Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:31 am

I'd say 600˚ F is a nice safe middle number for most amp and general purpose work.

For delicate PCBs, I might use 500˚ F as my starting point.

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Maggieo » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:33 am

øøøøøøø wrote: I'd say 600˚ F is a nice safe middle number for most amp and general purpose work.

For delicate PCBs, I might use 500˚ F as my starting point.
What about for the switch on my Z Vex?

Oh, and here's a kindred soul:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Guitar-Tube-Amp/
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:40 am

Maggieo wrote:
øøøøøøø wrote: I'd say 600˚ F is a nice safe middle number for most amp and general purpose work.

For delicate PCBs, I might use 500˚ F as my starting point.
What about for the switch on my Z Vex?
It's not critical.  Enough to melt the solder but not enough to melt the switch.  Right in the middle of the range (which is about 600 on my Weller) will do it just fine!

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Maggieo » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:35 am

Jay wrote: Just want to add to this post that the CSI deluxe soldering station is a re-badged Hakko 936 for half the price.  Get some extra tips and a tip cleaner to make the order $50 and you can get the "free gift" multimeter.  It's not the nice auto-ranging one they used to give away but it's certainly good enough to start with.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7307

OK, so I'm ready to order one, what tips and cleaner should I get?
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by øøøøøøø » Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:07 pm

Maggieo wrote:
Jay wrote: Just want to add to this post that the CSI deluxe soldering station is a re-badged Hakko 936 for half the price.  Get some extra tips and a tip cleaner to make the order $50 and you can get the "free gift" multimeter.  It's not the nice auto-ranging one they used to give away but it's certainly good enough to start with.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7307

OK, so I'm ready to order one, what tips and cleaner should I get?
Depends on what you're doing!  For every single thing I've ever done, I've gotten by with just the stock tip that came with my Weller.  Sort of "general purpose."

Edit: your iron comes with an 0.8 conical tip, a very fine general purpose tip.  :)

If you were going to be doing some REALLY fine PCB work like stuff I've encountered on the Seventh Circle Audio mic preamp kits, I might suggest springing for a "long conicle (sic... conical?) fine point tip" as well.  That could come in handy.

The "4mm Single Flat 40° Tip" might be handy to have around too, if you were going to give a go at doing chassis grounds with the iron.  Chassis grounds are hard to do with a regular iron like this which is designed for fine electronics work, but with a big flat tip like that one it just might be possible in certain circumstances. 

But for where you are at right now, those tips are a luxury.  You'll be fine with just the stock 0.8 conical fine point, included with the iron.

As for 'cleaner,' the only thing I've ever done to keep my tip clean is wipe it on the damp sponge on the soldering station from time to time and make sure it's always 'tinned' with a layer of molten solder.   I replace my tip about once a year, give or take, depending on how much I'm doing.
Last edited by øøøøøøø on Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:15 pm

I'm very interested in learning about tube amps. What were the books you read? Any one in particular that stands out?

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:16 pm

Awesome, thx for your reply. I might buy the next broken amp I see on Kijiji to see if I can eventually get it going. I'd also like to build an amp from a kit, but that probably won't be til I get a little more familiar with the whole amp biz. I have done guitar wiring/pickup/pot replacement and such, so i guess that's kinda of a start. 

Cheers  :)
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:36 pm

tribi9 wrote: Awesome, thx for your reply. I might buy the next broken amp I see on Kijiji to see if I can eventually get it going. I'd also like to build an amp from a kit, but that probably won't be til I get a little more familiar with the whole amp biz. I have done guitar wiring/pickup/pot replacement and such, so i guess that's kinda of a start. 

Cheers   :)
My advice:  Make sure you know everything there is to know about not killing yourself BEFORE you start, but ANY other knowledge can wait until AFTER you get your hands dirty.

Don't feel like you have to be able to design an amp from scratch before you can replace the caps in one or build one from a kit.  In fact, a simple kit like a 5F1 tweed Champ is a great way to familiarize yourself with what's what in an amp.  As long as you know what's safe to touch when, then I see no reason to put off getting started.  :)

Just my opinion of course!

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:11 pm

Awesome øøøøøøø,  (How do you pronounce your name?) very helpful and much appreciated.  :)

Im somewhat familiar with draining the high voltage, though I've never done it. Sticking an alligator clip to the chassis and then to pin one on a preamp tubesounds easy enough. I wouldn't know what to set the meter to read the voltage tho!  :-[
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:30 pm

Thx Brad,

Alligator clip to chassis and then Pin 1 sounds slightly easier.    ;) I was actually thinking of attempting the Princeton Reverb from Allen Amps. I sent them a message and they said it would be best if I had a little more experience...

I've read bits here and there. I'm still a Noob in the electronics world... :(

I'm thinking of taking a basic electronics course and then hitting a couple of amp books and most likely like you suggested learn as I atempt to build or fix something.

Cheers
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by GUITARmole » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:16 am

The best starter (in my opinion) would be to build a Tweed Champ clone.

A TS-808 is a great project but COMPLETELY unrelated and different than building an amp (much smaller and harder to assemble than a tube amp, no lethal voltages present, easier to destroy with hot solder due to the fragile PCB traces and IC chips, more components to sort out, etc)

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by bish » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:52 pm

While reading all this I've been considering building a TS-808 clone for the experience, and it's a pedal I could actually use. I've seen the one on BYOC and I would also get the Confidence booster for free as a first time customer, but are there any other good TS-808 kits out there that are just as good but less expensive?

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Jay » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:11 pm

bish wrote: While reading all this I've been considering building a TS-808 clone for the experience, and it's a pedal I could actually use. I've seen the one on BYOC and I would also get the Confidence booster for free as a first time customer, but are there any other good TS-808 kits out there that are just as good but less expensive?

-bish
General Guitar Gadgets has a great 808 kit that's cheaper but you won't get any specialized instruction with it so I'd call it a 5/10 difficulty kit as opposed to a 3/10.

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:01 pm

I've decided to overhaul my Elk Stagemaster amp (The one on the video diagnostic), as my first amp project. All the useful info that Brad has posted is giving me the itch  >:(

I wire my own pickups, so I figure it couldn't be any harder than that.

Well for now, I do have some basic questions as I'm taking the hole safety thing very serious.

back to the alligator clip question,
Which end you clip first? Or do I clip the ground first and then pin 1, or viceversa? Does it matter?

Do I take a reading by putting the test leads on the positive end and the neg. end of any cap?

Also, is this where I want to set my multimeter to read the voltage?

And I promise no more dumb questions.... :-[

Thx a Lot :)


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Last edited by tribi9 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tribi9 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:16 pm

Thx Brad, really appreciate it.


I'm all pumped and ready to go.
I still need to figure out what values I need for caps and what needs to be replaced.

Also on the instructions on my multimeter (if I read it right) it says to measure Voltage you can plug to either side? I'll take your word tho' and swap the red lead to the opposite side.

I will be taking pics and posting the whole process.

I' owe you, big time!

:)
Last edited by tribi9 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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