NAD: 5F1 Clone Kit Build

Wrench66

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I am finally getting around to posting my NAD. I finished this amp back in December and am just now getting around to posting this.

This was my first build, so I wanted to keep it simple. I ordered the kit from Tube Depot. It came with everything I needed to complete the amp. I am a complete novice when it comes to electronics, and the instructions were easy enough for me to follow and complete with no problems. Here is a pic of the complete chassis before installation into the cabinet.

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And another one or two after the chassis was installed.

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And finally, a few glamour shots of the completed amp and my Studio.

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The kit was a blast to build and the amp sounds fantastic! It took about 8 to 10 hours before the speaker started to break in. I think 5 watts is the perfect home amp. I can get all the tube overdrive I want without damaging my hearing. I love it!

I had a few problems with rattling and vibrating noises. There is some tube rattle, but it's not to noticeable. There was a really annoying noise at increased volume that I finally nailed down to the back panel vibrating against the chassis. The problem is that the back panel is held on by four screws that fasten it to the cabinet at each end. This leaves the middle to vibrate like crazy. It needs a couple of screws in the middle to attach the back panel directly to the chassis. I think I've solved this with some firm rubber weather stripping.

I think I'm ready for another build, I'm thinking of a British voiced, low wattage combo. Anyone got any recommendations?

Edit: If someone could show me how to make the pics bigger, I would appreciate it!
 

G Man

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Congrats on your first build! Someday, when the kids are a bit older and don't demand the lion's share of my time, I will build one of these little guys. Tube rattle can sometimes be dealt with using a different tube. And I was going to mention weather stripping for the chassis problem and then got to your last line in that paragraph. Great minds and all that.
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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That's great! I built my first amp last year, a 5f2 Princeton.
Next on your agenda:
A 2-12 extention cab with greenbacks. THEN you'll see what 5 watts can really do!
;)
As for the Brit build, the 1974 is the only thing on my radar, althougb a member here has figured out a pretty cool looking 18w JCM 800!!!
 

indigochild

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Wow - fantastic job. Has given me inspiration to try this one day. Looks like a very neat build, congratulations!
 

Wrench66

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Congrats on your first build! Someday, when the kids are a bit older and don't demand the lion's share of my time, I will build one of these little guys. Tube rattle can sometimes be dealt with using a different tube. And I was going to mention weather stripping for the chassis problem and then got to your last line in that paragraph. Great minds and all that.
Thanks! I will definitely try swapping some tubes to see how it affects the tone and hopefully get rid of the rattle.

The kit was really easy to build. I was really surprised at how easy it was to complete.
 

Wrench66

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That's great! I built my first amp last year, a 5f2 Princeton.
Next on your agenda:
A 2-12 extention cab with greenbacks. THEN you'll see what 5 watts can really do!
;)
As for the Brit build, the 1974 is the only thing on my radar, althougb a member here has figured out a pretty cool looking 18w JCM 800!!!
Thanks! I've been thinking of an extension cab for a while now. I really think that is the way to go. I've seriously considered the 18 watt 1974, but I was kind of hoping to do a lower wattage. I'm totally blown away by the tone you can get out of 5 watts with the single tube cooking!

I've re-tubed my HRD III with 6V6s to get that kind of crunch and it's still to loud to play at the house when the better half is home.
 

Wrench66

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Wow - fantastic job. Has given me inspiration to try this one day. Looks like a very neat build, congratulations!
Thanks! Like I said earlier, it was a lot easier than I thought to build this. A complete kit with good directions is the way to go for a first build, or at least it was for me. My next build is going to be totally from scratch.

Considering how this turned out, I'm really stoked to build another!
 

coldengray

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Congrats! I like my 5F1 with a treble booster. I tried it plugged into my 2x12 based on the suggestion above and holy crap it smokes!
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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Congrats! I like my 5F1 with a treble booster. I tried it plugged into my 2x12 based on the suggestion above and holy crap it smokes!
YES!!!! This, exactly!!! I run my LP through a Beano Boost into my 5f2, either through it's own 2-10" WGS Veteran speakers or plugged into a pair of WGS (Yes, I'm a fan....:)) Veteran 30's and it's KILLER rock tone!!!
These little 5w Fender circuits are pretty special, and could be one of the most useful amps anywhere, in an odd way. If you have a means to run a few different cabs, you're set for almost all your bluesrock volume needs. Mic it. Sound people love me, and I can crank it in the garage, on a stage, anywhere, and it can be either quiet enough for the neighbors or loud enough for the drummer.
Look into a cheap unloaded cab and WGS that thing. You could probably build a great 2-12" for $200. :rock:
 

Wrench66

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Thanks you guys! A 2x12 extension cab is something I've wanted for a long time. I think that's going to be my next purchase before another build. That will give me a chance to easily try different speaker combinations with my current amps and any future ones.

I forgot to mention the kit came with a trim pot to adjust the amount of the negative feedback loop. I've played around with it a little, but I'm not locked into any one setting yet. The trim pot is mounted to the board, so adjustments on the fly are not possible. A later mod might be to mount this externally. Generally speaking, I like the tone better when the feedback loop is engaged. With the feedback loop open, the amp produces a lot more gain, but the amp spits when the volume is maxed.

More than anything, this build was a great learning experience. I highly recommend this to anyone who plays guitar. It will completely change the way you look at amplifiers.
 

Backstage

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Hm, I would tend to a 5e3 to keep up with a drummer, resp. a band.

Congratulation! A Champ is a great amp.
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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I'm not talking about strumming clean chords with Bonzo, although if you lighten your pick attack, the note separation is there. I'm talking blues rock with some dirt on it. Think ABB.
I turned 40 a few weeks ago :)(), and my wife surprised me by having a bunch of my friends come over to jam in the garage. It was "garage loud", if that makes sense. "No regard for the neighbors" would be another way to say it, although I asked them later and they said they loved it. (It was during the day....)
A full drum kit (5A's, but swinging pretty hard), a GK bass amp with a great funky blues player, an effing TWIN REVERB (!!!!..... Why you would bring that beast to a garage jam is beyond me....:hmm::rock:), which was turned up to about 4, and had two guitars running into it, and a banjitar plugged into my small PA.
Even through its own 2-10"s, my 5f2 was plenty loud enough. In fact, it was perfect! Our ears were ringing at the end of it all, but my heart was full. :)
Running through a pair of V30's would have been too much. It didn't have any punchy clean tone, but it sounded beautiful.
Don't misunderstand me: They make big amps for a reason. Higher wattage is necessary for tighter distortion or clean tones at high volumes. But for your garden-variety bluesrock, that little guy was plenty. It was turned about halfway up, which is its sweet spot with a Strat.
 


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