BF Deluxe Reverb as first kit build – yes/no?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by EsquireOK, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Hello,

    Thread title sums it up. I have wanted a BF Deluxe Reverb for a long time. I have also wanted to put together an amp kit for a long time. Are the two wants a good combination?

    I don't understand electronics beyond simple DC stuff, but I am good at "stuff" (which includes soldering things, building things, following precise instructions, etc.).

    I am thinking of doing it as a 2x10 rather than a 1x12. I have three 15–25W 1x12 amps already. I'm also thinking of adding an effects loop so I can put my rack-mount e.q. and my tap-tempo tremolo in it.

    I don't really want a 5W amp, except perhaps a BF Vibro Champ. I already have a Gibson GA-5, which is similar to a Champ. I also have a '68 Princeton Reverb and a late '70's Princeton, both stock. And I don't have a ton of interest in anything tweed...so some of the common starter kits don't really interest me.

    Is all this a bad idea for a first build?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  2. rogb

    rogb Tele-Holic

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    Hi, I built an AB763 completely from scratch ie built the boards and drilled the plain chassis, but I had some experience and it was without reverb. I just prefer a reverb pedal, personal preference.

    It's real easy to add a passive fx loop into this circuit too.

    If you look at the layout in sections, that is, the controls/pots, the main board and the tube connections, it doesn't look too bad, does it? I would say build the amp you want, but practice your soldering and HV AC/DC safety routine first. You need to solder the eyelets properly otherwise you will not have much fun chasing cold solder joints. Remember there is a "doghouse" where the filter caps live on the chassis.
    Refer to Robrob's pages for further tips... and good luck, there's plenty of help available here,mate!

    https://robrobinette.com/How_The_AB763_Deluxe_Reverb_Works.htm
    fender_deluxe_ab763_layout.gif
     
  3. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    My first build was AB763 (no kit), much less experience than you starting out.

    Go for it sir.
     
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  4. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    The issue with building a more complex amp is not the build itself, but trouble shooting problems and finding errors. Because of this I started with a much simpler 5f11 as my first build. If you do jump into the DR, go slow and every five or six steps go back and recheck your work.
     
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  5. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    For sure @sds1 is right -- you can build a DR. But @Mark the Moose is right too -- *should* you? We see a lot of amps that don't work on startup here, and finding out why on a big complex build can be *almost impossible.* Super frustrating. As a side issue, a complex amp means you'll also have more trouble finding clean, clear build threads to study and imitate.

    One thing in your smart initial post that needs comment is 'following precise instructions.' Most kits don't include any, for several reasons. One is lawyers, but another is the instructions might run to 5 volumes and still not cover everything. In fact, more than one kit supplies proprietary diagrams or cursory instructions that are unclear or actually misleading. If you must have accurate instructions, I hear good things about Dave Allen or Trinity.

    Most of us find instruction are over-rated and I'd guess most successful builds here (kits or non-kits) were done without instructions. But for all the above reasons many folks do a 'simple build' first. The classic 5F1 is most common, but isn't truly easy -- the space is just too cramped. The 5f2a (often with 10" speaker option) or VibroChamp are classic amps with a spacious chassis that end up producing a fun, useful product. Then you build your dream amp second. Win-win.

    Whatever you decide, do build an amp. It's the best.
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    A great build to do, but yes, often a build doesn't start up when you flip the switch, then the frustration begins. BTW, the DR circuit is pretty much the same as all the BF/SF Fenders up to the Twin really. Not much more complication in the others than the DR. So pick the one you want!
    You will end up with probably $500-600 in parts alone BTW.
     
  7. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

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    Here's what appears to be some well-detailed "paint by numbers" instructions for a StewMac (and Mojotone, I think?) DR kit. https://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/i-10737/i-10737.pdf

    As mentioned above multiple times, assembling the thing isn't going to be too hard if you are patient, can follow directions precisely, have the good/right tools and can do nice hand-work.

    Debugging is way harder and there will almost certainly be some debugging required esp with your first-ever build.
     
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  8. D'tar

    D'tar Tele-Afflicted

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    download.png
     
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  9. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If you are confident in your skills, and check, double check, and check your work again...

    You can do it.

    My very first full amp build was to completely gut and hand wire my Blues Junior.

    Full disclosure... I have "some" experience working on, modding, and trouble shooting, all kinds of circuits,
    both tube and Solid State.

