Amp kit compared to the real thing

David C

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After reading the last few posts, I'm sticking with my viewpoint, a clone built from a circuit diagram from yesterday is still essentially the same circuit. Probably going to sound so very close to an original it doesn't matter. There may be an amp out there that was never fired up, has been in the closet for the past 70 years, and some guys grandad gave it to him. But I'm betting most of these amps have been operated or the parts are simply old.

For anyone to know what an original sounded like is pretty much lost to the world these days and it really doesn't matter.

Clones of old tweed amps still sound pretty darned good.
 

goonie

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Kits are for wimps :)
I built a 5f2a in the cab and chassis of a deceased Pro Jr. Love it.
Now I'm plotting my next 'repurpose' build and keeping an eye out for people selling broken amps. Hey it's eco-friendly too.
 

Maguchi

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At about a grand, the Fender '57 Custom Champ is alot more than I'd like to spend on an amp. I ordered a Champ clone kit from Mojotone that I can't wait to arrive. Anyone here own or played both? If so, how does the kit version compare to the real thing? Thanks in advance!
I got a kit from StewMac, and the Fender '57 Custom Champ sounds noticeably better. Got an open box deal and only paid $879 instead of $999 for a new one. Didn't notice the difference in size until I put them next to each other. Think the box for the kit version is also used for a larger amp, maybe a Princeton.

Champs.jpg
 

KelvinS1965

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The only issue I have with kits is resale: I'm a trained electronics engineer, with years of experience building and repairing valve amplifiers for the UK MOD. However, if I were to sell on a kit I'd put together, I couldn't blame anyone for questioning the quality of my work since they don't know me.

Maybe it's a little sad to buy things while thinking about resale, but I know my tastes have changed over the years and I've ended up wanting to sell things for various reasons. I sunk way more money into my partscaster Esquire than I could have bought a used MIA Telecaster for and just removed the neck pickup/circuit, but it was done piecemeal.

I added it up once and was quite shocked when I realised what I'd spent. Sure it's a great guitar, but almost worthless if I needed to sell it, at least compared to the used MIA Tele I could have bought with the same money. Same for an amp build: I nearly ordered a kit to make a Champ clone, but by the time I'd had a decent looking tweed cab built I wasn't far off what used Fender '57 Custom Champs were selling for (at the time, they seem to have gone up).

It was also a long time since I'd played through one, so it was a gamble. In the end I bought a B stock Chinese clone, just to try it out, figuring I'd resell it later and buy a used Fender Champ. Turns out it is a decent little amp and I still have it. I confess I did rehouse it into a Tweed cab, but that was a lucky local deal I got. I've never had chance to try mine against the real thing, but I have had comments about how good it sounds at small open mics I've used it at...I love the sound when it's being driven moderately hard. :)
 

Greenmachine

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If I ever sold an amp I built I'd be happy to get the cost of the parts. I see people asking crazy prices for their homemade clones and I think uhh nope not happening.

I have never built an amp thinking about resale value. They're staying with me.
 

KelvinS1965

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If I ever sold an amp I built I'd be happy to get the cost of the parts. I see people asking crazy prices for their homemade clones and I think uhh nope not happening.

I have never built an amp thinking about resale value. They're staying with me.

Not to be rude, but if I were buying a used kit amp, I wouldn't want to be paying as much as the parts cost; I'd expect it to be less since it's all used and (since I don't know you) might need some re-working and maybe a few extra parts. Plus I could check it over myself and make repairs; someone else buying a used amp might have to factor in getting it checked over by a pro. So I'd be thinking 'nope not happening' on used=kit parts price.

I've never bought a guitar, amp or pedal particularly thinking about resale, but I know how I've changed my view on things over the years. I'm currently preparing and taking photos of various pieces of guitar gear that I'll be selling once our current lock down is over: Not one piece was bought with the expectation of selling it, each item is in near new condition, but I'll still lose a huge chunk of what they cost, let alone if was something like my partscaster or the amp kit I might have built.
 

Greenmachine

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I see your point I think we're on the same page mostly. I build my amps from scratch for less than the price of a kit.

As an example I built a 6g15 reverb unit for about $300 CAD. I got $250 for it and was happy to do so.
 

screefer

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At about a grand, the Fender '57 Custom Champ is alot more than I'd like to spend on an amp. I ordered a Champ clone kit from Mojotone that I can't wait to arrive. Anyone here own or played both? If so, how does the kit version compare to the real thing? Thanks in advance!

To me the biggest a plus to building your own is this forum. You will gain way more than the result. It will also sound killer and your acquired knowledge will enable you to make it so.
I'm subscribing to your endeavour....Avanti!
 

Moodivarius

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I’ve built one kit, & 1 from scratch.

Kit was a Trinity Tramp. Great sounding. Running a KT88.

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Built a custom cherrywood dovetail cab.

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Also built an AX84 P1eX. Sourced my own parts, had some on hand. Turned out great.

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Nothing like playing your own instument/equipment you build with your own hands.

Parts ordered for an AB864 clone next.


Scott
 
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wangdaning

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It is like people think they know the people who were working on the assembly line 70 years ago or something. Most likely, if you buy some 70 year old amp, it has either been maintenance (you probably will not know by who) or will need to be maintenance (you going to ask one of those dead factory workers to come bring it in line with what they did back then, or you know how to contact Leo or something). If you follow the correct circuit, cabinet, and speakers, you will have something that sounds exactly like what would have been the sound of one from that era. They all would have sounded slightly different I am sure. Then you have to take into account the change in wall output compared to that era. Hell, why not wire your whole house to 1950's code while you are at it. I admit to being facetious here, but really, if everything is the same how is it different?
 




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