music, guitars & other obsessions

Spring Cleaning 2013 Edition

Time to clean house! I really got sick of  looking at all the bare guitar amp chassis that I built over the past few years – they are ugly! And knowing what I know now, I think I can do a better job building them, as well as making some improvements to the designs. So in the next few months, I plan to disassemble  and re-make some of them – the Fender Princeton clone, the Otto and the Tweed Overdrive Special. I will also scrap the American Flyer and re-use the 6AF11 in another design.

While all of them sound ok, to be honest, nothing really shouts “it’s a keeper” to me, so instead of letting them collect dust, I will try to do something else with them. In particular, the TOS will be made into a preamp, since that’s how it get most of its characteristic tone. So that leads naturally to a ‘studio preamp” project – perhaps fitting several channels of preamps into a single chassis a la Mesa Boogie, Demeter or CAE. Well at least that’s idea now – at a minimum, everything will sit inside a proper chassis for starters!

Some other “flavor of the month” designs that I may incorporate into the studio preamp are: the Thrifty Croaker series of pentode preamps from the Wattkins forum, Brown channel from the Bogner Fish. And if I am feeling really ambitious, may be adding MIDI channel switching would be nice.

To go along with the studio preamp, you guess it, I will also build a few power amps, low-to-high power, SE or PP, so the preamps and power amps can be mixed and matched – which is what the amp makers are doing anyway – pairing up various combo’s to get the “tone”.

Anyway, by putting all the parts behind rack-mount panels will save me from dealing with making cabinets for the amplifiers, which is both time-consuming and costly. Not to mention, I haven’t the clue or skill to make them as much as I want to, perhaps I will find a competent and cheap cabinet maker one day, then I will get some custom cabinets made.


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