Weber 5F6A kit on the way. Any experience with weber kits?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by KellyWalrus, Sep 9, 2019.

5F6A Kit

  1. Mojotone

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  2. Boothill

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  3. Weber

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  1. KellyWalrus

    KellyWalrus TDPRI Member

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    I just ordered the 5F6A Head Kit from Weber. I've built a Boothill 5F1 & 5E3.
    I'm wondering what the quality of Weber's kits are compared to some competitors.
    The Weber 5F6A Head without tubes is WAY cheaper than the Mojotone equivalent.

    Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks
     
  2. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    Once upon a time they had a reputation for lower cost components - sometimes sensible economizing and sometimes going too cheap.
    More recent word is that they have cleaned up the "too cheap" end of the distribution.

    I built a kit from Trinity Amps and was blown away by the quality of the components, the documentation, and the support.
    But I would not hesitate to buy a Weber kit, especially if I was reasonably confident it was within my skill set.
    Just yesterday I ordered a ReVibe kit, which is notoriously tweaky and complex - and I probably will need some help along the way. There are a lot of knowledgeable folks here (I'm not one of them).
     
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  3. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    Parts are lower cost and lower quality than others.

    Ted Weber's approach to amp kits was to offer the lowest cost, but reliable, basic kit that he could offer for experienced builders who would then substitute in any parts they preferred. By comparison, the Mojo and Boothill use quality, over-the-counter parts you often find in production amps or boutique amps. But some people may have personal preference for other parts.

    That's why so many options... my input in italics
    • No Power Transformer -$20.00 - Chinese import, okay performance, but their voltages are averaged to be used in as many designs as possible (close enough is good enough, I guess). Some people have had them die young. I think most people have a preference for Mercury, Heyboer or Classictone
    • No Output Transformer -$20.00 - Chinese import, I think most people have a preference for Mercury, Heyboer or Classictone
    • No Copper Cap -$10.00 - most people build for a real GZ34 tube
    • No Tubes -$30.00
    • No Jacks -$2.00 - major weak link, I think everyone swaps in Switchcraft (or Cliff UK)
    • No Switches -$5.00
    • No Capacitors -$15.00 - most people have their own personal preference anyway
    • No Resistors -$5.00
    • No Pots -$5.00
    • No Chassis -$50.00
    Etc.

    I know Weber has been streamlining and discontinuing parts (like transformers) with more available substitutions, so YMMV. Weber had the kit and amp tool aspect of the business up for sell for years as they wanted to concentrate only on speakers. Looks like that link is broken now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  4. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    I've never bought a weber kit, but I've used a lot of parts from them and never been disappointed. I've used a few of their transformers and they seem comparable to classic tone to me. FWIW, classic tone transformers are also "ballparked" to work in various amps, if you read their descriptions the often recommend the same power transformer for blackface and tweed versions of amps with the same name even when they have very different voltage requirements. This seems to be a common practice among transformer manufacturers with the exception of Mercury, who has a different model for every possible application but charges like they are made of unicorn blood.
     
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  5. bermuda

    bermuda TDPRI Member

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    I would have bought the Boot Hill 5F6A kit.
     
  6. KellyWalrus

    KellyWalrus TDPRI Member

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    Why's that? Do you have one?
     
  7. KellyWalrus

    KellyWalrus TDPRI Member

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    I went with no tubes or copper cap, we'll see how it goes.
     
  8. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    The Weber kits, well, they are what they are.
    Don't misunderstand, I have built several, and used their parts and chassis for scratch builds.
    They are Ted's (RIP) take on classic designs, not necessarily faithful copies of the classics.
    The chassis are not the same size as Fender chassis, and the holes in the chassis will not fit Fender panels.
    They are a good place to start, if you are getting into amp building.
     
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  9. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Copper cap is nice to have for startup, troubleshooting, and comparison. You can swap at will. I like their transformers. I've swapped theirs with classic tones in the sane amp and liked webers better. Some have two input windings to dial in filament voltage and two outs for B+ choice. Nice chassis. Personally, I'd swap pots for the more robust CTS, Belton tube sockets, and a fistful of caps. If your build uses a cap can I don't like the Weber cans. A few bucks of parts puts them above other kits for a lot less money. I don't know how their chicken heads are but there are better blackface knobs available. Their cabs are good.
     
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  10. KellyWalrus

    KellyWalrus TDPRI Member

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    I've been looking at that kit as well, good luck with it!
     
