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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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My Weekend Project!

I'm thinking about getting back into playing guitar again...I've not really played in years, not that I was any good to begin with. But as with most guitar players, I'm a bit of a gear hound and I like my guitar toys.

Well, for my birthday, I decided to get myself guitar amp "kit" that's based on an '85 TrainWreck guitar amp made by Ken Fisher (who passed away last year unfortunately).

www.TrainWreck.com

And a sample of a real TrainWreck in action: Real TrainWreck in Action - Video

This is how the build goes:

My Bengal checking my work after I polish the aluminum chassis:




Some hardware installed in the Chassis:




This is how the "guts" come:




And this is what I do with them:






I got *really* into the build and forgot to take photos along the way, so...um...here is the finished product!



And for grins, here is what the original '85 TrainWreck named Francesca looks like:





I still need to build a nice wood cabinet for my 'Wreck, but so far she starts up and doesn't catch on fire! And if I plug a guitar in, sound comes out...so that's a plus.


aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 12:36 AM
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Very nice! I did my share of tinkering with soldering iron but never accomplished anything as good looking as this.

- Stas

Thou shalt not disfigure the soul.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 06:52 AM
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Cool! I actually enjoy soldering as long as the equipment is nice (weller or Hakko station). Looks like you have all those bases covered. Nice setup.

Under200
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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I have the basic Weller Hobby Station soldering iron, and for heavy duity soldering I have a heavy duity Weller that seems to be popular with the amp building crowd that could melt components if used on anything other then ground buss and chassis.

Honestly, I'm a beginner at this stuff. I can't really read schematics well enough to be useful, so I'm just following drawings and photos and copying what I see.

Since I finished it late last night, I wasn't able to do more then plug it in and plunk a couple quiet notes. Hopefully when I get home from work today I'll be able to crank her up a bit and see how she really sounds!

So...about that CLSB Guitar Fest idea I had....

aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 09:31 PM

 
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www.hoffmanamps.com

He rocks! Has everything, can build anything.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post

I still need to build a nice wood cabinet for my 'Wreck, but so far she starts up and doesn't catch on fire! And if I plug a guitar in, sound comes out...so that's a plus.


Aw man. If it weren't an invitation to disaster, I'd say leave it naked. I love point-to-point wired electronics, they've just got that brutal beauty to them.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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I finally got to crank the bugger tonight. My neighbor upstairs bangs on the floor if I watch movies a little too loud, so I can only imagine how she'd blow her stack with this thing cranked.

So when I got home from work today and I saw she wasn't home, I fired it up immediately!

After warming up for about 10 minutes, I plugged my Joe Satriani Ibanez in and gave it a good whirl. Damn she's friggen loud! And what's nice about this design, is that the tubes compress the sound so very well, that I can roll the guitar volume back almost to zero and the distortion cleans up to a nice chimey clean....but the volume stays *almost* the same!

I need to either get better speakers or dial her in a bit with vintage tubes as she sounded a little rough. Changing the virst valve made a huge difference since this is such a sensitive amp...so I guess I'm going to try dialing her in with vintage tubes first...I have probably 50+ 12AX7 tubes stashed.

Damn I love this stuff! I just wish I could crank at will and not have to do it around the neighbors. Time for a house!!

aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:06 PM

 
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Damn You!!!!!

I found a chassis in my closet for a Champ style amp. Which I noticed the other day, I have a cabinet for in my shed!

So Damn You! Now I have to build an amp.

Did you buy your turret board or make it? If you made it, how did you attach the turrets to the board? I used a snap repair kit last time to flare the backs. It worked ok.

http://store.triodestore.com They have a complete board for $20.00 I guess if I'm lazy.

They're on Irving Park in Chicago if you ever need anything local.

So what you got for tubes? I need a 5y3gt,6v6,12ax7. I don't even know where my tubes and stuff are......... hmmmm....... I also have a turret board some where for a super reverb. So I know I'll be doing that one next. Since I have an old 4x10 cab in my shed as well. Unless I can find a chassis and board in my stash for another bassman.

If anyone needs. I have tons of amp circuits on CD, that I found today. Though a lot of that stuff is on the web now. It wasn't when I started in this.

I also have wiring for lots of guitars.
So, say you want to wire your guitar like a Jimmy Page signature model , I have the schematics.

So damn you man! I guess we'll have to have a "tech day" for guitars and amps like we've done for bikes. I know my guitars need some tlc. I also have a strobe tuner if anyone needs.

Hmmmmm You got any humbucker pickups you want to part with?

I hate winter. It makes me find old hobbies again.

Greg K.
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VinylSaurusRex.com - Cyclepath Racing - Safety First Racing - SMR Components - Apexjunkie.com - Yamaha Champions Riding School
"If you're headed toward trees, I'm guessing your on the wrong line." - S. Russell
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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I could use a copy of that CD, Greg. I probably have many of them, but I'm sure you're CD will help fill in the gaps. I for sure don't have any guitar wiring layouts or schematics.

As for the turret boards. For the Trainwreck they were made for me. For my SuperReverbs, Deluxes, and Champs, I use the Hoffman turret press kit, except instead of using a drill press I do it all by hand. Just as sturdy, and I feel it goes a lot more quickly then what I do on the drill press. I purchase all my G-10 board material in big sheets through McMaster Carr and just cut to size on my table saw. I don't use set patterns since I usually move the filter caps on board rather then in the dog house.

