SE-5a amplifiers
barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:29 PM.
Post: #11
Chris' SE-5a head

Here's another builder using car model lettering to create a logo. In this case, Chris found the 'CKS' letters at a car badge shop on Ebay, and - by accident or design - the colours perfectly match the red tolex of the cab covering. "I attached the steel front panel with high strength cabinet magnets from Homebase. It makes it easy to get at the valves if I need to change them".


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:30 PM.
Post: #12
John's Blues Jr / SE-5a conversion

Using a donor combo cab is defintely a fast track to getting a completed amp. John opted for the basic version of the SE-5a amp kit to use in his old Blues Jr. "The sound quality is superb, currently through the Blues Jr's 12-inch Eminence speaker. I have plans to install a Celestion Alnico Blues, when funds permit, as I believe the amp kit is more than worthy of it."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:32 PM.
Post: #13
Robert's SE-5a combo

Like many amateur cabinet makers, Robert found that getting the right wood is difficult. "I got some pine board from B&Q but it was a bit curved, so I ended up with laminated spruce furniture board from Homebase." Despite this Robert persevered and taught himself how to use a dovetail jig and router. "One weekend after another came and went. I used Colron Danish oil to finish it and oxblood grille cloth with Fender corners and vintage handle; "but I made the vent slot a bit too wide, so the handle went on the side.

"I have to say that I am pleased with the way this has worked out since I had not done anything like this before. It delivers authentic sound that none of the modelling amps seem to be capable of despite their claims."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:32 PM.
Post: #14
Richard's SE-5a with... stop-gap cab!

Don't try this at home! Richard had a completed SE-5a amp chassis and couldn't wait to try it out with the 2x12 cab that was on the drawing board. So he temporarily mounted a 6in speaker in a cardboard box, and used packing stuff for 'damping'! "What a sound!! Think early Shadows, John Barry 7, Bert Weedon. Using a Strat with standard USA pickups it screeches from the bridge, down to mellow and still twangy at the neck."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:34 PM.
Post: #15
Andy's Tweed mini-stack

It's amazing how a few cosmetic choices can give an amp a different character. Andy had a Tweed-covered speaker cabinet and decided to do a matching SE-5a head. So his front panel is cream-on-brown with cream chickenhead knobs instead of the SE-5a's standard black and gold livery. It's really effective - one of my own favourites, actually.

Andy's an electronics engineer, and has uploaded a detailed blog of his SE-5a build: see Andy's SE-5a Basic Kit build at http://www.alloutput.com/se5a/ It's a "warts and all" review/blog, but I'm always happy for feedback that helps me improve the kits for future customers. But it's also a VERY good illustration of how to cover a cabinet with tweed. Thanks for sharing, Andy.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:35 PM.
Post: #16
Jens' SE-5a

Jens runs a left-handed guitar shop in Germany (http://www.lefthandgear.de/), and bought an SE-5a kit with classic combo cabinet to use as a demonstrator amp for customers. "This was 'background' before building another amp completely myself". Good to see another Tokai Love Rock fan - this one being rather unusual: left-handed and P90 pickups.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:36 PM.
Post: #17
Joel's SE-5a conversion

Here's another solid-state amp that's had its unloved innards removed and an SE-5a circuit added. Joel's donor was a Rickenbacker TR7. As the second photo shows there's plenty of room, and it only took some drilling to add the holes for mounting the individual components.

"I tried it with several guitars (Rickenbacker, Charvel, Fender, Hofner), 6 & 12 strings, single or double pickups... it's great in every case (after a few minutes to find out the right control setup). The best surprise occured when I plugged my Yamaha Silent nylon guitar and got a pleasant 'acoustic classical sound' through the Jensen speaker."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:36 PM.
Post: #18
Hywel's SE-5a head

Cool story: this SE-5a amp kit was bought as a Christmas gift for Hywel by his father. Once Hywel had built the amp, his grandfather then helped to make and finish the cabinet. The cab uses an Amp Maker headshell and Hywel opted for a front-side ventilation slot to show off the valves.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:37 PM.
Post: #19
Gary's SE-5a tweaking

For most customers, the amp kits are built and kept standard, but the great thing about valve amps is that they're so easy to tweak. Gary even tweaked the look of his chassis, getting it powder-coated in black - if you're doing something like this, obviously you've got to plan it from the beginning.
In addition to the amp cosmetics, Gary also tweaked the tone, adding an extra valve for more gain.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:38 PM.
Post: #20
Mike's SE-5a build

Mike wanted a 'small combo' to make a portable amp for his guitar-playing son, and chose an SE-5a amp kit. However, like a lot of people, Mike was easily persuaded that using a 12in speaker gives any amp a chance to give its full range, and so the idea of a tiny combo was ditched and plans for a more typical 1x12 combo took shape. He started with the cabinet plans for the classic 1x12 18W, used proper finger joints for the corners and the result is this stunning red combo. Too good to carry around, perhaps? Because Mike's now building a smaller Fender Princeton clone.


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