Got The Report On The Frankenstein Amp Today

Discussion in 'Guitars, Guitars Guitars!' started by Elias Graves, Jan 5, 2012.

    Jan 5, 2012
  1. Elias Graves Common misfit

    Not good. Looks like all the caps will need to be replaced before we can really try to figure out what's wrong with it. Ron suggests throwing in the towel on it.
    Now I'm back to nowhere with my amps.
    Ron's suggestion is this...
    Buy a chassis only from weber, then build the amp with parts from his stock. He has shit tons of NOS and new amp parts laying around that he charges regular prices for. He says we can probably build a running chassis for $500 or less. I'd build the box myself.
    Should I look that direction or try to find something else?
    I do love those trashy old tweed sounds and they aren't easy to find in modern amps. All the modellers I've played sound very little like the real champ I tried earlier today. Way too refined.
    He has old RCA tubes, jensen speakers, etc and should be able to build a pretty convincing tweed.

  2. Jan 5, 2012
  3. Chad bedroom widdler

    If I had the funds, I would build my own or get a kit of some kind, probably an Allen Amp kit.
  4. Jan 5, 2012
  5. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    i don't think it's worth it. if he's willing to do the Weber thing, and you want an amp built, i'd likely go that direction. while i love my Allen, i'm not certain you want to spend that kinda money.
  6. Jan 5, 2012
  7. Elias Graves Common misfit

    He would order the chassis from weber, the transformer from Mercury. All the rest he has. Mostly older stock parts. He bought out an electronics warehouse 15 years ago that was chock full of amp and radio parts dating back to the 40s. He says he'll build the amp at cost +$50 because he's never done a complete amp build before. He also charges standard new prices for NOS parts, not stupid booteek prices.
    I don't have the skills to build it, but he does.
    Seems like it might be a good choice for me.

  8. Jan 5, 2012
  9. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    what's the circuit again?
  10. Jan 5, 2012
  11. Elias Graves Common misfit

    That's the thing. Of all the amps I've played, that tweed today was by far the closest sound to what I dig.
    Generally, I like new stuff. I like reliable, but I haven't found any new amps that sound like a tweed.

  12. Jan 5, 2012
  13. Chad bedroom widdler

    sounds like a no brainer to me.
  14. Jan 5, 2012
  15. Elias Graves Common misfit

    My choice.
    I could do a regular champ or deluxe, an octal preamp champ, a princeton, whatever.
    In terms of power, I don't need much. My current champ is planty loud enough most of the time and I still have the blooz jr if I need bigger. I just don't like that amp much.

  16. Jan 5, 2012
  17. Elias Graves Common misfit

    I agree. Time to investigate tweed circuits and choose one.
    I do like single ended amps. The champ and princeton may be the ones to beat.

  18. Jan 5, 2012
  19. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    see, i don't think you need a tweed champ. that's what you have the Champ 600 for. i would get something that's in the 10-15 watt range.
  20. Jan 5, 2012
  21. Elias Graves Common misfit

    It appears the Champ I played today is a 5C1 with octal preamp.
    No wonder it sounded so filthy.

  22. Jan 5, 2012
  23. dodgechargerfan Kick Henry Jackassowski

    Check out the Trinity Tramp.

    There are sound clips.

    You can get it built or as a kit. You might even be able to get just the transformers, if you don't want to buy the whole kit.

    Their forum has tons of info on the circuit and the available mods, too.
  24. Jan 5, 2012
  25. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    interesting. i'm not sure that anybody else offers a Hiwatt kit at that price.

    supposedly there's a combo version, but i couldn't find it.
  26. Jan 5, 2012
  27. Elias Graves Common misfit

    And a plan emerges. I went to see Ron tonight. Here's an idea...

    There's nothing wrong with the chassis or tube compliment.
    How about we yank all the guts out and build a new amp using this chassis? Ron says he can find a schematic that calls for this setup. Doing it this way, I can have him add a few things like a remote wired control faceplate, stanby switch, tone control, etc into it. Basically a scratchbuilt amp using the existing board. Would be cheaper than a kit.
    With the right transformer, Ron says he can get 20 watts out of this tube set. Still single ended, still octal front ended and more power than a champ. I'll make a head out of it and buy/make a cab to go with.
    How about a red toolbox amp head?

  28. Jan 5, 2012
  29. Elias Graves Common misfit

    With tubes. We got it to power up, but made no sound other than a pop or two when you jiggle the OT.


    Note the yellow cap in the middle has broken loose. There's one problem right there. :lol:

  30. Jan 5, 2012
  31. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    the only reason not to use that chassis is because, at least from the pics you posted, it's a rat's nest in there.
  32. Jan 5, 2012
  33. Elias Graves Common misfit

    What Ron is proposing is to rip that rat's nest out and build a whole new amp based on a known schematic.
    Hell, right now there are still a couple of things he hasn't figured out yet.

    See those double plugs on the one side? Those are off the back and come directly off one of the screwdriver pots. Ron suspects those might be test lead connectors for adjusting the bias on the preamp tubes but he's not sure. Without a known plan to work from, it's hard to troubleshoot.

    So he proses to adapt, say, a tweed princeton circuit and build it underneath using the 6j7s, the 6L6 and the 5Y3. A new transformer for 20 watts and quiet operation and it's basically the same as building a kit.

  34. Jan 5, 2012
  35. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    yeah, do it.
  36. Jan 6, 2012
  37. dodgechargerfan Kick Henry Jackassowski

    I'm not sure which is which, but these are fun to look at

    Just ask Stephen for the right chassis style, and you'll be all set.
    They don't mess around with component quality, either. All good stuff without falling into the cork sniffer follie.
    The transformers are custom made to their spec, too.
  38. Jan 6, 2012
  39. Help!I'maRock! Radical Sandwich Anarchist

    my main issue, really, is finding Fane speakers at a reasonable price. Ted Weber makes a Fane-alike, but it's $210.

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