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  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    A couple things, I assume these are still current but dont really know:
    -The jacks are dog doo. Buy Switchcraft
    -The hole in the chassis for the IEC power cord socket is too big! It's a major reason I haven't bought a Weber kit in years. The only thing you can do is silicone in the socket as it will pull right out of the amp! I wish they would just go old school instead of IEC.
    -Most of the small stuff like resistors and caps are really cheap.
    -Weber stuff is best to just get the chassis and big stuff, forget the small items.
    -Their cabs are nicely done but they leave sharp edges under the Tolex/tweed rather than taking the time to smooth those to a radius.
    As mentioned above, the hole layout on some wont fit real Fender faceplates etc. Mojo will.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  12. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    If you haven't seen Moosie's build/debug thread it's worth a look

    Check out his grounding scheme.it seems like successful Revibes often have this
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  13. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I built a Weber 6M45 head kit (JTM45 clone) which is nearly the same amp as the 5F6-A Bassman. I relied quite heavily on info a got off the Metroamp web site at that time, as Weber kits came with no instructions. It turned out well. But I had some issues with parts such as the input jacks were not manufactured correctly and I didn't like the cloth covered wiring provided. I think most parts are from "off-shore" suppliers. Resistors caps and tubes were fine, for the money, as were transformers and inductor; the high headroom OT is great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  14. KellyWalrus

    KellyWalrus TDPRI Member

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    Is weber hard to get ahold of? I've called 3 times, left an email, and filled out an automated form. Still waiting to hear back. Has anyone else had a similair experience?
     
  15. tubeswell

    tubeswell Friend of Leo's

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  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ted Senior has been gone since August 14, 2009. R.I.P. Ted Senior. He died of a respiratory ailment. After my bout of pneumonia this spring, I can appreciate the challenge of trying to breathe while trying to do anything else.

    Just the same, it was Ted Senior's goal and vison to bring faithful re- creations of vintage tube amps to the public in kit form. Senior was largely successful in Weber VST's line of tweed style kits.

    But:

    Senior was the first to face hassles with outsourcing nice chrome. Bear in mind that just about anyone who uses or offers chrome plating must outsource it to a plating specialist.

    Here's the part that blows my little mind:

    If, for example Ford Motor Company can offer chrome plated plastic grilles on their F250s and F350s that doesn't come off in sheets at the first car wash why oh why is it so difficult to find a nice U.S. made chrome plated chassis like the 1950s originals?

    Ted Senior brought us nice chrome tweed style chassis products that were faithful replicas of the originals. Circa 2005 (or so) Weber VST "seconds" are better quality than anything we can buy today. I have a few from back then.

    Ah, but it's been a slide down a slippery slope.

    Ted Senior eventually capitulated. The hassles of outsourcing quality chrome were compounded by getting entire lots of unacceptable chrome chassis products back from the platers. Mind you, those Weber VST "rejects" were and are better than any chrome plated chassis products currently available anywhere.

    Ted Senior's solution was a two pronged approach. Powder coated mild steel chassis products were one possible solution. Turns out they're a hard sell to musicians who want their new amps to look like 1950s old amps.

    The other solution was to fabricate chassis products using polished stainless steel. Early production was nice with a few snivels. The circuit board mounting holes drifted with the new process. Some clever fellow decided a small ground stud welded to the chassis would be a good idea. Well... it kinda is a good idea but not in a 5F1 chassis where it's right where the circuit board needs to be. It's not a good idea when tightening the ground connection twists the stud off.

    :rolleyes:

    Those original Weber VST stainless steel chassis products were folded up and spot welded similar to the chrome chassis products they replaced. Good stuff...

    After Senior earned his wings things started to slip. First, the spot welds were eliminate presumably as a cost saving measure. T.A. assured me the welded corners would return in next batch or two. They didn't. Eventually they eliminated the tabs 'n' flaps negating any possibility of spot welding the chassis.


    Way I figure it someone else somewhere else could offer chassis products more in line the quality of 1950s originals. Such products won't come from Europe with their anti- chrome RoHS Directive. Such products won't come from the U.S., not unless someone with cash and commitment figures out how to make chrome stick to steel as if it's a plastic F250 grille.


     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  17. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

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    As right above, RoHS compliance could likely be a big factor.
     
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  18. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    I built a Weber kit for a friend some years ago. It wasn't my absolute favorite, but with a little care the finished product was fine. I don't know how they are now, but it will be a hand-wired amp with decent components.
     
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  19. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    When Ted was alive he would answer each and every email from builders and offer amazing advice. That was Weber's golden age IMO.
     
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  20. akuster777

    akuster777 TDPRI Member

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    I've had good experiences building and expanding on three Mojotone 5E3 kits: especially the sturdy chassis and correctly sized cab. I suggest that you search for reviews of the Weber cab and chassis...
     
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