New Amp Build

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by dunner84, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

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    Hello all,

    I really am not a fan of these "what should I build" threads because they are so subjective but I am really struggling to figure out what I want to build next. Any help in pushing me one way or another is a great help.
    Right now I have a Tweed Deluxe, an 18w plexi/bluesbreaker and an old masco me 18.
    I thought the tweed deluxe would be my last amp. However, I find myself going to the 18w.. It does a lot of things very well. The clean channel is great and I get two very sweet and very distinct natural overdrives. I would say that I am after some blackface chime. I think.. My options right now are as follows:

    Deluxe reverb- I think this is my ideal amp but my issue is there are a lot of bells and whistles on this amp that I am not sure that I want. I would be inclined to build them in though because I would need to try them.

    A bigger blackface like a vibroverb or twin - I would feel less I like the idea of more headroom but I don't play loud gigs..

    A bassman - Love the amp. I am not sure if it will give me the cleans I want.

    A JTM 45 - I have a love affair with these amps too but I am worried about the cleans and how closely related it is to my other two amps.

    I have a good collection of 12" and 15" speakers, both ceramic and alnico so I can do a lot of cabinet configurations. I do not have any 10"s and have always wanted to do a nice 2x10 or 4x10. They are a big expense though, and I don't know if I can justify buying 2 or 4 speakers and building another cabinet.

    Any insight would be a great help.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well a tweed bassman and the JTM45 are nearly identical- speakers are the difference. So if you narrow it down to that, you have speakers already -
     
  3. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd say if you don't have a Blackface, build the Deluxe Reverb and get it out of your system. It looks like it would also compliment what you don't already have. DR kits are also readily available.
     
  4. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    Might I recommend an Allen Accomplice or Encore?

    You might not need the step-by-step instructions and tech support, but it's a more streamlined layout than a DR with more versatile options...RAW control, iron that handles 6L6 and 6V6, etc.

    You can increase the preamp voltages in either ea DR build or Allen build to get the same preamp headroom the larger BF Fenders have.

    As for the Bassman...a 5F6a Tweed Bassman has a LOT of clean headroom before it gives that definitive overdrive.
     
  5. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

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    Hmm The Allen Accomplice might be what I am looking for. I am not sure I want or need tremolo. Are there schematics or layouts available? I can source parts relatively easily so I don't need a kit.. Does anyone know how much louder a DR is than a tweed deluxe or 18w marshall?
     
  6. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    The DR is 22 watts RMS, both the Tweed Deluxe and Marshall "18-Watt" are ~12 watts RMS. That's roughly a 3db boost (ignoring speakers, cab, etc.), the difference isn't huge but noticeable enough at stage volumes. The fixed bias, more efficient rectifier and heavier filtering will definitely make things seem tighter and punchier.
     
  7. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

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    I have had a difficult time finding a schematic for the Accomplice. The people who have them don't seem to want to share. I find this odd seeing as how it's a mod to a fender design. At any rate, if anyone on the board happens to have a schematic or layout for this amp that they would be willing to share, it would save me a lot of re-engineering time and be greatly appreciated.
     
  8. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Almost all tube guitar amps are mods to a fender design but that doesn't mean someone didn't put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their design. I don't have a problem with a company treating their schematics as proprietary information.
     
  9. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    You don't feel David Allen should be compensated for HIS time to come up with a proprietary layout?

    He's put nearly two decades into various revisions and multiple generations of his circuits to give a great amp. And he does it at a competitive price. Considering the quality of his part selection, his kits aren't much more than sourcing the parts individually.

    I'm sorry I mentioned the Accomplice above. Yes, I build my own amps, but I do consider it a courtesy to respect other builders/suppliers wishes. He's a fellow amp builder, if you don't want to pay him for his hard work, don't use his hard work.
     
  10. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

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    Dave is compensated for his time by selling his kits. I also never said he didn't deserve to be compensated for his time. However, the logic you present is flawed if you have ever built a fender clone without throwing Leo a few bucks.
    To some people, kits are the way to go. The company's that sell them cater to that demographic. I don't buy kits. I have or make all of my own parts and do a lot of mods myself.
    I was looking for advice on a build and a head start to get there. It has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not kit distributors should be paid for their services.
     
