SE-5a amplifiers
barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:56 PM.
Post: #31
Mauro's hot-rodded Behringer

The best thing about cheap solid-state amps is that they make great donors for valve circuits. Mauro built his SE-5a Basic Kit into a Behringer Vintage GM110 combo. As with any donor amp build, Mauro started by checking whether the 257x67mm SE-5a turret board and transformers could fit, and that there was space for the controls.

The next step is to drill and punch the chassis for the valve sockets and mounting points for other components. (Tip: check twice, drill once!) Check out Mauro's music at Soundclick:

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:57 PM.
Post: #32
Kevin's upside-down amp

Whenever an Amp Maker kit is built upside-down - as here, where it hangs from the top of the combo cabinet - it requires some thought and planning. It's best to use the Plain chassis version of the kit and order a mirror-image turret board, because when flipping the control panel by 180-degrees, the inside of the amp flips from right-to-left.

"This has been a very enjoyable project (for a change); your guide is spot on. I have made amplifiers before, but always transistor, with good results, but not in the same league as yours!"

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:59 PM.
Post: #33
Rob's slant-faced SE-5a combo

There's always some new twist on combo styling, and Rob's is one. Wanting a control panel that was easier to read when standing over the amp, Rob designed a combo which would take the SE-5a chassis at an angle. He worked out the weird geometry to allow the valves and power transformer adequate clearance, and mocked up a cardboard prototype!

For the final amp, Rob used purple velour (!) and perspex for viewing slots. See the full building guide at Rob's Wiki: SE-5a combo Wiki:

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:00 PM.
Post: #34
Peter's 1x12 SE-5a combo

Combos don't get much cuter than this. Peter's hand-made 1x12 cab has an offset G12H speaker and a two-tone colour scheme.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Post: #35
Rab's mirror-image build

Rab wanted to make a combo cab where the controls were at the front - i.e. with the chassis suspended from the top of the combo cabinet. This simple decision actually causes a lot of changes: the whole amp needs to be laid out in 'mirror-image' form (compared to the layout shown in the online construction manual). It's not hard, but it needs VERY good attention to detail.

Rab also chose a distressed paint finish for his cabinet, an alternative worth considering for those (like me) whose tolex-covering skills aren't up to scratch!

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:02 PM.
Post: #36
John's 1x12 SE-5a combo

Another approach to combo styling; John went for the chunkier late-'70s styling and used Marshall-style large chequerboard grille cloth to set it off. It creates a very purposeful-looking amp.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:03 PM.
Post: #37
Tim's combo

Another vote for natural pine with danish oil finishing, from Tim and his SE-5a. Tim used a simple L-pad attenuator to reduce speaker volume (while the amp itself is cranked). He mounted the L-pad control on a small panel just inside the back of the combo cabinet.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:04 PM.
Post: #38
Wolfgang's SE-5a build

"Over the holidays I had a little time to finish my amp. Now everything is done and I have a little screamer! The amp is really noise-free. The sound is just great. I usually play a Fender Twin, and I used occasionally a Boss DS-1 distortion pedal, but I was never really happy with the sound. It was just not sweet. I guess this may change in the future."

Properly built and well-housed, the SE-5a is no lightweight toy. Wolfgang used good-quality 21mm ply for his cabinet with a Celestion G12M greenback speaker. All-in this little combo weighs 18kg.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:05 PM.
Post: #39
Chris' 1x12 SE-5a combo

Take one SE-5a amp, a G12H, some wood, and voila! Chris: "I made a case using the 1x12 18watt measurements for my amp, but reduced the dimensions to those more suited to a portable practice amp and made it 23x10x18 approx ... the finish is rollered woodsheen paint, suggested by someone on the forum". The grille cloth is Marshall-style 'salt and pepper'.

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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 11:06 PM.
Post: #40
Andy's B&Q special!

Pine was good enough for Fender's vintage amps, so it's good enough for today's amps. For his SE-5a Andy used low-cost pine shelving from the local B&Q DIY store and made butt-joints with dowels for the corners. The finish is danish oil and he added a small logo printed on Lasertran inkjet paper to the back panel.

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