    It fired right up with no problems. (after making sure with a lamp limiter, that there were no gross errors)

    It was no kit.
    I made the board and "designed" the circuit by mashing the AB763 and the Blues Junior circuit together.

    No instructions to follow, it was all research and figuring out what to do from that research.

    A kit requires that you follow instructions precisely.

    100_2443.jpg

    BLUES JUNIOR Conversion.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  10. rocksmoot

    rocksmoot Tele-Meister

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    I built a Weber 6a20 kit (it's their take on a DR) and it came out very well, and it's a great place to start rather than buying all the stuff separately. I don't know if Weber is still selling kits, perhaps Mojo has one as well. Either way, a kit is a great way to start since all the part choices are done for you. There are lots of resources on the net to help you every step of the way, not the least of which is this forum.

    There's a lot to be said for building the amp you really want. Just go really slow, check and re-check each step before you solder it in and ask questions if you are not sure of something. I started with an 18 watt, then built the Deluxe Reverb. I wish I had started with the DR. I like the 18 watt but the DR is really something special.
     
  11. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Why not build a pedal kit or two as a starter? You'll get experience in troubleshooting, working in tight spaces, soldering, without the bonus of lethal voltages.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    I don't really use pedals often, and I don't need/want anything in that area. And I have already scratch designed and built my own pedal. It is a passive treble and bass pedal, with 12 selectable caps for each e.q. band, and a foot switch for each band (but close enough that you can stomp both of them at once). Really the most useful pedal I've ever used, and nobody seemed to make one. Basically takes a master, tweakable PTB system similar to the concept of what you'd normally find on a G&L Legacy, and puts it on a foot switch. Theoretically, you could run several of them together for various tone pre-sets. No messing with your guitar knobs during a set; you just stomp on your pre-set passive tone settings. Basically a combination of the G&L PTB system with the Esquire pre-set passive e.q. switching philosophy, put into an outboard unit. The prototype has 12 caps for each band, and works fine, but I want to make a version that uses only 6 caps each band – only the best sounding ones.
     
  13. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like your past that point then. I'd say give it a go. Just build a current limiter (light bulb limiter) first. It'll save you a lot of time, aggravation, and money if you accidentally miswire something or have a short to ground.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If you are confident, build it! My first build was a Twin clone, and it sounds great, my next was a Deluxe, and after hearing great things about the 5E3, I built one of them.
    There is a lot of documentation out there, and Rob has details on popular mods, (folks here are generally always ready to help!).
    That said, I fought a startup problem on my DR build which made no sense until I found I had misread a resistor! All is well now.
     
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  15. lastRebel

    lastRebel Tele-Meister

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    Man, all I've got to say is tubes are different. I've had 20 +/- years experience with electronics in my field. This stuff is very different. DC is fine and well... but the AC can kick your butt too. Then you combine the two... AC/DC. A whole different way to think about things you thought you knew. I'm not trying to discourage you, I'm building a version of Rob's Blackvibe... it's a 763 without all the effects. Bro, all I can say is learn all you can along the way... it's not as easy as reading a schematic. I'm trying hard to get mine under enough control to build it, but I keep doubting myself.
     
  16. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Having a good local tech available if troubleshooting is too much for you is a nice lifeline. The DR is a complex amp so there's lots of little things that can go wrong during the build that can make startup a nightmare. Having said that, it does sound like a DR is doable for your skill level.
     
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  17. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    It is a pretty complex layout, with lots of parts, but if you just take your time, make every solder joint perfect as you go along, triple check every wire, and it can be done. But like others have said, if something isn't perfect, THAT'S where the tough work comes in. But think positively...I've seen several other DR's as "first build" amps and they worked great from the start.
     
  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for all the input.

    It does indeed sound like a rather large first project. I think I could do it...but I'm not sure if it's really the best idea.

    Here's an idea: Start with a 6G15 Reverb. That is something that I actually do want, and have wanted since about 1988. It would get my feet wet on something of a more beginner's nature, while still providing me with something I would really love to have in the end. If that went well, I could move on to a Deluxe Reverb.
     
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  19. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    that sounds like a really good idea. The only minor downside is that most 6G15 kits or chassis seem very pricey (apart from tube-town's take, which is different aesthetically).
     
  20. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Meister

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    I think the greatest sounding amp I ever played thru was an old, old bassman...that's all I know...other than that a princeton oh yes...
     
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