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#1
I´m interested in how to build amps.. Anyone know of any cheap beginner friendly amp build projects out there or any resources relating to that?
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Last edited by Talmir at Sep 2, 2007,
#3
Quote by Whole Lotta Led


That's about as hard as I would suggest for a beginners amp, there's no lethal voltages in there to kill you.
Plus it sounds sweet!
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#4
Shame it has so few tone controls,.... why can't anyone design a 9 volt with a nice EQ? (is too stupid to do so) Suggestions for a *simple* tube amp?
#5
Quote by vsabinring
Shame it has so few tone controls,.... why can't anyone design a 9 volt with a nice EQ? (is too stupid to do so) Suggestions for a *simple* tube amp?


Not that you'll be able to build without any sort of electronics knowledge, especially those to do with HV and tube amplifiers. There is the Noisy Cricket, it's got a simple tone control and is based off the Ruby.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#6
I have decided on building this for my first electronic project :P

http://www.runoffgroove.com/lg-pcb.pdf

Seems easy enough, and having read a bit about what the markings mean I have settled on this.

But apart from the capacitors, semiconductors and resistors involved.. What exactly would an absolute rookie need to make this? Some kind of breadboard I suppose, a soldering iron, wires and such... But I´m confused by the variety of it all.. Anyone mind helping me find the stuff?
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#7
one question would it be easy to change the noisy cricke's tone pot to a low mid and hi tone stack ??
Quote by Nick111111111
Am i missing some thing
car speaker=12 watts
outlet=120 watts
?????????????????

laws of phisics down the dump....... volts and watts are the same
#8
Quote by shuyoso
one question would it be easy to change the noisy cricke's tone pot to a low mid and hi tone stack ??


You could, but you'd lose a decent amount of output.

Quote by Talmir
I have decided on building this for my first electronic project :P

http://www.runoffgroove.com/lg-pcb.pdf

Seems easy enough, and having read a bit about what the markings mean I have settled on this.

But apart from the capacitors, semiconductors and resistors involved.. What exactly would an absolute rookie need to make this? Some kind of breadboard I suppose, a soldering iron, wires and such... But I´m confused by the variety of it all.. Anyone mind helping me find the stuff?


You'll need some perfboard or veroboard, a 25/40w soldering iron, some 60/40 rosin core solder, a speaker/output jack and input (mono is fine), a few lengths of 22 gauge wire, 9v battery snap, etc.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#9
crap.. so im better of with an eq pedal before it??
Quote by Nick111111111
Am i missing some thing
car speaker=12 watts
outlet=120 watts
?????????????????

laws of phisics down the dump....... volts and watts are the same
#10
Quote by shuyoso
crap.. so im better of with an eq pedal before it??


Yeah, even a pedal with an existing 3 band equaliser would do the trick.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#11
What´s the best online-store to buy this stuff from? As far as I can see I´ll have to buy the stuff I need from four or five websites.. thats not very efficient..
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#12
any link for a 3 band eq pedal build?
Quote by Nick111111111
Am i missing some thing
car speaker=12 watts
outlet=120 watts
?????????????????

laws of phisics down the dump....... volts and watts are the same
#13
If you want an honest to goodness tube amp that sounds fricken sweet, check out the P1 at www.ax84.com. Be forewarned, the people on the message board are geniouses and willing to help noobs, but don't suffer fools well. Meaning, they expect you to do some research yourself to try to figure things out.

Doberman Amps, the company that basically runs www.ax84.com, sells kits for 4 different amps...The P1, which is a good general purpose amp (think Valve Junior but not crappy) and good for 5 watts, the P1-Extreme which is like the P1 but good for 15 or so watts, P1 High Octane which is a lot higher gain and good for 5 watts, and the Firefly which is about 1/2 watt and good for bedroom practice.
Quote by kcdakrt
DLrocket89 makes my ug experience better!


Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list

Kit Amp Building Tutorial
#14
That didnt really help Already set on the little gem amp .. Maybe a tube someday in the future, but for now I like to keep things simple.

The search for parts continues.. Anyone know of a site that sells a 0.001uf capacitor? Not finding one easily.. When I google it i mostly just find theory on how it works and such
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#15
Quote by Talmir
That didnt really help Already set on the little gem amp .. Maybe a tube someday in the future, but for now I like to keep things simple.

