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Getting Ready for another build-some advice needed...

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by backalleyblues, May 17, 2020.

  1. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Alrighty, now that the 3FrancE3 has been put to bed, it's time to start another build project!

    My wife's birthday is coming up, and besides being my best friend, she also plays in one of my bands, both guitar and harp. I had her play harp through the deluxe, sounded decent but man it's a bit too gainy for harp, and it could stand some tone shaping tailored for harp. Also probably too powerful for her-she's a good harp player acoustically, but hasn't mastered amplified harp and controlling feedback.

    So with all that in mind, I'm planning on building her a 5F1, but with a 10" speaker and a larger cabinet. Going to use Boothill again (I'll be ordering this week, Dave!) and NickFL is going to build me a Harvard size cab with a Champ chassis cut-out. I'll be covering the amp with Tolex this time, using her fave colors.

    Now, here's the question-I'm thinking that I'd like to make this amp usable for both guitar AND harp (not at the same time) and since there's 2 inputs on Dave's chassis, was thinking either-

    1) Voice 1 input normally (guitar) and the 2nd for harp, using a simple RC low-pass filter, or
    2) Put a DPDT switch in the 2nd input, switching said low pass filter in and out as needed.

    I'm open to other ideas of course, I just don't want to get toooo crazy, I mean, there's only so much room inside that chassis...:lol:

    So whatcha all think, and what would YOU do, if presented with this opportunity?

    Thanks in advance,
    Franc Robert
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Question...what are you using in V1 of that 5E3 build? If you are using a 12AX7 or even a 5751, I would suggest using a 12AY7 and give her the opportunity to see what that does. for the 5F1, I would suggest thinking it over before ordering the chassis. A tone control shaped for high end roll off seems to be a big plus for a harp amp. Something like a 5F2, right? If I were in your position, I would be taking some time to investigate other harp amps. I have a long paper somewhere in my ‘library’ on shaping an amp for harmonica. I am sure there is quite a bit of info online....and maybe someone with more harmonica amp expertise will chime in on this bump. Lower gain and tone shaping is all I have for you.
     
  3. Junior Little

    Junior Little Tele-Meister

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    I'd suggest taking a look at the Lone Wolf Blues Company schematic for the 6L6SE amp they have on their web page. I built one and it sounds glorious for harp. She will love it.
     
  4. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    I built two 5f2a amps for a guy in the same month, apparently they work really well for harp.
     
  5. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    I was definitely thinking a 12AY7 (I've seen some people even use a 12AU7!)... is there enough room inside a Champ chassis to fit a 5F2 in there? Never built either, so pardon my lack of knowledge there... I don't mind sacrificing one of the inputs for a tone control either...

    JL, thanks for the tip on the Lone Wolf schematic, I will look that up!

    Franc Robert
     
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  6. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    The 5f2a chassis is bigger and doesnt cost that much more
     
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  7. Nickfl

    Nickfl Friend of Leo's

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    I can't speak to the specifics of a harp amp, but I definitely agree with the others who suggest that there is a lot to recommend the tweed princeton. The tone control adds a lot of versatility and the extra room in the chassis is an advantage too. I think you cold fit it in a 5f1 chassis with one input hole used for a tone control, but a real 5f2 chassis should be easy enough to get and definitely easier to work in.

    It will also be important to select the right speaker, I've noticed that Weber specifies a different dust cap specific to harp amps. I'm sure there is plenty of advice out there on that subject.

    If you want to take it one step further, you might consider adding a presence control of some kind. Lately I've really come to appreciate the presence control on amps that have one as a way of adjusting an amp for humbuckers or single coils and I bet that same sort of adjustment would be useful for switching between harmonica and guitar. You could do a single input and put the presence control in the unused input hole or you could do it on a switch with two fixed presence settings, maybe on a push-pull pot switch on the tone control.
     
  8. BobSmith

    BobSmith Tele-Meister

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    The NFB of the Princeton definitely works toward your requirement for more clean. You could add a toggle switch to NFB, a simple mod.
     
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  9. Kevin Wolfe

    Kevin Wolfe Tele-Meister

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    Depending on the genre, more clean may or may not be more desirable. Having some tone shaping ability would be great as others have said.
    I listened to a blues band some time back where the harp player placed a tweed champ on a bar stool behind a SM57 and had a fantastic, raunchy sound. I ask him about it and it was a stock Fender reissue with a Weber 8” speaker that was coned specifically for harp. I’m thinking it rolls off som highs. I’d definite play around with rolling some tubes in that 5e3 though. That sounds like a great idea.
     
  10. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

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    A couple years ago, I came into possession of a Kalamazoo Model 2. While looking online for a schematic, I found that it’s a favorite with harp players. I installed fresh electrolytics and sold it to a top local harp player. He loves it.
    Simple little amp. Single ended with EL84 power. Loads of raunchy grit on tap.
     
  11. Paul-T

    Paul-T Tele-Holic

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    that does sound very exciting, can't wait for updates.I love the Mississippi saxophone.

    I saw a great video of someone speccing a harp amp from this company - they offer modular setups of different preamps and output stages I think. Look on here and their youtube channel, might give you some ideas.
     
  12. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    Yesterday, I ALMOST scored a Danelectro 1481 chassis (missed it by that much!) so that got me to thinking-what if I could scavenge an old radio/tv amplifier chassis for the trannys, sockets, and maybe some tubes? Been looking on Fleabay and there's some deals to be had-making sure to pick chassis that are using 6V6 or EL84 single ended amps, there's definitely a few of them out there still-what is everyone's thoughts on this?

    Franc Robert
     
  13. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    OK, after more research, I have figured out that converting an old radio, while certainly doable, is beyond my capabilities at this point, so a kit it will be...

    A good question-I've run across this metalflake-style tolex on Fleabay, which would be REALLY cool for this amp-is this material more of a pain to work with than the usual tolex? This will definitely not be a traditional looking amp, nor do I want it to be! Link here

    Once I have the answer on the tolex, I'll get to ordering everything in and getting this project started!

    Franc Robert
     
  14. mgwhit

    mgwhit Tele-Holic

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    Since you haven't started yet, have you checked out the Weber 5F2H? It's a 5F2A with an upgraded power section using a KT66 power tube for 10+ Watts specifically voiced for harmonica. Might be right up your alley.

    Here's the schematic and layout and/or a kit at Weber.

    And here's a demo (not me):

     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  15. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    That's quite a harp mic collection he's got! Must've traded SEVERAL Bluesmobiles to get all of that!
     
  16. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's

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    mgwhit,

    I'd go with the Weber, but they're mighty pricey for what you get, so I'll stick with Boothill on this one-as well, 5 watts vs. 15 watts is not as big a deal, AND the slightly lower volume will actually be a help for my wife!

    Franc Robert
     
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