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#1
Hey all.

I decided to take a pedal building break and try a tube amp. I have modded my Valve Junior head to what I think is a pretty sick amp! I have ordered a 2x12 cab with Celestions/Hellatones. So I think I have finally gotten my amps up to par with my guitar and pedals with the VJ instead of my SS amps.

So anyways, I was thinking about doing a Fender Champ but then realized that the VJ is basically the same thing. So I thought, hmmm what can get me Plexi tone... a Plexi! Its 18watts so it will be very loud but mildly crankable. I am using top quality components for this so it can sound great.

Heres some specs:
*Carbon Composite Resistors (for 1/2w)
*Metal Film/Wirewound Resistors (for 1w+)
*Orange Drop Capacitors (600w)
*Sprague Atom Capacitor (for Electrolytic Large Values)
*Single Input (for one tube triode at input), Parallel Input (for dual triode at input).
*Volume and Tone controls
*4/8/16 ohm Speaker Out
*12AX7/ECC83 Preamp Tubes
*EL84 Poweramp Tubes
*EZ81 Tube Rectifier
*100% Handwired on Turret/Eyelet Board
*Power and Standby Switches
*Indicator Lamp
*18 Watts

Should be sick Plexi tone ! Still have to order the parts which will cost me lots, but it shouldnt cost more than what I got from the holidays and from working over the holidays. When I order and get my parts I will update with pictures and all!

Kerry
#4
Sounds like this should be an interesting project. Good luck with this, I'll definately be checking up on this thread freqeuently.
#6
hey kerry, i have a parts list laying around for an 18watt, you want me to pm it to you? i'd save you some work
#8
Just to be technical about it, the 18 watt isn't really a Plexi, but they do sound great.

And btw, I much prefer the sound of the Mallory 150 capacitors. The Sprague ones are good, but the Mallorys have always sounded smoother to me. They're closer to the stuff used in the vintage amps.

Also skip the Sprague electrolytics, they're only meant for replacement in old stuff, you might as well use new caps. You're not gonna get any tonal differences from them either if the value is correct. Go for the Illinois filter caps, they're heavy duty and have better specs, and lower size.

(Although you might conceivably hear a difference in the cathode bypass caps, I doubt you would. I used Xicon capacitors for these positions.)
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#9
Quote by call1800ksmyazz
I already made one Sempri


good call
this is going to be a good build

we're going to need clips
#10
Changed my mind around a bit! But its for the better.

I am now most likely going to do the 18watt TMB which has:
Two channels:
1. Channel 1 (Two Inputs): Normal Channel with Tone and Volume.
2. Channel 2 (One Input): TMB channel with Treble, Mid, Bass, Volume, and Master Volume.

It also has an extra preamp tube, so its:
3 12AX7s, 2 EL84s, and 1 EZ81 Tube Rectifier

And I know this kills me to tell you, and all, but I am going to get the Ceriatone Kit. BUT... I am ordering it with nothing assembled because they say that the board is assembled already. But I asked and they said they will just send all the parts. By getting the kit I can actually get a chassis and faceplates, and cheaper transformers. Shipping sucks though!

But yes, I broke down and had to have the TMB with the 2 channels and Master Volume... That way I can Jump both channels together with a cable.

So small change of plans, but will turnout much more useful...
#11
Well, the new plan sounds good. This definately should be interesting to see the outcome of. Please, post some pics of the kit desembled when you get it.
#13
Quote by call1800ksmyazz
^-Definately. I take pictures of everything I build. Hopefully I will order it soon! I couldnt resist the two channel TMB and everything!


Well, it is for the best making a two channel TMB, so you made the right choice. Plus the extra pre-amp tube should help boost this amps sound, in a good way.
#14
sounds sweet...

what mods did you end up doing on the VJ??

and kits aren't too bad.... unless you get something that is pre assembled or something... We won't hold anything against you lol....
Quote by thundrstruk891
do EXACTLY what rock savior said.


EXACTLY.

Quote by SGKIDD
^^ X2,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

To me

Member of the 'Guitarists Born In 1991' Club. PM greendayguitar or blues_rocker to join.
#15
You buying components with the kit?

You can order most of the stuff from Mouser, that saves you a heap of cash.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#16
Quote by That_Pink_Queen
You buying components with the kit?

You can order most of the stuff from Mouser, that saves you a heap of cash.


I don't think Kerry is buying components with the kit, I think that Kerry is buying the kit but desembled to use the components instead of buying some. I'm not too sure though.
#18
So what sort of components are you getting?
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#19
They are still Carbon Comp Resistors and Mallory or ZoSo Capacitors. Cant tell which ones. But the components are just as good and everything so I like it.
#20
how much do you think the whole thing is gonna cost??

Also is it gonna be a combo or a head??
Quote by thundrstruk891
do EXACTLY what rock savior said.


EXACTLY.

Quote by SGKIDD
^^ X2,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

To me

Member of the 'Guitarists Born In 1991' Club. PM greendayguitar or blues_rocker to join.
#21
It will be a head. The final cost with shipping and a $20 discount for not assembling the whole thing, will be $510. But this includes all Tubes, Tube Rectifier, Transformers, Chassis, Face and Back Plate, All Components, Jacks, Knobs, Switches, etc... so all in all it should be very worth it.
#22
^If they actually give you good tubes, jacks, switches, and pots. Maybe I'm just skeptical. My first tube amp was a kit too, but in retrospect it wasn't worth the extra money. Tube amps just aren't that hard to put together. You can pull by without instructions pretty easily. If I were to build a project like that I'd probably just buy the enclosure, predrilled board (pain to drill), and then parts from wherever has good stuff for low prices.

