How to build your kit

Construction manuals – step-by-step.

General FAQs on amp building and safety.

VCB Installation guide (PDF)
WF-55 Construction guide (PDF)

NOTE: The PDFs shown above are designed as A4 pages (for easy printing at home). In Adobe Acrobat or other PDF viewing software, select ‘Spreads’ from the View menu so that you can see double-page spreads when viewing on your computer screen.

 

(More build guides to come. Check back soon.)

Amp building FAQs:

In addition to the amp kits covered above, here are some shorter articles about amp building in general. As always, safety comes first, so be sure to check out the High Voltage Safety Guide before working on any amplifier.

Can I add an FX loop?

“Can I add an FX loop?” is another common question. The answer is very similar to that for adding reverb. The short answer:Yes, but it’s not trivial, and it’s difficult to get it sounding good. The long and detailed answer:The

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Can I add reverb?

“Can I add reverb?” is probably the most frequently asked question of all. The short answer: Yes, but it’s not trivial, and it’s difficult to get it sounding good. The long and detailed answer: Reverb is a time-domain effect, and

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Do I need an oscilloscope?

No. For a few troubleshooting issues, having an oscilloscope available is useful. But you would also need the training to know how to use one (not difficult, but not trivial). If you enjoy amp building so much that you want

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Do your amps work on US mains voltage?

Yes. Some kits have universal power transformers with 110-120V windings. These are wired exactly as shown in the build guides and layout diagrams. Some of the other mains transformers supplied with all kits can be wired for European (220-240V AC)

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High voltage safety guide

All assembly and testing and tweaking of electrically powered equipment should be done with care. Mains voltages (100-240 Volts AC) themselves are dangerous and almost all valve-powered amplifiers have higher voltages (250-500V DC). The latter can be stored within capacitors

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What about speaker ratings?

I always recommend running within the rated power rating of your speakers. So, if I am using an 18W amplifier, I do not run it into a single 1x12inch cabinet with a 15W-rated Celestion Blue. I know that some people

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What speaker do you recommend?

This is possibly the #1 question that I get asked, and I have two answers. 1) Short answer: Celestion G12H 30W for british/overdriven tones. JBL E120 for cleaner tones. This is entirely my own subjective preference; you may hate them!

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What tools will I need?

To build an amp kit you need a combination of electronics tools and a few hand tools: 1) Soldering iron. 20-30W is fine. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a temperature controlled model (although they are

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Why don’t you use a valve rectifier?

Valve rectifiers are an unnecessary expense and complication for a guitar amp. In a few vintage amplifiers they do contribute to the tone, but in many amplifiers they don’t provide any sonic benefit at all. Here’s why… Valve rectifiers’ most

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