Turning A Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Into An ODS - HRD2ODS

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by MasterEvan07, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    The first amp I ever bought, and subsequently the first amp I ever tried modifying, was a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe - I forget which iteration - many years ago.

    I've began trying new gear, upgrades, tweaks, mods, etc. pretty much right away after I started learning to play guitar, so when I discovered there were "kits" for the HRD I grew curious.

    Let's just say having a good soldering iron and knowing how to properly solder are critical elements when trying to modify a very low quality, flimsy PCB like those found in such amps - amps given to critical failure issues and myriad PCB problems.

    Enter the Fromel Supreme Mod Kit! ...and my utter ruination of the OD channel among other things after blundering through trying to alter components I'd not enough foundational knowledge or skill to tackle or sort should mistakes be made. And they were...

    Sold the amp to my brother for nothing because he only needed the still functional clean channel but the mistakes and half-functional amp have galled me for years.

    Lo and behold, Lou Rossi and Monkeymatic Amps (Aaron Lyon) came up with a solution: a drop-in replacement PCB for building into the husk of HRDs or HRDVs! An ODS circuit replacement. I just finished the rebuild/remake and have finally redeemed this amp and my sullied amp modding history.

    TL : DR - Broke a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe years ago trying to mod it. Completely rebuilt it into an ODS circuit.

    HRD2ODS:

    The abused -
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The new kid in town:
    [​IMG]

    Utteryly gutted...er, except the iron...:
    [​IMG]

    Oh good, it fits:
    [​IMG]

    Time to populate:
    [​IMG]

    Well this is a bloody problem...:
    [​IMG]

    A little careful drilling and a sliced finger later:
    [​IMG]

    New pots, switches, jacks, oh my!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I really hate running filament wiring...a lot...:
    [​IMG]

    Rerouting the power section and cleaning up loose ends:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'll show you short leads!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wiring those little switches aged me...:
    [​IMG]

    The FX loop works like a dream!
    [​IMG]

    Buttoning it back up:
    [​IMG]

    Don't need no flimsy panel!
    [​IMG]

    A couple more images here:
    https://imgur.com/a/x2RZowI#nQ8ckaz
     
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  2. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

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    Very cool, where/how did you purchase the pcb?
     
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  3. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Very :cool:
     
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  4. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    No doubt this amp sounds ridiculous. Nice work!

    How do you feel about those screw wire terminals? I guess you had the choice to install them, or not. Don't you wish you had just soldered the wires directly to the board? :)

    BTW those HV radial electrolytics that are in series, the metal part of the cap case that is exposed is possibly at HV potential! Did you know that?? I found out only recently and it's a wonder I didn't get a shock at some point. Much build literature/tuts/etc is all dealing with axial caps, so I never read this anywhere when I was learning the ropes.
     
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  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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  6. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Kinda digging on the screw terms for the flying leads. Looks nice. How’s it sound?
     
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  7. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes ! An Interesting conversion for a (not so good - but it's me, OK ? :rolleyes:) regular amp... :cool::cool::cool:

    Would you post the link to that kit form ? A friend of mine maybe interested since ha owns a faulty HRDV... o_O

    Thanks ! ;)

    -tbln
     
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  8. mjcyates

    mjcyates Tele-Meister

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  9. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    Totally stumbled upon it while toodling around on the web. Found it on TAG (The Amp Garage Forum) which is a place for Dumble enthusiasts, unbeknownst to me.

    Thanks, it sounds phenomenal actually. The clean channel is amazingly articulate, clear, detailed, and harmonically rich; I'm still dialing in the OD channel as I have no reference for "Dumble" sound.

    So far so good with the screw terminals, though I understand the reservations. The two guys who designed it have built many without issues, to the best of my knowledge.

    I actually learned about the dangers of axial HV metal cap tops while working on this amp. Not because I shocked myself but because it was a caveat mentioned by the designer!

    I understand your concern and I share it to a degree. I wanted to give it a try for accessibility and repair sake - makes for popping something out and assessing/altering/modifying it 10x billion easier. Conversely, potentially, more prone to intermittent issues, yes.

