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  • Let's build the best amplifier you will ever play...

    I'm putting this here more as a placeholder and a way to force myself to do things I hate to do and hold myself accountable for creating content and media. Much of what you read/see here will be in future YouTube videos that I will link here and this will be a park page, if you will, for all the material in one place. The concept is to show those interested in how to build, modify, and potentially create their own design of a guitar amplifier. There is a problem though... I HATE putting myself out there in the way I am about to embark upon. I can write stuff all day, but making video content and hearing my own voice describe things makes me cringe. I don't have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, et all to present my work and I don't really care to do so. I have a few followers on YouTube and I currently have only a few videos where I present content that I feel is either empowering, good to know or just interesting perhaps to someone else. This new endeavor is going to change that drastically. I also don't have the time to spend on crafty video production and editing so my videos are all usually one take, unedited and short. Some like that, some don't, but don't expect much production value from my YT videos, I just don't have the time and energy to do that. Making them at all is like pulling teeth for me.

    My name is Luke and I am a guitarist of 30 years now. I have been a Live Sound Engineer/Technician for 20 years thus far and am currently employed as a Production Manager for a Full-scale event production company that provides Audio, Video, Lighting, and Decor for all types of special events. My entire life has been spent in, around, and all about music/audio and the production of it! Objectively I am a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. I am happiest when the crowd/end client is lauding the event/production but has no idea who the heck I am. I prefer anonymity and space, as opposed to cheer and recognition. This is an odd character trait considering my history as a performing guitarist and having worked with as many high-profile names as I have gotten to. My other interests are motorcycles and teaching. I LOVE motorcycles and am an avid rider that is into the sportbike scene and have attended MANY track day events! Over the years I grew a passion for electronics specifically related to guitar amplification and tube circuitry. I have modified many different amplifiers as well as building several others. I have more recently gotten into designing my own amplifiers ( of original design ) with the eventual goal of selling them to a broader market ( as opposed to just for those who commission me to do so ) and to have several different options ranging from small to large. Each amp I currently build is one of a kind with no two ever being exactly the same. My hope is that with this series, I can show you how to create your own ideas, reduce some of the fear many have in opening guitar amps, and empower you to make changes in an amplifier that you feel will make the amp more inspiring and fun to play.

    I think this may also be a good spot to post your own builds and show off your work as well as perhaps share your ideas and concepts in amplifier creation and modification. For me the mission statement of my amplifiers is easy. Build the highest quality, simple circuit topologies that provide the most uncolored and true to you sound possible. I don't like multi-channel amps with switching, I don't like complicated circuitry that gets in the way and takes away from the guitar, and I don't like gimmicky features that again add complexity, parts count, and needless tweaking of the pure guitar signal. I like amps that have a true clean, if there are two channels, they are NOT interactive and they each have their own distinct signal path, and I like amps that can do what you need them to do with as few knobs and components as possible. My current " ready for market " design has a total of only 10 components between the guitar input and the speaker! This includes volume, tone, and other interstage components. It will do a true clean and will go all the way to mean if you can stand to be around it. At 18-watts it will shake walls and yes, your neighbors will absolutely hear you!

    I look forward to seeing and hearing other's works and stay tuned as I will be posting links hopefully tonight!.

    First Installment:



    And another for Part 1:



    And Part 2:



    Part 3:



    Part 4:



    Part 5:



    Part 6:



    Part 7:



    Part 7.1:



    Part 8:



    Part 8.1:



    Audio Sample:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1F6y...ew?usp=sharing

    The audio sample was made using a Torpedo Captor X with a stock Green Tri preset they have from a Hughes & Kettner Tri-amp rig. This is my favorite cab in general for the stock IR's. For processing, I only have a low-cut to 80hz engaged and the reverb is from Reaper. I opted to use EQ and reverb from Reaper simply so all signal processing was done in one place. As for amplifier settings, it is cranked... The low-cut was rolled back a bit to about 1-o'clock to thin out the body of the sound, but the volume, master, and Hi-cut were dimed. There are no FX in front of the amp, it is straight in from a Telecaster I made. You can see what I mean by clean to mean, as the cleaner sections were simply me rolling back the guitar's volume. Add a boost in front and you can get a bit more saturation. You can also tell how quiet the amp is. It is dimed with single-coil pickups, and there is barely any hiss and buzz! I hope you enjoyed the sample and I will have more to follow. I did not show its true clean or pedal-friendly abilities. I was literally just wanking away with no idea of where I would end up.
    Ewizard
    Tone Member
    Last edited by Ewizard; 06-18-2022, 04:21 PM.

