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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Amp Virgin, In need of serious help.Hi

Hi everybody,
Um, ive been playing guitar for a few years now, and have never really taken the time or money to invest in an amp. I've a;ways put my money into pedals or new pickups and stuff like that. To be honest I've been using my brothers crappy amp that came with his guitar for my entire tenure as a guitar player. I recently decided I need a new amp (I was actually thinking of an amp head and cabinet). I had been looking around anything good (from my small understanding of amps) seems to be about $6-700 for just the head or head. So I was thinking if I want something done right I should do it myself. It will be cheaper, ill know that quality parts are going into it, and everything else. Heres my issue, im 16 with little history in construction, Im pretty good with my hands and my Dad is here to help. But I have no idea where to get parts, how many tubes i should use, and basicly how to wire and build the damn thing. Im also unsure if I should do a cab or a combo, Im just playing in my room at relativey low volumes. As far as tone goes, if there is even a choice, like a smooth clean and distorted channel, i play smashing pumpkins-soundgarden sounding music. Also if anyone could give me a ballpark estimate on how much this would usaully cost, that would be great
Thanks in advance!!!,

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Old August 30th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Castlewood,VA
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places to buy parts

the music electronics forum and Weber's kitbuilding forums are resources to learn about what you're doing. is another source to look at, especially the page where he goes through a typical amp circuit and explains what's going on and what happens when you change things. Download some of the instructions for some of the amp kits that are available online, like the ones for Tube Depot's tweed deluxe kit.

some suggested reading would be Dave Hunters's Guitar Amplifier Handbook and Aspen Pittman's The Tube Amp Book. Another if you can find it is Kevin O'Conners The Ultimate Tone series, particularly the third volume.

As far as what is gonna give you the tone you desire, I'd suggest going to a well stocked store and trying the tube amps out, especially the ones that are reissues of the classic circuits. the '59 Bassman LTD, DRRI, TRRI, A Marshall model 1987 or 1959 Plexi reissue, Vox AC15 and AC30 are the kinds of circuits I'm talking about. If you think you want a modern two or three channel switching amp, I'd suggest you just buy one. Or else build a couple of the simpler amps first before trying something as complicated as a Mesa clone or similar.

Hope this helps you out, but watch out, because amp building can become it's own form of addiction.
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