The search for parts continues.. Anyone know of a site that sells a 0.001uf capacitor? Not finding one easily.. When I google it i mostly just find theory on how it works and such


Check the stickies at the top of the page, I daresay that every site on there will sell the right caps that you need.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#16
indeed But one really really stupid question more and then I´ll be ordering parts..

What´s the actual board that all the parts are soldered on called? I have no idea..
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#17
well depends on what you want
you would probably be good with
perfboard
Quote by Nick111111111
Am i missing some thing
car speaker=12 watts
outlet=120 watts
?????????????????

laws of phisics down the dump....... volts and watts are the same
#18
Are they called anything else? When I put it in the search engine on uk.farnell.com it returns no results. But the site has everything else I need.
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#19
Quote by Talmir
Are they called anything else? When I put it in the search engine on uk.farnell.com it returns no results. But the site has everything else I need.


You can try perfboard, veroboard, stripboard or experimenters board. I can help you with a layout for any of those.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#20
ok.. Now then.. I have the parts that I need (will supply pictures later) and a breadboard.

But there are a couple of symbols on the schematic at http://www.runoffgroove.com/littlegem.html I dont understand... The white triangles.. Are they ground connections? The "in" symbol connecting to pin 2 of the lm386n, is the 9v battery supposed to connect there and in the place where it says "+9v" and are all the jiggly lines supposed to be 10r resistors? and lastly.. what do I connect the "ground" to? Is it enough just to connect all the ground connections to one big ground wire or does it have to lead somewhere? I´m not sure where.. Would have theought the minus electricity channel worked for it :P
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#21
Yeah, the triangles are grounds. You need to connect the ground to something metal, most likely the enclosure you're building it in. It should be a metal box, cos then you'll have a nice big ground and it'll be shielded. To ground it that way, connect everything to the sleeve of one of the jacks. The jiggly line thing is a single ten ohm resistor. The 'in' marking is where your signal flows in, should be connected to the tip of a 1/4 inch jack. The battery snap's positive lead should be attached to the '+9v' marking, and the other one should be grounded somehow. I'd suggest the stereo input jack way of grounding, where the battery's negative lead is connected to the ring of the input jack. That way, when you insert a cable into it, you complete the circuit and power is turned on.
#22
Great answer. thank you.. Now I can begin inflicting minor shocks to myself in the progress of building this.
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#24
No soldering iron yet All plug and play with my brand new K an H model RH-32 breadboard
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#25
ok then.. :P I connected everything as well as I can manage so far :P But had some problems with which connector on the potentometers.. Just guessed and fiddled around with them :P Also, what is the difference between a potentometer and a rheostat? I think I made a mistake and bought a 25R potentometer instead of a 25 ohm rheostat, or is that the same? So i connected everything. a speaker and a guitar to my breadboard.. put in the battery and, woila, silence. Nada. Nothing. Doesnt work.. So now I´m troubleshooting. Connected the ground to a metallic notestand :P And.. one more question.. How do you see which is plus and which is minus on 0.01uf caps and miscellaneous resistors.. The caps are small, roundish and blue.. Both legs are equally long.. so I dont know which is which.

With hopes for answers..
The silent one
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#26
The caps which aren't electrolytic (which should be all of them) aren't polarized, so you don't have to worry about that. The resistors also aren't polarized. You probably should have a rheostat instead of a pot- the difference is like a carbon film resistor vs. a wirewound. Rheostats have a higher wattage rating, so you might have blown up your pot.

EDIT: The 100 and 220 caps need to be the right way round, as they're electrolytic. Got pics of them?
#27
Hmm.. blown the pot you say :P Dang.. oh well, Will be testing it tomorrow again. Sorry, no pictures.. I took it apart, going to begin from scratch with a clear, not so tired, head tomorrow.. Will take pics then
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#28
Well, you might not have blown the pot, it could be that an electrolytic is the wrong way round or something.. Are there any markings at all on the 100 and 220 caps?
#29
yup.. the markings tell theyr values.. the markings for instance on the 220 ones are "16v 220uf 85 celcius"
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#31
I´ve been reviewing the schematics in detail (understand what i´m doing) and from what I can see its ok to connect all the ground connections to the "-" side of the battery (9v)..

is that correct?
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#32
Eureka!!

