July 6th, 2012, 02:41 AM
I was wondering where I could get started learning about amps and electronics and how to go about building. I'm kind of interested in building a 5f1, but have no knowledge on how to do that kind of thing. So, I was wondering where I could get that knowledge/practice. Any help is appreciated, thanks.
Also, is it extremely hard to build something like a 5f1, or is it do-able for a 14 year old.
July 6th, 2012, 03:31 AM
July 6th, 2012, 03:54 AM
July 6th, 2012, 03:55 AM
Hi, most of your buddies in the USA will be asleep to reply, it's good to see someone as young as yourself have an interest in vintage amps. Firstly you must fully understand the dangers of working with exposed electrical circuits, hopefully you know how to solder correctly. Next is to read and read, Dave Hunters Guitar Amp Handbook is prob the best to get you started, if you can absorb some of it....good. Stick to previous 5F1 build threads, there are plenty here and in other forums. Hackworth will be able to supply you with all you need. All the best with it
July 6th, 2012, 04:39 AM
I dont really screw around with amps because I really dont know a whole lot about electronics and really do not want to electrocute myself or burn down my house.
With that said, have you ever done any soldering?
July 6th, 2012, 06:48 AM
As pointed out above, can you solder? Dave Hunter's book is a great place to start to get a basic overview of what's going on in an amp. Go to amp kit sites. Weber is a popular one, I prefer Triode Electronics; better quality pieces and slightly cheaper. There's a guy floating around here that sells 5F1 kits cheap; no experience with him but looks of decent quality. Build Your Own Clone Pedals has a 5F1 kit with full on instructions in it. I feel that's unnecessary if you do some reading first. The kits are kind of paint-by-numbers, great for getting your feet wet but not much electronics learning going on. But, there is also transformer placement, wiring up heaters, and layout issues you can learn from kits.
First, however, is learning how to solder. If you don't know, look it up on YouTube. Grab some spare wire from your parents (or buy some), cut it, splice it, solder, repeat. It's not hard but takes practice and is crucial as bad solder joints can cause tremendous problems. The more builds you do, the more you learn; think of it as a marathon not a sprint. When you get done building and it doesn't work, that's when the real learning begins. A 5F1 is a good place to start though.
July 6th, 2012, 07:01 AM
I was about 14 when I built my first amplifier actually it turned out to be an oscillator but them is the breaks. IC amp that I laid out myself, probably did everything wrong. Now if you use the instructions of some of the kits out here and not deviate much from them I do not see why you could not do it.
It would be good if you get a bit of understanding of tubes and the rest of the parts and what they do. Understand ohm's law and voltage drops around a loop. It is one thing to follow a diagram and build something but understanding what is going on really helps out when you fire things up.
July 6th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Here is something useful to assemble. It is a working board and its components for 5F1. Turret Board, 12 resistors and seven Capacitors.
Videos on my website.
Read all you can find. Buy the Dave Hunter book.
Here's more free reading:
Reading and Learning is Fundamental to any new hobby.
July 6th, 2012, 08:32 AM
Well, a Tele-meister at 14 and intelligent enough to ask if it's do-able at the correct venue... yeah, you can do it. :grin:
Don't fret that we are all gonna tell you to be careful... everyone gets that speech! Dave Hunter's book is very good becasue it's readable. You still have to go online and find out some of the basics. Read through the longer build threads. They are longer because they (like me!) needed to ask more questions and clarify noob points. Also, they tend to have more pictures, which helps identify things more clearly, AND they might be long because gremlins appeared and kept sound from coming out without troubleshooting. Learn from other's mistakes!
A 5F1 is fairly simple, yet produces a beautifully complex tone. Some places can sell you a complete kit with everything, other kits require you to source some of your own parts like transformers, cabinets and speakers. Cost is another factor... just the kit, chassis, transformers, and speaker is getting close to $300 (high-end trannies and speaker could easily add another $200!). If you make your own box it could literally be scraps for nothing, or a nice tweed cab for about $165. Don't forget basic tools.
I'm not trying to dissuade you! And you don't have to get all this at one time. Just a reality check. :grin:
And you will find everyone here is willing to help you make a really nice amp that you will be proud of. Good luck!
Gambatte!! ("Go for it!" in Japanese)
July 6th, 2012, 08:49 AM
You'll need at least $100 in tools etc too. or get stuff from a flea market. I know you can do it! Just read read read and get a 5f1 kit. Do you have a designated area where you can work? You'll get in trouble if you start shocking your family!!!!!!
Its fun, but also very serious regarding the voltages. You're too young to be scared cause your prefrontal lobe is undeveloped!! So just heed the warnings and discuss it with your folks as you should possibly be supervised in the beginning.
July 6th, 2012, 09:55 AM
There have been several threads in the past about where to get started and what books to read to learn. Search the word books, a lot should come up. Let it be known that there are many of us here who not to long ago built our first amp. We keep reading and learning, and building more. It's very rewarding and addictive. Welcome to a great place to hang with some very helpful people who all share a common hobby.
July 6th, 2012, 12:37 PM
Thanks so much for all of the encouragement and info, I'll be getting that book by Dave Hunter.
July 6th, 2012, 01:35 PM
I know you have already been given great advice but wanted to share my experience so far.
I have a Boot Hill 5F1 kit, but am still waiting for my new solder station to arrive before I start to assemble.
My copy of Dave Hunter's book just arrived yesterday with my order from AES. One of the first thing discussed is the circuitry of a 5F2, which is a 5F1 with a tone control added.
I am excited as all get out because now I feel like I actually know what the parts are for instead of just painting-by the-numbers.
Good luck with your project,
July 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Thanks mark, that's really good to know that it helps deepen your understanding so much. Best of luck with your build.