  • #2
    How is having only 10 components between jack and speaker even possible? OT, two power tubes, phase inverter tube, two preamp tubes, volume knob, and tone knob already puts you up to 8; add things like voltage dividers between preamp stages, coupling caps, and you're well over 10 (and that's assuming you've got no NFL, a minimal tonestack, etc..

    Comment


    • #3
      If I were to get in to building an amp myself, it would be in the vein of about 30 watts, a Marshall JMP single-channel style circuit, but with 2 master volumes that I can switch between - one for rhythm and one for lead. A simple one button footswitch. I've got so much other stuff going on that this is just an idea. But, I do like learning more about amps and circuitry.

      Comment


      • #4
        "10 component amp" sounds like my Emery Sound Superbaby. I'd love to build a variant of it or mod the one I have. If I build a new one, I'd want to put the standard bass, middle, treble tone stack, plus add a Presence negative feedback. Or just replace the Emery tone with a presence/negative feedback control.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like options! I like complexity! My perfect amp would be something along the lines of an H&K Triamp, with full midi recall of every setting. But maybe a solid state one if they can get it to sound as good or better. Maybe what the Boss Waza head could have been, if they built the amp without all the "tone capsule" shenanigans.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am pretty simple...I like 3D clean pedal platforms with really great reverb. It doesn't even need to be that loud...that's what a PA is for.
            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cynical View Post
              How is having only 10 components between jack and speaker even possible? OT, two power tubes, phase inverter tube, two preamp tubes, volume knob, and tone knob already puts you up to 8; add things like voltage dividers between preamp stages, coupling caps, and you're well over 10 (and that's assuming you've got no NFL, a minimal tonestack, etc..
              It is very possible, and I can tell you that it is glorious!!! Depending on how technical you want to get, you could say My amp has 15 components including the tubes and other parts that touch the signal. I factor that I only have 10 total parts in the signal path. Components that are actually in the signal path. I did not count the tubes and the output transformer, because otherwise, you couldn't even produce noise at all. So it can be a matter of semantics if you wish. All I can say is stay tuned for the upcoming videos and you will see more.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ah, you're not counting tubes and OT. I can see it in that case, if you've got a design like the Brixton or those other "minimalistic" amps.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you Ewizard; for all your high-quality, informative and excellent posts!


                  I'd love to have, a simple, ptp style amplifier. My current one, the Blackstar HT-20mkII, has a TON of surface mounted prints inside, and the main amplfier is a... sad sight to behold.

                  My dream amp, is a sturdy 6v6 design, with four 6v6'es. And tube driven "everything", reverb and pi.



                  Best wishes!!

                  -Erlend ♪
                  If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Other videos are now posted in the OP. We are starting to get through much of the introductions and getting towards the brass tacks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Part 3 was just uploaded and added to the OP. It is starting to get a little deeper into the actual amplifier design!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Luke, you should consider embedding the Youtube Videos themselves in the post -you will get much more engagement

                        -Click on the "Insert Video" icon and paste in the YT video link and Post reply
                        “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NegativeEase View Post
                          Hey Luke, you should consider embedding the Youtube Videos themselves in the post -you will get much more engagement

                          -Click on the "Insert Video" icon and paste in the YT video link and Post reply
                          Thanks for the heads up, I was wondering how you do that

                          I have also made a recording of the amp and need to figure out how to embed that... I don't do this type of technology. I'm a sound guy, not an internet BBS tech.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Ewizard; I appreciate that you have "only" 324 posts; but all of them are of 1000x quality! .

                            I wish I had the time, talent and dedication, to understand and make, the quality instruments you make.

                            What is the type of output tubes you prefer? Is there any options, of added tone controls, reverb; etc. for a potential customer?


                            Thanks alot for your innsats (in-put?) here, I appreciate it alot.

                            Merry and blessed be,
                            -Erlend ♪
                            If somethings important- send a PM. I might be offline for long periods. Rock on!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ewizard View Post
                              I'm putting this here more as a placeholder and a way to force myself to do things I hate to do and hold myself accountable for creating content and media. Much of what you read/see here will be in future YouTube videos that I will link here and this will be a park page, if you will, for all the material in one place. The concept is to show those interested in how to build, modify, and potentially create their own design of a guitar amplifier. There is a problem though... I HATE putting myself out there in the way I am about to embark upon. I can write stuff all day, but making video content and hearing my own voice describe things makes me cringe. I don't have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, et all to present my work and I don't really care to do so. I have a few followers on YouTube and I currently have only a few videos where I present content that I feel is either empowering, good to know or just interesting perhaps to someone else. This new endeavor is going to change that drastically. I also don't have the time to spend on crafty video production and editing so my videos are all usually one take, unedited and short. Some like that, some don't, but don't expect much production value from my YT videos, I just don't have the time and energy to do that. Making them at all is like pulling teeth for me.

