First amp builders....experience?

ARandall

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I am considering my first amp build.......a tweed deluxe from ceriatone.

I have built a lot of those pedal kits...BYOC and the like plus modding boss pedals with those upgrades.
These have been quite successful, and a couple of these I had to troubleshoot for improperly placed components and got to work after that.
I also continually wire up my burst clones and the like, so my soldering skills are in fairly continual use.

I wonder if this sort of experience would be sufficient to work on something with much more lethal voltages and perhaps more delicate components?

I'm also wondering what the support/instructions are like for building these amp kits vs the pedal kits I've done.
 

Soul Tramp

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The Ceriatone kits come with the boards already populated. This eliminates much of the work and many of the potential problems.

I say go for it.
 

sonar

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The Ceriatone kits come with the boards already populated. This eliminates much of the work and many of the potential problems.

I say go for it.
Unfortunately that also eliminates half the fun.

I've always found populating the board to be one of the most rewarding parts of a build.
 

sonar

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I am considering my first amp build.......a tweed deluxe from ceriatone.

I have built a lot of those pedal kits...BYOC and the like plus modding boss pedals with those upgrades.
These have been quite successful, and a couple of these I had to troubleshoot for improperly placed components and got to work after that.
I also continually wire up my burst clones and the like, so my soldering skills are in fairly continual use.

I wonder if this sort of experience would be sufficient to work on something with much more lethal voltages and perhaps more delicate components?

I'm also wondering what the support/instructions are like for building these amp kits vs the pedal kits I've done.
A tag or turret board is a lot more forgiving than a small printed circuit board. Quality amp components are also a little more robust than the average byoc style pedal components.

Understanding and practicing safety with live amp voltage is the key. Everything else should be fairly easy with your experience. There's not a lot going on in a 5E3, except for unadulterated amp goodness. :naughty:

Most will say build a Tweed Champ first, but the 5E3 is only marginally more difficult to build, and a hell of a lot more amp. With your soldering skills and pedal experience I would think this would be a very doable project.

As for support I know next to nothing about Ceriatone, but other places like Mission, Marsh and Trinity offer solid support. You also have us. :D
 

Slater529

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My first and (only build so far) was a Tube Depot JTM45+. It was a little tedious at times, but the instructions were great and it turned out to be a very satisfying project.

I say "Go for it!"
 

The Ballzz

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I recently (a few months back) finished a 5E3 using a "small parts kit," chassis and output transformer from MojoTone. I sourced my own power transformer and made my own turret board (using the Mojo tag board for a template) and in the long run even got the cab from Mojo. By far the best amp I've ever owned or played through in +40 years of cranking old Fenders and many Marshalls! The build is pretty simple, but the devil is in the details of lead dress, etc. I prefer working with turret boards, as opposed to tag boards, but board placement in the combo chassis is tricky/critical. The components from Mojo were quite good and the tones are stellar. On the other hand the prices on the Ceriatone (before shipping) are pretty attractive and if you build it with the "head" chassis, there is a lot more real estate.

If interested in any tips (I researched it to death) feel free to PM for "real" email swapping and if in the states we could even talk on the phone! This was my third amp build!

Good Luck,
Gene
 

AllTheSound

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Very cool! You are about to embark on a very satisfying and rewarding endeavor. You have the skills necessary and most importantly the desire. I just finished my first build (5e3) from parts harvested from various things. Its the best lil amp i have had.

A healthy respect for safety is as important as the quality of your work but if you follow a few basic rules you will be fine.

Always unplug your amp before you work on it , unless your doing live testing then always keep one hand behind your back or in your pocket , if your probing around use a chop stick or something like it that is non conductive.

when doing non live work inside the amp always check for voltage in your filter caps and drain them if any is present. This is done on the 5e3 by running a alligator clip jumper wire with a resistor from the chassis (ground) to pin 1 on the 12AY7 socket. The caps on a properly working 5E3 will actually self drain to safe levels if the amp is allowed to get to full operating temperature before its powered off. Regardless always check and assume they are holding a full charge.

