Roll your own?

Let's talk guitar amplfiers

Moderator: jingle_jangle

Roll your own?

Postby (fatcat) » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:22 pm

I'm contemplating assembling a kit amplifier and am open to suggestions and comments.
A couple of ones that have caught my eye are 5E3s and Princeton Reverbs.
I've never built one, but have done work on my Bassmans and Showmans.
User avatar
(fatcat)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:00 am

Re: Roll your own?

Postby (jps) » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:59 pm

fatcat wrote:...5E3s and Princeton Reverbs

Two very different sounding amps. What are you seeking, tonally?
"It is better to have talent and not be recognized for it than it is to be recognized as having no talent." - JPS
User avatar
(jps)
RRF Consultant
 
Posts: 35990
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:00 am
Location: Not of this Earth

Re: Roll your own?

Postby (soundmasterg) » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:45 am

You can build a kit with some moderate prior experience with working on tube amps. The main thing is safety of course. These have voltages in them that can kill you if you aren't careful, and given the time a kit takes to make, your construction of it will likely not be done in all one go. So you need to make sure you double and triple check all connections, especially the power supply. It is also very useful to bring an amp up for the first time on a variac with a light bulb current limiter in case of problems with your build.

All kits are not created equally. The Weber kits are the cheapest price-wise for the most part, but the assumption is made that you know what you are doing and there are no instructions. Some of the hardware is cheap and you can upgrade with good quality stuff and get a better amp. For 5E3's the Mission Amp kits are probably a better choice though unless price is your main consideration. The Mission amp kits come with instructions and are well done. You could also consider a Mojo kit...they seem to be pretty well done.

The Princeton seems similar to the other amps you mentioned that you have worked on already. The 5E3 would give you different sound. I own a 1956 5E3 and if given a choice between that and a Princeton Reverb, I'd choose the 5E3 myself. The tweed style chassis are a bit harder to work on than the blackface style amps but either one is likely a good project. You might want to build a little Champ style amp first though as it is simpler. As with all tube amps grounding and proper soldering and wire routing are very important. If you go with the random chassis grounding of the vintage amps, it will likely work similar to vintage amps, but if you take a little time to improve the grounding you will get better performance with different grounding systems such as Kevin O' Connor's Galactic Ground system.

Greg
User avatar
(soundmasterg)
RRF Consultant
 
Posts: 1905
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:06 pm
Location: Cornelius, Oregon, USA

Re: Roll your own?

Postby (fatcat) » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:37 pm

Greg,
Thanks for the good advice.
Weber's lower costs dissipate if more is to be spent on better components, but it's also hard to justify a C note or so for a set of destructions. That being said, it could be considered as insurance.
If I get my feet wet with a Champ, it'd probably be a Weber. I've assembled 2 load/line attenuator kits from them, without instructions.
Mission's limited offerings look good, but ordering would seem to be difficult.
Mojotone would probably be a first choice, and has the options of ordering direct or Reverb.com.
Stewmac has offerings, but those look like Mojotones with a huge markup They're out of the running.

Prop tax bill arrived with a huge increase :x so the project's been put on back burner for this year.
User avatar
(fatcat)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1178
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 6:00 am


Return to Greg's Amplifier and Tube Tech Forum: by Greg Simon

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest