A suggestion as concerned Brown Note

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andrekp
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A suggestion as concerned Brown Note

Post by andrekp »

Once again, there is a thread here about lousy service from Brown Note.

Way back when I ordered, and finally received, MY Lite IIb from BN, they were the only game in town if you wanted a Lite IIb, but didn't want to either entirely scratch build or order peicemeal from numerous manufactures (trannies from here, cab from there...). It still appears (based of a very precursory check) that they are the only game in town if you want a quality Lite IIb kit with some custom options and the cab of your choice. (I forgot to check Ceriatone - maybe they have one...)

Since BN has completely dropped the ball and nobody who knows better at this point would bother ordering from them, why doesn't some other kit-maker put together a Lite IIb to compete with BN? I understand that when a small companies don't want to compete with eachother, but Moss has dropped the ball here and if you want a complete Lite IIb kit, you are sort of forced to do it yourself completely, which is certainly not something a newbie does comfortably.

Maybe GDS, Trinity, or someone can take up Moss's slack and give an option for people who don't want to either play BN roulette, or source parts separately.

To be absolutely clear, I have nothing against Moss personally, and I really wish he'd get his act together (I'd recommend BN in an instant if he did) but he's left a hole in the market over a problem he could fix immediately if he actually wanted to. I don't at all mean this to be a slam on him personally - some people just aren't cut out to run a business properly. I think if someone would fill that gap, it would be a huge help to the 18watt community.

This is just a suggestion, and Mods, please delete it immediately if you think it an inappropriate post.
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rexracer
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Post by rexracer »

I have a Lite IIb kit with a box for a good price. I was thinking of making a modified board that could incorporate diode rectifier and a option area on the front of the board for mods. Maybe two rows of three turrets? Any other suggestions?

hazelytubeamp.com

I just set up one that is ready to go with the black box but I could make another box. This one is based on the dockery layout and schemo but I normaily make mine without the first two filter caps. I use a cap can instead.

http://i830.photobucket.com/albums/zz22 ... Iibkit.jpg
$400 shipped US

My chassis are drilled for the heyboers PT but could be left blank for a standup and the OT slits are universal.
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stevesuk
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Re: A suggestion as concerned Brown Note

Post by stevesuk »

Andrekp wrote:
why doesn't some other kit-maker put together a Lite IIb
It seems Europe is better served for Lite IIb kits than the USA ?
At least two members supply Lite IIb kits in Europe, ValvePower and Barry at Ampmaker.

Steve UK
www.valvepower.co.uk
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Post by zaphod_phil »

GDS has an amp called the Single Channel 18W. So it's basically some kind of an 18W Lite.
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Post by Duke »

GDS has an amp called the Single Channel 18W. So it's basically some kind of an 18W Lite.
Exactly what I was thinking. I'm not speaking for GDS, but it might be worth sending Graydon an email. If his stock 18 Watt Lite kit isn't exactly what you want, he'd probably be able to work out any customizing of components you may want.
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rexracer
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Post by rexracer »

GDS would be a great choice.
Last edited by rexracer on Tue 09/07/10 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rexracer
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Post by rexracer »

[quote="rexracer"]GDS would be a great choice. nevermind my question I edited my last post the values are the same.
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Graydon
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Post by Graydon »

Thanks for the kind words guys.

I've been offering a single channel kit for many years now. It is basically the normal channel of the regular full size 18W amp. I use the same transformers and circuitry as the regular 18W. It sounds fantastic. It is also a great platform upon which you can try many different circuits and ideas. It actually has enough tubes and enough real estate to build a 20W head too. I have seen anyone try that yet.

Look up GuitarDan's S/C project here and my GDSAmps.com website and blog for more info.

http://www.18watt.com/modules.php?name= ... ic&t=22043

This was one of the first S/C amps built on my latest "new & improved" S/C chassis last year.
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Post by guitar-rocker »

I just recieved, a few days ago, a s/c chassis from GDS. I'm adapting it for a Hammond AO-43 set of iron, and I have to say what a pleasure it is to work with. Very well thought out, everything has nuts installed too. The faceplates that come with it are top notch. If the complete kits are anything like this chassis, you'd be on your way with little worry. Thanks GDS.
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andrekp
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Post by andrekp »

Again, it's not for me - I have my Lite IIb - I was just noting some things that an enterprising kit maker may want to consider to increase his marketshare:

1). Brown Note was the only game in town when it came to making a Lite IIb that came as a kit with that intent without the need for further tweaking. When it came to building an 18watt, they were my only clear choice for getting exactly a Lite IIb and ALL the parts from one place.

