First Amp Build 5E3

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Dylan Bob, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    9B5B16BE-4873-486F-AE9C-14AE99C0E5F0.jpeg 6AFE7E4C-1EEF-4B23-B6F9-2E597EC07030.jpeg 892B14C2-AA61-47D5-AFE4-C6C62D46ACFD.jpeg 72BCFD53-72D0-411E-92F4-9FCC06DB685D.jpeg 9F171B7D-B657-4CD4-A316-A2C76054B22B.jpeg Hello,

    This is my first post on TDPRI, but I've been living and learning on this wonderful site for years. I've been wanting to build a 5E3 amp kit for a long time. I learned about Boothill kits on this site and purchased a kit from Mr. Dave.

    If anyone would care to look at my unsoldered, board I sure would appreciated any advice, pointers and critiques. It is a little messy, and I have newfound respect for all of then clean looking boards I have seen in this site.

    Also, I took readings of all my resistors before I put them on the board. The 56k immediately to the right of the 22uF cap reads 65.5k. The 56k resistor about an inch or two to the bottom-right of the first one reads 65.1k. Is this too far out of spec.? Should I replace them or proceed with these values?

    Thanks to anyone who has the time and patience to spend helping me. Cheers!
     
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  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Those values are within range for a carbon composition resistor, so you're good.

    I don't see anything obviously out of place there. You might want to try and bend some of the ends of the wires around tighter if you care about prettiness. I also strongly recommend adding the wires at this point or else you just end up soldering everything twice anyway.
     
  3. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Good stuff, Dylan Bob. You go.

    The devil can be in the details. Two chopsticks from the takeout place around the corner will help you straighten wire leads -- just pull wire between paired chopsticks repeatedly. Save the chopsticks -- they're a serious amp-builder tool.

    It's nice to be able to read the labels on all caps and other labeled components. Tidy *and* useful.

    It doesn't affect function, but many builders like to line up all their resistor codes the same way (say tolerance band top / left) which is also tidy and makes decoding a bit easier.

    When building with turrets, don't wrap more than 270°, and save the top holes for parts you may eventually replace (electrolytic caps) or replace in a mod. For any wires that come up from under the board, strip enough bare wire to wrap out and hook over the top edge so they won't fall out -- and so you can see them and be sure they haven't fallen out.
     
  4. Cantbreak100guy

    Cantbreak100guy Tele-Meister

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    It looks decent. King Fan mentioned everything I wanted to say.
    Did you get the tubes, cabinet, and speaker from Boothill as well?
    Anyway, I like to take any opportunity to give a thumbs up to Dave. I bought the same kit in May. I could not be happier. It sounds awesome.
    You will love it!
     
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  5. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the reassurance about the resistor values.

    I do care about the prettiness of the board, but doing this for the first time was more challenging than I thought. I figure I can tighten things up when I check things again tomorrow.

    I'll add the wires tomorrow after work. Do you have a technique for figuring out the length of the wires from each point of contact? I suppose it would be helpful to place the chassis and my soon-to-be-constructed temporary, cardboard pot and input holder next to the board.

    Thanks for your reply and advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  6. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the encouragement. My component's leads look like a bowl of spaghetti, but my initial intention was to follow the NASA specs recommended on RobRob's site https://robrobinette.com/How_To_Build_a_Tube_Amp.htm where it is suggested that each lead has strain relief from adding bends. From there things just got ugly. However, I like your suggestion for using bamboo chopsticks to straighten the leads. I also understand they can be useful probes for powered amps, and I imagine I could tighten bends around turrets with them by applying pressure.

    I intended to install all components such that they were readable and in a consistent alignment. How do things get turned around so quickly?

    I have a couple of resistors' leads going into the tops of the turrets because they wouldn't reach far enough otherwise, but I appreciate the advice. Wrapping the under-board wires out to hook over the top is a great idea.

    Thanks for your reply and advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  7. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I'm glad to hear you are so happy with this kit and your build. I love the sound I hear on youtube from people with this kit, and if it sounds good on my crappy computer speakers through the internet....

    I got the kit, the power and transformer, and tubes from Boothill. I'm going to try to use a weird old speaker I have or buy a speaker from Weber.

