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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Chinese Amp Kits from eBay - any good?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Kriticaster, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    24
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    So I’m new here and probably getting ahead of myself (still have a tele to build) but saw a post about building a suitcase amp and started thinking...

    I’ve seen a few Chinese made tube/valve amp kits for $30-40 and wondering if they’re any good?

    Very little (useful) info on the listing... no idea what speakers they need or where to get them, for example... but the price!

    Here is one example: (15 watt)
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/272906128123

    And another: (5 watt)
    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/272903192148

    Both have 6L6 tubes... that’s good right? (Always thought 6V6 was the way to go but it’s been a few years)

    Has anyone had experience of buying one? Do they work? Do they sound good?

    I have limited funds but also just like the idea of having hand built my gear and making it unique... it would also be amazing if it sounded decent too...

    Your thoughts please telepeople!


    (Photo not actual amp... but it’s made in China and has ‘Wangs’ on it... tee hee)
     

  2. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I didn't look at the second one, but the 15 watt one isn't what one would normally call a "tube amp kit" but rather a complete tube amp on a circuit board.

    At that price how high can the quality be, even with the low cost of labor in China? The old saying, "You get what you pay for!" probably applies here.

    Plugging tubes directly into a circuit board is a recipe for early failure. It appears that is what is going on here.

    If you baby it, and don't do any tube swapping, it might work for a while, but it might not, and it might probably won't sound all that great either, but then another old saying applies here.

    You pays your money, and you takes your chances.

    I'd pass and keep looking for something a bit higher quality myself.
     

  3. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    It's missing the transformers, chassis and cab, in other words the most expensive stuff.
     

  4. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    24
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    Thanks for the feedback guys!
    I was thinking to find/repurpose/build a cab... but I know nothing about choosing a transformer... or which speaker... but I love the tube sound!

    I had an idea to find an old radio (seem to be plenty when I am) and refit it with a tube amp and a vintage sounding speaker...
     

  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    The ad classifies the difficulty for a do-it-yourself projec to be ‘middle’...medium...difficulty. I would not think that this is a project for a beginner.
     
    JustABluesGuy and Kriticaster like this.

  6. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    24
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    Good point @Wally
    I am certainly a beginner...

    I’ve seen some threads on here as well as YouTube videos about using old tube radios as small practice amps, so will do my research and start my search to see if I can find something locally for a good price...

    Seems that if the components are still good and the amp is appropriate it doesn’t take too much to fit a ground wire and install a jack...

    Hopefully that’s a more beginner project... at the end of the day I just need a small box that will make my guitar louder, but in a sweet way
     
    Wally likes this.

  7. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    I would not buy the eBay/Chinese cheap kits as pointed out transformers, cab and speaker are costly. (Components are about the least cost)
    As for transforming an old Radio into an Amp that might a bit of work also and probably a good understanding of electronics would be necessary not saying you could not do it, just might not be a good starting project. I think if you really want to build an amp think about a 5F1 kit it’s about as basic as it gets great Amp to start with. Hears a 5F1 build someone is doing in Shock Brothers now you can check it out and follow along. Shock brothers is a great source for information on building amps, that’s what motivated me to start building amps.
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/5f1-first-build-need-to-be-checked-on.773848/
     
    JustABluesGuy, Thin69 and Wally like this.

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