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Thread: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Well enough of the corona projects..

    Over the last year my son and I built a 1957 Fender Tweed Princeton clone amp from scratch.
    This is a small (about 5 w) practice amp - but way more than powerful enough for the house. Clapton apparently recorded a few songs in studio using this type but his was probably an original.
    No hum or other background noise, just a nice clean electric guitar sound.


    Wooden case made out of a shelf, joints were dovetailed for strength, and because that is how the originals were made.
    IMG_20190213_215444.jpg

    Small mess of electronics. The chassis started out as a flat Al plate, all the electronics were point to point wired. Actually fender would have used an eyelet board but this worked just as well.
    IMG_20190812_213046.jpg

    Ready to rock. Putting the tweed fabric on was a giant pain and if I ever make another one it is going to have an easier to apply finish! We got the fabric pattern to line up correctly on the top. Some sort of leatherette would have been 1000% easier and less stressful to apply.
    20200525_101244.jpg

    So I know there are a few guitar players / restorers in BCF land anyone else build an amp?

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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Beautiful work!
    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Nicely done, Izz!

    My old man would build high fidelity and later, stereo amps & pre-amps on our dining room table, starting with paper bags full of component parts and aluminum sheets. Last one was a 500W per channel, driving a pair of Altec-Lansing "Voice of the Theater" speakers. No matter what folks say about solid-state sound systems, IMHO a vacuum tube rig beats 'em all.
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    Yoda GregW's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Is that the StewMac kit?

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    No kit involved.
    I took a readily available schematic, ordered all the parts needed ( mostly from tubedepot.com) , a few terminal strips and put it all together.

    The case used to be a shelf until it had a close encounter with my table saw.
    I worked out dimensions and layout by measuring off of a few decent pictures of originals on Reverb.com. Since the original speaker was 8" diameter I used that as a reference to work out all other dimensions.

    To learn the special techniques needed for tube wiring (point to point), working the filament circuit without causing hum, biasing tube amps, and getting the tweed material onto the case I studied a few amp restorers / builders on YouTube.

    The only advantage of a kit is that it would have had nice silk screened graphics on the control panel. I tried making water transfer decals but they didn't look very good and with only 2 knobs and an on off switch not really needed.

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    Darth Vader
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Did anyone build a Heathkit?

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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    Did anyone build a Heathkit?
    My Heathkit digital alarm clock is still on my night table and working fine after 30+ years since building it!
    Elliot
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    Yoda GregW's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by 70herald View Post
    No kit involved.
    I took a readily available schematic, ordered all the parts needed ( mostly from tubedepot.com) , a few terminal strips and put it all together.
    Well then my hat is REALLY off to you sir. The Stew Mac mentions Clapton as well.
    I've been toying around with the thought of making a low wattage tube amp. Most on the market lack the bells and whistles of their bigger brothers. I'd have to cobble different schematics from the web together to make what I want (Which could end up bad for me). I do have a Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 that I like a lot. It has a switch where I can dial it back to 1 watt for the bedroom.

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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    Did anyone build a Heathkit?
    I built a depth finder when I was a kid. Never really used it in the boat. The boat didn't have any power to run the finder.

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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    Did anyone build a Heathkit?
    Yup. I got the Heathkit projects to learn from. And Popular Electronics magazine. With the advent of transistors it was relaxation oscillators, flip-flop circuitry, thyristors. Lots of "bread-board" projects. Primitive by today's standards!

    EDIT: In about '66 or '67 I built a wall recessed interval timer to use in the darkroom, to control the enlarger's exposure times.
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    Did anyone build a Heathkit?
    Heathkit Z-89 computer which my father and I built about 1981. Donated to the Kalmazoo Valley Museum around 2000 still worked when it was donated.

    https://collections.kvcc.edu/kvm_arg...798&lang=en-US

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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Here's my Heathkit digital clock purring away...

    Elliot
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    I "bread-boarded" one of those clocks. Used the schematic from one of Radio Shack's "Projects" books. Set it into a clear Lucite housing. Sometime later I cobbled it to build something else, can't recall what that was.
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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by DrEntropy View Post
    I "bread-boarded" one of those clocks. Used the schematic from one of Radio Shack's "Projects" books. Set it into a clear Lucite housing. Sometime later I cobbled it to build something else, can't recall what that was.
    Hard to believe the individual segments of the displays are still lighting up after all these years. The only complaint I have is that it is too bright at night... I think there was a photo-resister that was supposed to dim it in a dark environment.
    Elliot
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    1976 TR6 White/Biscuit interior SOLD
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Speaking of electronics "projects" here's the power supply from our 32" Emerson LED TV. This TV ran 24/7-365 for about four years, finally gave out. An E-Bay ad with one from a N.I.B. TV with a shipping damaged screen is on its way. Much easier to replace the P.S. board than to sit and go through discreet component diagnostics. Many other fish to fry! And I've become a bit lazy.

    powerboard.jpg
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Darth Vader
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    My dad was a radio amateur. He used to take my brother and I into New York to the radio supply district on the lower East Side to buy parts. There were also several clothing stores in the neighborhood that employed "puller inners" - salesmen who stood out on the sidewalk and (almost) pulled you into the store to buy a suit or pair of pants. I think Radio Shack started down there. I also remember Lafayette Radio and there were a few others - all in the same block. That's the way they did it in New York. Electronic district, garment district, diamond district (still there), etc. Something has been lost.

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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Totally NOT corona project - scratch built a guitar amp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    My dad was a radio amateur. He used to take my brother and I into New York to the radio supply district on the lower East Side to buy parts. There were also several clothing stores in the neighborhood that employed "puller inners" - salesmen who stood out on the sidewalk and (almost) pulled you into the store to buy a suit or pair of pants. I think Radio Shack started down there. I also remember Lafayette Radio and there were a few others - all in the same block. That's the way they did it in New York. Electronic district, garment district, diamond district (still there), etc. Something has been lost.
    Growing up in NY my parents always took me and my brother down to the Lower East Side. Clothes, food, electronics.... what fun haggling with the merchants. I always went to the Lafayette store in Syosset, Long Island.
    I think I miss the food the most from that area.
    Elliot
    Central PA
    1973 TR6 Damson Plum / Biscuit interior, HVDA 5-speed, Good Parts Hubs
    1976 TR6 White/Biscuit interior SOLD
    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

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