New and looking for general help on getting started

The place to discuss 18W-related ampfests, get-togethers, gigs, etc. These should be of interest specifically to 18watt.com members.

Moderators: JMPGuitars, CurtissRobin, zaphod_phil, rock_mumbles

Post Reply
cmedcoff
Unrated
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 08/15/14 8:27 am

New and looking for general help on getting started

Post by cmedcoff »

I'm hoping to get motivated and serious this fall/winter about building an 18watt. I've seen the schematics, parts lists, layout, etc.

It would be really helpful to get someone who has some experience with this to become a bit of a pen pal and mentor/guide me a bit.

For now I'm just going to start by reviewing the bill of materials document and seeing where I can order parts from, get updated pricing, etc.

I'm in the Metro Detroit area. Troy to be specific.

I have some experience as a maintenance/repair tech but not much experience building something from scratch. I've got a signal generator, a scope, I can solder, etc.

Any takers?

Best Regards,
cmedcoff@hotmail.com
0 x

CurtissRobin
Senior Amp Tech
Senior Amp Tech
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sat 08/09/08 2:00 am
Location: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Side

Re: New and looking for general help on getting started

Post by CurtissRobin »

Simply join in on the conversations on these forums. Many of us came here as newbies to tube amp construction. If you haven't scratch built a tube amp before I highly recommend getting an 18 Watt Lite kit from any of several sellers around here. A couple of them are http://www.GDSamps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://www.trinityamps.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Another good option if you want to gather parts yourself is the excellent PCB from http://guitaramplifierpcbs.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; which is run by the widow of Terry Stinger, a guy who was really active here before he died some years ago. Lots of the members here bounced ideas back and forth with Terry Stinger to bring that board to fruition. Check out the Downloads section (link over there at the left side) for lots of info on the original 18 watt, on variants and on mods and troubleshooting tools.

Above all, peruse the 18 watt forum at your leisure and take notes or copy page links. Be aware that the further back you go in time the more likely that a business may be gone because it was a side business for somebody with a day job. Exercise the search feature by trying lots of different ways to say the same thing. I'd be astonished if your every question hasn't been asked and answered many times. When you post we'll all be able to help you. It's a mighty happy event when we help someone, especially a newbie, bring an amp to life.

And, oh, yeah ... Welcome aboard!

KennyO
0 x

cmedcoff
Unrated
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 08/15/14 8:27 am

Re: New and looking for general help on getting started

Post by cmedcoff »

<snip>
And, oh, yeah ... Welcome aboard!
KennyO
Kenny,

Thank you much for the pointers and the links. A basic question. The BOM's, which I realize may be quite dated, suggest raw material for a few hundred. Kits are $700, and up. What's a ball park figure for building an amp from parts rather than a kits? It seems the kits are quite a bit more expensive. Can one still build an 18 watter for around a few hundred bucks?

--cmedcoff@hotmail.com
0 x

User avatar
JMPGuitars
Super Duper Admin
Super Duper Admin
Posts: 1970
Joined: Tue 09/18/12 8:00 pm
Location: South Central, MA
Contact:

Re: New and looking for general help on getting started

Post by JMPGuitars »

cmedcoff wrote:
<snip>
And, oh, yeah ... Welcome aboard!
KennyO
Kenny,

Thank you much for the pointers and the links. A basic question. The BOM's, which I realize may be quite dated, suggest raw material for a few hundred. Kits are $700, and up. What's a ball park figure for building an amp from parts rather than a kits? It seems the kits are quite a bit more expensive. Can one still build an 18 watter for around a few hundred bucks?

--cmedcoff@hotmail.com
Do you want it to sound good? That's the first question to ask. If your first concern is the price, the tone will be where you take the hit.

The things that cost the most: Cabinet, Transformers, Chassis. Most kits don't come with a cabinet, and you don't need one right away anyway.

You don't want to skimp on the transformers. Heyboer and ClassicTone are both great brands, and the Hammond stuff is okay too. I primarily use the Heyboer transformers from GDSamps.com, and I've used his chassis as well. If you don't want a kit, I would look there for the transformers and chassis. BUT, before you buy anything, compare the price of the kit to sourcing the parts yourself. If you don't already have the right stuff on your bench, it probably won't cost less than the kit, especially once you start figuring in the cost of shipping from multiple sources.

For the turret board, you can make that yourself if you know the layout/schematic you're going to use. I get the perforated turret boards, and I bought a turret tool to mount them. Pretty easy to do.
0 x
'I installed a skylight in my apartment yesterday... The people who live above me are furious.' - Steven Wright
Web Design: DolceVittoria.com
Guitars / Amps / Effects: JMPGuitars.com
(anti)Social: Facebook · Instagram
Items for Sale

Post Reply