  11. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    This is the first time I've felt like I fell into a TGP or Harmony Central spat on the TDPRI amp builders forum. I don't see where the OP ever said he was trying to cheat anyone. He just asked if anyone had a layout or schematic to share. Does Mr. Allen have a patent on this particular circuit? I doubt it. I have to say it always kind of cracks me up when people who build Fender circuits, and Dumble circuits, and Trainwreck circuits etc. etc., and feel like it is totally OK for them to do so, get totally bent out of shape when someone else wants to build a circuit that another builder essentially took from Leo Fender.

    Now, if the OP wanted to build the circuit and use Mr. Allen's name, or the Accomplice name, that would be different, but I don't think that is what he is looking to do. Taken to the logical conclusion, your argument would require everyone who builds a tweed Deluxe to pay some royalty to Hackworth because he sells Boothill amp kits of that amp.
     
  12. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, probabaly flew off the handle there a little. it's an odd line between DIY versions of production amps and then trying to get ibfo about designs from actual DIY suppliers.

    It know it seems a bit of "pick your favorite bits and leave of the rest" of me, but m comment was a direct reaction to his "save me a lot of time re-engineering" comment. It felt hypocritical to put a value on his time but not the time of another. Perhaps I was projecting...I deal with a lot of the "well, we'll paid the agreed price this time, but you'll have to show it how you do it so we can do it ourselves next time" BS at my day job.

    Funny thing is I almost sent him the layout yesterday. The reason I didn't wasn't because I didn't want to share the information but this was Allen's original layout, and layout and schematic artwork is subject to copyright, even if the circuit itself isn't protected. It would be just as illegal for me to send him it as it would to send him a bootleg copy Big Hero 6. I respect copyrights, I know I like my royalty checks. But I can say 15 minutes on Google will find a early generation Allen layout posted on a forum or two.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  13. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    my two current favorite cleans and what they sound like:

    jcm800
    on the "lo" input (bypasses the crunch preamp triode) with the master volume up 100%, then the preamp volume works like a single volume 45watt-ish amp. it just sounds "clear" and "zingy". With the mid scooped almost off or off and the bass and treble turned up, it's not far from a twin reverb especially if you add reverb. The solid state rectifier and big caps, give you a super fast crisp pick attack that I have gotten extremely used to. then for added versatility you still can go in the "hi" input and get lots of preamp crunch. I was at my friends studio the other day biasing his jtm45 and he was going nuts over my 2204, the tone controls seemed more apparent on mine too, esp the mid.
    this is a super well documented amp you can source and build yourself.

    silvertone 1484.
    this amp is sooo awesomely vintage. If you can find one and rebuild it from the ground up, it's really clean and vintage-y fat with that tuned cabinet. mojotone has a layout and parts to build one, they left off reverb and tremolo. if they incorporate all the niceties and feedback and etc. of the original schematic, I have to believe it's a winner. I have to believe they too realize what a sweet circuit that amp is. The reverb is notoriously bad; a valiant attempt to miniaturize it to meet the needs of musicians and expectations, but not a nice verb compared to fender. However, the tremolo is awesome and it's a shame mojotone left it off.

    I know you didn't offer those as considerations, but i've had the privilege to hear alot alot of amps at my friends shop and yes i'm biased cause these are my babies, but there you have it :)


    Muchxs has stated in another thread about when the blackfaces started coming in and the tone stack suckage took the mids and gain out how the amps kind of need verb to get that lively-ness back, and I can agree with that. (I should search the thread because it was all stated more eloquently). Hence the emergence of the printer2 follies and morpheus, lol. best of both worlds.

    sorry for the long post!
     
  14. dunner84

    dunner84 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the insight on the JCM 800. I think I know where I can demo one and see how it sounds.. I love Silvertone amps.. Most of the ones I have played have reminded me of my tweed deluxe. At least as far as my memory is concerned. I have not played a 1484 though.

    I will say that Fenderlover hit the nail on the head. As long as I don't have a blackface style amp, I think I will always want one.

    I do appreciate the recommendation to look into the Accomplice. It does seem to be what I am looking for. I never intended to start any heated debates. I am just a regular guy with a full time job and a family. Building things is my hobby. I never intended to compare the value of my time to anyone else's, only to state that my hobby time is limited and I get more joy out of building amps and playing them than I do by re-engineering them. Up until this point, I viewed the amp building community as an open one. Any circuit I have been curious about up to this point has been readily available online. Even my old Masco. It took 5 mins and 2 dollars to get that schematic which allowed me to spend my time bringing it back to life.

    I am not going to drag this thread on any longer though. I did say that I am not a fan of these types. I will continue looking for what I need to get this build finished and then start all over again for the next one.
     