I did get real Switchcrafts, CTS pots, and Hammond and Mercury Mag trannies though with my kit. YMMV.

It's just that I regret doing a kit my first time around and it's something to think about.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#24
Pink- Yea theres nothing really to look at for this except a schematic and layout. They are so easy with the Turrett board because its just all right there to see. No traces or anything. It comes with good quality parts from what people on 18watt say. And they say its very nice. Its not that I will regret this kit. I mean, its pretty hard to put together a cart on a few sites with a Marshall type amp because theres so many components and stuff its just too hard.

Ippon- I learned from research and dedication. I wanted to do these pedals and now this amp. I learned about electronics 100% on my own. School taught me nothing for it. It takes a lot of reading and work, but then I learned so much so fast. Reading on a bunch of DIY pedal and amp forums gave me a lot of knowledge. But Pink and Seljer were the first people to get me started which I thank them for .
#25
Ippon-same here. Just tinkering, reading, tinkering reading.

And eh, if you really think the kit is worth it, go for it.
Are you gonna use the Avatar cab? Tweed might look kinda weird with the head. Personally I would have gotten the cab to match the VJ or the Eighteen.

You should get the head done up in red if Ceriatone will do it. That'd be sweet.
When I get around to it I'm gonna put my homebuilt in purple or red. Hawt.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#26
Well im not going to put the head into a head cabinet yet. Just leave it out in the chasis and probably put plexiglass on the bottom so you can see through it to the board!

For the cab, I think it would look very nice because the 18watt will have the goldish plexiglass faceplates which will probably look nice.

Go for the purple, and if you can, do white piping. That is really hot.
#28
Kerry and Pink, I kinda figured that out ... so I need to find the time to start reading and practice precision soldering, or just deal with the effects build envy and the guitar build from scratch envy

*goes back to the Wah Modding thread to balance all this good cheer*
#29
Purple+white ftw.

And from what I've seen you'll be pretty liberal (to put it as mildly as possible and to avoid possible offense ) with your offboard wiring...that's gonna change. I let my wires hang all over the place until my tube amp came along. I tried to keep them as short as possible on my build the first time around, and it really paid off. It's totally noiseless. After I finished the build I did alot of playing with how different wire routing affected the hum, sometimes desoldering old wires and putting in new ones so I could bend them to different configurations. The "keep the wires short" thing isn't just something to keep it looking nice (though it does look nice) it really helps keep the hum down.

Btw, if you don't use them already, pick up some of those little nylon zip ties. They're a godsend when it comes to keeping it organized.

Just some stuff to take into consideration.

I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#30
Yea I am keeping the wires short. Im pretty sure he even sends the wires precut.

I will definately get zip ties.

I ordered the stuff just a few minutes ago so I will elt you all know with pictures when I get it.
#31
Precut wires?

Bizarre.

Is it solid core? Solid core>stranded when it comes to amps. They stay where you stick them.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#33
Quote by That_Pink_Queen

Btw, if you don't use them already, pick up some of those little nylon zip ties. They're a godsend when it comes to keeping it organized.

Just some stuff to take into consideration.



yes, zip ties are very important, an absoulute godsend

they say to make all your leads cross at right angles too, although ideal, its a hellof alot of work
#34
^Eh, I don't bugger myself up with the right angle junk. There are some things to watch out for though. The second amp I built I lined up a bunch of the wires so there was some positive feedback crosstalk that made a little oscillation. In situations like that you can usually fix it by having the wires cross at 90 degree angles, but from my experience (2.5 homebuilts, and my Bassman restoration) it's not worth the hassle for the great majority of wire crossings.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#35
Kerry, do you think I can get past with putting together the 18 watt from ceriatone, and the OT and PT. I mean just buying those two? I can tool a chassis, and I have a couple new tubes laying around. I'm really just trying to see how cheap it can get, in the process of replacing an old amp.
Last edited by Charso at Dec 28, 2006,
#36
Well... If you buy the normal circuit board, it comes assembled. Unless you ask for it to not be. But you would only be getting the onboard components and the transformers. You will NEED to use 12ax7s (ECC83s) for the preamp, and EL84s for the poweramp, and theres a tube rectifier which is an EZ81. So you may not have those exact tubes. Then you wont have the pots, tube sockets, knobs, switches, indicator, fuse, wall adaptor plug, jacks, etc, etc, etc......... so you wont be able to plug and play with only the circuit board and transformers at all.

BTW, bought a 100 pack of colored zip ties. They were extremely cheap so I figured why not 100 ($2-3).
#37
Quote by Son of a Brit
If you want to buy a plexi kit got to CeriaTone.com or metroamp.com

Ceriatone!That's a Malaysian company!I've heard that Ceriatone is really the best bang for your buck!
MY GEAR
Ibanez SA160QM
Laney HCM10
Squier Bullet Strat
MXR Carbon Copy
Zoom Tri Metal
Modtone Flanger(mini)
EHX LPB-1
Korg Pitchblack
Timtone acoustic
#39
If you translate it directly,it means HappyTone.Seriously,try it,I've personally tried one,and it sounded quite alike to the Marshall JCM900
MY GEAR
Ibanez SA160QM
Laney HCM10
Squier Bullet Strat
MXR Carbon Copy
Zoom Tri Metal
Modtone Flanger(mini)
EHX LPB-1
Korg Pitchblack
Timtone acoustic