My DIY Champ--A Witness for Christ--Merry Christmas

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by Platefire, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    This is my first amp I built when I got into amp building in 2000, the amp finished in 2001. I felt so blessed to be immensely enjoying a hobby that I truly enjoyed that could also support my ministry in Christian music I made the cosmetic theme on the cab to reflect the Bible and Jesus.

    In a time where P & W is moving away from amps on stage, this is what I presently been using on stage along with a Silvertone 1482 hooked in parallel with the Champ. It is actually a Champ/Princeton with the fact that it has a switchable Princeton tone stack and a "Raw"(no tone control) position for the Champ sound. It also has a couple other extras not normal for a Champ---standby switch, extra switchable bypass cap(Tri) on second gain stage of 12AX7(extra gain) and switchable Negative Feedback(Lift). The Allen power transformer installed in it will also support a 6L6 but I'm presently running a JJ 6V6. I also will include a schematic of it because it does sound awesome.

    So I thought Christmas would be as appropriate time as any bring out my amp. It was my first stab not only building an amp but also a cab too, so I made a lot of mistakes that I've tried to rectify over the years. The brass corners were added to cover up my mess up on my first tolex job not doing the corners right. So feel free to share your Champs on this thread also. Merry Christmas, Platefire
    DIY Champ 001.jpg
    DIY Champ 005.jpg
    DIY Champ 006.jpg
    DIY Champ 009.jpg
    DIY Champ 016.jpg
    DIY Champ 011.jpg
    DIY Champ 26 Aug 17 Schematic.jpg
     
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  2. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I've seen pics of this amp in other threads. You did a great job both on the execution of the circuit and the cosmetics. It's a great looking amp!
     
  3. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    Very cool!
     
  4. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks! For a single ended 6V6 power section, it is pretty loud(un-miked). Depending rather I play single coil guitars or humbucker one, the vol stays from 25% to 33% open does the job--of course small 100 capacity sanctuary. Just set the 1482 vol to match the vol of the champ. I do get complaints of being to loud occasionally, so I'm trying to hold it down and still get the tone:>)

    You know the original 5F1 Champ Circuit has a pretty loud hum because it was way under filtered 16/8/8 uF filter caps and because this one was a clone of that circuit, it had a loud hum too.
    In 2017 I installed new filter caps in 2017 and changed it to 22/10/8---not much higher than the original. However just that increase in cap uF value quieted the amp down to where I don't hear any operating noise at all. I love a quiet amp! I've rambled on about amp stuff enough, sorry. Platefire
    DIY Champ New Filter caps2.jpg
    DIY Champ new Filter Caps1.jpg
     
  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    That's awesome. I have to say I get a lot of satisfaction playing in church when I look over and see that tiny 5F1 sitting on a stool with a condenser mic in the front and an SM58 pointed at the back corner of the cab. That amp does not sound small at all using 2 channels through the house mains. Feels a little bit like an inside joke that the congregation isn't privy to (even thought I'm certain they could care less).
     
  6. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Mike---What Champ have you got??? Would like to see pictures. Yeah in a larger Chruch you got it double miked and a sound man that does you right---all you need. I've always been on the hunt for old vintage champ, Princeton, or any model but the only one I ever found was a basket case 1974 Pro Reverb with snakeskin tolex:>). From what I can tell somebody apparently cut down a 2-12 combo cab into a head. All the rest of classic amp circuits I had to build. My favorite all around is a Deluxe Reverb AB763 Circuit(Blackface). Platefire
     
  7. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Hey Platefire, here's the wrap-up post in my build thread. It was quite an experience, I learned a ton.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/5f1-build-check.774227/page-4#post-8001992

    I found the mic combination with the help of a sound guy who was willing to give me a little bit of his Saturday afternoon to mic up my rig and test out ideas. We've generally got really conscientious sound guys. They try hard to do a good job, and we always express our appreciation for them. That seems to help.

    My Champ is pretty traditional except for:
    1. I flew the grid stoppers to free up space on the board
    2. Used RG174 shielded wire prior to the first stage of amplification
    3. Used a split bus grounding scheme and got the ground points down to 3 (pre-, power-, safety ground for plug). No copper plate.
    4. Isolated inputs and volume knob.
    5. Weber 8A125 Alnico speaker. (most people use a nice speaker, but the originals used kind of an under-powered speaker which accidentally helped with breakup).
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  8. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! I'm impressed Mike! Great work! I've done a couple of tweed Covering jobs and you have all the lines matched up just right--which is not easy to do. One problem I always had on real tweed is glue bleeding through and leaving dark spots. All your work on the cab, circuit and complete amp is good clean quality work. There isn't nothing quite like a musician building his own amp and playing over it--something special about it. I think God gives us an extra boost in it when he knows we going to be using it to serve him. Thanks for sharing. Platefire

    BTW-Here is a 1960 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul amp that I re-tweeded. It was bare wood on the cab when I got it. Also the Gibson Logo was broke all up. I used a piece of vinyl base board to cut another one.
    That amp had some nice natural breakup.
    1961 Gibson Les Paul GA-40 Amp.png
     
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  9. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks man. Yeah I had some bleed through in early experiments but then I got some great instruction on it.

    I use Weldwood adhesive on the wood (two coats let them try till its barely tacky) and 3M adhesive spray sprayed lightly on the tweed itself (let it dry). Then press on and roll. If I tried to attach the tweed to anything wet it bled through in several places.
     
  10. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    Yelp, when you doing things for the first time, it pays to experiment with samples to see what works before you do the main job. I did that some but not near enough. Learned a lot by my mistakes:>)

    For instance, in the attached picture the handle location looks fine but pick up the amp and it tilts toward the front and is not balanced. I centered the handle between the control panel and the front of the amp. I latter learned to balance the fully assembled finished amp top on a broom handle to find the point of equal balance to measure and locate the handle there. Platefire

    DIY Champ 019.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    I located handles too far forward on an early cabinet build and had the same problem. They seem to be often located approximately above the transformers or near the back of the chassis. All the weight is going to be in the transformers and speaker magnet, so that makes sense.
     
  12. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    I'm mostly just enjoying my amp builds now. I'm pretty well saturated with amps at 15 now. Just turned down two new pulled stock Fender power transformers this morning for a Deluxe and Vibrolux for $50 for both---great deal! but it means that I would have to use them in a build or turn them over on the market for a profit---so I declined. Got more priority things I need to do like maintaining this old house I'm living in:>) It needs a lot of work! Platefire
     
  13. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I have that exact GA-40 "Les Paul" amp. I don't know why they didn't get their due. It is a way way better amp than a 5e3 Deluxe at least IMO. P-90's through that amp dirty is quintessential "Rock and Roll". Played clean P90s through that amp gets that early Jazz sound. It's a super versatile amp.
     
  14. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    I agree the GA40 is a Jewel! Gibson followed their own distant drummer especially with amps and really with guitars also. Some worked great and others didn't. I also once had a Gibson Atlas Bass head---not so hot! I let my GA40 slip away and sure miss it. Platefire
     
  15. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I got my GA40 from my dad who bought it new. It's in a little rougher shape than yours as it saw many many country honky tonks in the 60's.
     
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  16. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

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    I was looking for my before restoration pictures but couldn't find them. Mine the tweed covering was completely gone when I got it. It was bare wood painted dark brown---ugly-ugly-ugly. No back plate---had to make one. The good thing about it, the amp worked fine. I did install a new set of tubes but all my restoration was almost all cosmetic.

    Must say it must be nice having your Dads amp. I wouldn't change a thing on it. Platefire
     
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