Scratchbuilt amplifiers (not kits)
barry (Administrator) 05-09-2011 at 11:08 PM.
Post: #1
As well as the many amps built from kits shown in the other Customer Amp Galleries, here are some scratch-built amps. Scroll through this thread for ideas and inspiration for your own projects.
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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:33 AM.
Post: #2
Paul's multi-channel amp

This flexible amp is made with Amp Maker parts and has no fewer than four preamp circuits driving a pair of power valves - a 6V6 and EL84 in parallel. Paul's 4VA amplifier takes circuit ideas from Tweed Fenders, JTM and JCM Marshall amps, and uses front panel switches to take them in and out of circuit.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:34 AM.
Post: #3
Martin's 36W amp

The Amp Maker PP-36 is a 36W amp that wasn't quite ready for launch when Martin wanted to build his amp, so he built his own. "It's a 36W Lite, based on the schematics over at using the Amp Maker PT04 and OT04 transformer set and the AC11 steel chassis. I've also added an EF86 channel to give an alternative flavour."

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:36 AM.
Post: #4
Scott's 18W SuperLite TMB

At first glance, Scott's amp looks like an SE-5a, but inside is a modified 18W circuit. Using the same transformers and chassis as used in the PP-18, Scott used the SuperLite circuit which has enough gain to allow Treble, Middle and Bass tone controls. "Amazingly it even worked first go!"

Scott wasn't the only one wanting the 18W with tone controls, and since he built his amp, I've added the SL-18 SuperLite TMB amp kit.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:37 AM.
Post: #5
Martin's incredible AC-30 clone

Some people deserve medals, and Martin is one. His meticulous planning and handiwork squeezed a full AC-30 Top Boost clone into the Amp Maker AC11 chassis, using the PT04 and OT04 transformers for power and output. It's a substantial project, carried out with his 16yo son, and required some extra chassis work to add the extra preamp valves and a lot of work on the tag board layout. Understatement alert: "It's squeezed into your standard chassis without too much trouble! The head and cab were a joint effort but the orange tolex was definitely NOT my choice".

I'm especially delighted to hear that since building the amp, there's been great news: "A real bonus of this project was that Gareth showed off some of his handiwork, and got an Arkwright Scholarship (see here: out of it, so we're all chuffed.".

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:38 AM.
Post: #6
Reden's 18W variant

Reden used Amp Maker parts to build the 18W TMB that's a popular build over at This has a second channel - thanks to an extra preamp valve - to provide more overdrive than the normal 18W channel.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:41 AM.
Post: #7
Mark's converted combo

Here's an unloved solid-state amp that's been given a new lease of life. In this case, Mark has used Amp Maker's 36W transformer set and JJ valves to turn an old ValveState Marshall into a fire-breathing all-valve amp.

Some jobs were clearly easier than others: "The output transformer fitted into the chassis without modification and the power transformer is mounted underneath at 90 degrees, (but) the front panel is a new piece of steel I welded in." The other changes are a Jensen 12-inch alnico speaker and 'Bluesbreaker' grille cloth, and the anoraks among us will have spotted the H&K RedBox DI box sitting inside the back of the cabinet.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:43 AM.
Post: #8
Aleksi's Princeton-ish combo

This Tweed Princeton-ish combo was a present that Aleksi made for his father. For the circuit, Aleksi used TB11 PTFE board along with Amp Maker transformers to make an amp that's broadly similar to the Champ-based WF-55 amp kit. But following the vintage Princeton's lead, it also has a simple tone control. It's all mounted into his own chassis, with a 'plexi-style' control panel and chrome knobs to suit the tight control panel. And this is all wrapped up in a custom cabinet from Chris (see Cabs by Chris - add link).

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:44 AM.
Post: #9
Robin Simmons' Atomic reaction

Robin used the Amp Maker 18W output transformer, chrome knobs and tag boards for this fascinating build. "It all started a long time ago......, back in 1993, when I swapped a Roger Waters CD, for some “scrap” from a loft. It turned out to be an early 1960’s LINEAR EL84 ultra-linear cage amp in very poor repair. The Amp has kept the original power transformer, and the EZ81 stayed too, but does include the third ECC83. The amp is now loosely based on a Soldano Atomic 16, but with different gain stages, tone control / power section. The front panel used some 40mm kitchen worktop edge strip to cover the original holes, sprayed white, and the legend done on the PC with waterslide paper, with lacquer to finish it off."

"After a lot of work it all came together and I now have a fully finished combo. The Amp Maker output transformer sounds superb, and I am very pleased with the quality of the knobs. The gold marker dot is a must, Blackstar use the same knobs but all chrome, and you can’t tell where you have set the thing."

Robin has also kindly included an animated graphic that shows the action of the 'Tilt' tone control.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 12:46 AM.
Post: #10
James Healey's Express-based build

Using Amp Maker 18W power and output transformers, plus chassis and turret board material, James built a great looking amp based on a Trainwreck Express circuit. I'd also sent over some surplus mahogany material (same as used for the WF-55 faceplate) and James made the amp's faceplate: "I actually split the thing in half, but managed to glue it on the rear side and stain the front. The crack just looks like part of the grain - you can't tell."

If you want to hear James' amp in action visit: (Used for all of the distorted guitar tracks).

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