Ceriatone PrinzeTone kit arrived.

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Slowisfast, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    My Ceriatone kit arrived the other day.

    Well packed and free from any damage.

    I've been looking at the layout for the last few days and I gotta say I'm feeling overwhelmed. This is my first amp build and I'm starting to think that I should have started with a 5F1 circuit or something a bit more simple.

    I don't really know where to start. There isn't much direction included. In fact there is none. Just a parts list and a layout on their site.

    I'd love some help from members who are willing to help and ignorant newbie.

    I'm going to inventory all the parts today.

    I guess first step will be to populate the board?

    Here's the layout and some quick pics of the kit.

    C9169686-ECE6-4705-BA79-FC9D6A66D6ED.jpeg 53AACABD-3091-4B65-A02F-6C329FDBFF1D.jpeg 72A0A446-8E30-446A-9560-7A375FAC8946.jpeg E24C2ADE-289B-42C0-9190-DE725C464DA3.jpeg AE8EE374-C914-4066-82C7-E0767147E5EE.jpeg BDAD4AB2-863F-4EAA-BF36-E1E2BD181058.jpeg
     
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  2. Tom Kamphuys

    Tom Kamphuys Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    156
    Sep 18, 2018
    The Netherlands
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  3. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
  4. Tom Kamphuys

    Tom Kamphuys Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    156
    Sep 18, 2018
    The Netherlands
    Haven't watched this particular video, but d-lab has nice videos.

     
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  5. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    Thanks! I haven't seen that. Much appreciated.
     
  6. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    I built a Ceriatone ODS as my third build and I can say it was a challenge. I had quite a bit of help from the guys here by posting pics of where I was stuck. Start with the hardware install, then identify all the components by looking at the layout sheet. If you have to, lay out the components on a separate work area before starting. Double and triple check your work. Do what you are sure of, then see where you are. Some of the guys here are very knowledgable and kind to newbies. Above all, DO NOT go to the amp garage as was suggested to me, only to find out there is quite a bit of animosity towards Nik. Good Luck !!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  7. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    Thanks for the suggestions. Bummer that there's animosity. Can't imagine why. He was super helpful during the process of picking out a kit and was always quick to respond to questions. Wish there was a bit more documentation but that's not a make or break.
     
  8. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    191
    May 4, 2010
    louisville ky
    I would just suggest to go slow. Don't try to consume it all at once. The layout should provide all you need. There is much knowledge and help available on this site!
     
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  9. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    Thank you. Slow is definitely my speed.
     
  10. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    The feedback I got was that he was originally a member there and pretty much used all the info he gleaned from them to start his company. He was very good at getting back to me via email, but I'm totally with you on the wish there was more docs included.

    ps, get yourself a chart showing the values of the resistors and other components using the color coding. That was quite a help to me.
     
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  11. brucerbc

    brucerbc TDPRI Member

    29
    Oct 11, 2013
    Salmon Arm, BC, Canada
    Congrats on your kit! I've been where you're at now. Based on my experience, I'd suggest you pick up Dave Hunter's Guitar Amp Handbook, read through the first 3 chapters (The Signal Chain; Components; Circuit Stages), maybe the 4th (Inside the Amps), definitely the last (Building an Amp), then identify and layout your parts and follow Hunter's build steps. They're simple, straightforward, sensible and got me through a Two Stroke/Maggie/5F2A and 5E3 build. Once you're started, the Shock Bros. sub-forum here is super-helpful with questions and guidance in my experience.
     
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  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Subscribing. I love my Ceriatone but I bought it fully assembled and have long thought about buying another and doing some level of assembly. Good luck! I'll be learning from you.
     
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  13. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    I actually just found that chart. Looks like it will come in handy! All of this is a learning process so I appreciate the recommendation. Can't fault Nik for learning and applying that info. Anyone else there could have put their capitol on the line as well and started up their own company. Hell either succeed or he won't. I certainly hope based on his customer service and well regarded circuits, that he does.
     
  14. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    Thanks for the book recommendation. Just bought on Amazon!
     
