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Amp model build suggestions

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Ash Telecaster, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hello,

    I would like suggestions for my next amp build. I have done two so far. Honestly I am no electrical engineer but I managed to assemble a 30 watt 5e3 Proluxe and a JCM 800. They both turned out great! Pretty exciting really!

    Now I am thinking of a third build. I had the chance to play around with a 2061x and was really impressed with how that amp sounded. I concluded (I could be wrong or right) that part of the magic was how simple this amp was. That got me thinking...

    I would like to build a clean pedal platform. I'm thinking a pair of 6l6's and an extremely simple circuit. Maybe just a volume and a tone and as much clean head room as possible. I've seen some 18 watt amps that follow a similar concept but those are dirt machines. I'm looking for the opposite.

    Do you know of any circuit design that would be good to base this build on?

    I appreciate any help, thanks!
     
  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The BF Bassman is a proven great clean 6L6 amp, even though it will also distort at high volume.
    My concern with only having vol and tone controls is the amp needs to have the right amount of bass for every guitar and every room.
    If you're only working with a low price compact 20w amp you might forgive the lack of versatility, but if you want an amp to work in a wide range of situations the lack of a bass control will probably make the amp less versatile, as in it won't always sound as good as it could.

    The benefits of a simpler circuit with only a tone control are more along the lines of smaller and cheaper with more gain from less tubes.
    Unless your goal is saving money on this amp, the addition of a well designed tone stack will not take away from your sound quality.
    There is a cool factor, but again, that may not be your goal.
    There are plenty of simple tube circuits that sound just OK and plenty of TMB tube amps that end the search for tone.

    All that said I'd like to build a 5e5 Pro!

    Edit: I stumbled onto a newish Weber kit that is an interesting direction for a clean pedal platform, it's called the 6S100 and is based on a dual KT88 100w Sunn amp.
    If you scratch built something like that you could probably sub different transformers for a pair of 6L6, just another option...
     
  4. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Marshall 18 watt or Princeton Reverb are high on my build list.
     
  5. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    with this.

    you want a clean pedal plateform? blackface bassman.
    solid state rectifier. treble and bass, bright switch, bass switch.

    as stated, some bass treb control and the fender plate fed circuit, will go a long way towards a clean machine.

    I also like the silvertone 1484, it has a different tonestack from the FM circuit; has tremolo and weird verb.

    mojotone makes a stripped down kit (sans trem). I really have to think that is a winner.

    please consider that, cause I am really curious for user reviews :).

    take care
     
  6. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    A couple of thoughts:

    Your 5E3P is about as simple as a 2061X, really. Gain stage -> Simple Vol/Tone -> Driver/PI -> Output tubes. The phase inverters are different and the 5E3P is fixed-bias while the 2061X is cathode-bias, but that's about it.

    18-watts (of which the 2061X is one ;)) aren't really "dirt machines" as designed. The preamp is actually really clean, but delivers a lot of voltage swing to the EL84s. It doesn't take a whole lot of gain to drive EL84s to full power, so what you hear with a loud 18-watt is that the maximum clean headroom has been reached and then far surpassed. Put that same preamp/PI in front of some bigger tubes and you'll think it's a really loud clean amp.

    Perhaps what you liked about the 2061X was the SS rectifier and higher voltages, which bump up the clean headroom and keep the attack tight when the amp is distorting.

    So I'm curious what it is that you don't like about the 5E3P -- on paper, it seems to satisfy the simple loud clean amp with 6L6s thing. If it's not clean enough at the volumes you play, it's possible you need a bigger amp or more efficient speakers, but it ought to be pretty loud!
     
  7. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thank you everybody for your responses!

    Hi Scott, I was wondering if anybody would bring up the 5e3p. It can do very loud cleans and is a great sounding amp. I fully admit I may be looking at this wrong but when I adjust the volume on the second channel it affects the tone even when nothing is plugged into it. I was thinking that the extra circuitry comes at a cost to the integrity of the audio path. I was looking at some boutique and very expensive amps, Morgan, 65 Amps, Hiwatt, Dr Z, etc, they don't seem to be NASA complex. Actually they seem to be just the opposite. I realize there is more to the engineering than simple circuit/good parts but it looks to me like that is two thirds the equation.

    Thanks Andy, the blackface Fender Bassman does sound like a good option.