Instead of 5Y3GT for the recto, use a 5U4 I think it is. It's provides a *slow* power up so you don't strip the cathodes. It's nice for amps like the Champ and tweeds without a standby switch.

I may have a 40's or 50's vintage recto tube I can give you, I'm kinda stingy on my 6V6 and 12AX7s though.

As for humbuckers...I have one I can give you if you need any old bucker...but the few good ones I have left are keepers. I'm even picking up an EVH pickup from the Duncan Custom shop sometime in the next week...it's signed by Seymour Duncan himself!

I love winter hobbies.

aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 11:19 PM
Wild slide rule roots
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkotlin View Post
So damn you man! I guess we'll have to have a "tech day" for guitars and amps like we've done for bikes. I know my guitars need some tlc.
Hey, if you want to do an amp tech day, I've got a fine old B&K tube tester and some general electronics know-how to contribute to the effort. Maybe a scope too.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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I really just need a couple good sets of ears to help me dial in my amps and test tubes *in* the amp. I have a tube tester myself, though I have piles of tubes I have yet to sort through, test, box and label (sigh).

Sounds like Greg needs more work done then I do...all my stuffs running (right now at least). I'm just waiting on pickups and strings to get one of my Strats back together, and we dropped off Peanuts Telecaster to have the fretboard leveled and polished.

It's going to be a guitar playin' winter!

So, anyone want to have us all pile into their basement for an amp fest?

aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 05:40 PM

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonely Raven View Post
I really just need a couple good sets of ears to help me dial in my amps and test tubes *in* the amp. I have a tube tester myself, though I have piles of tubes I have yet to sort through, test, box and label (sigh).

Sounds like Greg needs more work done then I do...all my stuffs running (right now at least). I'm just waiting on pickups and strings to get one of my Strats back together, and we dropped off Peanuts Telecaster to have the fretboard leveled and polished.

It's going to be a guitar playin' winter!

So, anyone want to have us all pile into their basement for an amp fest?
I have great ears! I just don't have chops... Yet....

Mr. Guitar tech sent out his guitar for work?
You probably have nut files don't ya. hhmmmmmm That should get some rude comments.

I never built my own fret fret boards or did fretwork. I have a feeling thats an art. Probably better left to the people that do that each day.

I have a blue sunburst tele body that I put an authentic neck on. It has two humbuckers in it with all chrome hardware. I also have a Jimmie Vaughn strat. All my other guitars are no big deal.

But if you want to borrow some ears or guitars, just say when. I don't have the money for transformers right now. So I'll probably just work on the electronics and fitting the chassis to the cabinet.

After I logged off last night, I found a ready to go Bassman and ready to go Super Reverb turret board in the closet. They were both tucked neatly into a shiny Super Reverb chassis

I haven't done this in forever. I've got layout diagrams. Are there templates that you lay on the fiberboard to get the proper spacing for setup the turrets? If so, do you have one for a Champ? I don't see them.

Greg K.
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VinylSaurusRex.com - Cyclepath Racing - Safety First Racing - SMR Components - Apexjunkie.com - Yamaha Champions Riding School
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 05:44 PM

 
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While I'm thinking about it. What size strings do you guys use? I hate 9's. They seem so small and I feel like they're going to slice my fingers open. I like 10's and the one guitar that 11's was like playing on cables.

It seems 11's really need to have a fret board setup to use them.

Just wondered.

Greg K.
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VinylSaurusRex.com - Cyclepath Racing - Safety First Racing - SMR Components - Apexjunkie.com - Yamaha Champions Riding School
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
The Halo hides my Horns
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkotlin View Post
While I'm thinking about it. What size strings do you guys use? I hate 9's. They seem so small and I feel like they're going to slice my fingers open. I like 10's and the one guitar that 11's was like playing on cables.

It seems 11's really need to have a fret board setup to use them.

Just wondered.
Huh, for some reason the forums didn't inform me of responses to this thread.

Anywho for strings. SOB FTMFW:



http://sobstrings.net/index.htm

I play 10s or 11s depending on the scale of the guitar, though with SOB strings, 10s are just fine for most everything...and they last friggen forever! I just ordered 3 new sets to give away as gifts.

As for the Champ layout. I took measurements from a '64 Champ I picked up and just went at it. I changed the filter cap layout since I didn't feel like using a cap can when it wasn't really necessary. My Champ clone (using '63 Champ output transformers picked up on eBay) is so quiet, that I thought I blew a fuse when I turned it on...I couldn't believe it was idling with zero hiss or 60 cycle hum!

I still need to make a faceplate for it and find a grill cloth I like, but it's playable and Brianne has been enjoying it for a few weeks now. Put a good pedal in front of it and I can make it sound like a Deluxe, or a Marshall depending on mood.

Greg, you have a place we can jam? I'll bring my Aiken 4X12, Peters amp (www.petersamplification), the Trainwreck, my '62 Magnatone, and my Champ clone along with a host of pedals, I just need a place we can crank!

Hey, Wink likes guitar guys, right?

aut cum scuto aut in scuto

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