  15. nasdak

    nasdak Tele-Meister

    226
    Mar 22, 2013
    france
    Buy Merlin's book. Read it. Read it again. Take time to understand how it works, be familiar with the words : current, tension, bias, grid, plate...
    Understand how it works. Study thé Princeton schematics : the first stages of amplification, the tone stack, the reverb driver, the phase inverter, the trem oscillator, the push pull stage with fixed bias, how the power tube plates are connected to the output transformer. Understand how filterd DC is made out off AC.
    And then, build your amp knowing what you.re building !

    Envoyé de mon Redmi 4X en utilisant Tapatalk
     
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  16. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Aug 19, 2015
    Richmond Va
    I like to get all of my sockets, switches pots and transformers bolted on first. Then I start with the PT filament wiring (usually the two green leads) to all of the sockets. Then I wire up the power cord, PT primary and secondary side to power switches and rectifier socket and finally the filter cap can. I like to mount all of my grounding lugs to the chassis now also as it's easier to do without the board installed. After the chassis is ready, I will populate the board, run the power jumpers on the board, and also rough cut all of the wires that will attach to the board. I like to run my jumpers on top for easier troubleshooting but many amps have them run on the backside of the board. Once the board components and wire leads have been soldered, it can be dropped in and all of the connections to tube sockets and pots can be made. The Princeton has quite a few wires in it so take a close look at gutshots of original Princetons and some of the great builds here on the forum.The lead dress of the wiring will be important in building a quiet, great sounding amp so pay close attention to where the wires are run and how they are bundled in the PR. Most importantly, take your time and have fun with the build!
     
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  17. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Good advice here. And you're right, 95% of first builds populate the board first. But it turns out the 'standard' build sequence totally misses great chances to test and verify function at each step. If you do a 'test-as-you-build' sequence, your amp is about 10x more likely to work when you fire it up -- maybe 100x. :D If you think building your first amp is hard, just try figuring out why it doesn't work. Ask me how I know. So...

    Happily for us, master builder Mr. Steve Luckey posted a nice short summary (see reply #3 in that thread) of a TAYB sequence. I copied it into these notes I use in my builds, and added details from Robrob's excellent startup page:

    Test-as-you-build and startup procedure

    Most of this material is taken from a great post by Steve Luckey:
    http://el34world.com/Forum/index.php?topic=2376.0
    Added material is mainly from amp guru Rob Robinette's Amp Startup page: https://robrobinette.com/Tube_Amp_Startup.htm

    There is never only one 'big power on' event. Instead, I power up in stages as the build progresses. LOOK, LISTEN, FEEL, AND SMELL during all phases!

    As per Rob Robinette, do some mains and grounds tests before adding power in various phases (see Phase 7 below). In Phase 1 you can test the AC mains.

    PHASE 1. The PT primary circuit is the first thing I wire up. As soon as the power cord is in place (but before the secondaries are connected) I plug in for the first time. I make sure the power switch, fuse, indicator light, etc. work and that the unloaded secondary voltages are as expected. No filter caps at this stage.

    PHASE 2. No filter caps yet. Next I wire the 6.3v filament circuit. (If you use the Fender-style overhead filament string, this step would come later.)* Then power on again and measure voltage across the filament pins of each socket. All 6.3v tubes are then plugged in and visually checked for glowing filaments. REMOVE ALL TUBES.

    PHASE 3. Rectifier tube is wired (nothing else). Check for proper filament and HT voltages on the rectifier socket. Then plug in the rectifier tube and check for B+ (VDC) at the cathode (pin 8 – which is also the filament measured in VAC). There are no filter caps at this time, so readings will be low. At this point the entire PT circuit has been checked, except for a possible bias winding that's still flying loose.

    PHASE 4. Wire in the OT, filters, board(s), pots, input/output jacks, etc. IOW, complete all remaining wiring. (Don’t trim the OT plate leads to exact length until you see if they need to be swapped at the end of Phase 7.)

