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#1
My dream amp is a Boutique Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb (with a few mods). The thing is they are mad expensive and hard to find one just like you want. So I figure I could build one. In case you haven't noticed I love building/modding pedals and I am pretty good with a soldering iron Now the Deluxe Reverb is not an easy amp to build by any means...So before I go diving into it I figure I should get some experience and build something smaller first. It would be good practice and I have always wanted to build a tube amp.

So that's why I am building a boutique Fender Vibro Champ. Its a great little 6W tube amp with a high and low inputs, volume, treble, bass controls........ and speed and intensity controls (for the tremolo). The thing is I am not just building this guy for practice, I actually really like the amp. Pretty much standard Vibro Champ except I am going to add a mid knob and a knob to get rid of the tone stack all together. Fender amps used a fixed resistor in the tonestack for the mid frequencies so all I have to do is add a pot wired as a variable resistor for a mid control. I am might also do a mod to the wiring of the heaters so it is a little quieter.

And like all my projects I am going for the vintage style. So NOS (new old parts)....Orange Drop caps, Fender transformers, Alpha pots, Switch-craft jacks, vintage cloth pull back wire...As for the resistors and other caps (electros) I am getting them from the same supplier that supplies Fender and Marshall. It should sound awesome...Still haven't decided which brand of tubes I am going with yet.

I ordered the eyelet board (board where components are mounted on) and chassis tonight. They should be here sometime this week or next. Depending how much money I have I might order the resistors or capacitors later this week.

Here's the layout...(minus the mods)....

Keep an eye for updates
#2
sounds gay cuz i want to make my tweed champ too.


but i don't have time. and i got priority. and my blues jr is similar to it. but i still want to make an amp.

the end. i hope it sounds awesome.
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
#6
boooo i can make kurt pull a double post.
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
#10
LOL, sounds like a kick-ass plan, kurt! The best thing about DIY is adding and tweaking until you come up with something utterly unique that you can brag about and will be the envy of all who witness it. The second best thing is learning what rules and what sucks, so your next build will be even better.

What do you have in mind for the heater power? Filtered DC? Are you planning on using coax for all the signal paths? You wouldn't believe the difference coax makes.
#12
^ That's basically a fixed hum-adjust, cool idea. Here's a little trick to have perfectly twisted wire:

Cut a piece of wire several feet long. Cut another piece the same length. Clamp one end of each wire next to each other in a vice. Pull the wires straight, and make sure they're an even length. Use a keyless-chuck drill (easier), and stick the free ends of the wires into the chuck, clamping down tightly. Once they're tight, run the drill for a few seconds, or until you achieve the twist tightness you want. Unclamp both ends, and now you have a perfectly uniform twisted pair, which will be the envy of amp builders everywhere.
#13
hahah nice I will do that. Thanks, very helpful.

I got some rare vintage caps today that many boutique builders want to use but can't find. Ill post some pics laterz.
#15
Have you compared any Fender with a mids knob to any Fender without one? IMO, there's no point in putting one in, since the tonestack doesn't allow for any mid boosting anyway. The normal mids knob on Fenders just works like a kind of volume control, and goes from no mids at all to scooped mids. If you haven't checked out the duncan tone stack calculator, go do it now. It lets you tweak component values too. http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc/

I guess there is no harm in putting in an extra knob, but it's just unnecessary.
#16
Really ahhh...a few guys at the ax84 forum approved the idea...They didn't say it was a bad idea though.

Using the calculator how do I change the value of the mid resistor?
#17
Sounds cool. I'd build more than just that Champ before you start on your Deluxe though. There's a lot of stuff that can go wrong on a build of that size...
American Ash Deluxe Tele
Squire Standard Strat w/ Texas Specials
'65 Fender Deluxe Reverb RI
'53 Fender Deluxe 5C3
California Dreamer
Valve Junior
2X12 Avatar w/ V30's
#18
Oh...I almost forgot. Don't use stranded wire. Solid core will stay where you want it where stranded can be kind of a pain to place.
American Ash Deluxe Tele
Squire Standard Strat w/ Texas Specials
'65 Fender Deluxe Reverb RI
'53 Fender Deluxe 5C3
California Dreamer
Valve Junior
2X12 Avatar w/ V30's
#19
No offense, but don't you guys believe in cable ties? I think stranded wire is fine, but to each his own.

And before you build your Deluxe, maybe use the Champ as a foundation to build upon. You know, build it, get it to work, use it for a bit, then add something else or modify it again. Use it as a learning tool so when you build the Deluxe, it'll work great from the first time you flip the switch.
#20
Quote by kurtlives91
Really ahhh...a few guys at the ax84 forum approved the idea...They didn't say it was a bad idea though.

