Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

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Maggieo
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Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Maggieo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:11 pm

Cool!

I'll take some pics tomorrow and see if I can't round up some of those books, too.  Looks like a trip to Radio Shack (or something like that) is in order.
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Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Maggieo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:29 pm

OK, so for tomorrow- photos and hit the library for books and the internets for a soldering iron and a multimeter.  Where's a good place to order from?

I'm jazzed!  Just putting that speaker in the Vibro Champ has kinda lit a fire under me.  (and mow I'm triply ashamed that I didn't take up Dan Torres' offer to apprentice with him back in 2001)
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Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Soiouz » Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:56 am

Now, you're really making me want to get into the DIY amp hobby too!! Thanks for those tips, øøøøøøø!! Your posts are always helpful and interesting!

I'm currently reading "the soul of tone - 60 years of Fender Amps" and I'm really psyched about amps now!  :)

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Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by i love sharin foo » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:33 am

Soiouz wrote: Thanks for those tips, øøøøøøø!! Your posts are always helpful and interesting!
+1!!

Thanks for the great, informative posts!

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

Post by mezcalhead » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:33 pm

Topic split to contain only amp-tinkering goodness, and stickied.

8)
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by tremolite » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:58 pm

Yeah really fantastic info! I think I'm getting bit by the bug too. Thanks a lot!
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Orang Goreng » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:53 am

øøøøøøø wrote: It only takes a relatively small amount of current to be deadly.  I forget the number but it's in fractions of amps.
0.1 A is generally given, yeah.

Here's a table I just pulled off a Dutch electrician's site:

0-2 mA  Tingling sensation
2-10 mA Arm cramps; letting go of the live wire is hardly possible
10-20 mA  Cramp; letting go of the live wire no longer possible
20-30 mA  Respiratory problems; in absence of help asphyxiation occurs.
30-100 mA Usually instantaneous asphyxia.
>100 mA Usually lethal
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Maggieo » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:22 am

Awesome!
:)
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by Jay » Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:04 am

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

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by bish » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:14 pm

I have a question that this thread seems to be the perfect place to ask. When it comes to deadly electricity, are you exposing yourself to any of that deadliness when your just changing out tubes? Or is it only when you actually crack open the internal case where the board and wires and fun things are?

I look longingly through the back grill of my amp head and think, "those transformers are huge there is no way my fat hands are getting to those tubes without killing myself" :wtf:

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by øøøøøøø » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:27 pm

bish wrote: I have a question that this thread seems to be the perfect place to ask. When it comes to deadly electricity, are you exposing yourself to any of that deadliness when your just changing out tubes? Or is it only when you actually crack open the internal case where the board and wires and fun things are?

I look longingly through the back grill of my amp head and think, "those transformers are huge there is no way my fat hands are getting to those tubes without killing myself" :wtf:

-bish
There is absolutely no danger in changing tubes.  The exposed bits of the transformers are not deadly to touch.  Nothing on the outside of the amp can hurt you.  You'd have to open the chassis to do yourself harm.

You know on all those electronics where they have the warning sticker that says "Danger! Do not open!  No user-serviceable parts inside."

That is descended from when solid-state was new and tubes were still used in normal consumer electronics.  The "user-serviceable parts" they are referring to are tubes, basically.  Tubes are "user-serviceable parts."  The whole reason they are in sockets for easy removal is so even un-trained people can swap them out. 

You could grab all over the outside of one of those transformers and hug and caress and kiss it and it wouldn't hurt you, even with the amp on, especially if it has endbells.  They certainly do not store any charge with the amp off. 

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by benecol » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:22 pm

Thetaman (or however you refer to yourself), you have become one of the true heroes of the internet. It's you and Tim Berners-Lee, as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by bish » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:11 pm

Thanks for the info, makes me glad I can hug my tubes now! :wtf:
øøøøøøø wrote: Now if I could just figure out a way to profit from typing on the internet....
You might consider creating a website where you can post your knowledge. I found this really great online guitar teacher at www.justinguitar.com He keeps his basic lessons free through Youtube by using an honour system by taking donations through his site. But then he also makes DVD's of all his lessons with even more stuff that he sells on his site. The DVD's are also better sound and picture quality then the Youtube videos.

It would be great to have that kind of thing for amp and pedal repair. Put the basic stuff up for free on youtube with a link to a website where folks that use it could leave a donation and then put the more complicated tutorials on DVD that you sell. It would take a bit of setting up but it sure would be a cool resource.

-bish
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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by luau » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:36 am

øøøøøøø wrote:-never have both of your hands inside or near a live amp chassis at the same time. The error most likely to kill you is having a path to ground across your heart.  If one hand is grounded and the other hand touches a high current/high voltage area, that's exactly what happens.  Keeping one hand in your pocket or behind your back when working inside a "live" amp is good procedure.
I took this a step further when I checked the voltages on my Vibro Champ and used a velcro strap to fasten my wristwatch to a belt loop on my jeans.
Bigger in sum than parts.

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Re: Shopping & Learning: starting DIY on guitar amps

Post by ||||||||||||||||||||||||| » Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:51 am

A friend of mine said, after looking through a few journal articles, that the only reason filter caps need to be replaced on tube amps is because of the heat generated.  They are physically affected and changes take place.  According to what he read, filter caps on solid state amps should last 200 years (or something crazy). 

As long as the amp is regularly used, could that be true?

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