Amp Maker news
The big 2020 reboot. Why do I do it?
December 18th: Amp Maker will reopen in January 2021 (exact date to be confirmed – check here later for updates). The website continues to run slow (cart/cookie issue) … still investigating and hope to have it fixed soon. Brexit also looming… details to follow.
As of 18th December, Amp Maker is closed for the Christmas holiday. All orders have shipped. Thanks to all customers for supporting Amp Maker this year, and I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
New orders will be possible once the Web shop reopens in January. Please check this News section and the Home Page for details. During the downtime I hope to find the glitch that has caused time-outs and sluggish performance of the shopping cart. In addition, there will be (hopefully) more information on how Brexit affects orders from EU customers.
I am happy to say that I have just put the N5X back on sale (14th November, for shipping from 1st December). However, this is a small batch using stock from previous suppliers. Some suppliers (new and old) are having trouble fulfilling orders promptly due to CV19-related staffing/etc. This means that the next batch of N5X amplifier kits must wait for those delayed parts to come in.
The same delays are affecting some other amp kits, too. As of now, the WF-55 has a short delay waiting for transformers. It’s frustrating, but there’s not a lot I can do at the moment. I may switch to selling amp kits in timed batches in 2021. Please check here from time to time for updates.
Amp Maker is reopening. I have ‘rebooted’ the whole business from shopping cart to courier systems. Just as with a computer reboot, the idea is to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t work, and restart with a clean sheet.
Several important things have changed:
- Working week: Amp Maker now runs for 3 days a week, Tuesday to Thursday. That means no processing or shipping of orders on Monday or Friday.
- Payment methods: I no longer accept debit or credit cards directly, but you can continue to use them via a PayPal account. The alternative is to use online banking – a little slower. (Overseas customers should check with their banks in advance to find out about any processing fees for sending payments to a UK bank.)
- Product availability: In reopening supply lines, there are delays and issues with some suppliers whose factories have been affected by Covid-19 and safe working practices. So there will be some gaps and delays in certain Amp Maker products – especially guitar amplifier kits which are comprised of hundreds of parts from dozens of suppliers.
- VAT: As a cause/effect of reducing working hours, I have decided to limit Amp Maker business to stay under the VAT registration threshold. I have therefore deregistered the company from VAT, and no longer charge VAT on any products sold on the site.
Amp Maker has been supplying guitar amp kits and parts since 2005. The first amp kit I launched was the SE-5a (5W), followed by the PP-18 (18W) and WF-55 (4W). The first two of these morphed into the N5X and P1800, respectively – each adding the features most often requested by customers. There are other kits in development. I also round up parts and materials to make amp building easier for customers who prefer to scratch-build than to build a kit.
I started Amp Maker in Stanmore (North London) and moved out to Suffolk in 2007. In April 2011, I incorporated the business as Amp Maker Limited. Shortly after that I moved to Cambridge.
My name is Barry, and my main career has been in publishing – editing and writing technology magazines. I’ve also been modifying and making guitar amps for about 20 years; I’m self-taught, but that’s thanks entirely to the many fantastic Internet resources created and run by other valve amp enthusiasts. I think I turned to amp making once I realised that my skillz as a guitar hero were limited (right, somewhere in Japan). 🙂
It all seemed so simple when I started out: round up a good set of components, pack them together and ship them out to other people like me – valve amp builders who knew what they wanted and just wanted it all in a single box. In fact, there were also many other guitarists who wanted to build their own amp but who were completely new to amp building. So I wrote detailed construction manuals to make the kits a step-by-step process.
Since then, hundreds of customers have built my guitar amps (and many more have used Amp Maker parts to build their own designs). Without exception, the over-riding reaction has been emails from customers who are absolutely delighted – first, that they built an amp that works, and second, that the amp sounds so good. Those emails come from guitarists from Britain, all over Europe, the USA and Australia, from amp builders young and old, and from guys with one amp or even a stable of boutique amps.
Why do I do it?
I still get a real thrill when customers flip the Power switch on their amps for the first time. Knowing that out there, people are plugged into Amp Maker amps and rocking away with an ear-to-ear grin… it makes my day. I love it when customers let me know how their builds have gone and what their finished amplifier looks like. Take a few moments to look at the Customer amp gallery and the Sound and video clips page to see why.
The images below show a few amplifiers picked at random from the Customer Amp Gallery. Click any of them to read more.
“Here are some photos of my WF-55, now that I’ve finished the
“Here are a few pics of my finished PP-18w, with VVR and
It’s always useful when your own skills help complete your amp. Peter’s
Here’s an unloved solid-state amp that’s been given a new lease of