    We'll prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    They're convenient at the very least! It sounds truly great, I was surprised.

    I redeemed my past mistakes on this poor thing and in that I am content. Definitely a cool project and an exceptional end result.

    Contact Aaron Lyons at Monkeymatic Amps for the boards. To the best of my knowledge you have to go directly to him, I don't believe he has them listed anywhere. He supplies a BOM but the end user has to do the entirety of the parts/components sourcing leg work apart from the PCB.
     
  10. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    I've been jonesing to build a new amp for a while but it's always hard to justify because of costs.

    The HRD2ODS was supposed to be a Christmas present, but long story short couldn't get sorted until this week.

    After experiencing the sounds of an ODS circuit my want for building a new Tweed has been revived and redoubled. I'm not much more interested in hearing the Tweedle Dee now. If the TD's clean sound is like the ODS, or is comparable, then it would be an amazing grab-n-go platform. I recall reading something from @muchxs about how he liked the TD Deluxe - when done to the letter - and that's how I want to do it.
     
  11. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    When not done to the letter.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Backing into this, I bagged me a unicorn the other day. It's not mine but I have a DeArmond R15T / Martin M112T on hand. Where have you been all my life?! For those unfamiliar with the amp it's a circa 1959 (DeArmond) or circa 1960 (C.F. Martin) "tweed" Deluxe with added trem. It's like the modified 5E3s I've been building. The power supply precisely conforms to specifications found on vintage 6V6 tube data sheets so your tubes will last forever.

    Four out of five coupling caps are changed values compared to a 5E3. It has "split cathodes" on the preamp.

    The Martin uses .01 and .047 coupling caps for its first tube stages. 5E3 is .1 and .1. Dumble uses .022 and .022. I use .1 and .022.

    I rarely build two in a row that are identical.

    IMG_1985.JPG

    Evolution One has what I think is an improved layout (more feng shui ) but is otherwise how Uncle Howie intended it.

    Evolution Two adds a few more tie points to the same tweaked layout. It's a modified Dumble modified 5E3. It's like a modified DeArmond or a modified Martin even though I developed it before I saw an actual Martin. Those old timers knew their stuff! It has a broad expanse of clean tone available which smoothly transitions into aggressive overdrive. More clean, more dirt and louder either way. It stays clean well past noon on the dial.

    5E3s aren't exactly noted for their loud clean tones.


    Craig grabs solos @ 1:20 and 4:45:



    It's somewhat vexing. I spent 40 years chasing the ultimate overdrive tone then musicians don't use it.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


    I figured Evolution Two was a keeper. Except... I'll probably hang on to my one- off Evolution Three prototype. I've been stashing "legacy" parts such as "mustard" caps and crazy NOS. Might as well use 'em.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
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  12. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    Interesting...a cursory look on eBay and Reverb doesn't show any RM15Ts or M112Ts. Now I don't know what or how to build what I'm after!

    This website gave a bit of background on DeArmond/CF Martin amps. Curious how Fender used to include schematics with their tweeds but DeArmond has "Erie Packs" to confound circuit copying.

    http://www.musicpickups.com/amplifiers/

    And this crappy image was all I could find so far.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar Tele-Meister

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    Not to be a pedant, and in the interest of always sharing knowledge:

    Axial capacitors have a lead coming out of each end (along its axis).

    The capacitors in question with the exposed metal tops are radial.

    (after years of being a hater because I thought 40 watts wasn't enough XD) I have recently flipped for the Hot Rod Deluxe. This mod looks amazing!
     
  14. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    For some reason axial vs. radial is something my brain refuses to properly integrate into basic comprehension. It's a weird affectation...effectation...ah crap...
     
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  15. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    That makes two of us. Got the how down pretty good. What to build is usually the wild card.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Seriously, I built a bunch of tweaked 5E3s and I thought I was doin' pretty good. I got one of my older builds back and...

    ick, poo.

    I'm probably not going to do that again. While my older 5E3 builds are as good as any and likely better than most I think we have better options.

