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Pros and Cons of Kit vs. Modern Production Amps

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Okieactor, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Personally, if you plan to keep the amp and play it, I would build it in a heartbeat. If you might want to sell it, EVER, then buy a Fender.

    I can build an amp for MUCH less than I can buy one, mostly because of my woodworking skills- an amp cab is very doable if you've got the tools and know-how. Heck, you can get the pine boards for a PR cab for probably $25, and shop around for tolex and grill cloth. I have about $50 TOTAL in my head/speaker cab I built for my Silverface Pro Reverb, and it looks GREAT. The satisfaction I get out of playing my own amps that I built is also priceless. Just be forewarned that it probably won't be your only build.;)
     
  2. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

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    I find a bunch of satisfaction in building things. It soothes me and makes me happy. It’s very therapeutic.

    Some people consider what their time is worth and say that makes the cost of a hand built amp very high.

    I think about how much a therapist would cost me and think that the parts are probably cheaper than that. :D

    So in the end I’m breaking even. Possibly even saving money. At least that’s what I tell my wife.
     
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  3. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    I built a PR last year. It was my second build, the first was a 5f11. The PR was significantly more complex, but both fired up immediately. You'll be money ahead, learn a lot and it's just more fun to play your own. Read up on the Princeton, as well as amp startup and troubleshooting procedures at RobRob's site.

    https://robrobinette.com/AA1164_Princeton_Reverb.htm
     
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  4. Les Gear

    Les Gear TDPRI Member

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    Absolutely, it's a worthy concern.

    I pass on the advice I ignored: "A PR is tricky. Build a 5E3 then build a PR."

    But yeah, there's no feeling like firing up the amp you built and hearing it work. Every time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
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  5. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Currently attempting the pine cab. Give me an idea of whether this is as doable as I think. At least a starting point. Or maybe more of an idea of how committed I am. F519A300-1CB3-4AE4-965D-0E02833E6AEB.jpeg
     
  6. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Afflicted

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    It'll cost the same and when you sell it, because you decided you really can hear a difference when it says Fender on the amp, you'll have to give the kit away.
     
  7. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    For those recommending the 5E3, is it easier to build a 5E3 with an effects loop (I assume you could do that??), or the Princeton reverb with reverb and trem onboard? I read the site that was mentioned and it talks about the reverb and trem adding a fair amount of the difficulty.
     
  8. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's absolutely doable. I build my cabs with a dovetail jig, but the finger joints will be just as good. I mean, you're basically building a four sided box with an angle at the top. Here are a couple of pics of my Silverface cab build. Just go slow, measure everything exactly, and have fun.

    cabs 1.jpg
    cabs 2.jpg
    cabs 3.jpg
     
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  9. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Nice.
     
  10. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    I was showing my 11 year old the amp I will be working on next:

    "Dad, you DO realize that amp is $2,000 and $600?"

    My Reply:

    "Yes, but I'm going to build it for $800!"
     
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  11. jmp81sc

    jmp81sc Tele-Meister

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    My first build was a 5F6a Bassman from a kit. I did it as a head. I built the head cab and a 2 x 10" speaker cab. I was all in for about $800 with speakers and transformers.

    I could have probably found a used Reissue Bassman for about the same price, but any kind of hand wired amp from a pro builder would have been more. Who knows what the resale value would be but I bet not that much, the speaker cab is probably worth more than the amp.

    If you figure in the satisfaction, learning experience, etc. it was well worth for me. I'm on my 5th tube amp build now, so be careful if you start, it's addicting.
     
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