Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#1
Min (AcousticMirror) made me a custom amp. It's amazing! It's most closely related to a Matchless DC30 but there's quite a lot going on under the hood. I'm calling it the Min Machine (he wanted to call it the Tworec30roadking), and it is a fantastic piece of work. Min did a great job and put up with a lot of stupid requests from my end.
Specs in a dropdown below so you can get to the pictures quicker if you prefer:
V Click V
  • 4 EL84s, 3 12AX7s, 1 EF86, and it can run either 1 5AR4 or 2 5V4 rectifier tubes, or switch to SS rectification.
  • Custom power transformer so there's no voltage drop when switching from SS rectifier to 5AR4 (small drop when using 2x5V4s)
  • All the good stuff! AB pots and carbon comp resistors, film filter caps (never needs a recap!), individual cathode biasing for each power tube with crazy spec'd resistors, etc. Min went a little overboard on this one and I am glad he did.
  • Fairly standard front panel controls, similar to a DC30 but with a blend switch on the inputs so I can link channels, and screen/boost controls on the EF86 for more flavors of crunch.
  • Lots of switches on the back! Min got mad but then he liked it when they were done. Switches for: SS/Tube rectifier, High/low first filter cap value (like on the Vox AC30CCs), Triode/Pentode, Full/Half power, and Fast/Med/Slow response sort of like on a Trainwreck.
  • Min started with a Ceriatone chassis so we could get a good matching headcab and 1x12 for it, but everything else is 'bespoke' as he'd put it. The transformers were custom made by the guy who made the original Matchless units, and all the discrete components were chosen by Min for one nefarious reason or another.
  • It matches my couch because I like boring colors.
  • Sonically, it's enormous! Most simply put, it's like a bigger sounding DC30 with more knobs and switches. There's a lot of crunch from the EF86 channel, and the Kill/Stun switch on the back lets you get a Vox or Matchless type of sound/bass response.
  • It's got tons of volume. On paper it's 30 watts but in front of your face it's louder than any sane person would ever need.
  • The cleans are super fat and super chimey. No reverb required! Extra jangly with a compressor in front.
  • The OD stays chimey! It's fairly unique to this amp. Voxes stay chimey as they OD but there's not a lot of bass. Matchless amps keep the bass but lose the chime as they get louder. This one rings until your ears bleed and still sounds fat. Which is awesome.
  • The amp is very, very articulate, especially with the fast response and stiffer filter cap/SS rectifier switches on. It's perfect since I almost always clawhammer/fingerpick, but using a pick takes a little extra effort because the pick attack comes through bright and clear if you let it.



^ HERE ^

Some near-completion build pics:


Two rectifier tubes and four power tubes hiding under heatsink wings:

Top of the chassis with BIG BAD TRANSFORMERS and lots of toobz:

Empty head cab with a cool vent under the handle:

Peeking in the vent, you can see some of the caps and heatsinks.

Finished product (note the couch matching) :

With matching 1x12 cab. This is where the magic happens.

Oh, and I got a Line 6 M13 too. It's in that last shot. Great unit, bad dirt models, lots of pretty colors, you've heard it all before. I use it for swooshy sounds and robot sounds through the Polytone.


And for part 2, a Composite Acoustics GXi in Red Wine Burst. I absolutely cannot get a good picture of this thing because of the gloss finish. Please forgive a few pictures from the store - this is my exact guitar, at least.

