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#2
probably not anything you could hear. hand wired amps tend to use better quality parts which might be percetable but even then probably not. hand wired is just another marketing thing for the boutique crowd. done like they did it in the old days.
#3
hmm I think boutique amp builders do it this way for afew different reasons,
1. far easier to repair/ fault find/ modify.
2. Higher durability than pcbs.
3. using quality wire, ensures circuit is quiet and protected from unwanted frequencies.

not too sure if 3 is completely accurate, I could be wrong, 1 and 2 Im sure of.
#4
Quote by monwobobbo
probably not anything you could hear. hand wired amps tend to use better quality parts which might be percetable but even then probably not. hand wired is just another marketing thing for the boutique crowd. done like they did it in the old days.


contradiction much?

ediot: i geddit now, youre saying they market it as sounding better, which is in all likely hood rubbish.
probably more durable though not better sounding.
Last edited by GandalfWh1te at Aug 14, 2011,
#5
Quote by GandalfWh1te
hmm I think boutique amp builders do it this way for afew different reasons,
1. far easier to repair/ fault find/ modify.
2. Higher durability than pcbs.
3. using quality wire, ensures circuit is quiet and protected from unwanted frequencies.

not too sure if 3 is completely accurate, I could be wrong, 1 and 2 Im sure of.


1. is right
2. not really. pcb is usually more durable to tell truth. both pcb and ptp or turret/eyelet boards have their own weaknesses but PCB is usually considered more durable with all things considered
3. kinda. but this can be overcome. see below.
*****************************************************************

either pcb or handwired can deliver good tone if they are designed properly. a well designed pcb will sound just as good as a well designed handwired amp.

good design for a handwired amp includes proper placement of parts, correct wire routing, limiting length of wire use to connect parts and clean organization (to name a few things).

good pcb design would include some of the same ideas but for different reasons. for example, proper part placement would facilitate the ability to use wider tracks so as not to have an electron bottleneck while in a handwired product proper placement would be more for eliminating noise and excess wire length.

one of the reasons that handwired amps are more expensive is because a person is getting paid to actually wire all that stuff up in the amp while PCB manufacturer lends itself to more automation and you don't need a person actually wiring everything together.

pcb tends to produce a more consistent product that you can make larger numbers of at a higher rate. handwiring is only as good as the person wiring it, takes longer to do but also lets you customize and modify more readily (you don't have to redesign the PCB layout to make a change). a nice handwired amp will look like a piece of art done by a master, whereas a pcb amp will look consistently the same.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Aug 14, 2011,
#6
That is not true. PCBs are more durable and are easier to repair IF designed to withstand the environment it's being used in Most PCBs are FR-4 (fiberglass based) and have soldermask to prevent environmental impacts such as corrosion or damage to the copper traces.

If the components are identical, a good hand-wired amplifier is noisier than a good PCB amplifier.

The reason is because wires create unneeded impedance of the form of capacitive reactance, inductive reactance and resistance. This signal degradation COULD yield an admirable tone though! Vintage guitar amplifiers were developed in a time where large filter capacitors weren't available and that resulted in a saggy power supply that created a characteristic tone.

The reason most hand-wired amplifiers do sound better is because most companies put better components in amplifiers that are known to sell more effectively. You could purchase a boutique PCB based amplifier that is better. They would have to hire a PCB design engineer, which is expensive and cumbersome.

I'm an electrical engineer with experience in PCB design. To each his own! Enjoy whatever technology you prefer. All amplifier technologies offer different characteristics.
#7
Quote by GandalfWh1te
hmm I think boutique amp builders do it this way for afew different reasons,
1. far easier to repair/ fault find/ modify.
2. Higher durability than pcbs.
3. using quality wire, ensures circuit is quiet and protected from unwanted frequencies.

not too sure if 3 is completely accurate, I could be wrong, 1 and 2 Im sure of.


1. Maybe for your average hack tech who's soldering technique is crap therefore he burns off all the pads/traces but for anyone else, it's about the same with maybe a bit easier time making the actual repair/modification if you don't have to pull the board out. Some are designed to release very quickly should you need to do repairs though.

2. Mil-spec 1/8" FR4 with plated through holes is as durable as any turret board when both use correct stand off placement. You also don't have components being suspended in mid air where the leads could snap under heavy force. With proper stress relief, board mounted pots, switches and sockets aren't a big deal.

