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Thundersteel

Built myself a tube amp

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Posted (edited)

I bought a tube amp kit from Tube Depot. It's a JTM45 clone--50 watts; EL34 tubes. Very enjoyable to do, but not without frustration. The wiring isn't as neat as I wanted it to be, but it works. It's the first one I've ever built, so if I do it again, I'll how how to make the process easier. It took about 50 hours or so of assembly and soldering. I was very surprised the first time I turned it on--no smoke or fire! All the voltages were within specification. 

I haven't had the chance to crank it yet, but hopefully I'll be able to do it soon. I hope you enjoy the pics!

 

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Edited by Thundersteel
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Posted (edited)

LOVE that!!!  So cool. Have thought about doing one of those myself. Understood you haven’t had a chance a crank it yet, but how does it sound so far?

Edited by Travis

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Posted (edited)

Great job!.. now you need to make a "ThunderSteel" name plate in the same Marshall font for it

Edited by Dave Scepter
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Good on ya!  Passing the smoke test is a very important milestone.  Awaiting cranked amp report.

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Great job! Don‘t care about the wiring when it sounds right. Cool project!

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Great Job!!! There’s a lot of satsfaction building your own amp!! 

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Looking at their website, that 18-watt Classic British head is looking really tempting...

cant wait to hear your full tone report...

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That looks great! Hell yeah!

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2 hours ago, Thundersteel said:

 The wiring isn't as neat as I wanted it to be

 

:blink:  It looks fine.  If I tried to do that.....

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Yeah!  Building tube amps are a blast, literally. 

Good one there!

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Great job! The wiring looks good, especially for a first time! I've seen a hell of a lot worse come from some "boutique" builders. Good on ya mate!

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3 hours ago, Travis said:

Looking at their website, that 18-watt Classic British head is looking really tempting...

It does.  I have a Tube Depot Tweed Deluxe kit that I have been paused partway through on building for a while, but I have nothing but good to say about what they sent me.

However, Mojotone also has an 18-watt Marshall-type kit that gets good reviews.  Decisions, decisions...

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Great work. Let's hear the tone report.

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Preliminary Tone Report:

It sounds remarkably similar to my Marshall DSL50 on the "classic gain" (green) channel, though not quite as much gain.  It's advertised as having a 60s/70s Marshall tone, and I think it nails it. Unfortunately, since the wife was home all day, even though I had the preamp controls dimed, I couldn't get the master volume off of 1 (it's LOUD!) , so I couldn't really let the amp breathe. One day when the wife is out of the house for awhile, I'll be able to do that.

 I'm surprised at how quiet it is, especially since it's my first kit build. I was expecting lots of noise and squeals, but it's almost dead silent when not playing. It's a well-engineered kit, though I changed the order of some of the assembly steps to make it easier.

I'll waiting to compare it to another amp that'll be here next week--stay tuned!

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4 minutes ago, Thundersteel said:

Preliminary Tone Report:

It sounds remarkably similar to my Marshall DSL50 on the "classic gain" (green) channel, though not quite as much gain.  It's advertised as having a 60s/70s Marshall tone, and I think it nails it. Unfortunately, since the wife was home all day, even though I had the preamp controls dimed, I couldn't get the master volume off of 1 (it's LOUD!) , so I couldn't really let the amp breathe. One day when the wife is out of the house for awhile, I'll be able to do that.

 I'm surprised at how quiet it is, especially since it's my first kit build. I was expecting lots of noise and squeals, but it's almost dead silent when not playing. It's a well-engineered kit, though I changed the order of some of the assembly steps to make it easier.

I'll waiting to compare it to another amp that'll be here next week--stay tuned!

Since it’s 60’s/70’s Marshall tone, I wonder if you pushed it with a tube screamer or the like if it would do some of the 80’s gainier stuff...

really making me think of the 18w kit...

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Really nice work, congratulations on a job well done!  Since the amp is rated for 50 watts and runs EL34 power tubes, wouldn't your amp qualify as a slightly later design (as in late '60's version) JTM50 instead of a JTM45?

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1 hour ago, crunchee said:

Really nice work, congratulations on a job well done!  Since the amp is rated for 50 watts and runs EL34 power tubes, wouldn't your amp qualify as a slightly later design (as in late '60's version) JTM50 instead of a JTM45?

According to the assembly manual, it's a JTM45 "styled" amp kit, with some American "upgrades." One can select tube or diode rectifier, as well as a feedback selector switch, choosing between a Bassman, Plexi, or JTM45-type gain.

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Very cool, I'm going to build a nice amp when I officially retire. Instead of building a little ship insjde a bottle. A loud ass amp. 

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Your work looks nice, btw!

 

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Nice!  That is one of the things on my musical bucket list, build an amp myself.  

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10 hours ago, Thundersteel said:

According to the assembly manual, it's a JTM45 "styled" amp kit, with some American "upgrades." One can select tube or diode rectifier, as well as a feedback selector switch, choosing between a Bassman, Plexi, or JTM45-type gain.

Sounds like a great kit, and it looks sharp! 

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2 hours ago, Jeff R said:

Very cool, I'm going to build a nice amp when I officially retire. Instead of building a little ship insjde a bottle. A loud ass amp. 

Why not both

 

reeshardshipnbottle.jpg

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18 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

Hey, man.  Can I borrow your amp?

Anytime!

 

2 hours ago, Jeff R said:

Your work looks nice, btw!

 

Thank you--much appreciated!

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I just sent an email off to Tube Depot asking how to increase gain and add tube reverb. Let the modifications begin!

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