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> My Amp Building Journey, Its a kind of blog ...
Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 4 2007, 05:02 AM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Sep 3 2007, 10:59 PM) *
Love the look of the chassis Andrew.

May i be cheeky and ask how much it will cost to make in total (roughly)?

-Ben


Sure - the kit of parts cost around $250, the speaker another $250 (I went high end for that) and I will be spending at least $300 on a combo case. Add to that some one off purchases of tools etc. I could probably have saved some money along the way by sourcing the components myself, a cheaper speaker and making the case, but even then this is not a cheap way to get an amp, but its a lot of fun and helps you understand what goes into them. Plus, in theory it should be a little better than a mass produced amp due to good component selection and point to point wiring.


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My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 4 2007, 07:02 AM
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Though if I was building it I'd have to factor in the cost of the amp tech's time and new parts redoing my bodged job and the trips to the hospital to sort out the burns/scars from the soldering iron blink.gif .

Looking good Andrew - can't wait for the sound clips when she's ready biggrin.gif .

Cheers,
Tony


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Pavel
post Sep 4 2007, 07:07 AM
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Wow Andrew! Great start! I think i would never dare to start building something like that! smile.gif Can't wait for the result! smile.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 5 2007, 08:57 AM
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Update:

Cool - my PTFE coated wire arrived early this afternoon allowing me to swing into action!

I don't have a permanent electronics lab yet - need to move before I can get that, I set up a table in the garage, looks pretty technical if I do say so myself!

Attached Image

In the picture above, you see the tagboard just before I started to solder all of the board mounted components on it.

About 2 hours of hard work later, I ended up with this:

Attached Image

Although I had done a lot of soldering in the past, I had never used an eyelet board like this. I would have preferred a turret board actually, but this is what came with the kit of parts and turret boards are hard to fabricate without the right tools, chief among those being a drill press which I do not posses. It all went well, including soldering of the underside wires that you can't see in the picture. Next step will be to wire he board up to the chassis components and a whole heck of a lot of other wiring. I am planning to make a start on that next weekend, for now I am pleased with progress.

In other news, I have been corresponding with Mojo Sound about a case for this beast - I have narrowed down what I want and I am waiting for a quote. I am now expecting it to be around $400 because we are into custom cases - their off the peg case wouldn't quite do it.

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Sep 5 2007, 08:57 AM


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Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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JVM
post Sep 5 2007, 09:33 AM
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Woo, gettin' expensive biggrin.gif Good progress though my man!


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 5 2007, 09:38 AM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Sep 5 2007, 04:33 AM) *
Woo, gettin' expensive biggrin.gif Good progress though my man!


Yeah, this definitely isn't a cheap route to an amp ... but it is a lot of fun smile.gif


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Check out my Instructor profile
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My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 5 2007, 06:36 PM
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And as you've said you'll come away with a real understanding of how (the) amp(s) works and be able to repair it if it's ever necessary - priceless.

Cheers,
Tony


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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MickeM
post Sep 5 2007, 06:47 PM
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Wow, this is looking all great!


Your desk looks arranged though, an open plier placed there to live things up. Too obvious! dry.gif laugh.gif


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Ben Howell
post Sep 5 2007, 06:59 PM
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Thanks for the answer Andrew-Its actually alot cheaper than i thought!

Maybe you can build me a 'dumble' inspired amp if things go well?! biggrin.gif

-Ben

This post has been edited by benhowell: Sep 5 2007, 07:00 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 5 2007, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (benhowell @ Sep 5 2007, 01:59 PM) *
Thanks for the answer Andrew-Its actually alot cheaper than i thought!

Maybe you can build me a 'dumble' inspired amp if things go well?! biggrin.gif

-Ben


Heh, maybe smile.gif The designs are out there!

QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 5 2007, 01:47 PM) *
Wow, this is looking all great!
Your desk looks arranged though, an open plier placed there to live things up. Too obvious! dry.gif laugh.gif


Cynic!


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Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 5 2007, 11:00 PM
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Update:

Having thought about it a little more, I'm not 100% happy with my efforts above. The joints were fine and electrically sound I am sure, but I did not like the eyelet board much. It will only get worse as I start attaching wires - some of those holes are already running out of space. Add to that I am using 18awg wire - only necessary for the heater circuits but I figured thicker wire would be better so decided to use it throughout.

After some thought this morning and a little research, I decided to redo this part of the project as a turret board. In terms of time this is a setback - a waste of 3 hours yesterday, and an additional wait for parts and another couple of hours to make the board and another hour or so to re-solder it. But I am not in a rush, and I am treating this as a learning process. I want people to be impressed with my amp, and I am just not happy with the look of the above board, it looks amateurish. In financial terms this isn't a big deal. I'll have to re-order all the parts that went on the board, but they are fairly cheap - resistors are about 5c, even the larger caps will only be a couple of dollars each. Probably the total for new component will come to $15, so no big deal. Turret board and turrets are pretty cheap, the only real expense will be a drill press - you can get those for $50 and up, which was cheaper than I thought, plus I will be able to use the press to drill my own chassis for my next project whatever that is.