    Hi TeleM, I understand what you are saying regarding tone controls but let me ask this, does it make sense to adjust tone in front of the amp, say through an eq pedal, but leave the amp more basic? My electrical engineering skill is kindergarten so my assumptions could be all wrong. I'm happy to be corrected.

    Thanks GuitarTeach, that looks very interesting. I was thinking it would need more wattage for higher headroom. I have concluded that there are two speaker configurations I prefer. I like a 4x12 for playing out doors with a loud band but for fidelity I prefer a 1x12. The 1x12 seems to emanate from a single point in space, like a sax or trumpet would. I prefer that to the "I'm everywhere" swimming in effects kind of sound. I also did some experimenting with 1x12 and 2x12 configurations and concluded that two speakers affect each other in difficult to control ways. Rather than just doubling the sound they tend to enhance some frequencies and diminish others. So the short story is I only need as much wattage as required to drive a single 12" speaker. Of course the question of what speaker is a whole other science!

    I appreciate it!

    Thanks
     
  8. pryde

    pryde Tele-Meister

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    Also look at a Dr Z Route 66. There is a layout out there for it. I remember seeing a DYI one built successfully somewhere on the interwebz.
     
  9. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  10. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Hi Pryde, I heard that the Route 66 was a great pedal platform, thanks.

    Wow Rob, great site!!!
     
  11. dpking

    dpking TDPRI Member

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    Ceritone Hiwatt clone?
     
  12. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Now that's a thought! I heard those were good pedal platforms too! I've never had the opportunity to play through one though. I thought EL34's aren't really good for clean tones. I could be wrong.

    This last year I went to gear fest and got to play some Wampler pedals. Met Brian too! Really nice guy who was very happy to talk about his pedals although it was very noisy and difficult to hear him. I bought a Dual Fusion and a Plexi Deluxe. For demo purposes he had a Port City Pearl on a 1x12 wave cab and it just sounded great. It cut though the din beautifully without being ear piercingly bright. The cab design was interesting too. It distributed the sound very nicely. The point is, whatever they are doing, they are doing it right!
     
  13. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Tweed Bassman/Marshall JTM45? Plenty of power, 4 speaker array, and if you want to also run the amp hard and ditch the pedals they are capable of an amazing distorted tone.

    Another option might be a single channel BF Fender build, like the Normal channel of a SR or TR.
     
  14. Fred Mertz

    Fred Mertz Tele-Afflicted

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    You might try wiring the preamps of your 5E3P like a 6G3 Deluxe and just implement the tone control on one channel. Mixing the channels after the volume controls would cut down on the interdependence.

    http://www.thevintagesound.com/ffg/schem/deluxe_6g3_schem.gif
     
  15. pryde

    pryde Tele-Meister

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    Here is the "Rte 666" layout and schematic. Apparently it has been built and sounds great but I personally have not done one. Very simple and the EF86 input could be good or bad depending on finding a proper tube.

    I have played a real one and they are fantastic clean amps for pedals
     

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  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Somewhere here there's a thread by a TDPRI member who built a single channel AA864 Bassman. He initially contacted me for a layout but it's super simple. Delete one preamp channel from the layout. Delete the 220k mixer resistors. Just connect "Y" as shown on the layout to the 500p cap at the junction of the deleted 220k resistors.
     
  17. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    On this type of circuit, the unused channel volume control has no/negligible effect on the sound when it's turned all the way down. For all intents and purposes, you can pretend it's not a part of the circuit at that point. ;)

    Some folks really like the sonic varieties you can get by adjusting the unused volume control, but I have to admit that I end up leaving mine at zero just about all the time. If it still bothers you (and I'm not judging!), the Brown-style channel mixing mod mentioned by others works well, and might have you really loving this amp afterward.

    (Or you could remove the Normal channel entirely and use its triode for more gain in the Instrument channel. Lots of ways to skin this cat! :cool:)
     
  18. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    When the 5E3's Bright channel volume is turned full down the bright cap is connected to ground on one end and the bright end of the tone pot on the other. The bright cap then acts as a very high freq tone cap that bleeds high freqs to ground. It's not a huge effect but the brightest setting on the tone control moves to less than 12.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  19. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    You're right -- I was just thinking in terms of using the Bright/Instrument channel with the Normal/Mic channel off. I had wondered why the brightest tone setting on the Normal/Mic channel was at less than full up, thanks! :cool:
     
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