Best 5F1 Kit?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Cysquatch, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I'm ready to dive into my first full on build with a little champ and have seen a number of different options for ordering kits bounced around. I'm inclined to go Mojotone since I've never heard anything bad about them, but Weber is another one I see around amp building circles fairly often. Is either a serious standout over the other? Are there other better options I'm unaware of? Better to go piecemeal vs kit?

    Worth noting that I'd be building the cab and doing all the tolexing myself since I want to go with a 10" speaker and brownface style tolex over tweed for personal aesthetic taste. Not sure how much that affects the decision, but figured it'd be worth mentioning. Will likely go with a Weber or Jensen ceramic 10" either way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I'd go Mojotone or Boothill. They're both really good.
     
  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    So you really just need a chassis, iron, and the components from a small parts kit. Mojotone is a good safe bet, but most any of the popular kits are just fine. It's a Champ so there aren't a lot of parts involved here.

    You might also order a few extra parts here and there based on what you've read about the Champ in build forums (a few different brands of coupling caps, 1 watt carbon comp resistors in select locations, 1 watt carbon film in the signal path, diodes for rectifier protection, etc)
     
  4. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I noticed that boothill doesn't specify they use a 3 prong cord, but I'd assume so, would you happen to know if that is the case?
    Also, they have some really competitive pricing it seems. Getting the whole setup with classic tone PT/OT for $229+$15 shipping is really good stuff. Granted, mojo includes tubes for just a touch more.
     
  5. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    As far as those extra parts go, anyone specific you recommend or again just more of an "any major company will do situation"? Sorry to be a little under-informed, but you always hear stories of certain vendors having better components from X suppliers and so forth and always curious how much practical creedence that has from people using the stuff.
     
  6. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Great choice on the 5F1 Cysquatch!

    I have heard great things about both kits, but I decided to go with piecemeal for my 5F2-A and grab as many old school parts as I could find such as 1 watt carbon comp resistors except for the sensitive input resistors and there I grabbed a few old Piher carbon film that a plexi might have used. I wanted to use as many old era correct parts as I could find. For capacitors I used new Jupiter yellow vintage capacitors for coupling and I had new electrolytic's for the power supply. I had a lot of fun just trying to find the old parts... I did use a weber power transformer and an Allen TO11S output that is big enough to use in my single ended plexi project coming up.

    I am finally finishing up the 5F2-A... almost the same animal as your 5F1. I was a little concerned on trying my first cab build but it didn't go so bad. I practiced a few dovetail joints for my box (which went great in practice) but I couldn't pull off a good one when the time arose hahaa so I made it with butt joints that were glued and screwed. My next build I will work more on my wood working.

    Here's a few pics of my lil cabinet... Good luck on your build I am sure you will have fun!
     

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  7. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Well, the quality of the parts they use directly affects the price point and therefore has a downstream effect on profit, the same as it did for Leo. So all the kits will probably use parts that are perfectly serviceable. Not the best, not the worst. They want the kits to be cheap enough that curious guitarists might think its a cheap option to buying a new amp (it's not, BTW, it's a gateway drug).

    I'd probably get a 1 watt 100k carbon comp resistor for the last plate load resistor before the power phase. I'd definitely get 1 watt carbon film for most everything else (just follow the signal path and if there's a carbon comp resistor in it then there is the potential for shot noise.) Most of the resistors in those kits are 1/2 watt, which is more than adequate for the job. Larger wattage is just a little insurance against noise.

    For funsies, I'd figure out what kind of coupling caps are used in your kit (Mojo generally uses .022uf orange drops) and I'd get the same value in Mallory 150s, and maybe some other brand like Mojo Dijons, Xicons, etc.

    The mythology says that this stuff makes a difference in tone (I would say it definitely maybe does, but I'm not totally sure). Eventually you are going to get curious about whether that is true and this stuff is cheap to play around with, especially if you are already paying shipping for the amp itself.

    If you bought none of it and just used the reasonably priced parts included in your kit you would probably still love your amp. (But the thought will also nag at you for years and years and years: Are those blue Sozo's really as magical as everyone in the guitar forum says they are?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  8. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    Mojo small parts kit, Hammond 290AX PT & tubes and cabinet hardware and parts from AmplifiedParts.com and Classictone 5 watt 8k - 8 ohm OT.

    The 275v tap will nail the whole vintage schematic voltages across the board. 3A let's you use any rectifier you want to try. The 15 watt OT adds a lot more weight than tone to my ears.

