music, guitars & other obsessions

18Watt Build

I completed two SE amps recently – a Fender 5F3A (Princeton) and an AX84 SEL, both sound pretty decent, the Fender has pretty good clean tone (considering it still has the cheap 6n1 and 6p6p installed), and the SEL has good dirty/distorted tone when crank’d up (not even close to broken-in yet though).

After reading and researching for months, now I am ready for my first PP build, based on the 18Watt design. This week, I began to price out the parts, but by the time I was done with the big items like the transformers and tubes, I realized that they were already more than 1,000RMB, so with that in mind, I decided to just order a kit and save the hassle of sourcing different parts from a bunch of vendors.

What I ended up with was a “18W Kit” from Ampmart, I contacted the vendor and got a pretty good deal on the kit. There are probably a few parts that I will need to replace/swap out later to get closer to the original sound.

Ampmart 18W Kit

The kit comes with Shuguang 12AX7AB’s, which will likely be replaced with the GoldLion ECC83’s later, but they will do for now. I think the output transformer will probably be the weakest link, judging from the picture on the Ampmart’s website, it looks pretty anemic, in any case, I will use it to break-in the amp and I can pick up a Heyboer when I get to the States later this year.

The kit should be here by tomorrow, with some diligence, I might even be able to complete the build this weekend!


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