John Gallagher’s Blackheart conversion

“Finally completed my Se-5a build and just wanted to let you know it’s working and sounds fantastic! I’m extremely happy with it – to say it’s an improvement on the horrible 5W Blackheart Little Giant amp it replaced is an understatement. That was shrill, brittle sounding – pretty horrible and a massive disappointment (I only bought it in February!).

“In the Blackheart’s favour, it was very well put together – as I learnt when I pulled it apart – and the cab looks really good I think. Now it has the sounds to match the looks! I’ve only played through the amp for a couple of hours so far – but it’s already clear it’s exactly what I was hoping for. Warm and gritty at low (house) volume. I’m looking forward to giving it a good bash over the rest of the week! ”

“I was very worried that, as I wasn’t using your chassis – which is larger than the Blackheart one – and couldn’t exactly imitate the recommended wiring scheme I could end up with bad hum or oscillation as a result. Thankfully the amp is very quite when you’re not playing – that’s the first thing to strike me, as every other amp I’ve used has hummed a lot more and I’d got used to that.”

“It was quite a bit of hard work fitting the kit into the chassis as I’ve not done anything like this before and, invariably, made a few mistakes along the way (I originally placed the PT and valves too close to the edges of the chassis and I found it would no longer fit in the cabinet as a result!). But I got there in the end! I changed a few of the parts included in the kit for others that I had in my parts’ box.”