#1
Well I've kind of gotten into building/customizing gear lately when I rexolexed my amp and I want to start with building a few effects pedals. Eventually I want to build an amp so I've been looking at schematics and I am totally lost. How the heck do you read schematics and can you use one to build an amp?

Here's a schematic I've been looking at: http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=507
So is that what I need?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#2
a guide to electronic symbols hell no am i listing those hundreds of components

edit: i know what they all are google electronic symbol guide
#4
if your not use to soldering i would definately recommend starting small. Kits from generalguitargadgets.com are nice. With printed circuit boards and schematics and a pictorial representation of where everything goes, it definately goes a long way in learning reading schematics. Check out runoffgroove.com

But when you get into tubes, transformers, multiple impedance outputs, it can get confusing. The biggest thing I have trouble with is not so much reading the schematic, but finding out how to lay it all out in a nice organized fashion
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#5
Quote by kurtlives91
Mesas are incredible complex.

Go look at a Fender Tweed Champ schem...it will be a confidence booster.


Well at this point all of those schematics seem pretty complex. Do you know any good sites that would tell me what all of the symbols mean?
To those of you who have build amps, does it end up costing more or less than it would to buy the real thing?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#6
i've never really built one before but I have been doing research... and it depends on how much you do...

personally im not good with working with wood or metal, so I would end have buying the metal chasis for the circuit board, transformers and tubes... and then you gotta build the head and cab, or combo, and tolex...

and you would want to pay a bit more for nicer components... it still gets expernsive...and you can always go for a kit too...
http://www.ceriatone.com has some really nice stuff, but they are shipping from like malaysia and it comes out to be a couple hundred bucks...

I remember someone saying that if you want to build a nice all tube amp, and your doing it to save money then don't...
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#7
I think starting out small would definitely be better. Eventually I would like to build a really nice amp. There is one I've been looking at but it has got the be the most ridiculously complicated amp I have ever seen- the Mesa Boogie Road King http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Rectifier_Series/roadking/roadking.htm
Has anyone ever even built one of these? It may be a little too complicated and I haven't been able to find any schematics anywhere. What about a Dual Rectifier? So does anyone know of any sites that say how to read schematics?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#9
Quote by ICANSEEYOU7687
But when you get into tubes, transformers, multiple impedance outputs, it can get confusing. The biggest thing I have trouble with is not so much reading the schematic, but finding out how to lay it all out in a nice organized fashion

+1.

I can read a schem just fine, but coming up with a layout is a totally different monster.
#10
Quote by derekwalden_-33


Thanks, that helps a lot.

Nobody on the web seems to have kits for mesa boogie amps. If I am eventually gonna build one, I should build my basic amp(s) using only a schematic and not from a kit to get the experience. No one has answered my question about wether or not just a schematic tells me what I need to know to build an amp.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schematics/audio/hughesandkettnertriamp.pdf

The second part of that pdf also tells you the layout which is helpful.
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#11
No one builds Boogies or sells Boogie kits (think that part over)...

Too complex, lead dress, illegal, too much work... plus Boggies are just really lame amps.
#12
Is Mesa/Boogie really bad stuff? I was under the impression that they were some of the best around, but maybe I'm so stupid that someone with sig this
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Quote by Scowmoo
Otter, you're my new god.
#14
i play blues and i respect mesa. alot. express 5:50. however, they are WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY too complex for a first build, especially with a tube rectifier. ive never built an amp, but im tryin to get into it, try the champ...its easy and sounds good.

P.S. kurtlives i really hope u were jokin about mesa.....if not, w/e everyones got an opinion.....
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#15
i've never really built one before but I have been doing research... and it depends on how much you do...

personally im not good with working with wood or metal, so I would end have buying the metal chasis for the circuit board, transformers and tubes... and then you gotta build the head and cab, or combo, and tolex...

and you would want to pay a bit more for nicer components... it still gets expernsive...and you can always go for a kit too...
http://www.ceriatone.com has some really nice stuff, but they are shipping from like malaysia and it comes out to be a couple hundred bucks...

I remember someone saying that if you want to build a nice all tube amp, and your doing it to save money then don't...
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#16
Quote by ICANSEEYOU7687
I remember someone saying that if you want to build a nice all tube amp, and your doing it to save money then don't...



very true.

but when u have a friend whos really into electronics, and ur really into crazy tones, ya sit down to do a couple of mods and end up with a new amp. ive sat down with the schem for a champ and ended up with a two-channel all tube currently nonexistant amp... so ya, its really more to just get the tone YOU want...not save money. at all. [/rant]
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#17
Definitely start with something easy man, a simple pedal. Even amps that look simple and consist of 2 tubes with only a couple controls can be a harrowing attempt for a newcomer. I wouldn't think of trying to do a Mesa without an extreme level of electronics experience, and a number of amps under my belt. You can easily spend twice as much time or more tweaking and debugging an amp than it takes to build the entire thing from scratch (even longer if you don't know what you are looking for).

I've been reading on and off about amplifiers and electronics for the past year, I can understand and design schematics, know a number of potential issues that can cause various issues as well as noise, etc and going into my first tube amp build (Sopht clone) I am worrying about how to lay out/wire the parts, noise, bad sound, etc.

And even the simplest things can prevent your creations from working. When I first started out with electronics, I was making a pedal and I connected the terminals on my input jack backwards, and spent many hours looking in all the wrong places before noticing my dumb mistake.