The amp is alive, although I´ve spotted a couple of areas needing work and some modifications I have planned (on/off switch, headphone jack, maybe even going up to a little gem II, wrong volume pot) the amp works great

Pictures of parts:


Picture of prototype:


And audio sample (excuse crappy playing.. The point is of course the sound):
http://www.zshare.net/audio/3435798d4a96ff/

Thanks for the help guys so far, will keep ya informed as I go... (only fried one lm386 chip so far)
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#33
btw.. just a quick question, but for future reference.. does anyone know about any little-gem ish tube amps?
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#34
for a tube amp your better off getting a valve junior and modding it, building one from a kit will cost at least $200 while a valve junior + mods is about $175 and a LOT less work.
Gear:
Carvin Bolt-T -> Line 6 DL-4 -> Danelectro Fish and Chips -> Homemade Fuzz -> Epiphone Valve Junior Combo -> Amplitube and Guitar Rig.
#35
I was more thinking along the lines of "from scratch" :P Semething easy and beginner friendly. (after I´m done toying around with this amp I´m currently working on).

I gotta say that the little gem sounds surprisingly good and high volume seeing as it is a 1/2 watt amp
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#36
yay. today I added a toggle switch so that I wont have to take out the battery every time I want to turn it off, and a diode to see when power is indeed on.. jay for me. The guy at the store said they only supply 100 ohm rheostats, so I´ll have to order the 25 ohm one online.

Things are progressing smoothly. bought the stuff I need to solder it together today. Although the toolkit I ordered will take a day or two to arrive.
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#37
Quote by Talmir
yay. today I added a toggle switch so that I wont have to take out the battery every time I want to turn it off, and a diode to see when power is indeed on.. jay for me. The guy at the store said they only supply 100 ohm rheostats, so I´ll have to order the 25 ohm one online.

Things are progressing smoothly. bought the stuff I need to solder it together today. Although the toolkit I ordered will take a day or two to arrive.



You can just use a pot for the volume control - there's no way the Ruby could burn out a pot unless you got one of the ridiculously low-power ones. I think I used a .4w pot and mine works fine.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#38
Well, spent the morning soldering it together (havent soldered in six years now, so a bit rusty.. Takes time.

But it works. The electronic board is complete (well, almost, going to mod a bit, throw a switch so I can switch between ultra clean 45uf and more bassies 220uf capacitors. Also hook up the led, will wait with that until when I put it into the enclosure).



Now to build the enclosure
Washburn JB100 Customshop USA
Squire Stratocaster, Squire Telecaster, highway 1 tele,
FM65r amp, Marshall MS-4 & FM-15r
Washburn b-9 five string banjo, Eagle dreadnought acoustic. Art & lutherie AMI.
#39
as a bass player i'm kind of wondering if the bassman mod specified here is going to make it suitable for a bass. I'm well aware that it isn't designed to handle low frequencies, but i'm looking for something simple to start with, but also will be usable to me. I figure that the mod will give it more low end, but will this be enough (combined with a bass speaker that is)? also, the amplification of low frequencies will probably use more power, so would it be possible to make it work from a 9v adator, or would this give problems with the sound?

or is there any other mod i could do to get enough low end for it to sound good with a bass?
#40
Quote by mithrilglove
as a bass player i'm kind of wondering if the bassman mod specified here is going to make it suitable for a bass. I'm well aware that it isn't designed to handle low frequencies, but i'm looking for something simple to start with, but also will be usable to me. I figure that the mod will give it more low end, but will this be enough (combined with a bass speaker that is)? also, the amplification of low frequencies will probably use more power, so would it be possible to make it work from a 9v adator, or would this give problems with the sound?

or is there any other mod i could do to get enough low end for it to sound good with a bass?


As you've mentioned, lower frequencies need more power to be heard. What I'd do is double the input cap and find a LM386 that can run on a higher voltage - look for one that can handle at least 15V. Using a DC wallwart of some sort to power the Ruby should give you a bit more volume.
The other way would be the version that uses two 386's in push-pull to deliver around 1w and doing the same mods.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
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