Starting Down the Road - Amp Building

pslebow

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Hi All -

After years of tinkering with and troubleshooting the several tube amps I own, I want to start experimenting with tube circuits. No stranger to high voltage - on my day job built lasers with 30KV on the rail. I have a Bassman Ten head that I've never really fooled with - told it was a lousy amp. I thought it might be a good playground to start off with. Is there a thread for beginners? Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Paul
 

Lowerleftcoast

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Posting in the *Shock Brothers* area would probably get the most views/advice.

Do you know what you would like the Bassman Ten to turn into?
 

Fluddman

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A lot of people, myself included, start off by making a simple amp like a Champ or a Tweed Deluxe 5e3.

I was already skilled at soldering and basic electronics but new zip about how value amps worked - I learned so much through actually making amps and over time I started to more fully understand how these wonderful circuits work.

The main thing is to understand and respect the dangers associated with electricity and in particular high voltage DC.

Good luck with it!
 

dogmeat

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gusfinley

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Hi All -

After years of tinkering with and troubleshooting the several tube amps I own, I want to start experimenting with tube circuits. No stranger to high voltage - on my day job built lasers with 30KV on the rail. I have a Bassman Ten head that I've never really fooled with - told it was a lousy amp. I thought it might be a good playground to start off with. Is there a thread for beginners? Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Paul

What do you plan on doing with the Bassman 10? It looks like a good platform to start tinkering with.

My first real tube amp book was obtained by inter-library loan and was Dan Torres's book "Inside Tube amps." It did a great job of explaining things but could be hard to find these days.

A good tube amp reference should cover:

- Basic tube operation
- Power Supplies
- Preamp Stages
- Single Ended and Push-Pull power stages.
- Equalization

There are some good references in the old RCA tube manuals. There are some good free resources here

It also helps to study the classic schematics of amps like the 5F1 champ, 5E3 deluxe and 5F6 Bassman.
 

schmee

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You could make the Bassman 10 into a BF Princeton style amp pretty easy.
 

pslebow

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Thanks for this - all great resources - fun reads. I've learned from repairing my amps but not much on tailoring amp tone. I would like a prototype arrangement to be able to try different circuits without having to build a dedicated chassis.
 

King Fan

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Late to the show, but I might build a standard circuit first, for fun and to get comfy with all the lovely '30s-to-'50s tech of analog everything. Tailoring tone will benefit from understanding a *lot* of old theory — load lines, bias schemes, etc.
 

AxemanVR

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Modifying an amp and building an amp are two different things.

I did some heavy modding on a 2009 Fender Champion 600 Reissue which taught me a lot, but it mostly taught me that I’d rather “use” amps than work on them - since it took a significant amount of time away from playing.

But if that’s your thing, then why not?

So I suggest using that Bassman Ten as a “test mule” to try different things and if you still find that enjoyable then maybe moving on to a Champ circuit would be the next logical step.

You sound like you understand basic electronics, so I’d start by finding a schematic, analyzing the circuit, get to know how the signal path works and figure out how different values can affect things.

Good Luck!



 
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The Ballzz

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Go here and start comparing schematics. Look at the simplest (Champ) first, and note the evolutionary changes over time. Then look at the Princeton and Deluxe models. There are even schematics for your Bassman 10. Good to identify if you actually have the Bassman 10 or the Bassman 10 - 70 watt?


Have Fun/Stay Safe!
Gene
 

Thumper

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Decide what sound your looking for..clean, warm breakup, hi gain.
Figure how much you can afford to spend.
Look at how deep down the rabbit with this you want to go.
Find a kit that fits the above.
 

DavidP

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Like others have said, start simple to see how you like it.
I built my 5E3 over 20 years ago, and its working/sounding just fine. I only wish there had been a resource like RobRob's site. Start with a stock build and then tweak to your desire to find 'that sound!
 

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David Barnett

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What do you plan on doing with the Bassman 10? It looks like a good platform to start tinkering with.

I agree. There's lots of room in the chassis, and it's got a hefty set of transformers, one could build just about any style of amp in a Bassman Ten.

If I remember correctly that amp had four 32-ohm 10" speakers, so the output transformer will expect an 8-ohm load.
 




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