Using the calculator how do I change the value of the mid resistor?

Doubleclick it.
#21
And I'd definitely reconsider those Fender Transformers, you could get a Heyboer/Mercury/Hammond for equivalent or lower price with higher performance.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#22
Quote by MrCarrot
And I'd definitely reconsider those Fender Transformers, you could get a Heyboer/Mercury/Hammond for equivalent or lower price with higher performance.

That's what Ive been thinking...I think Im going to go with a Hammonf or Mercury.
#23
Quote by Losenger
No offense, but don't you guys believe in cable ties? I think stranded wire is fine, but to each his own.


Cable ties work great, but they can't do this:

#24
OMG sooo tight.....Mr Hankey I think I am going to go with a 15KB pot.

I just ordered all the resistors, the switch and the Silver Mica.

I can't find this coax wire...link?
#25
read this EQ article by Blues JR. Mafia's BillM:
http://home.comcast.net./~machrone/bjr/bjtone.htm

he explains the princeton reverb tone stack vs blues jr tone stack.
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
#27
sweet man, i need to get my workspace cleaned up so i can get back to work on my Joey.
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#28
Quote by mr_hankey
Cable ties work great, but they can't do this:



Hey, look, cable ties in the lower right-hand corner. You can make perfect 90 degree bends with stranded wire as well. If you take your time, you can achieve a neat an professional job every time with stranded or solid wire.
#29
Quote by Losenger
Hey, look, cable ties in the lower right-hand corner. You can make perfect 90 degree bends with stranded wire as well. If you take your time, you can achieve a neat an professional job every time with stranded or solid wire.


You weren't supposed to look in that corner...


Sure, you can do a neat job with stranded wire, but solid will stay exactly where you put it (maybe it's not exactly necessary, but it sure looks nice).
#31
Quote by mr_hankey
You weren't supposed to look in that corner...


Sure, you can do a neat job with stranded wire, but solid will stay exactly where you put it (maybe it's not exactly necessary, but it sure looks nice).


That IS a pretty picture! If we spent that much time with our builds at work, it would take us twice as long to get anything done! Don't get me wrong, we're neat, but that is immaculate.

Solid wires will bend and stay more easily, but they're more prone to breakage. But then again, once set, if you aren't moving the wires around all the time, it shouldn't matter. I guess it just comes down to personal preference.
#34
Coax is mainly used for RF signals, cable TV, video signals, broadband internet, etc. The type makes a difference when selecting it to be used with certain frequencies because if the capacitance and impedance. I don't think it makes much of a difference for audio, but maybe someone else knows more about that.

I haven't experimented with too many different types, so I can't tell you if the different kinds sound any different. All I know is, it reduces induced noise considerably.

Coax is nice because when you ground ONE END of the shield and leave the other end unconnected, it bleeds away any noise that could be induced by other parts of the amp before it can induce it in the center conductor. I find it works well in the preamp section, especially connecting the input jack(s) and pots.

I got the idea from reading amp building sites and the fact that I've worked on old amplifiers that use it for this purpose.

Edit: You can also use the shield to connect pots and jacks to ground, just as long as only one end actually gets connected to your star or bus ground point. Ground loops suck!
#36
Did you decide what kind of tubes you are going to be using?
reach in the darkness for what you can find travel great distance in your mind.
#37
I am thinking of either using EHX or JJ tubes...

As for progress the chassis and turret board isn't here yet. On a more positive note I order the resistors and a few other things on Friday and I just ordered most of the caps.

Does anyone have any vintage style cloth wire?
#39
Got my resistors in today they are really nice. I also got a nice big "ol" power switch too. I can post pics if ya want.

I have now ordered everything I need (minus the tubes and transformers). I ordered all the odds and sawds tonight (pots, sockets, wire etc) from Hoffman Amps. I really like the place. Caps are coming from this really high end place and should be here soon. Still no chassis or eyelet board....ahhh

I decided on 22AWG cloth covered solid wire, hmm vintage. I was a bit nervous of getting solid core because I fear breaking it. But as long as I don't bend it a lot and make awkward bends though I should be fine. I will use my DMM that has a continuity tester to make sure all the wires and break free once they are in place.
#40
Please post some pics. Don't make me beg Don't worry about the solid wire, as long as you don't nick it. Even if you do, it'll take a few bends back and forth to break it. It's going to be a great amp!