Looking for an amp project

halfpast
Regular Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am
Location: California
Contact:

Looking for an amp project

Postby halfpast » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:17 pm

I'm looking to challenge myself and build a little tube-powered (5 watts would be fine) practice amp from scratch. I am decent at woodworking and can build a small cabinet easily enough, with a tolex wrap. However, when it comes to the chassis and internals I haven't seen much in the way of DIY kits that are price-effective. Honestly, I'm not interested in spending $400 on a kit when I could use that money to buy a vintage Fender Champ.

At the moment, I'm thinking of finding something like this: http://www.blackhearteng.com/bh1h.html

And converting it into a little combo with a 8" or 12" speaker. Thoughts?

Mr. Bill
Top Producer
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:15 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Looking for an amp project

Postby Mr. Bill » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:16 pm

There are a lot of these low power tube heads being made now, as there seems to be a market for them. The problem is that as you have seen, the cost for a 1 watt and a 5 watt or a 10 watt for that matter isn't dramatically different. The cost of the iron is pretty much the same from a Champ to a Princeton.

The one problem that I see is that a lot of these amps really don't stand up very well to the normal abuse that guitar players give to their amps. I get in a lot of dead stuff that just isn't cost effective to repair, especially when a transformer dies. And when some of the big retailers blow out these amps, it sometimes makes it hard to justify the cost of just replacing tubes.

A lot of guys are buying up old radios, phonographs, etc. and building small guitar amps out of them. And as long as they have isolated power transformers, that can be made safe to use and pretty nice sounding as well.

halfpast
Regular Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Looking for an amp project

Postby halfpast » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:24 pm

Thanks, Bill. That makes sense. I might just have to put this project on the backburner and wait till I come across some real bargains in the used chassis/ tube/ transformer area.

Mr. Bill
Top Producer
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:15 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Looking for an amp project

Postby Mr. Bill » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:02 pm

Also watch eBay and Craig's List for dead ones. In the old days, you could find two or three usable things at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Now everybody seems to buy them up as soon as they are put out.

I heard of a guy that would pay the employees a finder fee for any musical instrument stuff that was being put out for sale.

halfpast
Regular Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Looking for an amp project

Postby halfpast » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:11 am

Yeah, there's a guy here in the bay area who "posts" on CL saying he will pay top dollar for any and all old music equipment...guitars, amps, etc...

This whole 'vintage' craze is getting out of hand, in my humble opinion :|


Return to “Amp Tech Q&A and Repair Shop”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests