New Amp Build: V2 Caldera

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by V2, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    A new 50w V2 Caldera was born today. Here's the essential info:

    Tube Compliment:
    2 x EL34s, 3 x 12AX7

    Class:
    AB push-pull with adjustable fixed bias. Individual bias jacks and adjustment pots per power tube.

    EQ and volume:
    Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence, bright switch, pre-amp gain and master volume.

    Topology:
    Single-channel with lower- and higher-gain modes accessible by front-panel switch. All-tube signal path (no diodes used for distortion). Sonically, the tones are in the 'modern M*rshall' camp.

    FX Loop:
    Optional Metro FX loop

    Other:
    Solid-state rectifier, world's greatest standby switch (that is, there is no standby switch).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    ac/dcfan87, JCarno, GeeJay and 19 others like this.
  2. Soul Tramp

    Soul Tramp Speaker Snob V.I.P. Member MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    5,700
    Likes Received:
    12,288
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Outstanding! Is that black tweed or tolex?
     
    2 people like this.
  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,867
    Likes Received:
    18,990
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    + 1, :thumb: :applause:

    I've been following V2 for a few months now.

    Love the clean look of these Cabs / Chassis.

    Always nice to see something fresh & a little different.

    Oozes vibe & quality IMHO.

    Would love to hear one in the flesh.

    :cheers2:
     
    3 people like this.
  4. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    It's tolex with a carbon fibre pattern.

    I do have one black tweed head cab, but I think I'll stick to the carbon fibre tolex for a while...
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Thanks for the positive feedback. I did try to do some things differently, both inside the chassis and on the outside. For example, I chose a LED for the pilot instead of the usual Marshall-style square pilot because I thought it might be a bit more modern looking.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,867
    Likes Received:
    18,990
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    That makes sense, certainly has that Carbon Fiber vibe about it.

    Any YouTube or Demo Clips on these?

    Dare I ask the question, but what does this compare to in the 'modded" arena?

    :cheers2:
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. guitar-rocker

    guitar-rocker Senior Member

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    247
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Love the cosmetics, and I'm sure it is an outstanding amp too. I use the carbon fiber on the cabinet front panel on my amps, like the texture.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ac/dcfan87

    ac/dcfan87 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,363
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    I love the look of this amp. It's looks very clean IMO and exudes the feeling of a quality product. Seems like you've been doing some cool stuff. I check out your FB page every now and again. Looks like another good one!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    No clips yet, and I probably won't get to making any for another month unfortunately.

    The Caldera grew out of the V2 'JJM18', which was documented here a while ago. The original intent was to add a low-gain mode. Some early inspiration for that came from amps like the Top Hat Emplexador and Fargen that had a 'Plexi' setting and a 'JCM' setting (or 70s and 80s settings, respectively). But this amp has more distortion on tap in the higher-gain mode than either of those amps. There are a few 'boutique' amps in the $2500+ range that cover similar sonic ground. :)
     
    3 people like this.
  10. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Wow, thanks R! It's taking me quite a bit of time to develop these amps since I have limited time these days. But anything worth doing is worth doing right. And I think I'll be able to bang off another small batch of these 50W amps (Caldera and hopefully the Denogginzer) later in the year...
     
  11. caljoe

    caljoe Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,554
    Likes Received:
    1,791
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Love love love the looks of those cabinets John and your V2 badge is really cool with the speaker in there.
     
    2 people like this.
  12. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,061
    Likes Received:
    4,333
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    John, that looks beautiful! I'll also chime in on the cab, it's very clean and badass looking.

    I bet that amp gets loud!
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    It does indeed get loud, Matt. Extra loud at the moment because I have yet to wire in the negative feedback look to rein in the power amp...
     
    3 people like this.
  14. BlueCajun

    BlueCajun Senior Member

    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    391
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    I really love the look. Spec-wise, it appears to be a sonic monster. Looking forward to hearing sound clips when you get enough time to make a few.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Decent sound clips are still at least a month away. In the meantime, here is a photo of the Caldera and its sibling up on the bench.

    [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.
  16. phaezamp

    phaezamp Senior Member

    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    681
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Very impressive (and inspiring!)
     
    4 people like this.
  17. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Thanks Randy. Much appreciated.

    Other than a few tweaks to fine-tune everything, the basic build is done (sans optional FX loop and back-panel bottom switch; might add them later). It sounds HUGE! Goes from clean to mean to scream all on one channel (thanks to the mode and punch switches).
     
    3 people like this.
  18. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

    Messages:
    12,867
    Likes Received:
    18,990
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Hey John, can you please give us an ~ example of the above; i.e. what type of Clean.........JTM45 or Bassman or Twin etc.?

    What type of Mean; e.g. '68 Plexi?

    What type of Scream; e.g. BE100 but which position etc.?

    Just trying to get an ~ feel for what you are talking about, if that makes sense.

    Also, I would imagine you can adjust that up or down re gain by Preamp Tube selection.

    Lastly, have you by any chance ever tried any NOS EL34's; e.g. NOS Siemans. Just wondering?

    Thanks.

    Cheers, Rudi
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. V2

    V2 V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    I'm a bit hesitant to link the various settings to iconic Marshalls (hence I say 'lower-gain mode' rather than 'plexi setting'), because I didn't try to clone any of those amps. The power supply, rectifier, etc. were not based on any single amp in particular. Having said that, I do think that the tones are in the Marshall camp. The low-gain mode is kinda like a single channel of a Plexi (no parallel inputs), and by flipping the punch switch to the 'off' position, you can clean it up a bit more.

    The high gain mode has no diodes, and it doesn't have the extra gain of a 'HBE'. But it probably gets pretty close to the BE and other "hot-rodded JCM" circuits.

    I haven't tried anything in the preamp other than my test tubes (old sovteks 12AX7s). Currently I have JJ EL34s in the power amp, but I think it'll take KT77, and even 6L6 (the latter to be determined).

    Cheers!
    John



     
  20. LPCollector

    LPCollector V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    7,565
    Likes Received:
    9,343
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    [​IMG]

    Let's see....
    From Portland to Vancouver, BC is about 5 hours by car.
    With a quick stop for a cavity search and Passport check at the border, I can be there by 12:00 noon-ish.

    I expect to you to have this baby warmed up, and a sandwich and beer ready for my arrival.
    :fingersx:

    :laugh2:

    I can't wait to hear this one, sounds like my kind of amp! :thumb:
     
    4 people like this.

Share This Page