Again, review in dropdown if you just want to look at the pretties.
V Click V
  • I am a big fan of carbon fiber acoustic instruments. I like that they don't go out of tune, ever, I like that you can transport and even play them in extreme temperatures, and I like that they're a bit different sonically without being a jarring departure. Plus they look cool. I got a CF violin a while ago and I'm very pleased to have a similarly constructed guitar.
  • The neck joint, if you could call it that, is my favorite aspect of the guitar. I'll try to get some good light for a picture tomorrow. The entire body falls away to meet the neck, like it was scooped out, so the back is just beautifully scuplted and you can pick up the whole body at the cutaway with one hand. That's way cool, and super comfortable.
  • Carbon fiber means super strong and stiff, so there's no truss rod. The action is very straight and will stay that way forever. The frets are stainless steel so they will probably not need to be replaced in my lifetime.
  • Dan says the hole is in the wrong place, but I like it there. It projects well and you can stick a mic (or your head) right in front of it and get full blast sound without your hand getting in the way.
  • The composite work is decent but not perfect. Some of the earlier/pre-Peavey ownership CAs are a bit cleaner on the inside. I think given the price point of the CA and comparable Rainsong guitars, the work is quite good. Totally flawless composite work on an instrument costs a ton of money, which is why my violin was $6K and these guitars go for around a third of that.
  • CA was really not good to work with. The guitar is fantastic, but the company has some issues. They were totally unresponsive about ordering and delivery, even about repair work on the first guitar I was going to buy that showed up to the shop with dead electronics. They seem to have serious issues with meeting even modest production and turnaround standards.
  • The electronics are good! I have to say I liked the Fishman Aura system in the Xi better, but the Fishman Prefix-Plus T in this one is great and will suit me well enough. Again, had CA been more responsive about custom orders I might have just gotten the Aura, but they seemed very disorganized and weren't able to make the change for me.
  • The color is really neat. Greg said I couldn't have the bright red one unless I was in a Mariachi band so I got the more subtle one. It's a dark dark ruby red, and usually looks darker than the pictures show it. The gloss epoxy gives it some cool depth and it does neat things in the light.
  • It's got my initials on the label on the inside! That's cool.

^ HERE ^

The CA logo is a bit reflective, and the epoxy lets in light from the sides so it looks like there's a backlight or something behind the logo. It's a really neat touch.


So that's my stuff! Live long and prosper.
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#2
that's a good diverse haul.

Want clips of the amp.
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cdr_salamander
or simply Nick
Join date: Mar 2009
1,335 IQ
#4
Awesome! Not one square inch of that chassis left abandoned. Can't wait to hear clips!

And nice acoustic too

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TNfootballfan62
Mr. Blue
Join date: May 2004
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#5
The amp looks really good inside, and apparently sounds even better. for you and Min.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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Eppicurt
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#6
Cool shit.
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R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
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#7
I like the fact its a head and has tube dampeners. No microphonics going on there!


Hold up! Does that say Shoalin/Wu-Tang on the back switch? Can we get another photo of that????
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Last edited by R45VT at Jan 15, 2013,
ragingkitty
meow?
Join date: Jun 2008
1,727 IQ
#8
That amp looks mean as hell.

So does that mean that Min's starting his own amp company too?
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Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#9
Quote by R45VT
I like the fact its a head and has tube dampeners. No microphonics going on there!


Hold up! Does that say Shoalin/Wu-Tang on the back switch? Can we get another photo of that????

They're more heatsinks than dampeners. These amps run super hot and the carbon comps don't like that. Plus the tubes sit under the board with this amp layout, so I wanted to dissipate the heat a bit.

It does indeed say Shaolin and Wu-Tang. Shaolin is the SS rectifier and Wu-Tang is the tube rec. I get to be Lord Qing and make them fight so I can learn their secrets.


Do you think your Wu-Tang sword can defeat me?

En garde. I'll let you try my Wu-Tang style.
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#11
What is the kill/stun switch? Please explain the rest of the switches.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#12
Back panel, left to right:
  • Shaolin/Wu-Tang: SS or Tube rectifiers
  • Kill/Stun: High (Matchless) or Low (Vox) filter caps
  • Triode/Pentode: Does what it says
  • Full/Half: 30/15 watt output
  • Fast/Med/Slow: switches output tube bypass caps, IIRC 47/4.7/0 uF caps to change how quickly the bias reacts. So on the faster settings it acts more like class A/B with less bias shift and on slow it's closer to class A where there's a lot of bias swing.
  • Output impedance: 4/8/16
R45VT
Doesn't speak guitar
Join date: Dec 2009
1,110 IQ
#13
Crazy amp. Min is insane. He would have to be to do what he did there.

