.

AX84 offers a few kits that are pretty simple and easy to build and have a nice range of tones you can get.

Then there is the tweed champ which is one of the simplest amps you can get, it only have a volume knob though. While this sounds like a bad thing it makes you learn how to play guitar, rather than using an amp to do all of the tone shaping. If you like setting your guitar to 10 and never changing the other knobs this isn't for you.

A Marshall 18Watt Lite is also a pretty simple amp to build for a first build. Its got a bit more power than any of the amps above.
#6
simple and complex amps are not that far apart. every amp have power and output transformers, a power supply section, power tube(s), preamp tube(s), wires, chassis, nuts and bolts, etc. how many of these we have is the difference, and imo, it's not that big. if you have a schematic to a design, it should be pretty easy to make it.

simplest tube amplifier by far, is a champ. schematics everywhere, a very easy to use amp but a tiny bit loud for apartment use.

if you've made a pedal before, you can probably make an amp. if you go for a kit, even the screw holes are drilled already. IMO, drilling the holes is the worst thing in building amps. but other than that, it's really not that hard. it's just the money concern people don't dive into amp building.
Call me "Shot".

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#8
Quote by ECistheBest
simple and complex amps are not that far apart. every amp have power and output transformers, a power supply section, power tube(s), preamp tube(s), wires, chassis, nuts and bolts, etc. how many of these we have is the difference, and imo, it's not that big. if you have a schematic to a design, it should be pretty easy to make it.


In the idea of building them I disagree quite a bit. More complex amps require quite a lot more knowledge to really build them successfully. You could give someone who has never built an amp all the parts to build a Dumble or Trainwreck and they would likely fail to get a stable amp unless they spend hours upon hours learning to understand everything about the amp. Most beginners can't produce a good layout from just a schematic and will require a lot of extra things like a layout and wiring guide for much more complex amps and still may not get it right.

A Champ is also a far cry from a Bogner or any other modern tube amp.
#9
gotta agree it ain't that hard tho. after getting the grasp of things to watch out for on a first relatively easy build, it wouldn't be that bad for a second one. complex amps are just simple amps with a lot more stuff to go with it. if there was a layout, making a champ clone, JTM45 clone, JCM800 aren't that radically different.

given that, yea. building a high gain amp needs a lot more attention and experience. and i guess you'd want a layout too, or at least some kind of example of an amp to see where the wires from each components go and such.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


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#10
hey Shot, yeah i was actually surprised to see the complex tube amps having a simpler design than the equal solid states... still the "simple" here is for the low price tag possibly.

anyways i don't think i'll be able to order a kit but hmm what im gonna need for a champ is

3 tubes and a transformer? (excluding the pots and passive components)

is it possible to implement a tone stack there? (assuming from pedal building skills, it's not gonna be that hard?) and what about gain/master? all i see is a 1meg pot which i take as a vol pot?

also a standby switch?

oh and how would one go with putting a FX loop in there?

these might get it all complex but at least it'll give me a some nice knowledge if i even decide to skip building them

thanx guys
#11
Quote by Vendetta V
hey Shot, yeah i was actually surprised to see the complex tube amps having a simpler design than the equal solid states... still the "simple" here is for the low price tag possibly.

anyways i don't think i'll be able to order a kit but hmm what im gonna need for a champ is

3 tubes and a transformer? (excluding the pots and passive components)
two transformers. power supply transformer, and an output transformer. champ only uses two tubes, a 12AX7, and a 6V6. you also need chassis, tube sockets, switches, power cable, maybe a cab and a speaker?

is it possible to implement a tone stack there? (assuming from pedal building skills, it's not gonna be that hard?) and what about gain/master? all i see is a 1meg pot which i take as a vol pot?
yea, it's not that bad. gain knob is already there, you can add a master. but gain/master won't do much, since you only have one tube that's overdriving with the master put low. if you have a pedal or a high output pickup, it'd work. and yea, tone stack would be simple implementation as far as design goes. if your chassis has room for pots, you can fit it in probably.

also a standby switch?
you probably wouldn't need one, but you can put it in there as well.

oh and how would one go with putting a FX loop in there?
probably not the best idea to put it there... i mean, you can do something like a preamp out and a power amp in, but buffered fx loops are a bit more work. it's possible, but is it practical on just a champ? i dont htinkso...

these might get it all complex but at least it'll give me a some nice knowledge if i even decide to skip building them

thanx guys
i can tell you as much as i know. but nothing is guaranteed still.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#12
You can leave the rectifier tube out of the champ and use diodes for the rectifier.

If you take a look at some of the amps at ac84, specifically the P1 it is like a champ with a tone stack. They have all of the documents you will need to build the amp including a chassis plan, layout, schematic, etc.
#13
Quote by XgamerGt04
You can leave the rectifier tube out of the champ and use diodes for the rectifier.

If you take a look at some of the amps at ac84, specifically the P1 it is like a champ with a tone stack. They have all of the documents you will need to build the amp including a chassis plan, layout, schematic, etc.


ooh nice. I checked the P1 and damn that's just what I want I guess


yea, it's not that bad. gain knob is already there, you can add a master. but gain/master won't do much, since you only have one tube that's overdriving with the master put low. if you have a pedal or a high output pickup, it'd work. and yea, tone stack would be simple implementation as far as design goes. if your chassis has room for pots, you can fit it in probably


aha well looking at the P1 schematic I already got the idea. I thinking right about how the tone stack would go in there as well as the mater volume.


probably not the best idea to put it there... i mean, you can do something like a preamp out and a power amp in, but buffered fx loops are a bit more work. it's possible, but is it practical on just a champ? i dont htinkso...


so basically if i just take the signal out of the preamp to a jack it'll become a stand alone preamp?? I mean if i can take the signal out for a pedal and whatnot that means like I'm already separating the thing so it doesn't need anything from the power section? later this could be fed to a PA?

also any material about FX loops? a quick google search didn't bring me up to anything worth reading
#14
Try a Marshall 1987 Plexi. Parts are easy come by, its a fairly simple amp, and on Metropoulis amps' site there is a full pdf with pictures, schematics, a parts list and instructions to build a clone of it.
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#16
Quote by XgamerGt04
In the idea of building them I disagree quite a bit. More complex amps require quite a lot more knowledge to really build them successfully. You could give someone who has never built an amp all the parts to build a Dumble or Trainwreck and they would likely fail to get a stable amp unless they spend hours upon hours learning to understand everything about the amp. Most beginners can't produce a good layout from just a schematic and will require a lot of extra things like a layout and wiring guide for much more complex amps and still may not get it right.

A Champ is also a far cry from a Bogner or any other modern tube amp.


going for broke is really a good way to learn everything you need to know though.
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