This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Walt March 27, 2019 at 9:44 pm.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #5181

    djroge1
    Participant

    What other amps/kits have you built?

    What ideas do you have down the line? I know if you are addicted to amp building then you have something planned for your next build. So tell us.

    I’m thinking about a Train Wreck Express but not the typical layout. I need to use an old combo cab and chassis if possible. It’s just in the thinking stages right now.

    I’m currently working on a dumble type build and finishing up my 2nd two-stroke inspired amp.

    #5293

    Robin
    Participant

    The 15 watt, 2 EL-84, Spitfire based amp was a fun build and sounds great, open and chimey like an AC-15, cranked is has a nice grind too.
    It’s very much different than a 2Stroke.

    My 30 watt, Stang-ray (AC-30) style combo amp is back in the works after a pause to complete the Ceriaton OTS and build the cabinets (Dumble ODS clone). After that, I too am thinking of a TW design, maybe a Rocket w/ 2 6L6s, or maybe a Liverpool…I just thinking about it. I have a 5E3 chassis (steel) that will work for that design. I know the TW clone builders say an aluminum chassis is a must for a TW design, so…we’ll see.

    #5294

    djroge1
    Participant

    I guess if you are going to follow the purist route for TW then aluminum is the way to go, but I’m not going that way.

    Who knows? it may make the amp sound like total garbage. Although I’m a pretty long way of from starting on it I needed some electronic parts so I started buying parts for the next build. I hate to pay shipping for just a couple of parts so I’ll add things into an order.

    Robin, how do you like the OTS? I built one a little over a year ago and I love it. Have you gotten it dialed in and found the sweet spots?

    #5295

    Robin
    Participant

    I built the OTS for James Lum, an LA session player. He is the touring lead guitarist for James Ingram (RB artist) and has used the OTS on studio sessions in recent months with good reviews. Although it took some time (the controls are very interactive and require a lot of tweaking),once the sweet spots are dialed in, the amp is an absolute wonder. The clean tones are outstanding and the overdrive is…well, I don’t think it gets better than Dumble style overdrive. The effect loop is marginal though, so Jim is after me to build a Dumbleator clone for him.

    #5296

    djroge1
    Participant

    Yeah I’m thinking of building the C-ulator or another d’ clone buffer. That’s on my list of want to build projects.

    My OTS is my favorite amp for sure. It has the sound I’ve always wanted in an amp.

    After building the ceriatone kit I decided to see how hard it was to build one from scratch. I’ve found doing the switching has been the most difficult part for me.

    #5300

    M Fowler
    Participant

    The last Express I built I made as a 212 combo using an aluminum 18w Marshall blank chassis from Dana Hall. Turretboards.com now sells them also mojo has prepunched PT cutouts but the rest of the chassis is blank so you can make your style of amp.

    The Zwreck was easy and fun, Rocket with reverb, Rocket with octal power section sounds great. The Komet 60 is a power house amp especially with the fast/gradual switch.

    Mark

    #5302

    Andy
    Keymaster

    So far, my build count is up to 5. I have built 2 Strokes, pretty much by the book. I have a third that I havent gotten where I want it to be yet. It has a SS/Tube rectifier switch, and a new tone stack. I am using the Tilt tone stack in it and have not been entirely happy with it. Though I dont think the stack is to blame, have a couple other things to fix before I chuck it ;)

    I built a “VOXA CEO” AC30 with Top Boost style amp and love it.

    After my first Two Stroke, I built the MOD101 kit from Tubes and More. Its a nice little kit, built around terminal strips. If I have a complaint, its that the construction makes it hard to understand the signal flow. But the MOD people are great and supplied me with a Schematic on request. If anyone wants to try to build one, let me know, I can get you a good deal on the kit.

    Now I am building custom designs. I have a really sweet little 20W Class A unit. Hopefully I’ll be done with the tweaks soon and will start selling them. Love the tone on this little guy!

    Andy

    #5305

    djroge1
    Participant
    M Fowler wrote:
    The last Express I built I made as a 212 combo using an aluminum 18w Marshall blank chassis from Dana Hall. Turretboards.com now sells them also mojo has prepunched PT cutouts but the rest of the chassis is blank so you can make your style of amp.

    The Zwreck was easy and fun, Rocket with reverb, Rocket with octal power section sounds great. The Komet 60 is a power house amp especially with the fast/gradual switch.

    Mark

    Mark,

    When you built your express did you use Ron Worley’s layout & notes?

    #5307

    M Fowler
    Participant

    Yes for my traditional TW Express I built it using Ron’s layout and schematic from the files section and printed his guide. Great guy.

    I had Distortions build my cabinet. The others I have been building. Richie H provides some nice cherry cabinets cheap.

