Amp Maker news

Since 2005. How it all started.
The big 2020 reboot. Why do I do it?

The Brexit thing…

It eventually happened, and there are significant changes – and administration issues – for shipping amp parts and kits to customers in the EU and Northern Ireland. Courier companies are increasing their prices to cover their overheads and there’s also a postage costs update.


If you are in the EU/NI you may want to wait until things improve before ordering. If you order now, be aware that there will be extra costs (customs, VAT, administration) that you are likely to be charged by your local post office or delivery company. This may add 20-33% or so to the actual cost of your order – or even more if you order a small item, where an administration cost could easily exceed the item’s value. In addition, courier companies are making mistakes with some deliveries and there are many stories about packages sitting in a courier hub for days while a human tries to work out what paperwork is required for them to proceed.


All of these headaches may get easier with time, but for now the delays and hassles are significant and likely.


If you are outside the EU (Norway, USA, Canada, etc) there should be no change.

Christmas 2020

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.

N5X and CV19 delays

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.

2020 Amp Maker reboot

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.

About Amp Maker

amp kit componentsAmp 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.

About me
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.


Using Amp Maker’s 0-190-275V mains TX and 18W output TX, Aleksi has

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Here’s another vote for red tolex, this time used in combination with

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  I can’t do woodwork for toffee, and I’m always jealous of

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“Just wanted to say that I’m delighted with the end result. Looks

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