3. Absolutely not. A ground plane on a PCB effectively shields the circuit from radio interference that isn't accounted for in the design process. Truly getting rid of interference requires smart circuit/layout design, not fancy wire (though shielded wire is very useful for long runs not on the board).

PTP, turret boards and PCBs are all acceptable methods of construction. Not something anyone should be concerned about if they're buying a quality amp. It's mostly a marketing spiel that came about in the boutique explosion of the 90s since most of the builders were non EEs who couldn't design a circuit board to save their lives.

PCB also allows for construction of complex multi-channel amps with MIDI switching and all of that. Anyone who wants to build a full featured Diezel VH4 PTP is a madman.
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#8
A well designed PCB amp that uses quality parts will be better overall than a hand wired amp any days if it is the same circuit.

2oz copper with plated through holes and a ground plane will produce a great board. 1/16" can be used well if enough stabilization is provided, but 1/8" would be even better.

If you really spend the money to do it right there is no reason to have any off board wiring either. If the board is not able to flex then there is no issue with having tube sockets or controls on the board. You can even reinforce the tube sockets and make things even more stable.

Most manufacturers don't want to go through all of this though since they only want to save money. Most boutique manufacturers don't know enough about electronics, even vacuum tube electronics, to design a good pcb.
#9
pcb's are usually cost prohibitive for single or limited run production.

that being said...it's all hooey as far as 90 percent of the amp market is concerned.

the biggest advantage of going to a pcb design is being able to use pcb package parts.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
PCBs are mass producible with remarkable repeatability. SMD parts are automatically placed which reduces the chances of a bad board.
#11
Sorry but in what way are PCB's easier to repair? To replace any component on a PCB requires removing the board. With a P2P/turret board you just desolder the component and replace it. PCB is in no way easier to repair under any conditions.
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#13
Quote by Cathbard
Sorry but in what way are PCB's easier to repair? To replace any component on a PCB requires removing the board. With a P2P/turret board you just desolder the component and replace it. PCB is in no way easier to repair under any conditions.


Oops. That was supposed to read as turret board is a bit easier since you don't have to remove the board but there are several amps from companies that have easy access to the underside of the PCB. Removing a PCB really isn't all that tough, especially with board mounted pots/sockets/switches. Otherwise desoldering everything connect on one side is a less than 5 minute ordeal if you're quick. Diagnosing the problem takes the same amount of time regardless of construction unless there's a ton of extraneous crap like in recent Marshalls.

EDIT: ^Which pic?
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 14, 2011,
#14
I don't like how radial components aren't scopable without pulling the board.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#15
it's just a boutique crowd gimmick. Personally, I think a breadboard is the way to go, since they're easy to fix and hard to break
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
Last edited by CJ Noble at Aug 14, 2011,
#16
For one off builds you are unlikely to use a PCB. Turrets boards are extremely easy to make. It isn't a gimmick for small builders to use a turret board, it's logical.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
Quote by Cathbard
For one off builds you are unlikely to use a PCB. Turrets boards are extremely easy to make. It isn't a gimmick for small builders to use a turret board, it's logical.

yeah but a lot of people talk up hand wired anything as if it were technically better.
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#19
Quote by AcousticMirror
it can be. well built and well designed anything is well designed.

well of course well built is better than poorly built. there's just nothing inherently better about hand wired vs pcb
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#21
It is technically better from a maintenance point of view. I'd rather work on a turret board any day. In general, hand-wired amps tend to use better quality components. I don't think there is any tonal advantage from the board itself as long as the tracks are chunky enough and laid out properly but from a long term ownership angle a turret board creams anything else out there. We'll still be repairing JTM45's when all the mass produced PCB amps have returned to the coke cans from whence they came.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#22
Quote by AcousticMirror
a pcb can be handwired.

well now you're just being nitpicky
1978 Peavey T-40 -> Ampeg Micro-VR - > Ampeg SVT210AV + Ampeg SVT-15E
#24
Quote by gregs1020


ya but then peter diezel was like bitch you think you know pcb.

you don't know shit.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#26
Quote by AcousticMirror
ya but then peter diezel was like bitch you think you know pcb.

you don't know shit.


find that schematic for ippon yet?
#27
Quote by Fingerboy18
PCBs are mass producible with remarkable repeatability. SMD parts are automatically placed which reduces the chances of a bad board.


