By pure chance i ran into a really cool old german amp. A 1963 vintage Klemt Echolette Showstar 40. An amp that i guess some of us oldfarts might have used back in the day. Anyways,as i these days basicaly build tubers on a more or less pro basis i took this one under my wings to overhaul at first...,but...bah... The real reason for this post though...is that i was surprised to say the least. Surprised as in...good. I bought it dirt cheap. Hadn´t been used for yrs,and indeed according to the seller the trem channel of it was kaputt. What touched down at my shop was..... Yep. Lotsa dust to say the least. That last pic though...is the No1 reason i bought it. Had heard so much about the ECC83/12AX7 replacer...the ECC808...and this was a time as good as any to play around with them. Note that these tubes are about scarse as hens teeth...and about as expensive NOS. Didn´t even bother firing her up....spent a good litre full of rubbing alcohol coupled with some elbow grease and a brush..and things started to clear up. Although claimed to be a 40watter this pup sports a pair of EL34s driven at approx 465VDC. Yup. Them the originals...and measured as well as sound..like new. Old Siemens no less as can be seen. http://www.102983.org/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/Echolette_S40_old_valve_version.pdf Schematic for it is right there. Now,as i started to replace the various caps throughout i started to realize how extremely well thought through the design was. Chassis out of lowgrade stainless folded to become a "monocoque" asf. Trafos placed in "cages" within the chassis to minimize any and all magnetic fields aso aso aso aso. As it progressed i´d go as far as saying that not ONE component had ended up where it did without thought. Now..have in mind that the amp is a -63 vintage tuber. Look at the schematics... Anyways. I upped basicaly all capacitances slightly..and started the journey to set her up more intended for todays standards. Not highgain mind you,but more so in persuit of tone. So...them ECC808s were handed some new working parameters. At that...she was transformed into a 1 channel amp and as such had the all in all 4 gainstages cascaded. (Here basicaly just cleaned up) Yeah. PCB built. Back in -63,and the fact is that the entire amp looks to be built to be thrown out of a tourbus doing 60mph with no ills. Precision and quality wowen in. To the degree where the chassis is a REALLY tight fit to the cab,this BUTT ugly cab. `N zee...this little puppy sports a rather cool feature... Yep. The fluorescent lights. In a tuber...no...your eyes are NOT fooling ya! ..and indeed work progressed as a whole too... That said. This was not only to post about the build per se,which is of AMAZING quality,but of the ECC808s more specific. Given the right surroundings these are truly remarkable tubes and they make no secret out of it. Normaly these are hyped by the audiophile crowd to some degree...but i´m here to tell you that these flasks will perform WONDERS when set to guitar standards as well. For instance... As i´ve cascaded the two channels,in fact reset the entire setup topology,one of the truly remarkable features is that...i dial in WAY WAY WAY to much distortion for my P90 Paulie...and then just back off on volume at the guitar...and no matter the "new" sound that come from backing off...the amp still sounds with full clarity and sustain. Tone..same thing-in contrast to common 83s. What i´m saying is that the 808s seem to take to whatever you hand them,and that truly IS a first-to me at least. Altho they´re claimed to be of the same "mu" as the 83s..they DO amplify differently. Yep. Pinout is different to make the tube more silent in idle but...that´s as noted above isn´t even half the story. So? What came out the other end? In short an extremely cool background lit easy 50w fulltube amp that ROARS as you call upon it! Think...JCM800 just with more character and balls. Overtone bonanza if you wish,which i also attribute to them wonderful 808s. Yeah. Even rubber suspended and completely galvanic separated pots..and that glimmer light is for the trem of course,and it blinks to tempo the trem is set.. Down...down to the little things. Like "faradays cages" for the small tonestack PCB...that are spring secured inplace... As is it is technicaly restored. As for the estetics of it...it´s almost nicer to keep it as is. 50yrs of battle scars included. Setup to roar another 50yrs... I sit here writing this..still sort of flabbergasted by what the amp has shown. It is one of them german engineering wonders. For the sake of argument... Check the schematics above. Have the -63 vintage in mind...and check how the presence control works out. A reverse run Twin T...which makes it into a hump filter...originaly set to approx 3.5kHz. (I´ve reset it to about 1200Hz as i´ve made the amp much more prone to distortion and overtones) For those of you in the loop enough to "see" how that presence control works...1963 . The boys of Klemt sure knew what they were doing. No two ways about it... If you happen to run into one of these,or the B40(bass,it just lacks the lighting really) pick it up and bring it home. Hand it some fresh components and my guess is that you´ll be as amazed as i am.