    For the cab, my dad and I are making one from some plans I found on the internet (probably on this site's forums). He has the woodworking tools and skills, and I have the desire to make my own stuff. It should be a lot of fun to make something with him that I can enjoy for a lifetime, and he can say, "Yeah, it sounds like an amplifier." Ha, ha, ha.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
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  8. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    On a second look, I prefer the electrolytics go through the turret holes. That way they are easier to replace in 20 years than if you had wrapped them around, but the connections are still plenty secure.
     
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  9. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    Looks nice and clean to me. Building a 5E3 has been on my bucket list for a long time, but a few months ago I nabbed a completed one off Craigslist for less than the cost of the parts, so that is holding me for now.

    Those are great sounding amps... Enjoy!
     
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  10. Tapatio

    Tapatio Tele-Meister

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    Talking about mods may be premature here, but if you think of anything you would like to add at this time, it will save you some aggravation later on.
    Also, if you go with a Weber speaker, ask them to break it in for you.
    Your board looks great- you're gonna love this thing.
    Very interested in your progress!
     
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  11. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for your comments. I am open to mods, especially ones that make the amp less noisy. Do you have any suggestions?
     
  12. Tom Kamphuys

    Tom Kamphuys Tele-Meister

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    From a theory standpoint:
    - metal film resistors. Especially the input grid stoppers. If you feel you need carbon comp resistors for 'mojo' limit them to places where high AC voltage is present.
    - shielded cables for low level signals, e.g. input jack (via the resistors) to the tube and after the volume pots to the tubes.

    And hopefully more (practically) experienced guys will chime in with their wealth of knowledge.
     
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  13. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

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    I upped the filter caps to 22uF to tighten the bottom end and reduce hum, and separated the grounds as per the current Fender layout. With metal film resistors, it's pretty quiet, apart from a bit of tube hiss with the treble dimed. The 1/10th power mod I did totally filters out any transformer hum, and even the tube hiss, at the cost of a little top end so I changed the cap on the tone knob to compensate. In stealth mode I can't hear a thing standing over the the amp.

    Don't forget the bleed resistor! An xcap on the on/off is helpful too, as it eliminates the pop when you turn it off.
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Holic

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  15. Tapatio

    Tapatio Tele-Meister

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    I'm a big fan of the pre PI master volume found on Rob's site. Remember, this amp gets very loud by 4-5 on the dial. The rest of the way up is more about the breakup. The master volume will let you drive the preamp section hard but not the power tubes and speaker.

    I used metal films throughout my 5e3. I don't really hear a difference with resistors-- others do.
    In addition to the great tips above, mind your heater lines and orient your coupling caps correctly. I don't hear the caps much either, I think it makes more of a difference in larger circuits.
     
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  16. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the input. I see I have a mixture of the two types of resistors. I just put what came with the kit on the board. I'm too green to know about placing them in high AC voltage areas. Hopefully I'll be learning that soon.
     
  17. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    It looks like my filter caps are 22uF. I'm unaware of the bleed resistor. I'll have to look that up. The xcap too. Thanks for the info, and thank you for the diagram. It looks like art. I hope I can put it to use.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  18. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the info. I've glimpsed that part of Rob's site, but I'll have to read it thoroughly before I solder.
     
  19. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    60BBAC8D-40E8-4252-A782-AB60246676F3.jpeg

    I could use some advice about the wires I got in my kit. Looking a the photos of other builds I often see thicker yellow wires being used, but I didn't get any yellow wire. Also, the schematic I got doesn't list wire values or colors except for the output transformer and the power transformer wires. If I'm supposed to know which wires go where as basic knowledge then I have a lot of studying to do.

    Here are the values for the wires I have:
    Green 3' of 20 AWG
    Black 13" of 20AWG
    White 3' of 22AWG
    Red 2.5' of Unknown (no printing)
    Blue/White2.5' of Unknown (no printing)
    Speaker Wire = begging to be plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  20. Dylan Bob

    Dylan Bob TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Ive seen pictures of other builds where the tube sockets are attached to one another with wires wound together (heater filament circuit) and laid against the corner of the chassis.
    For example:
    5E3 build from Boot Hill Amps kit

    I don't see those connections represented in my schematic. Does anyone know what I'm missing here? 804BF681-5CA0-4289-B7D1-54ADF4BBA735.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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