Scratchbuilt amplifiers (not kits)
barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:47 AM.
Post: #11
Andy Gray's FireFly amp

The FireFly project is a very popular build at Andy used the Amp Maker 190-0-190V power transformer for his build, and kindly sent photos in to show the true point-to-point layout he came up with. Note that it has a switch for using 12AU7 for around 1W or an ECC99 valve for around 2W.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:48 AM.
Post: #12
Hywel Sollis' SuperLite TMB 18W

Hywell had previously built the Amp Maker SE-5a kit and then moved on to his own 18W SuperLite build. "It's been half built for a long long time and I finally got around to finishing it off in the last few weeks. It's got your chassis, transformers and quite a few other bits and pieces in there and sounds great!"

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:49 AM.
Post: #13
Mike Parker's reverb unit

The Fender 6G15 reverb unit is - in many ways - a full-blown amp which just happens to drive a reverb tank instead of a speaker. It uses two preamp valves, a power valve and a mains and output transformer, and Mike built just such a reverb unit using Amp Maker parts. "Finished the build today and I am knocked out by the sound. It is better than digital reverb (I have a good Alesis factory-built unit). I have it running into the PP-18 which is driving a self-built 2x12. This is the best guitar sound I have ever had."

"The unit could be much smaller if you were using a smaller tank but the big tank works for me."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:50 AM.
Post: #14
Gary Hodgkiss' reborn radio

I love seeing projects like this (while not being keen to do it myself!). Check out the 'Junior Pilot' badge above the grille. "The planning took forever, and then when I fitted the chassis the interference was so bad I had to do it again. It looks bigger in the pictures, it was a proper squeeze, and good lead dress was almost impossible, but it sounds really good. My next one is probably going to be a 30 watt push-pull amp fitted inside a victorian corner cabinet." Looking forward to seeing that one.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:52 AM.
Post: #15
Joris Kriesel's SE-5a variant

"About two months ago I bought a chassis, switches, lots of other hardware at your store. I was very satisfied with the quality and started building. The plan was to use your British Overdrive schematic with some modifications: Standby switch became a switch between diode and EZ80 recifier valve, I added a switch to disconnect the tonestack from ground, plus a bright switch. I used transformers from an old Metz 305W radio. The amp is like no other."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:53 AM.
Post: #16
Neil Bannister's SuperLite build

There are many ways to get more gain out of the vintage 18W circuit, and the SuperLite is among the most popular. Neil is one of many builders to go his own way: "Hi just a quick note regarding developments of my (initial) SuperLite build. I decided to to install the two dual-gang pots. One on the Gain (to enable driving the second triode of V1 and some of the signal from V1 into the PI and one on the Master volume (which is now post-PI)."

"The standard build used a 1uF cathode on the first triode. With the spare space freed up by removing the two 470K resistors on the board next to the first cathode resistor, I installed another 2 larger value caps which I can switch in or out to get different fuller sounds - not sure until I open the amp up at higher volumes as to whether these will work or not. I think this kind of design is really neat as at low volumes you can get considerable PI distortion."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:54 AM.
Post: #17
Mick Purchase's stripped-down SE-5a

"Well, here is my latest amp and cabinet. I can't claim it as one of your kits but it does use a lot of parts I've had from you - thanks! The amp is basically a stripped down SE-5a with no tone control but a three-way gain boost, run a bit cooler and attenuated somewhat because my brother's studio is above the local cafe and next door to his landlord's mother's house!"

"The cab, based on an old Valco design, is 14x15in and, being a little wider than high, is a bit more pleasing on the eye that a pure square. I'm intrigued to discover just how much of the eventual sound signature is due to the cab design. With an open backed cab you get phase cancellation between what is coming out of the front and the back wave, which cuts down the low/mid frequencies and hence the traditional bright Fender sound. It's when you start closing up the back that it begins to get interesting. I wish I could say this was mathematically calculated but my 'port' results from experimenting with boards to get a sound I liked. The resulting brick-sized cutout results in a lot more mids and lows than a more open design as well as allowing adequate ventilation. The results of the mods are a dark and eerie blues tone with an early breakup."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:55 AM.
Post: #18
Aleksi's 2-channel amp

Aleksi's a very serial amp builder, and a regular over at This is his scratch-built 2-channel push-pull amp. It uses a modified Amp Maker chassis and is stuffed with turret boards. Aleksi is using the super-easy to work with PTFE (teflon) boards for sub-assemblies all around the amp.

"Just wanted to send you a few shots of the work in progress. I've managed to get the first sounds out of the amp, the first preamp channel and the output stage (along with VVR) are working OK." The second channel includes one of Aleksi's favourite circuits: a parallel 12AX7 driving an EF86.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 01:07 AM.
Post: #19
Barrie Tait's reborn Ibanez

"The chassis is a burnt out Ibanez TB-15r. The amp is basically
your SE-5a with a mod making C1 and C3 switchable - i.e. bright or dark. The other bits are a small ali box on top of the chassis. This is a
valve vibracaster reverb circuit that incorporates a Brimar ECC82 valve and small PCB that I built.

"I tried putting the valve between the EL84 and ECC83 in your schematic
and the PCB under the chassis, but I got a lot of noise so it ended up in the box! The switch between the Speed and Depth knobs puts the reverb in or out of the circuit.

"I am well pleased with your amp! I only use it for my own messing about trying to record myself along with backing tracks but just a begginer."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 01:15 AM.
Post: #20
Richard Allen's Valve Junior revamp

"Here's a guts shot for you. It's only my second build, and the component layout is a little cramped due to using an old Valve Jr chassis and being constrained by the pre-existing holes. I used a schematic of the Selmer Little Giant Mk3 and designed the internals myself. It's not complete yet - I'll send a few more shots when I've built the housing, etc."

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