  15. Dennis Perusse

    Dennis Perusse Tele-Meister

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    Hello,


    Just my two cents on this but if you want something different you need to build different, let me explain. If I were in your shoes I'd go for something really unique but not beyond what can be built, or what has been built here on the forums. If I were in your shoes I'd go for a Harvard 5f10 circuit. Where it is between a Princeston and a Deluxe it can fill a void quite nicely in terms of sonic joy. Here is where what I mean when I say building different comes in. First do it in 4 x 8 or a 4 x 6 configuration. Very differently in terms of sonic qualities versus the usual 10 or 12 inch speaker setup plus those speakers are relatively inexpensive depending on where you're getting them from. Then have it in either a vox or marshall bluesbreaker style of cabinet with a large vent on the top with the cab as a closed back style of setup. For the coup de gras you have a different style OT instead of the normal Fender one for the circuit but is the same electrically for the circuit.
    All of those changes alone should give you something so unique which is tonally rich and visually different that it will definitely turn heads. In fact you might like the sound better than if you went with something more expensive like a JTM 45 or with some other type of kit. :)

    Again, just my .02 cents here but best of luck and keep us posted as to what you choose and don't forget a build thread if and when you get the chance. :)

    Dennis
     
  16. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    The Marshall 18 watt is a versatile amp as you have discovered. If you like your 5e3 but don't like the limitations that go along with it, I would recommend one of the bigger tweeds. A 5e5A, or low powered tweed twin are killer amps with waaaay more headroom than a 5e3. They sound fabulous at lower volumes too. I gave my 5e5A to my dad, but my 18 watt never got played when I had the the Pro. The bigger tweeds are considerably above and beyond the 18 watt in terms of tone and versatility, at least in my opinion.
     
  17. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    I sent an apology via PM.

    What it is is a matter of courtesy to those who work toward deserving it. Several builders like David Allen, Bruce Collins of Mission Amps, Mike Zaite (sp??) of Dr Z, Hogy at Komet, and others all help the DIY community a lot when they can, and many provide proprietary parts that it would suck to live without. All they ask in return in the courtesy to not publicly post their intellectual property. Some of those hard to find modern schematics are usually so because people are respecting wishes not to distribute.

    On the other hand, many builders, even commercial ones are perfectly fine with releasing layouts and schematics...either for maintenance reasons, to be free with the information, or because they, themselves, got it from a previous source. Ken Fisher was a huge backer for the DIY community, even though he felt copying an existing amp seemed like a waste when there was so much new to be done.

    There is a huge gray area in-between which includes certain elusive builders and many modern companies whose amps may or may not be copies of old Voxes. I do believe any DIY has a right to build whatever amp they want for themselves, I don't even care if they violate trademarks. The circuits cannot be protected (except for some of Peavey and Mesa's patents), it's fair game. As is the Allen Accomplice, but if Allen (or Matchless) doesn't want his own layouts and schematics distributed, that should be respected. That doesn't mean someone can't reverse engineer them for their own layout.
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Weren't many, if not most, of Leo's designs lifted/ licensed more or less from the tube manufacturer manuals? Seems like I read in "The Soul of Tone" that one of the early designs is nothing more than a Western Electric circuit design with a tone knob (aka treble bleed). I don't know if those patents are still in effect, or went as assets to successor companies, or maybe they've expired, but seems like the argument about compensating the designer/owner of a particular circuit would apply all the way back to there.

    I think it's safe to say that Leo, and other amp manufacturers, provided circuit and layout diagrams so their products could be serviced and maintained, not so that they could be copied, even as 1-offs, by home builders.
     
  19. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    As far as protections...few, if any, of those circuits were patentable, even back then. Patents expire after ~20 years, they can't be renewed liked trademarks can. There is little-to-no legal protection on many electrical circuits...there is nothing Carr could do if you took the Slant v6 circuit and reworked it into a production amp. Names, brands, even appearance can be trademarked and artwork and text can be copyrighted (those old Fender layouts and schematics qualify for copyright protection), but patents are trickier.

    Leo's designed were all licensed from AT&T and others, you'll find an notification on the old tubes charts (which is more than I believe Valco and Gibson did). But those circuits were originally published so the manufacturers would borrow and build them and buy tubes, supplies, etc. for them. RCA, Western Electric, Westinghouse owned patents on many of the parts used to build those amps, so they wanted people to buy thet parts.

    Think of it the same as Kraft printing recipe books. They want you to make the food and have to buy Kraft products to do so.
     
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