Can't decide on my first build

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by mishulan, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. mishulan

    mishulan NEW MEMBER!

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    Hi all,

    First post here, finally! I'm reading these threads for about a year now and still I can't decide where to start. There are so many options here that feel lost and overwhelmed. As I'm a beginner in guitar playing I have used only one amp (non tube entry level) that I currently own and I like it so much that I prefer to practice without plugging the guitar in.

    I'm looking for advice on what build would be best suited for me, so here it goes

    Purpose of the amp:
    - bedroom practice at low/moderate volume (8x8 feet room)
    - I like bluesy / jazzy tones but I'm learning so I would like to have the option for clean tones so that I can hear and understand what I'm doing
    - no tremolo needed...not sure about the reverb (probably I could add it later or get a pedal if need be)
    - cabinet size max width/height: 45x40cm or 18x16 inch

    Questions that I can't answer on my own:
    - Is 5 watt too loud? can I turn the volume down, or do I need to go with a 1 watt build?
    - I want the entire frequency range that the guitar puts out. that would be ~83hz on low E but a Jensen p10r speaker has a resonant frequency of 99hz- is this an impediment? should I go with a 12 inch speaker that has an fs lower that 83hz?

    I'm considering either a 5f1/5f2a or one of Rob's micro builds champ/deluxe.
    I need to source parts from Europe so that will be 220v transformers and EL/ECC equivalent valves.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this!
     
  2. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have built a 5F1, a Boothill Six Shooter (1 watt micro) and a Rob Robinette Deluxe Micro. I had fun building each of them and they each sound good. I think the 5F1 is best with an 8” or 10” speaker, and the Deluxe Micro with a “12.

    The Deluxe Micro might have the edge for me if I just was going to build and own ONE amp. It has more features. Also has 3 Mods that are fun and versatile!

    I think you will love building your own amp! Careful though, you might end up wanting to build more...
     
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  3. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    If you are already considering a Champ or Princeton and want lowest volume, I'd suggest taking that route and building an attenuator using the 1/4 power and 1/10 power mods on Rob's site. https://robrobinette.com/5e3_Modifications.htm#Quarter_Power_Switch

    5 watts will surprise you in a small room playing alone. I've done the 1/4 & 1/10 power mods in a project box so I could use it with other amps. They work surprisingly well considering the simplicity. I haven't built any of the micro amps, but for basically the same amount of work and money to build either way, I'd go with the full size amp and the attenuator project.
     
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  4. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    The 5f2a will give you a roomier chassis to work in.
    IMO for a first build, first study up on SAFETY and then start in with the build. Go slow.
    You will know a lot more once you are done.
    The posted QUOTE is VERY true...you've been warned:)
    Looking forward to your project
     
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  5. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

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    If you go the tweed route I would do a 5F2A, if you prefer more blackface tones I would do Blackface Champ or Vibrochamp. With either of those options I would go with a 10" speaker.
     
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  6. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted

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    5 watts can be pretty loud in a bedroom if you are trying to achieve an overdriven tone. If you simply want a clean tone at lower volumes, 5 watts would be perfect.
     
    King Fan likes this.
  7. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    None of the above would be bad options but there's another you should consider: the Trinity Tramp https://www.trinityamps.com/product/trinity-tramp-kit/

    Trinity has excellent components and the Tramp will give you a little more versatility as well as power attenuation... but above all, Trinity has the best build documentation and builder support anywhere.

    I still go back to my Trinity builder's guide for new builds even though they aren't Trinity kits.

    Stephen is a fanatic about build "cleanliness" so his chassis and layouts are designed to steer you that direction. My Trinity TC 15 was a pretty complex project for a first timer but it's still my cleanest build.

    Also they're in Canada so all their amps are 220v/120v "bilingual."
     
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  8. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Meister

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    Trinity is a good suggestion. But even better might be Ampmaker. They're in Europe with great instructions. Check out their wf-55 Champ variant. Other good amps too, waiting for re-stock on some.

    I've bought lots of stuff from tube-town who are very reliable. They have small versions of Vox, Marshall and Fender amps (Emma is a micro 5E3, Molly is a micro Vox, which should have a nice clean sound). THey have pretty good instructions. They seem really good value for money (Molly is €151 plus €16 for the chassis), definite improvements in some areas eg power supplies, although their forum can be a bit passive-aggressive. They have a regular Champ/5e3 kits etc too.

    There aren't too many users reporting here but many on the facebook tube-amp pages have built and liked them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
    King Fan likes this.
  9. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's

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    5f2a with a 6K6 tube, about 2.5 watts. Low current draw, 6K6 sound great at lower voltages, you can get away with cheap iron and get your feet wet. Not much to it. Excuse the ugliness. It was one of the first amps I ever built.

    [​IMG]

    Back when I built, I used a https://www.edcorusa.com/xpwr024 . At that time they had no end bells (open) and cost $18. Wow, times have changed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  10. mishulan

    mishulan NEW MEMBER!

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    Thank you all so much for the quick and many responses! This community is amazing :). I will check out the "local" offerings from ampmaker and tube town. Most likely it will be either a kit from them or a 5f2a built from scratch.
    Getting a little hyped over building my own! Again, thank you!
     
    dan40 likes this.
  11. Mongo Park

    Mongo Park Tele-Holic

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    Commodore six four hit it right on. Easy to build lots of how to. Research the 6k6 and you are rocking or jazzin.
    I was thinking of doing this the tube is easy to get and not expensive. I have a bunch from old radios I bought for the transformers.
    You can always re wire for 6v6 if your transformer allows or as like minds think build another with a 6v6 or 6l6 And even local tubes over there
     
  12. Mongo Park

    Mongo Park Tele-Holic

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    “Source parts” are you thinking kit or do it yourself. Are you thinking point to point or board.
     
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