Fender Super Tweed Build

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by Cjsinla, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    If you can solder and read a simple diagram, it’s easy. I recommend a tweed Champ build from Mojotone. They lay the parts out in labeled boxes. The Tube Depot Champ kits are on PCB, parts are all labeled and they have a detailed instruction manual. Big fun and easy to do and the amp sounds really good. I did a Mojotone Champ “small parts” kit and chassis, Weber 4ohm alnico speaker and put it into an old Vox AC4 TV cabinet as one of my first projects. They are rated 1 of 5 for difficultly. The Super was rated as 3 of 5.

    Here’s a few pics of the Champ build. I’m mechanically inclined but have very little experience with electronics. I did read the Guitar Amp Handbook by Dave Hunter to learn about some of the basics and that was helpful. You can even buy that book through iBooks.

    9D39A8B0-F165-475A-B180-2C9C2DE3B122.jpeg 94AC9F9A-0411-41E5-B04D-8F704A00C486.jpeg
     
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  2. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    The guy gets a lot of flap, mostly for his "kits" for old Fender amps, but Dan Torres book, "Inside Tube Amps" is really a good book for the beginner. Dan doesn't go into heavy math, but does explain how the circuits work, each compartmentalized as to function, then put together to see how those building blocks interact. I think its still available on Amazon.
     
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  3. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    Nice job on re-purposing that AC4 man! i dipped my toe into the build water last year when i harvested the iron from a old hifi amp from the 50's and converted a dead Fender Super champ XD into a 5E3 . it's kinda funny i unwittingly called it a Super tweed not realizing at the time there was a actual super tweed. i'm getting the itch to do another , maybe a actual super tweed like yours would be just the thing to scratch the itch :)

    Here is a link to the tread i did on it. http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/fender-super-champ-xd-mod-5e3-related.360480/
     
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  4. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Look for old tube based phonographs in school auctions...
    Its all there. Take out the mechanical stuff put two capacitors between the input jack that you'll provide and the wires that went to the cartridge. Done.

    Almost always they give great creamy tones good for guitar or harp. It's not uncommon to have a push pull 6 V6 with a tube rectifier and to 12 X 7 for about 12 Watts. The ones that have the speaker in the lid that connects
    with a cable are the best and usually about 12 Watts. More expensive to buy used but you can do the same with old movie projectors that have the removable and remote sound systems that went with them. The old 16mm projectors with the sound system in the base and removable speaker are also killer.
     
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  5. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    I just looked up the Dan Torres book. One new one and a bunch of used ones. A little pricey but they seem? to be offering a Kindle version and that one might be more affordable.
     
  6. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    I've been a little MIA on the forum and just read the thread. I always enjoy reading "It's alive!" and miss that feeling. 4 builds and a Bassman rebuild later... still hooked. I don't really need another amp, but the desire to build another never goes away.

    My first build was a Vibro Champ with a 10" alnico speaker. Still my main house/practice amp since its birth date. Also turns out to be a really good recording amp.

    Congrats!
     
  7. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    I know what you mean about wanting to build more and not needing them. I just finished a VibroChamp today, my fourth build and I definitely didn’t need another amp.

    Work in progress shot
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    Finished product
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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  8. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    Oops, I forgot to add the logo.

    image.jpg
     
  9. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Very cool......
     
  10. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Do something worthwhile. Have Mojo fit a deluxe cabinet for a champ chassis. Ditch the tube rectifier. Use the hole for a second 6 V6 tube. Fit a Hammond power Transformer and a Princeton output Transformer. Design the board for a cathodyne phase inverter and three games stages. One control - volume. Fitted with a 12-inch speaker of your choice. All of that is entirely possible because I've done it.
     
  11. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    That’s really funny that you think I know enough about electronics to design a circuit.
     
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  12. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    You've already played with all the building blocks! Most of the items in traditional guitar amplifiers are rather modular. There is some tweaking to be done between the modules. The rest is just the Ohm's law very easy. Bob Heil is presenting an online and on the air course building a do-it-yourself amateur radio receiver and transmitter which is all tube based.
     
  13. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

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    Love it!

    Life's good when you have a good practice amp.

    Here's mine.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    I take it from a very reliable source that the vibro champ recently constructed "rocks"!
     
  15. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    I’ll take your word for it.

    These really are nice amps. They sound so sweet I don’t even miss all the overdrive and thump of my Marshall’s. I really want to add the “VibroChamp” logo to mine. I’ll probably just print something out and glue it on.
     
  16. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    These are my so-called practice amps.

    [​IMG]

    That's a tweed Champ in a tweed Princeton cab with a 10" speaker, and a blackface Champ head into a Marshall Class 5 cab loaded with a Weber 10F150. An awesome, nasty old Norlin Les Paul Standard into a WEM Copicate tape delay into either or both of these and it's just the shinizzle.

    :thumb:
     
  17. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Last point first.... how about a water slide decal that you lacquer over? If you print a reverse image waterslide, so the letters are clear, paint under where the letters will go, apply the decal and then lacquer the entire plate. That would be interestingly nice.

    As for the basics of building block amp design... you already have (between your ears) what you need to put the pieces together.

    Break down a simple amp -

    input--gain--volume control--gain--phase inverter--output

    Break down the input and first gain stage -

    Jacks, input resistors, grid resistor, tube, plate load resistor, cathode resistor (maybe a bypass capacitor), and a coupling capacitor to the next stage.

    Then look at all the schematics and layouts until you have that Ah-HA! moment.

    See how they put controls after the coupling caps to keep the high voltage (and DC ) off them? Ah-HA!

    And so on, etc etc
     
  18. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    I started looking at my amp basics book again, we’ll see what happens.
     
  19. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    @Leña_Costoso @Splattle101
    I decided to replace the Chinese PT in my Super with a Mercury Magnetics PT. All Weber transformers are made in China I think. The Weber PT looks a little skimpy compared to the Mercury PT. It felt like one of the screws on the Weber PT was starting to strip when I put it in. It also looked like there was solder on two of the screw heads, almost like internal wires were attached there for grounding. The Weber PT costs about half of what the MM PT cost. Check out the difference in workmanship. What difference do you think the extra mass of the MM makes as far as performance?

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  20. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    So, I’m a little confused. I get where the red, yellow and green wires go. I assume that the red/yellow CT goes to ground. The white goes to the cord and black goes to the switch. That leaves the red/white wire and the orange wire.

    If I had to guess I would say that the orange isn’t used and the red/white bias wire goes to the board? Any help would be appreciated. @Soul Tramp

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