    I like the Jensen C8R for it though lots of folks don't like any Jensen RI. If going bigger the vintage style, hard to find a bad Champ speaker if it's American voiced.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
  9. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Best kit to build a 5F1 is a 5F2a kit. Unless you own nanobots, the hard part of a 5F1 is the gopher-coffin chassis. A 5f2a is the same basic amp plus a tone control in a better-sounding, bigger cab -- which also makes the 10" option much more of a *thing* with the 5f2a.

    But most of all having a chassis you can see into *and* get your hand inside is a huge advantage.
     
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  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    That's a good point. (Although the challenges presented by a 5F1 will teach you lessons you will appreciate learning in the future, like the concept of building in phases, and pre-planning before you solder anything, etc). But a tone control is one more knob to fiddle with, and that has its own rewards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  11. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    That cabinet looks great, man! Don't be anything but proud of that. I find that doing dovetails is a lot more work than payoff vice doing finger joints. Especially for something that's going to get covered up. And if you have a router table, they're stupid easy.

    Thanks, I really appreciate the itemized style approach of what to get where, that's exactly what I was looking for. I originally wanted to go for the standard 8", but there's a lot of good 10" options I want to try out and I plan on making it a little larger than the standard dimensions, so might as well stick a 10" in there anyway.

    Well, you guys sure twisted my arm and convinced me to go for the 5F2-A. :p I've got my fill of tight space soldering from some really shoehorned complex harness upgrade jobs in tiny control routs and working inside pedal enclosures. I'm happy to skip out on some knuckle busting and weird wrist contortions on this. And more knobs = more gooder, right?
     
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  12. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    For my 10 inch speaker in this 5F2 I grabbed an old Eminence made Fender blue frame Alnico with the paper former. A lot of folks like 'em I guess but say they cant handle much power (which is ok by me as this amp makes about 11 watts).
     

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  13. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    Did you just find that on the old List of Craig by chance or order it from somewhere? And I'm always a sucker for any speaker with a blue frame. How often would anyone including me see it? Practically never, but it's just a neat little touch.
     
  14. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    You want under-powered speakers for these amps. (Also, they were designed around Alnico, FWIW).
     
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  15. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    It was on the 'Bay with 3 others. A young man was taking them out of his reissue amp to swap for a cooler name brand. I only took this one but it sounds so good I wish I had bought all 4. I keep my eyes open now to find em!
     
  16. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    So shoot for like a 20w alnico, basically?

    Also, does anybody happen to know the quality of parts on the Weber kits? They're a little murky on parts and can't imagine they're packing with killer components given the price on their kits.
     
  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Weber is an awesome company. Whatever they send will be fine. Plus. The champ/princeton amps have so few parts that you can make an awesome amp anyway. The iron, chassis and hardware is the real value of kits, not $0.35 components.
     
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  18. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I'm half tempted to go full in with the Weber since you can get the whole thing in a cab with your choice of wrap and grille cloth for a great price. And that way I don't end up with a finished amp waiting on another delayed wood shop project to find a home... not that I ever start projects that don't get finished in a timely manner. ;)

    Can always build a custom cab and rehouse later once the wood end of the operation line clears up a bit.
     
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  19. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    Just to reiterate what I said above about the voltages and transformer selection, I have no idea where the Weber PT winds up on B+ because I've never used one, but you might want to check online and see. I've seen a LOT of "help, my Champ is over 400v" threads through the years. I don't know what the rest of them do, but the 275v tap on that Hammond will match the original schematic levels within 1% with a JJ 5Y3 and 500 ohm cathode resistor. Mine was biased at 75% with a 5y3 with a soft, fat sound; throw in a GZ34 and it bumps up to 95% dissipation and cleans up the sag and gives a sharp, harder edged tone. Can't remember where the voltage ended up with it, but it's less than 380v I know, maybe 375-377v.

    Here's a clip of the last Champ I built a while back with a C8R Jensen, stock built cab expect I built it a little deeper, probably an even 10" on the bottom.



    Voltage chart.
    http://www.prowessamplifiers.com/schematics/fender/champ_5f1_layout.pdf
     
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  20. 20strings

    20strings TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I went with a Weber 5F2a for my first build also. As I recall, I sourced my own caps (Mojotone), tubes and pots. Overall quality of the Weber stuff was quite good, especially their transformers and speakers. Enjoy!
     
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