    Reverb or Ebay doesn't show any of the bigger DeArmonds or Martins because they're exceedingly rare. There was a brief M112T "fad" around 2012. The few M112Ts that exist were quickly snapped up often at outrageously high prices.

    It's difficult to sustain a fad built on rare and expensive amps.


    A couple comments on the Martin: Start with a Weber VST WO25130 PT. Most people don't know that years ago Bruce Collins dba Mission Amps designed some of Weber VSTs transformers, the WO25130 in particular. I had Classic Tone make me a batch of U.S. made PTs to Bruce's original specifications. Still, the Weber PT is inexpensive and it does the trick. In this case the trick is hitting the numbers for an M112T build.

    And fortunately that crappy image is all you need.

    I managed to get "my" M112T working without a schematic. I'm usually pretty good at locating documentation. This time @printer2 pointed me in the right direction. THANKS!

    There is nothing to prevent you from building that circuit on a 5E3 board.

    Delete the trem. It's a weird circuit and you can't get the varistor that's in the trem circuit.

    The volume pots are a weird value and all pots (M112T schematic) are labeled "RA" which usually means "Reverse Audio". Use 500k audio taper for the volume pots and 1 meg audio for the tone pot.

    The oversized output transformer is certainly part of the recipe.

    A quirk of a stock M112T is the normal channel is fat 'n gnarly. The trem channel is a little wimpy by comparison. That's why I juggled coupling caps. .01 seems a little small although there are numerous tweed Deluxe shaped objects (Harmony, Silvertone, Danelectro) that use .01 coupling caps. I figure .022 on one channel and .1 on the other works well if you jumper channels. Why make 'em exactly the same?

    And so on.

    Print out a 5E3 schematic and layout. Then print out your M112T schematic.

    The M112T is the antidote for the crushing boredom that sets in after building too many stock 5E3s.


    Then again, the Tweedle is very well documented.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
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  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    That is really fine work!
     
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  17. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    Haha, fair point. If I built another 5E3 it would be simply to use it as a test platform for trying mods. Hence the interest in this R15 or Tweedle.

    Thank you very kindly. I'm not where I want to be but I can surely look back and see where I've come from as someone completely self-taught, so all progress is good.
     
  18. DanceCanse

    DanceCanse TDPRI Member

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    @MasterEvan07 you've inspired me. I started this hobby just over a year ago, and I now have 3 amps I built in addition to 4 that I already had. So I started cleaning up my HRD to thin the herd and sell to help fund the hobby, but was saddened to realize I could only realistically get enough $$$ for it to pay for a cab and some transformers. So instead of getting rid of an amp, I'm going to convert it to an ODS! I feel like it's a bit of a waste in that my HRD was fully functional, but hopefully I'll end up with an amp worth as much as my house (Ha! j/k) for ~$250.

    Both Aaron from Monkeymatic and Lou from Luigi Retro Custom have been super friendly and very helpful. Lou even has a BOM complete with part numbers. It made my parts gathering so simple! I got my PCB earlier this week, and I should get an order from Mouser and Antique Electronics tomorrow. Hopefully I don't destroy an otherwise decent amp!

    Have you gotten your overdrive channel dialed in any better?
     
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  19. MasterEvan07

    MasterEvan07 Tele-Meister

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    Wow, cool! You'll love it :)

    After building the HRD2ODS I was inspired myself! I went to town fixing and cleaning up my vintage Fenders, restored a '55 Valco/Ward 8439 and a '63 Silvertone 1484, rebuilt a wah, built a bucking transformer and plan to keep on finding or making more projects.

    Lou and Aaron are fantastic, the support and information they provide makes the process so streamlined. It's such a great sounding amp after the mods. I've been meaning to try a couple different speakers, but actually no real problems with the V30 aside from a little bass heavy.

    My OD Volume is still run pretty high but I have it balanced with the Clean so I haven't pursued it further. Loop works like a charm.
     
  20. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    That looks like a very high quality PCB upgrade for a problematic thus inexpensive amplifier. Nice work.
     
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