                              My name is Luke and I am a guitarist of 30 years now. I have been a Live Sound Engineer/Technician for 20 years thus far and am currently employed as a Production Manager for a Full-scale event production company that provides Audio, Video, Lighting, and Decor for all types of special events. My entire life has been spent in, around, and all about music/audio and the production of it! Objectively I am a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. I am happiest when the crowd/end client is lauding the event/production but has no idea who the heck I am. I prefer anonymity and space, as opposed to cheer and recognition. This is an odd character trait considering my history as a performing guitarist and having worked with as many high-profile names as I have gotten to. My other interests are motorcycles and teaching. I LOVE motorcycles and am an avid rider that is into the sportbike scene and have attended MANY track day events! Over the years I grew a passion for electronics specifically related to guitar amplification and tube circuitry. I have modified many different amplifiers as well as building several others. I have more recently gotten into designing my own amplifiers ( of original design ) with the eventual goal of selling them to a broader market ( as opposed to just for those who commission me to do so ) and to have several different options ranging from small to large. Each amp I currently build is one of a kind with no two ever being exactly the same. My hope is that with this series, I can show you how to create your own ideas, reduce some of the fear many have in opening guitar amps, and empower you to make changes in an amplifier that you feel will make the amp more inspiring and fun to play.

                              I think this may also be a good spot to post your own builds and show off your work as well as perhaps share your ideas and concepts in amplifier creation and modification. For me the mission statement of my amplifiers is easy. Build the highest quality, simple circuit topologies that provide the most uncolored and true to you sound possible. I don't like multi-channel amps with switching, I don't like complicated circuitry that gets in the way and takes away from the guitar, and I don't like gimmicky features that again add complexity, parts count, and needless tweaking of the pure guitar signal. I like amps that have a true clean, if there are two channels, they are NOT interactive and they each have their own distinct signal path, and I like amps that can do what you need them to do with as few knobs and components as possible. My current " ready for market " design has a total of only 10 components between the guitar input and the speaker! This includes volume, tone, and other interstage components. It will do a true clean and will go all the way to mean if you can stand to be around it. At 18-watts it will shake walls and yes, your neighbors will absolutely hear you!

                              I look forward to seeing and hearing other's works and stay tuned as I will be posting links hopefully tonight!.

                              First Installment:



                              And another for Part 1:



                              And Part 2:



                              Part 3:



                              Audio Sample:

                              https://drive.google.com/file/d/1F6y...ew?usp=sharing

                              The audio sample was made using a Torpedo Captor X with a stock Green Tri preset they have from a Hughes & Kettner Tri-amp rig. This is my favorite cab in general for the stock IR's. For processing, I only have a low-cut to 80hz engaged and the reverb is from Reaper. I opted to use EQ and reverb from Reaper simply so all signal processing was done in one place. As for amplifier settings, it is cranked... The low-cut was rolled back a bit to about 1-o'clock to thin out the body of the sound, but the volume, master, and Hi-cut were dimed. There are no FX in front of the amp, it is straight in from a Telecaster I made. You can see what I mean by clean to mean, as the cleaner sections were simply me rolling back the guitar's volume. Add a boost in front and you can get a bit more saturation. You can also tell how quiet the amp is. It is dimed with single-coil pickups, and there is barely any hiss and buzz! I hope you enjoyed the sample and I will have more to follow. I did not show its true clean or pedal-friendly abilities. I was literally just wanking away with no idea of where I would end up.
                              Loving this thread -I think an interesting challenge with building new amps be it from scratch and especially from a kit (I've done both many times) is often they sound a little sterile versus the amp style they are inspired from, sometimes with some playing and age the amps settle in, so I'm sure some of the mojo from our favorite amps is some time and heat cycles on the components -and then nostalgia messing with your empirical mind. -since Ive done blind A/B tests when recording amps -I know that the sterility of new amps is not just an emotional attachment thing.

                              When I first started working in recording studios, Peavey was most often the brand that you could often demonstrate "sterility" in an amp sound -maybe it is the components, the design, or the revolutionary manufacturing process -or maybe they were making a more on the noes or efficient amp which creates less nuance that the ear sounds pleasurable.
                              “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

                              Comment

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