2). It sounds like they may STILL be, as even if GDS's variant comes close or is spot on (though it doesn't say so on the site), it is still not complete in that one STILL has to find a cab that will fit it. Maybe not that difficult, but for a newbie to 18 watters with little knowledge of the players...

3). Brown Note is nearly universaly lambasted for bad customer service and its owner just doesn't care at this point - as it's easliy corrected and has nothing to do with money or parts stock.

4). Newbies, like I was a couple of years ago, don't necessarily have the knowledge (or even desire) to wade through all the different suppliers to piece together major componants from different suppliers, once they know what they want, if they don't see it clearly marked as such. If they want a Trem head, they go here, if they want a TMB combo, they go there, etc.

So I thought, with the effective self-effected demise of Brown Note, that BN's market share could easily transfer to another kit maker. My suggestion is not that another kit maker should make a single channel 18watt, but that they should make a Lite IIb, clearly call it such, and provide the cab for it, with color options as well. That's what BN does that nobody else does. With BN seppukued, my suggestion is that someone fill that gap for people who, like I did, wanted a Lite IIb, but didn't know enough yet about collecting the parts for one. I respect that kit makers maybe don't like to step on each other by providing another kit maker's product per se, but face it, BN is right now downing its second bottle of barbituates, so you won't be stepping on anyone!

If I were in the kit biz, this is what I'd be thinking hard about. Is it a viable idea? I don't know.
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Keith2112
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Post by Keith2112 »

I think that you raise a valid point, but I am wondering just how much market there is out there for the type of kits that Moss was/is selling. He definitely had the best price on a kit with the components he was including. Almost too good to true, which is why he might have been having a difficult time keeping up. Like you, I got a Lite2b kit when they first came out, although I got mine from Robert Sweetwood who was working with Brown Note at the time, so they are very close in component quality, etc.

While I am sure there a few out there who would love to offer what Brown Note did, there would be a great deal of work involved for what I would imagine is a very minimal reward. The profit margin on the kits looks to be pretty thin, unless you can score a great deal on some of the componenets, in which case you would need a large initial investment to get the favorable pricing. And think of the work tracking down suppliers of quality componenets, not to mention cabinets if that is what you want to offer. Most of us who frequent this board are not businesmen by trade, so there are unknowns such as legal, tax, and bookeeping issues to deal with. It would definitely have to be a labor of love.

It would be interesting to see just how many Lite2b orders Brown Note has had since its initial foray into the amp kit business. I hate to admit it, but we are a bit of a niche group. While the profile of the 18 watt amp has grown enormously over the years, the 18 watter is still a pretty well kept secret. And a lot of people who would like one, are not likely the types that are going to build an amp from a kit.

I guess what I am saying is that I am not sure if the opportunity is all that golden for the average guy. If there was some way to gauge the interest in this, a person could very easily do some kind of a group buy type of situation. Enough people interested, OK let's get all of the cash together and assemble and ship the kits. That way there could be a little profit for the assembler/shipper's hard work.

Who knows, if enough were interested, I might even bite. But looking at the responses to this post it does not really seem like there is a whole lot of demand here.
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rexracer
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Post by rexracer »

Since I make my own cabinets I can keep the price down on a kit. the kit idea helps me buy in bulk. There is not much profit in the deal but I think I'll put some together and add it to the website.

There is not that much demand but there is some. I need to rewrite a layout. I like using the cap can and I take the 1k off the board. Suggestions? I think there is a need for a straight lite iib with a cab at an economy cost. Costomer service can take up a bunch of time that is hard to add onto the cost of doing biz.

One of my fear is that this is a one man operation, it wouldn't take much to be overwhelmed and now I'm selling amps regularly. The revolution is now underway and your average joe wants a hand built tube amp. I have a new one sitting on the bench, done. These amps are beautiful things.
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Grange
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Post by Grange »

I bought a Lite kit from Ken Watts at Watts Tube Audio. Not as faithful of a reproduction, but it's a pretty good kit, and Ken was a breeze to work with. I don't think his kit is technically a IIb, but it's real close, and I'm sure he could sub in the few resistor changes if he was asked.
http://www.turretboards.com/
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Post by Graydon »

Just to address the cabinet issue... For my S/C kits, I am stocking head cabs now. I need to get that on my website, but they are in stock, ready to go. Black only, and cost is $TBD.
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Keith2112
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Post by Keith2112 »

Just an FYI regarding Brown Note - the company is profiled quite prominently in this month's Premier Guitar magazine. You can read the article on line for free. The piece goes into quite a lot of detail regarding the various options that he offers with regard to completed amps but spends quite a bit of time on the kits that he offers. I will be interested to see if any of those still waiting for orders have the inclination to comment on Brown Note's service in the comments section of Premier Guitar's site.

Link to article:

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... fiers.aspx
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