Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reading, reading, reading

I'm a bit under the weather right now which is affording me the perfect oppurtunity to read up a bit and refresh myself on amp components. About two years ago I got 'The Guitar Amp Handbook' by Dave Hunter and 'The Tube Amp Book' by Aspen Pittman. The beauty of the former of these books is that there is a detailed walkthrough and description of the signal path in a Fender Princeton model 5F2. The amp I'm assembling is a Fender 5F1, and, so far, the only difference I've seen in the signal path is a tone stage in the 5F2. One of the things I like about the 5F1 design is the simplicity and direct signal path.

Later this week if I can find the time I'm going to stop of at Radio Shack and buy the components to build a very small 9V amp that I've built before from a schematic in an issue of Make Magainze. It costs less then $5 dollars for all the components together (if you don't buy a speaker), and the completed project only has about 30 solder joints total. I want to get my solder skills back up before I mess with something more pricey; it's been over a month since I've soldered anything. Also the little amps are fun. They don't sound all that amazing as you might expect, but they fit into the palm of your hand.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Let's hope this isn't the last post.

Over the past couple years I've gotten very interested in amplifier construction. This includes mic-pres, guitar amps, power amps, etc. I've been teaching myself electrical engineering for a little while now. While I would still place myself in the 'extreme novice hobbiest' category I think I've gotten to a point where I can take on a more serious project.

Here I'm hoping to cronicle the building of this:
I've yet to closely examine the circuit design, but it's a knock off of a Fender '56 Tweed Champ, single ended class A tube amp. It's a relatively simple circuit with few components.

Tube amps involve high voltages. Filter caps can hold deadly voltage levels, and from all of learned so far the way to drain these caps is to connect a bit of wire from the filter cap lead to ground. Sketchy at best. That's my biggest worry at this point.

I've always wanted to blog on some level, so please feel free to follow along and comment and all that. If I'm succesful at building this amp I'm going to try my hand at a few other projects more along the lines of low THD power amps (tube and MOSFET) for like record players and home surround sound systems. After that I want to try and build a tube mic pre-amp. We'll see how it all goes especially since I'm working with limited monetary resources right now.

Pictures and progress soon to follow.