Wanting to Build My Own Amp - Where Do I Start

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by gobi_grey, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    clinton, ia
    My thoughts exactly. This is why I made the thread. I have a lot of learning to do before I dive in. I don't like flying blind.
    Also, I have trouble with colors so those little color bands on resisitors are pretty much useless to me. That's a bit of a problem!
     
  2. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    clinton, ia
    Thank you for all the replies, it's gonna take some time to go through and really digest all that you guys have contributed in this thread alone.
    Lots of pedal suggestions. That's on my "bucket list" too. I might dive into one of those kits just for kicks. Building an amp is a ways off but I can see myself getting there sometime in the next couple of years. I think that's a good goal.
     
  3. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,286
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Location:
    Northern Germany
    It is always a good idea to actually measure the resistor anyway, just as a safety check to avoid mistaking by a multiplications factor (been there, done that:oops:) Then bag them up with a lable.
    Get yourself a well organized workspace set up. This will help doing a good build, and building up a good structured work praxis.
     
  4. fredpantalone

    fredpantalone TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    32
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    There are a lot of good responses here but I'll add my thoughts anyway... First off, you've come to the right place. When I was pondering my first build several years ago these folks at the TDPRI forums were very generous with their time and advice.

    If you want to build an amp then build an amp! Don't bother with a pedal build unless you really want to build a pedal - tube amps and pedals don't really have much in common. Plus, a pedal is annoyingly small and the components less tolerant of your soldering skills which are likely at the beginner level (but that will change). Also, forget about starting out trying to repair an amp. You have to have experience and knowledge to do this - and tools that you neither own nor likely understand, as another poster has pointed out. It's much easier to perform a clean build with all new components.

    My first build was a 5F1 and I would recommend this as a first build. It's simple and there are a lot of resources to guide you through it. Also, many people have built these and the inevitable problems you run into will be familiar to them. I built from scratch including the fiberboard from blanks purchased from Mojotone. This approach will give you intimate knowledge of every part of the amp but I don't think it's necessary. I bought most of the components from Tube Depot and Rob Hull there helped me out a number of times with great advice. Their instructions are excellent and you should download and study them regardless of which path you choose. I have to admit that StewMac has even outdone TubeDepot with their instructions so get those too! So, the big decision is kit or no kit. I think going with a kit is fine but it would be worthwhile to part it out yourself and see what you come up with both cost-wise and component-wise. Compare your bill of materials with those in some of the available kits and figure out what you've missed any why. As you compare kits one big difference you'll encounter is PCB (printed circuit board) vs eyelet/fiber board (and, more rare, turret boards). I would stay away from PCBs mainly because you'll probably destroy it with your lack of soldering skills. A fiberboard will take a beating and then some - I would even say they're indestructible but please don't try and prove me wrong.

    Before you do anything you must print out the original 5F1 schematic and layout diagrams and study them, mark them up, colour them, etc. Learn the circuit well before you even buy a single resistor. It's a simple circuit and, in time, it will all make sense. By the time you build, none of it should be mysterious and going back and forth between the two diagrams should be simple and natural for you.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!
    Fred
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.