    #5308

    M Fowler
    Participant

    Guys for another cheap build besides the one AJ is working on the 2 stroke kit on this website.

    rjguitar on ampgarage forum is going to have a $100 chassis kit that you can build a SE Fender Champ style amp. The chassis is top notch as well as parts and iron will be Edcor.

    We could also use this build on this website as it is a nice an easy amp for newbies to follow along as we build. What better single ended amps can a guy have but a 2-stroke and a Champ?

    I am not affiliated with rj but your not going to find a nicer guy that just happens to enjoy passing kits or parts onto amp builders for little to no profit to him.

    Mark

    #5310

    JohnG
    Participant

    I’ve only built a Deluxe 5E3 as I’m new to this. I posted pics of it on the site. Pleased with my first effort, and learn a lot in the process.

    Next, I have a Tweed Champ 5E1 to build which should be straight forward, and then a Blackface Vibro Champ AA764, which has speed and intensity controls.

    After that, I’m eager to build the proposed TAN 2 stroke. Hopefully, the two champ builds will prepare me for it.

    #5956

    sixstring11
    Participant

    That mod101 kit was my first build. I know what you mean about the flow of the circuit. I didn’t feel like I learned much from it, but it fueled my desire to build my own gear. I am running that little amp through 2 4×10 cabs I built loaded with celestion 30’s. I built a few of their pedals as well. Also have built some of the BYOC pedals. They are a great group to work with as well.

    #5957

    Robin
    Participant

    Pedals are great prep for amp building, developing good soldering techniques, lead dress, spec-ing parts and choosing components are all important building blocks. Plus, a pedal much more affordable.
    BTW, a Two Stroke circuit is very straight forward and easy to build, with Dave Hunter’s book and the TAN site for support, everyone should have a gratifying and enjoyable time building one.

    #5958

    sixstring11
    Participant

    Dave Hunters book has helped a great deal. I also recommend How To Service Your Own Tube Amp by Tom Mitchell.

    Building pedals has been helpful, especially the mod kit style pedals that are more of a point to point wiring scheme. Neatness and placement are learned with the tight quarters.

    I am glad this site is available as the Two Stroke has been one of my favorite projects to date. I am thankful for all the help from Andy and everyone that has posted info and tips here. This place and the people here are a valuable resource. :)

    #8013

    Walt
    Participant

    Looks like it’s been a while so I’ll throw out a recent completed project. And see if we can kick-start this thing again 🙂

    About 5 years ago I successfully built the AX84 Core Clean Preamp mated to the Core 20wSE PA w/KT88. I didn’t know what to expect: My goal was simply a loud/clean amp. What I got was more than I’d hoped for tone-wise, good tight bass and the sparkly high end was heaven 🙂 The response overall to pick attack was better than anything I’d been playing through. Despite the waffly mid/mid-shift I was achieving tones I’d only dreamed of. Definitely a keeper and was destined to become my primary gigging amp.

    Except… I couldn’t get any appreciable volume out of it. My wife said “I like it – it sounds pretty and it’s not too loud.” Well damn. That won’t do…

    In the intervening years I did everything I know how to do and could just never get any volume above the level of loud conversation. All voltages within spec, all parts tested, all wiring checked, checked, and re-checked against the schematics with no errors found. I combed the AX84 forum for a solution and found others with a similar issue, but not until recently did I stumble upon the “magic” solution – offered by the original preamp designer no less!

    Anyway… I jumped in, following his instructions explicitly and using his values. The result was everything I’d hoped.

    In the Clean position it’s CLEAN without being sterile – everything’s punchy and articulate with both humbuckers and single coils. I dare say, my Strat actually sounds like I think a Strat should sound – that’s never happened before 🙂 In the Blues position the clean is a little blurred (not fuzzy) with a touch more character but still articulate. Every control has an effect on the sound that can be as subtle as I want it to be. The mid-shift was previously kinda ho-hum – either because I didn’t understand its purpose until recently, or because it just didn’t work well in the original iteration, now has a useable and tweakable effect on the overall tone.

    And volume? With the designer’s modification it goes from wife-friendly bedroom practice levels to ridiculously loud cranked and sounds great everywhere in that spectrum. In the clean setting it stays clean and loud with barely a smidge of breakup at the highest levels (probably speaker distortion). In the blues position with sparkle/grit and volume dimed it emits a wonderful heavenly overdrive that I’m hard pressed to describe… It reminds me of a cranked 5E3 but doesn’t sound exactly like that. It’s saturated but not fuzzy. It’s smooth and even but not quite creamy. It has a roundness/softness to pick attack but it’s not squishy or saggy. Seems it’s easier to say what it’s NOT, but that’s just to say it’s unique in my experience. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

    Thanks for reading my book… Pics of the build

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Walt.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Walt.
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