Beyond My Skill Level...............................

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by JeffBlue, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    A few years back I decided to try my hand at building an amp kit. I bought a Mojotone Studio One amp kit, built it and it didn't function correctly. I don't have the background or skills to troubleshoot beyond checking voltages and not electrocuting myself. I probably should have started with a Champ kit because I bit off more than I can chew on this build.

    My lead dress was horrible and my wire runs were not great. My opinion about the wire Mojotone supplied was very cheap. Since my amp has been doing nothing but taking up space and I still couldn't get it working right, I had contacted Ben Fargen of Fargen Amps/Exclusive Amps to see if he could repair and/or upgrade/mod my amp. He emailed me back and asked if I would send gut shots and I did. He agreed to work on my amp and he has it now. I am excited about Ben getting my amp working and possibly upgrading it for optimum tone. Thanks Ben.
     
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  2. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Everything is beyond our skill level until we try it and learn it. Then it’s time to climb the ladder. That’s how we finally get good at it. Good first step. Be sure to ask Mr Fargen where you went wrong and what you could have done better.
     
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  3. Mud67

    Mud67 TDPRI Member

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    Great words of encouragement, and better words of climbing up that ladder for successes on the next build
     
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  4. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks guys. I feel humbled and a little embarrassed about what I DON'T know and all that I have yet to learn.
     
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  5. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted

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    Such is life
     
  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you. For what it's worth, I don't build amps. I am, however, an engineer; the manager responsible for training. My focus is laser imaging systems and most of the folks I train are PhD's. Everyone mucks something up the first time. Some muck it up pretty badly. Everyone learns from his mistakes and moves on to the next thing he needs to learn. And everyone I've trained has advanced through skilled to highly skilled to expert level in at least some aspects of his job. Help from someone who knows and lots of encouragement are all it takes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My take is it's not so much skill level, but attention to detail. At least in duplicating like a Fender old school type amp.
    Little things matter. It seems every amp I build there's something wrong first time I turn it on. Forgotten wire. Wire terminates in the wrong location, etc. In diagnosis, It doesn't help that some of the voltages shown on amp layouts etc are way off from reality to start with. I guess they were probably estimates and not taken from actual prototypes maybe.
    However, skill would come into diagnosing amps etc big time. I'm not that good at that other than from empirical knowledge/experience with problems.
     
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  8. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I am much better at doing guitar builds. I would like to, someday, design and build my own amp from scratch. I've got a long ways to go.
     
  9. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    it will be cool when you get it back and it rocks. good job on just deciding to keep moving forward. there are lots of projects that just sit and then get tossed. I think it is awesome to get over the finish line no matter how. Way to go!
     
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  10. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I've always owned Fender amps and I was jonesin' for a plexi or a jcm tone without using pedals. Thanks for all of the encouragement gentlemen.
     
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  11. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Don’t give up Bro! Maybe try a 5F1 Champ later down the road. Lots of great help to be had here with the Shock Brotherhood! You can take it one step at a time with input along the way. There really is something wonderful about playing through an amp you built your self.
     
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  12. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Having already got your feet wet, I recommend getting back into the game with a Mojotone 5f2@ kit. There are two great threads going on right now if you check out the S Bro forum.
    Have you ever struggled with a guitar piece and wondered if you can do it, and then it happens?
    I believe your first attempt Experience will translate into success on a simpler build.
    You mentioned that you were comfy with the safety...that’s a big plus.

    I’m a raw rookie enjoying the learning.
    You’ll have lots of folks like me rooting for you.
     
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  13. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    JeffBlue, you can totally do this stuff.

    None of us popped out of the womb with this knowledge. We picked it up as we went along; we learned from our own mistakes, we asked lots of questions, and we read up on the subject to arm ourselves with the basics.

    It is extremely cool and satisfying to build your own guitar amp. For me, it is fascinating: I am able to actually marshall electrons--at the sub-atomic level--to go where I want them to go and do what I want them to do. When that happens, it feels almost like a superpower.

    And when it doesn't happen, I feel like superloser ;)

    Matter of fact, I had a Peavey Delta Blues 210 on my bench for a reverb repair this evening. I replaced the bad 4558 IC, reinstalled the chassis in the cabinet, hooked up the speakers and the reverb tank and stuffed into its bag. I mounted the bag in the bottom of the cab, plugged in the amp and flipped on the power switch.

    The power light lit up, but no sound from the speakers. I twiddled the knobs. I rechecked the speaker connections. I flipped the power switch off and on. I jumpered the effects loop. Nothing worked. I flipped off the power switch and unplugged it, wondering what I did to the amp.

    And that's when I saw the seven tubes laying on the bench, right where I had put them for safe keeping. What a maroon!
     
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  14. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I had an issue with my 1968 Fender Vibro Champ that was red plating. I changed out the resistor successfully, upgraded to a 4 ohm 10 inch speaker and replaced the OT with a Mercury Magnetics 57 Champ OT. The Vibro Champ sounds amazing. Thanks guys for all your help.
     
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  15. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    there are always unknowns - and acknowledging the unknown unknowns is a good start when asking questions to an amp expert (as well as "where did I go wrong?")

    That's one of the things I like about this tdpri community - lotsa learning opps if yr eyes/ears are open.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  16. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd like to thank all who have shared their experiences, shared words of wisdom and encouragement to me.......... someone who doesn't know much and decided on a amp build flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I am a newb and now have a huge respect for those who are accomplished builders. I most definitely have quite a ways to go. I appreciate you.
     
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  17. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Were you able to fix it from there?

    ;P
     
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  18. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    I was really fortunate because all the tubes are 9-pin and they go in just one way.

    He shoots...

    He SCORES!
     
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  19. Timmay

    Timmay Tele-Meister

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    . Well said. This applies to most everything in life.
     
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  20. NTC

    NTC Tele-Meister

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    If you want to kearn to build thibgs, it might be best to get some effect pedal kits and learn wiring and troubleshooting on something that can't kill you. Then move up to a Champ, tweed deluxe, etc.
     
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