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make your own amp


StratDudeDan
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i have no guitar amp. i've been practicing all my guitar through a Gorilla bass amp and i borrow my friend's Ibanez half stack when i need to play out. i'm fine with borrowing, but i would like to build my own practice amp.

does anyone have or know where to find schematics or wiring diagrams or some sort of way for me to design my own little amp. something between 25-50 watts at most (i do like to turn it up a little every now and then) and can they hook me up with it?

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The reason I ask is because a 25 watt amp is only about 30% quieter than a 50 watt amp using the same speakers, making it a little hot for practicing in an apartment or bedroom. A 50 watt amp is big enough to gig with in all but the largest of venues, and if your sound relies on tube power amp distortion, it's probably too much for most club gigs. A Vox AC-30 cranked into power amp distortion is painfully loud in most smaller venues, and will usually attract the police when played at home, unless your neighbors are either deaf or very understanding! A 1/2 to 2 watt amp will allow you to drive a speaker cabinet and crank the power somewhat without alienating the entire neighborhood, but may still be irritating for roommates and pets, not to mention potentially damaging to your own hearing. :D

Doug Hammond's Firefly, Adam Alpern's Micro Champ and the venerable AX84 version of Stephen (Simcha?) Delft's Moonlight are all great practice amps, as are the solid state Smokey, the Runoff Groove Ruby and Little Gem, and Stephane LaJeunesse's hybrid Ruby Tuby.

For more power (or just for laughs), check out the 18 Watt Community Center, Ampage and the previously mentioned AX84.

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That's true if you keep it cranked all the time, but the dude said he likes to crank it SOMETIMES. A Smokey or something similar is practice volume at best. A 25 watt amp works at practice volume and can put out enough for gigs.

Then again, I have two 100 watters in my room that I play through all the time... my advice may be a bit skewed. :D

All the stuff lovekraft mentioned is good. If you can't find something you like at those sites, you're too damn picky. B)

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Man, if you can even stay in the same room with a pair of 100 watt amps crankin', you're a stronger man than I've ever been! I salute you! B)

On an only slightly related note, at 47 I've only lost about 18% of my high frequency hearing (according to my audiologist). :D j/k And no giggling about my advanced age :D - I'm still younger than EVH and Satch!

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One word... EARPLUGS. B) I noticed I was stating to lose a bit of high end a while back and immediately started wearing earplugs for anything above bedroom levels. I'm not going to Pete Townshend my ass before I'm 30. :D

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hey LK hook hinm up wtih the heavy watter man freakin smokin amp

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I think if you wanted to build a Champ type amp, this site would be quite helpful if you look at the instruction pages

http://www.tubegarden.com/prince/prince.html

You'll need to put an overdrive box between your guitar and a champ type amp if you want real heavy metal sounds, but a champ on it's own can give you some nice dirt with hot pickups. The thing not to do is go with the typical champ size speaker of 8". You need a 10" or !2" to get the big amp sound from these things.

I've built one from parts out of a harmony amp that a friend smashed with a 2x4

(little did he know that that amp would be sought after these days)

I got the most fabulous clean tone from that amp right after I built it, but then made the mistake of "modding it" to get more modern distortion. I didn't keep notes of how it was exactly when I first built it, so it's still sitting around waiting to " be put right again".

Building these things is a lot like building those plastic car models as a kid, although the pay-off is much better, unless you get killed from electrocution.

In my experience, it's best not to mod the classic style amps for max distortion, you lose the great tone that way. Treat them as a power amp and run a box into them for more dirt.

I made a typical style "tube screamer" which gave me more heavy metal tone than I wanted, so I still don't know what's the best box to use for something more like a great Thin Lizzy type tone, which is more what I'm after these days.

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