With a little luck, if I order the parts today I will have them for the weekend. If not, there is some chassis wiring I can get started on even without the board.

In other news, Mojo have been very helpful in working up a cab spec for me, and the final cost is $352.50 which was cheaper than I thought, although shipping will probably add a fair amount to that.


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 9 2007, 11:47 AM
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Update:

Sep 6th, 2007

Today I ordered a drill press. Its got a laser so it must be good. I sent an order to Mouser Electronics for new board components - the big caps were about $10 each - ouch! So I revise my estimate to about $50 of components and some more for the turrets and board. It will probably be after the weekend before I get all of this together, so my weekend task will be to wire up the chassis, I can use my existing board as a guide, I just won't hook it up. Once all the wiring is done, it shouldn't take long to hook all the wires up to the new board when I have built it.

Sep 8th, 2007

A big push today - I spent the day wiring up the chassis, ready to drop the new board in when I have it done. Still waiting parts for that, but the wiring went well. All told it took me about 6 hours to do this - partly because I was getting used to making the twisted looms, but also because there is a lot of nitpicking, and I wanted to do a good job of routing the wires. It doesn't look a lot for 6 hours work, and looks messy because there are a lot of loose wires waiting to be soldered to the board, but I'm pretty pleased with it. The hardest part was the heater filaments (green and grey twisted wires) - I didn't get those perfect but they should work fine.

Attached Image

Next step will be to make the new board - first I have to drill it and fix the turrets in, then wire all the components in place. It will be probably 3 weeks before I get around to that as I have a vacation planned and I'm still waiting for parts and the drill press, but another couple of weekends and I should be all done smile.gif


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Smikey2006
post Sep 9 2007, 11:17 PM
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Looks like its really coming together.. have you thought of a logo to put on your amp.. like a giant cool written A/C or something tongue.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 9 2007, 11:38 PM
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QUOTE (Smikey2006 @ Sep 9 2007, 06:17 PM) *
Looks like its really coming together.. have you thought of a logo to put on your amp.. like a giant cool written A/C or something tongue.gif


I discussed this on chat with Rokchik a couple of weeks ago - my first amp will be called the A.C. 1 smile.gif. I'll probably add a logo for Cockburn Amplifiers or something as well - I want it to look as good as possible!


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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mattacuk
post Sep 10 2007, 12:30 AM
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Im impressed with your efforts Andrew. Had that been my soildering, it would of ended up being sold as "outsider art" like when homer simpson cocked up making his DIY BBQ laugh.gif


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muntahunta
post Sep 10 2007, 12:48 AM
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your a braver man than i.
ive always wanted to make my own amp and guitar but i havent had the money, knowledge or skill to do so.

if i were to buy all the expensive components and screw it up i wouldnt be able to live with myself lol.

cant wait to hear your finished amp. good luck biggrin.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 10 2007, 02:41 AM
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Thanks guys smile.gif I'll be posting clips as soon as I get it working - assuming the whole thing doesn't explode in my face when I turn the power on blink.gif

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Sep 10 2007, 02:41 AM


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 10 2007, 05:35 AM
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Looks like it's coming on really well Andrew. What type/s of knob/s are you going to put on it when it's ready- chicken head/knurled metal etc - are you going for a vintage or a more modern sort of aesthetic?

Cheers,
Tony


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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MickeM
post Sep 10 2007, 05:44 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Sep 10 2007, 03:41 AM) *
Thanks guys smile.gif I'll be posting clips as soon as I get it working - assuming the whole thing doesn't explode in my face when I turn the power on blink.gif

If that happens we'd want a clip of that too, video if possible biggrin.gif

Looking real good so far!


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Andrew Cockburn
post Sep 10 2007, 07:35 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 10 2007, 12:44 AM) *
If that happens we'd want a clip of that too, video if possible biggrin.gif

Looking real good so far!


Heh, maybe I'll video the big switch on and post the highlights as an amp building lesson smile.gif

QUOTE (tonymiro @ Sep 10 2007, 12:35 AM) *
Looks like it's coming on really well Andrew. What type/s of knob/s are you going to put on it when it's ready- chicken head/knurled metal etc - are you going for a vintage or a more modern sort of aesthetic?

Cheers,
Tony


It came with chicken heads, so I see no reason to change, they are in keeping with the tweed cab after all smile.gif I'll also probably go for a plain face plate with white lettering, but not for a while. My plan is to build the basic amp then add some unique mods - on my list for thinking about are:

1. Switchable cascode boost stage - should give me something approaching a high gain sound
2. Swithchable triode/pentode - I'll try this but people have reported that it doesn't sound too good on this amp
3. Switchable Bypass capacitor - Fat, normal, bright
4. Switchable EL34/EL84 - a tough one this as I have to figure out a way of dropping the anode voltage by 100v
5. Effects loop - simple serial unbuffered would be easy, or maybe I'll use an additional 12ax7 and buffer it

All of these are moving away from the safe world of tried and tested schematis though, so the most likely thing that will happe is that I'll blow something up!


--------------------
Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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