The joy of getting under the hood

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by LPV, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Another experience that I was deprived of whilst drinking the koolaid of modeling was being able to open up an old amp, look at all those cool components that are tangeble (meaning I can see and touch them) get out my soldering gun and swap a cap here, change a resistor there and listen to what the effect on the tone was. I've got a box of stuff on the way and I can't wait to dig in this weekend replacing old tube sockets , some ceramic caps to replace the SM's. Vary it by a few Pf here and there just to see the results. I've gotten so I can pull the chassis, discharge the caps, do some mods and be playing it again in 15 minutes. Its a very rewarding experience and I was unaware just how much I missed it.
     
  2. Marshall & Moonshine

    Marshall & Moonshine Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,425
    Likes Received:
    27,933
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    PSA: Kids, don't just open up a tube amp and start touching components. You'll end up on YouTube.

    ;)
     
  3. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    6,669
    Likes Received:
    10,644
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011

    +1000


     
  4. Marshall & Moonshine

    Marshall & Moonshine Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,425
    Likes Received:
    27,933
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    I should clarify that LPV did mention discharging caps.
    I just worry about that getting past someone who might be curious about their amp's guts. :)

    The inside of a well-made tube amp is a work of art.
     
  5. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Ya, not endorsing anyone doing anything if they don't understand exactly what they are doing. Just speaking for myself.
     
  6. Marshall & Moonshine

    Marshall & Moonshine Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,425
    Likes Received:
    27,933
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Totally. I have a new soldering station and a bad solder joint on the old 800 (that a guy swapped he electrolytics 6-7yrs ago) that needs to be re-flowed, and I might just change the cap again, since I have a new one.
    I also still have some "temporary wiring terminations" in my amp that I built 5yrs ago.
    I just need to clean out the garage and build a proper bench.
    It's fun, ain't no doubt!
    Much nicer than popping open a computer. :)
     
  7. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,109
    Likes Received:
    7,230
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Ain't nuthin like the real thing
     
  8. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    HOLY CRAP!!! CHECK THIS OUT !!! There is a little electronics store at the end of my road. Really tiny mom and pop place. They carry some resistors and caps and the like. So by chance I decided to stop by looking for a few small pf caps to experiment with a couple of ideas. So I tell the lady what I want and she comes out with this tray of NOS caps! I just grabbed a bunch in the ranges that I'm looking for but what a find! This cost me $2.50!
    IMG_6622.JPG
     
  9. Soul Tramp

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

    Messages:
    5,707
    Likes Received:
    12,311
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    WOW! Getting very difficult to find the old stuff.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  10. Marshall & Moonshine

    Marshall & Moonshine Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,425
    Likes Received:
    27,933
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    There's something similar in our town. I need to make it over there more.
    Everything has an inch of dust on it.
    I know there's treasure there.
     
  11. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,820
    Likes Received:
    1,872
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Yes Yes... I'm missing digging into an amp, but all the guitar related time I have is dedicated to playing right now.

    I've got my clones tuned up to where I like them, so not much room for improvement on that end.

    Hopefully I can think up a project over the holidays. I kind of don't need another guitar amp, and the new Handwired 64' DR is really tempting me, BUT, something would be fun. Maybe a tube power amp for a stereo or something?

    I've got an old Ampeg Gemini V that needs the power section rebuilt, but that amp is probably out of my wheelhouse. I'd take it to a tech, but the amp isn't really worth much...

    maybe I'll start a rebuild thread in December and y'all can walk me through it?
     
  12. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,627
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Buy a DR blackface kit and make your own hand-wired version for about 1/3 the cost of the new Fender one. The only thing stopping me from making one is that they are too much amp for home and not loud enough for the band I was playing in. Oh, yeah, and I have a bunch of other amps I don't even use.
     
  13. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,280
    Likes Received:
    7,149
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    That's pretty cool. Nothing like that around here since the 90's.
     
  14. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Here's a cool trick I stumbled on for reading the actual capacitance of a cap. Sometimes the little writing is cryptic or smudged on these old ones or you want to know if they work at all and what the real capacitance is. All you need is an arduino (under $10 for a clone) and your computer. The code is here (Its the last example) http://www.circuitbasics.com/how-to-make-an-arduino-capacitance-meter/ You can read the values via the serial monitor. Works great. And on the bread board you can combine them to get to the numbers you actually want.
    IMG_6624.JPG IMG_6623.JPG
     
    AllTheSound and redjunior like this.
  15. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,820
    Likes Received:
    1,872
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008

    Kind of already done that with a souped-up Princeton Reverb. And a stock spec 5E3. And a Vibro Champ. And a 6G15 Reverb unit.

    I've done a couple builds, but still get excited about a new amp. The handwired 64' looks like it's the goods.
     
  16. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,627
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    It does look good, it's just not a practical amp for me especially at that price point.
     
  17. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    IMG_6636.JPG With these sticks we stir the special sauce...
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  18. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,695
    Likes Received:
    4,401
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Was having an issue after it got really warmed up, noise like a bad ground. Had a suspicion it was the old sockets so brand new mycalex all around and problem solved.
    IMG_6637.JPG
     
  19. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,820
    Likes Received:
    1,872
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Looking at your guitar list the 64' (assuming it' the goods) would fit in perfectly. It's actually a pretty good price for what it is. Not a great price, but pretty good.
     
  20. sonar

    sonar Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,820
    Likes Received:
    1,872
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Love it.

    I might have to set one up. Do you think it can run on a Raspberry Pi? I have one doing nothing.
     

Share This Page