Looks great and love the features.

Where you able to compare it to the Matchless yet?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#14
Not head to head but I've played most of the Matchless amps before. I'll get them side by side through a Matchless 4x12 in two weeks if everything goes to plan.
stonyman65
Unregistered User
Join date: Sep 2005
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#17
Holy shit man!

That's awesome!
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Cathbard
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Join date: Oct 2009
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#18
Very nice.
And good job, Min.

HNSD
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Tunder250
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#21
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Want!



this!

Im waiting for clipzzz!!!
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greeny23
This is me now!
Join date: Aug 2007
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#22
they both look shit. what you gonna do, ban me?
Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
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#23
wow awesome
Quote by classicrocker01
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gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
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#24
that's awesome, sexy little stack goin' on.

gotta love some carbon fibre too!
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think I've ever played anything in black walnut. It's a great ice cream flavor, so I assume it works well for a strat too.

Quote by JustRooster
The slugs in the pickups for telecasters are from old winchester rifles, which is why they sound so country.
LaidBack
Call me Mike
Join date: Oct 2006
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#25
Very cool. Glad to see it hasn't killed you yet.
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Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#26
Quote by greeny23
they both look shit. what you gonna do, ban me?

I use a lovepedal with the amp.
gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
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#27
fender stools have the best tone.

the secret is in the bolt on seat.
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think I've ever played anything in black walnut. It's a great ice cream flavor, so I assume it works well for a strat too.

Quote by JustRooster
The slugs in the pickups for telecasters are from old winchester rifles, which is why they sound so country.
AcousticMirror
loves cheesecake
Join date: Dec 2009
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#28
i have the same metronome.
buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
gumbilicious
beginner
Join date: Oct 2007
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#30
wow dude, that is a serious gear haul there.

i am very impressed with min's amp from what i see. feel sorry for anyone who has to work on it, did he provide a schematic?

HNGD
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
Roc8995
Moderator
Join date: Nov 2005
2,050 IQ
#31
Quote by gumbilicious
wow dude, that is a serious gear haul there.

i am very impressed with min's amp from what i see. feel sorry for anyone who has to work on it, did he provide a schematic?

HNGD

He's going to get me a schematic. That first in-progress shot is less organized than the final product - I'll see if I have a shot of the finished wiring. It's got ties that make fairly intuitive clusters, like the few you can see in the back in the first shot. The toughest part is that most of the wiring is the same color.

The idea though is that it probably won't need much repairing in the first place. That's plan A.
gumbilicious
beginner
Join date: Oct 2007
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#32
Quote by Roc8995
The idea though is that it probably won't need much repairing in the first place. That's plan A.


he def used the parts to make that plan work.

i seriously had no idea min had worked his skill up to that point.
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
AcousticMirror
loves cheesecake
Join date: Dec 2009
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#33
final wiring.

buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.
gumbilicious
beginner
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#35
min hates turret boards.
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
OliOsbourne
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2010
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#36
That's actually so awesome

hngd
HILT!

Where's Waldo?

Dave_Mc
Chirp and Swirl
Join date: Mar 2005
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#37
holy crap
Quote by classicrocker01
Only on UG would I say I got engaged and bought a jet city and get congratulated on the amp


gregs1020
Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
10,786 IQ
#40
i like how he ties little bows on everything.

if i order one from him, i'm ordering pink bows for all my components.
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think I've ever played anything in black walnut. It's a great ice cream flavor, so I assume it works well for a strat too.

Quote by JustRooster
The slugs in the pickups for telecasters are from old winchester rifles, which is why they sound so country.