5F1 Kit Recommendation

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by dhodgeh, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. dhodgeh

    dhodgeh TDPRI Member

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    Time to add a tweed champ to my amp stable.

    Leaning towards a kit, and am looking for opinions on what vendors have assembled the best overall kit as far as the various components are concerned.

    I'm kinda leaning towards the Mojotone kit at the moment, but that's not cast on concrete.

    Note that this is not my first build. I've assembled a 5E3 from a Mission kit, and a 6G15 reverb tank that I self sourced. I also have assembled several stomp boxes, and a couple of ham radios.

    While a complete kit might be the most convenient, I'm not opposed to maybe splitting out the cab, speaker, tubes, but would like a single source for the chassis and electrical components.

    Not really interested in anything other than a 5F1, and I want to keep it small and will stay with the 8 inch cab/speaker.

    Thanks for any and all input.

    D
     
  2. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Mojotone is at the top of your list for good reason.

    If you've already built a Mission kit you probably won't be impressed with a low buck kit chock full of imported parts.

    Mojotone has the good stuff.

    The combination I suggest is

    Mojotone chassis kit without tubes and transformers.

    Use Classic Tone transformers.

    There are a few premium cabinet builders out there who build cabinets a little better than Mojotone.
     
    Treehouse and Mr Ridesglide like this.
  3. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Boothill Amps has a good 5F1 kit. It's got what you're looking for and nothing else. I have one and like it.
     
  4. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    As the others have said, I'd recommend either Mojotone or Boothill. The Mojotone transformers will likely give you higher than vintage voltages. The Classic Tones might, too, depending on which you go with, but it probably won't be as bad. I think Mojotone's cabinets are perfectly fine, unless you wanted to go high-end and get something from a builder like Peter Mather. I don't think it's necessary. I'd say the speaker is going to be a big deal in the build, as well as the voltages. So make sure you get those right. And with so few parts, why not use the best parts you can get? To that end, I've sometimes replaced the filter capacitors that come in Mojo kits.

    Once you start replacing parts, the temptation is to source all your own parts. That would not be difficult at all with a tweed Champ, but it will be more expensive. Those Mojo kits are a great deal, financially. And their parts are plenty good. But muchxs's recommendation of the Mojotone kit without tubes and transformers is a good one. Then source the transformers from Classic Tone that can get closer to vintage voltages, so you don't have to drop the voltages in some other fashion, such as using a string of zener diodes.

    If it were mine, I'd probably make it with a switchable cathode bypass cap after the input. If I recall correctly, some 5F1's have one, and some don't. Others can deny or confirm those data.
     
  5. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've been building a high plate / hot bias version lately. Previously built a bunch of them intended to be gentle on their 6V6 tubes. Not HP/HB! I used a 15 watt OT and an EL34. Classic Tone PT doesn't even get warm. 10 watt bias resistor doesn't even get warm. It's a very aggressive little unit.

    JJ 6V6s hold up just fine with high plate / hot bias.
     
  6. sudogeek

    sudogeek Tele-Meister

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    Hoffman has a bill of materials on the website for reference (https://el34world.com/Hoffman/files/Hoffman_5F1_BOM.pdf).

    If you’re like me and have built and modded a few amps, you probably have a box or boxes o’ parts. A 5F1 really doesn’t take much. Make an inventory and order the rest; you’ll probably save money over a kit. If you don’t want to go through the hassle, I concur with a small parts kit from Mojo and source a cheap chassis, or get the full kit minus transformers from Boothill.

    If you’re going to mod the basic design, I would go a la carte. I just built a champ-based prototype as a lunch box type head using an enclosure from Hammond and my trusty drill press, some additional switches and parts from Mouser, a couple of tag strips, plus odds and ends from the shop, and a standup PT so I didn’t have to cut a big hole in the enclosure. Easy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  7. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The race to the bottom price- wise will be the demise of the kit market.

    Comparing price is easy. Quality... not so much. So everyone goes for the cheap stuff. Vendors who build quality products here are obliged to cut corners to compete.
     
    stonge likes this.
  8. dhodgeh

    dhodgeh TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm now leaning towards the Boot Hill kit, plus transformers. Have sent a couple of e-mails, but no response yet. A Mojotone partial kit is still on the table as well. If I go that route, I'll probably go ahead and get one of their cabs with the holes pre-drilled for their chassis.

    Then to get the tubes - plenty of resources there. And of course the speaker - many choices to consider.

    D
     
  9. WYfish

    WYfish Tele-Meister

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    Boothill. Great stuff and really helpful. Mine sounded great.
     
  10. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You will enjoy working with Dave at Boothill. What is a benefit is all of the small things he includes to make the kit work out. I just spent an hour plus about $35.00 on miscellaneous screws, nylon and steel, AC cord etc.
    with the kit, he will have all that plus options IIRC.
     
  11. dhodgeh

    dhodgeh TDPRI Member

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    Time for an update.

    Just completed the Boot Hill 5F1 kit, with a set of the Classic Tone Transformers. Build went fairly smooth, and opted for the current grounding scheme from Rob. No major problems - only issue was the infamous squeal which was corrected by swapping the OT transformer leads. Still don't quite understand what that's all about, given I followed the wiring scheme to a T.

    Got a couple of different speakers to try, including one of the Weber Signatures (8SigF) that was in my Vibro Champ. I've got one of those WGS G8C in the VC now (breaking it in) which I had bought for the 5F1. Also have a Jensen Mod8-20 to check out. Really liked what I heard on YouTube in a Tube Depot kit someone had posted - .

    Got my tubes from Mike at KCA NOS Tubes. Given the current price of NOS 12AX7's (wow, them things are steep), he suggested a Svetlana 12AX7. Also one of the RCA Black Plate 6V6, and a NOS JAN Philips/Sylvania 5Y3WGT completed the set.

    Waiting on my cab from John Mergili. He sent me a message it was complete and will be shipped out tomorrow. In the meantime, the chassis is sitting on top of my VC. Hope to get more play time in the next day or two. Wifey is working at home this week, so she has little tolerance for strange guitar noises when she's this wrapped up in a project.

    Photos to come once I get the cab and everything in it.

    D
     
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