All I can suggest is READ and PRACTICE as much as possible.
#18
Yeah, I think a mesa would be way to complicated for anyone but an expert to build. So a Fender Champ is a good place to start? I've seen a lot of different versions of them, what version are you suggesting?
Curtlives, what was that about it being illegal?

Edit: Here's a pedal I want to build. It's the Ibanez Tubescreamer 808, I've heard it's good. Here's the schematic: http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=1136 Does that look right?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
Last edited by dlabooda at Aug 11, 2008,
#19
You cant sell a kit for a production amplifier that still is under copyright restrictions.
NO ONE, sells Mesa circuit boards, no one sells Mesa chassis.

I dont know why there is still any talk of Mesa in this thread. You should be discussing simple amps and how to read amps.

And no I wasnt joking when I said Mesa were lame. They are full of way to many features and noise. The cleans are just terrible and I hate the disgusting seering pre-amp gain they are "famous" for.
#20
Guys.. just something quick.

You've mentioned how difficult it is to nail a layout, and how problems are difficult to diagnose, but what about the risk?

Playing with power tubes is dangerous territory, and you could kill yourself. Hell, experimenting with anything that plugs into the mains is asking for trouble, unless you know what you're doing.

Edit: Try making some simple pedals first - at least then, if anything goes wrong, we won't have another Chernobyl.
#21
the big thing is the capacitors... capacitors are the ones that store charge and the thing that can put a lot of voltage across your heart and give you a heart attack and possibly kill you, lol.

So yeah, tube amps are serious business. You gotta make sure you've done your homework and know what your doing
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#22
^^I guess the mains there are a bit more frightening... to be honest though getting hit by 120V ain't nothing to write home about. I have been hit by 120V countless times... its a little tingle... Keeps you awake.

+1 on making a pedal first.
#23
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm not quite sure shorting out a tube amp is gonna cause a nuclear holocaust, but hey, you never know

Anyways, how does that schematic for the tubescreamer look? Are there any big differences between the TS-808 and TS-9? I know there is a difference in tone, but I mean the wiring. If they are fairly similar, could I put on a switch that would choose between the 2?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#24
Quote by ICANSEEYOU7687
the big thing is the capacitors... capacitors are the ones that store charge and the thing that can put a lot of voltage across your heart and give you a heart attack and possibly kill you, lol.

So yeah, tube amps are serious business. You gotta make sure you've done your homework and know what your doing



Voltage doesn't kill you. You can get hit by 30 000 volts, and as long as it's under 60 milliamps, you'll just piss your pants and forget who you are for half an hour.

1 volt, on the other hand, and high amperage, and you might not be waking up.
Enjoi <--- Friend me
Quote by Scowmoo
Otter, you're my new god.
#25
well of course... if theres enough resistance through the voltage... but it does not change the fact that you can kill you...

Current is possible because the change in potential cause the electrons to flow... voltage is what causes current...

So with a high voltage, or a greater change in potential... more current can possibly be put through you... but of course with the equation it also depends on the resistance
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#26
And the voltage needs to be able to overcome the resistance in your body to pose a severe risk. Most low voltage circuits battery powered circuits are entirely safe. There are some precautions that you can take to prevent current from flowing across your heart when working with high voltages too.
#27
Quote by Øttər
Voltage doesn't kill you. You can get hit by 30 000 volts, and as long as it's under 60 milliamps, you'll just piss your pants and forget who you are for half an hour.

1 volt, on the other hand, and high amperage, and you might not be waking up.

Surely the resistance in your body is enough to stop 1 volt pushing enough current through you to kill you?
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#29
isn't that backwards...

Voltage is the change in potential...
Just like potential energy in ann object is mgy... mass time gravity times the change in the y (or usually vertical difference depending on how you orientate you x y plan of course) determines the total energy...

the potential determines how "hard" the electrons flow....

so voltage doesn't really push through anything as much as the voltage is what pushes the electrons...

although correct me if i'm wrong, it has been a while since i've taken my physics 2 course in college
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#30
Quote by ICANSEEYOU7687
isn't that backwards...

Voltage is the meausre in potential energy...
Just like potential energy in ann object is mgy... mass time gravity times the change in the y (or usually vertical difference depending on how you orientate you x y plan of course) determines the total energy...

the potential determines how "hard" the electrons flow....

so voltage doesn't really push through anything as much as the voltage is what pushes the electrons...

although correct me if i'm wrong, it has been a while since i've taken my physics 2 course in college

....
#32
sooooo... about my questions......?
axecutioner, what are some of your precautions?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#33
I've been looking at b.y.o.c and I noticed that they have a lot of different distortion/overdrive pedals. I'm pretty sure about the tube screamer but are there any others that would be better?
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...

Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb Combo
Marshall JMP-1

Amp Restoration

SG Build
#34
I just made one from the general guitar gadgets kit... took me a couple hours to solder everything, place it in, and get everything hooked up in the enclosure, but it's definately my favorite pedal now.

And with the switch they give you, lets you switch between the LED and diodes which gives it different sounds. And the modification pack you can get with it is pretty damn cool...

Definately easy to build, cheap to mod, and very versatile. When I was looking into OD pedals, the only other thing I would have considered making is a pedal that actually used a tube inside of it...

but I did not feel like finding and enclosure big enough, dilling everything out, etc... general guitar gadgets just makes it so easy, lol... almost like cheating haha
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial