SE-5a amplifiers
barry (Administrator) 05-09-2011 at 11:10 PM.
Post: #1
Scroll through this thread for ideas and inspiration on housing and covering your SE-5a.
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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:20 PM.
Post: #2
Ian's Ab Fab SE-5a

Just when I think I've seen it all, something drops into my Inbox and proves I haven't. "As you can see, I didn't fancy the usual black tolex look"; Ian's email could be the understatement of the year. This colourful half-stack looks like a prop from an Austin Powers movie. Groovy, baby, indeed. There are some great details - the handles on the side of the speaker cabinet are drawer handles (from B&Q, or raided from the kitchen, I don't know...), and I like the braided gold fabric 'stuff' used instead of conventional plastic piping.
"The build (my first) went nice and smoothly and the amp worked first time - great stuff. It sounds fantastic." Inside the oversize speaker cab is a Celestion G12 greenback.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:21 PM.
Post: #3
Chris' SE-5a

With its dovetail-jointed cabinet in English oak, Chris' PP-18 looks fantastic and undeniably classy. I love figured wood and the oak here has light flaming to contrast against the tight grain. No need to overdo the finish: "five coats of beeswax", says Chris. "It takes pedals better than any other amp I have tried and still stays very quiet and hum free. Through a 4x12 and pushed with a Digitech SC2 it sounded absolutely huge."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:22 PM.
Post: #4
The Italian Trittico

I love this picture; Domenico, Pino and Fabrizio got together to minimise shipping costs for their amps, and the result is The Italian Trittico - a formation of two SE-5as an a PP-18 in matching hardwood cabs. They obviously keep good company (the '67 Strat), but am I the only one worried by that raging fire behind the amps?


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:23 PM.
Post: #5
Aleksi's orange combo

"I probably made a few neighbours mad, but I couldn't stop playing this thing. It floors my old Marshall Valvestate 2x75W combo. The dynamics and response are simply out of this world compared to the tube preamped solid-state Marshall."

When Aleksi got in touch, he wanted a combo cab to go with his SE-5a amp kit. At the time I was just making arrangements with a British cab maker to make and supply cabs to Amp Maker customers. Aleksi's assembled SE-5a mounted straight into the cab and you can see the result here. This is the chunky '70s Marshall style, and there are also '60s classic style cabinets, too.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:24 PM.
Post: #6
Aidan's SE-5a

Some customers prefer to build the amp into a ready-made donor head. Here, Aidan has put the SE-5a circuit into an old Marshall head cab found on Ebay and teamed it with an old Marshall 1x12 cab. "I chose a Celestion G12 vintage speaker (100dB/W sensitivity) to try to get the best out of my 5W and it really does work. Get the gain and Master past 6 and strike the strings a little harder and this amp really starts to sing. ... I also found some Mullard valves on Ebay, so the whole thing is British-made now! The sound is amazing, and that's not just me, several people have tried it now and don't believe it's a 5W home-made amp."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:25 PM.
Post: #7
Colin's cool half-stack

A mixture of old and new styles for Colin's SE-5a build: vintage piping and red tolex with aluminium 'treadplate' material for the front panel. Together with the matching 4x8 cabinet, it looks terrific. "The finished item is a vast improvement on my Vox Valvetronix 30W amp - easier to get where you want and the clean is cleaner than the Vox's clean!"


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:26 PM.
Post: #8
Stephen's blonde SE-5a

If you built your amp in the cramped confines of a shed, or perhaps on the kitchen table, spare a thought for Stephen - he built his on board a ship in the North Sea! I can't imagine what sort of mains voltages a ship's generator puts out, nor how you solder while being thrown this way and that, but... it worked.

Luckily, Stephen has what I need: a professional cabinet maker as a friend! In unmistakable ash hardwood, this blonde looks superb. Since building the SE-5a, Stephen's also built an 18W TMB amp in matching wood.


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:28 PM.
Post: #9
Brian's conversion

Here's a conversion of an old solid-state amp: the Marshall Lead 12 combo at the top of Brian's 3-way stack now contains a complete SE-5a. Brian used the SE-5a Basic kit and placed the output transformer within the Lead 12's chassis (which was deep enough to accomodate it). The valves and power transformer hang down from the chassis. "The combo/head can be removed and used just as a small practice combo, or placed on top and used as a head for the two cabs. Either option sounds absolutely great."


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barry (Administrator) 05-17-2011 at 10:28 PM.
Post: #10
Chris' SE-5a

Once again, it's the neatly executed logo that finishes this amp off. Chris had his logo engraved with his name in a script-style by a local specialist engraver in Newbury. This type of logo uses a black-on-white sandwich of plastic and the engraver removes the top layer to make the logo design (just like the Hiwatt logo). It looks fantastic against the elephant grain tolex.


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