If you don't have one already you will need a couple things to make yourself a light bulb limiter to use for your first power up tests. Good lil project to put together while your waiting for your kit to come in.

Good luck man, im excited for ya! keep us updated on your progress. and don't be afraid to ask questions if your unsure of something.
 

chupe442

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Do it!! Built my 5F2a and outsourced all the parts for it.. Love it! It was my first amp build after a few pedal builds. Available information on any issues is at your fingertips in this forum and throughout the net. Ceriatone has pretty bullet proof plans and great support at well.. Have fun! Its a great feeling when you build your own.
 

ARandall

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Thanks Allthe Sound.........plus of course everybody else who has chimed in here with encouragement etc.

The technique of draining filter caps (well filter caps in general) was one of the more nerve wracking parts.
Lead dressing is another term mentioned here that I'm not familiar with. I have also seen people mention that some of the routing of the longer wire runs is important for certain amps if not all. I guess its all the little things that count the most once you fire the amp up.
 

bilbarstow

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You have the skills, put them to good use ! Even better, post a build thread, they are a lot of fun and very entertaining. Plus, you will get lots of good feedback (assistance if you need it) from the Squawkers.

I built my first one from Randelli's design right here on the board. It was a blast and a GREAT way to get a better understanding of how the amp actually works. Just know that the satisfaction of making your own amp and having it work is almost overwhelming. And then you get addicted !

I've built 5 from scratch, and modified or repaired several others now. Only thing keeping me from doing more is that I have exceeded my space and needs for ANOTHER amp.

Good luck !

ETA: Lead Dress is the practice of routing the "flying leads" (wires). Some people emphasize making it pretty (nice straight runs, right angle bends, etc.), for some people color coding is important, but really it is about putting the wires where they don't pick up any noise within the chassis. Pretty doesn't mean much if it is noisy, and besides, it's pretty rare that people get a look inside the chassis. Oh yeah, use shielded wire where you can in the input and pre-amp leads - this will really help.
 

Matt_Krush

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For what model?
An 800 with a jube lead circuit....op-amp active effects loop.
I have a JCM 900 4501 combo...that just isn't my thing.
I've modded, reworked the eq circuit...changed speakers....

If it doesn't sell, I'll gut the beginning op amp stages and make it more like the heads...if that isn't too my liking...it'll get made into 50/25w Jubilee combo.:naughty:
 

The_Nuge

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Hi,
Go for it!
My first build was a Ceriatone HRM "Dumble", which has turned out to be a fantastic amp!
OK, so it didn't work at first, but thanks to the people here and over at the ampgarage, that was sorted pretty quickly!
My second build was a C3 Soldano clone, which is also great, and the next one will probably be a Ceriatone again!
 

WhippingPost

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If you have decent soldering skills, then 90% of the work is being patient and paying attention to the detail of what you're doing.

You won't regret taking the leap. It's an incredible feeling looking at the completed, working amp and knowing you built it.
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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That's plenty of experience. Got for it. It really is fun to populate the board, though, and possibly cheaper, if there's a way to do it that way.
 

ARandall

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Just made the order!!!

Works out at $500US incl delivery for us in Aus.....very close to Malaysia.

The way the kit I got was worded it seems like the board is incomplete.....but I don't know whether that it is populated but unsoldered, or completely as separate parts.

Some nice glass I have been accumulating for a nice vintage style amp like this:
 

adkima00

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What a feeling you're in for when you power that amp up for the first time and hit a big old E chord and hear your amp screaming. Another feeling, almost as good, is when someone comes up to you at a gig when you're between sets and asks you what amp you're playing and you say "the one that I built myself". Trust me, it happens!

On another note, not getting to far ahead here, but as part of your build, google and make your self a "dim bulb" tester. It's very helpful in the start up process to make sure that everything in the amp is as it should be. There are several great forums with very many helpful and knowledgeable people that are very willing to share their experience and help a new builder.

The kit that I built was a Boot Hill Amps kit. I LOVE it. Will never go back to another amp again.

My wiring is a rats nest and I've modded this amp several times to tailor it to my tastes, but it works and it's killer.



 


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