    Now use the schematic and an ohmmeter to verify that grid and cathode resistances measure expected values to ground and that plates are correctly connected to the proper B+ nodes. Visually trace the schematic (not the layout) and compare to your actual build. Verify polarity of ALL electrolytic capacitors and bias diode.

    PHASE 5. Bias: No tubes in yet. If you have a fixed bias amp, power up and verify proper negative bias voltage is present on the control grid pin of every output tube socket. If adjustable, be sure the range is adequate and then set it for max negative voltage.
    DON'T PROCEED UNTIL THIS IS RIGHT!

    PHASE 6. Plug in the rectifier tube ONLY. Power up and check for plate voltages on every empty tube socket. They will be high.
    Rob says: “You should check voltages with just the rectifier. The DC voltages will be much higher than normal with no current use. You should have rectifier voltage at all the tube plates because there will be no voltage drop through the B+2 and B+3 dropping resistors and across the plate load resistors with no current flow”

    * If doing Fender-style ‘overhead’ heaters, wire them now. Then power on again and measure voltage across the filament pins of each socket. Insert all tubes, and visually check for glowing filaments. Rob: “Also make sure you have heater voltage on the preamp tubes at pins 4 to 9 and 5 to 9.”

    PHASE 7. Plug in all tubes and connect a speaker. (If you have an NFB lead, you can leave it lifted for this phase.) Before plugging in and playing, add Robrob’s caution:

    Before adding power to a new amp be sure to verify the safety ground connection. Plug a guitar cable into an input jack and check that you have continuity (meter "beep") between the guitar cable's sleeve (the part that isn't the tip) and the amp's power cord ground prong.
    Plug a cable into the main speaker jack and test again for continuity to the ground prong.
    You must not power up the amp until you have safety ground continuity between the power cord ground prong, guitar cable sleeve and speaker cable sleeve because the amp is a deadly shock hazard without it. If you don't have continuity use your meter's continuity function to verify your power cord wiring: Hot (small prong) to fuse, Neutral (large prong) to the power transformer primary and the ground prong wire bolted directly to the chassis.

    If OK, plug in a guitar and see how it sounds. If you've successfully gotten this far, there shouldn't be too many surprises. Watch for red plates, smoke, etc., and listen for howl, hum, buzzes, bacon frying, etc.

    If you have NFB, connect it now if you haven’t already. With NFB connected, there'll be a 50/50 chance you may need to reverse the OT plate leads. There may be an obvious howl, or you may just have a bad or weird sound, possible squeal/howl on certain notes, the kind of things you can't explain. Just reverse them. You may find out that it was right to begin with, but at least now you'll know for sure. (Don’t trim the OT plate leads to length until you see if they need to be swapped.)

    Play guitar for a short time. Then measure plate, grid, and cathode voltages for all tubes. Measure on the socket.

    Steve Luckey concludes: “That's basically what I do. You may have to adapt details for different amps, but the idea is to power up in stages. Divide and conquer. You'll have confidence built up for that final complete power up.”
     
  18. Slowisfast

    Slowisfast Tele-Meister

    359
    Jul 9, 2014
    Mt. Rainier
    I can't thank you guys enough. Will digest this all and figure out a game plan going forward . Slow and steady will hopefully win this race. Thanks so much.
     
  19. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Meister

    497
    Jul 2, 2004
    Charlotte
    + a million on learning the circuit and understanding how it works. The book you ordered is awesome! Great advice here. Once you understand the circuit, and the layout, you should sail right through.
     
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  20. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

    649
    Aug 30, 2010
    Orange City, IA
    @King Fan - Great thoughts there on the 'test as you build' process. That is something I have been looking to implement more in my build. I recently watched a really thorough series of build vlogs here - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLo7DGF0CxJGnfxQSKWOXtvhF23jLjEpOC. That was a hifi amp using PTP wiring, but much of the basic build practices and ordering would very much apply to what we do here. Building the amp from the power supply towards the input jack lets you test as you go. This really simplifies things in terms of troubleshooting IMO. Whenever you move forward you also have confidence that what you just completed building is working correctly.
     
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