That's why we have these companies Mike Soldano designed the amps for both companies

http://www.soldano.com/

Soldano Custom Amplification.

Boutique amps and some of the best you can get if you can afford them.


http://www.jetcityamplification.com/

Jet City Amplification.

Mass produced in China at a fraction of the cost of a US or UK made amp.

IMHO the JCA20H is one of the best sounding small tube amps around.

It's also a lot of bang for the buck at $350 American...

I'd be using one now except I have my eyes on a Carvin V3 micro
Gear
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Quote by FatalGear41

Right now, there are six and a half billion people on earth who don't care what kind of tubes you have in your amplifier
#28
Quote by Fingerboy18
PCBs are mass producible with remarkable repeatability. SMD parts are automatically placed which reduces the chances of a bad board.


That really only applies for low voltage consumer stuff though. Tube guitar amps all use full sized through hole components, at least for the amplification. Many more complicated amps use SMD for control functions though. Even the cheap ass MG15 uses through hole components. The guitar world tends to not like SMD.
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#29
Bypass caps and such can always be SMD, which is handy when you need it right up close to the source. You can easily find 1000V caps in SMD packaging now. It just looks and works so nicely! Virtually no inductance due to no leads!
#30
Ya, but like I said, the guitar world tends to not like SMD, regardless of practicality.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 15, 2011,
#31
I hate SMD. They have their place - on computer mobos. There's plenty of room inside most amps for easier to repair things. Maybe something with heaps of switches and relays and crazy stuff going on where everything like say a Mesa Roadking (who don't use SMD tmk) or things like Vypers that you probably won't bother repairing anyway I could forgive SMD but otherwise, what's the point? Save a tenth of a cent in roboticised factories? SMD is for miniaturisation. There's plenty of room in most amps.
Now if class D lives up to it's promise and amps start going the way of bass amps with 1000W that you can fit in your pocket I'll reassess things but in the meantime - keep SMD out of tube amps - please!!
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#33
hey it's tgp!
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#34
rosewood turret boards are a bit dark.

try an ebony board.

green pcb's have too much low mids and they get muddy with mahogany neck guitars.
#35
Quote by Cathbard
I hate SMD. They have their place - on computer mobos. There's plenty of room inside most amps for easier to repair things. Maybe something with heaps of switches and relays and crazy stuff going on where everything like say a Mesa Roadking (who don't use SMD tmk) or things like Vypers that you probably won't bother repairing anyway I could forgive SMD but otherwise, what's the point? Save a tenth of a cent in roboticised factories? SMD is for miniaturisation. There's plenty of room in most amps.
Now if class D lives up to it's promise and amps start going the way of bass amps with 1000W that you can fit in your pocket I'll reassess things but in the meantime - keep SMD out of tube amps - please!!


I can respectfully agree. For pure amplification, there's nothing better than a bare-bones tube section with big ol' parts. For any sort of signal manipulation I enjoy a clean, concise, neat, and compact layout. More often than not, SMD parts have less undesirable parasitic properties. A capacitor shouldn't have inductance, but through hole capacitors have a reasonable amount of inductance via their leads.

You can't deny that a DC power supply is leaps and bounds better as a PCB circuit, more specifically mostly SMD.
#36
Quote by Fingerboy18
I can respectfully agree. For pure amplification, there's nothing better than a bare-bones tube section with big ol' parts. For any sort of signal manipulation I enjoy a clean, concise, neat, and compact layout. More often than not, SMD parts have less undesirable parasitic properties. A capacitor shouldn't have inductance, but through hole capacitors have a reasonable amount of inductance via their leads.

You can't deny that a DC power supply is leaps and bounds better as a PCB circuit, more specifically mostly SMD.


i deny.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#38
Quote by AcousticMirror
i deny.


Maybe due to me being an electrical engineer, my engineering conscience is taking over
#39
Quote by Fingerboy18
Maybe due to me being an electrical engineer, my engineering conscience is taking over


a high voltage supply bank is best made using nearly 0 esr film capacitors.

far as i know those don't exist in an smd package yet.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#40
Quote by gregs1020
rosewood turret boards are a bit dark.

try an ebony board.

green pcb's have too much low mids and they get muddy with mahogany neck guitars.


I like this guy.
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