Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

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wade
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Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by wade »

Just completed my first amp build converting my Valve Standard Amp to an 18 Watt TMB.

This cabinet used up the last of my reclaimed chestnut. I got it from a gentleman in North Carolina. He calls himself the Chest “Nut”. He tears down the old barns and buildings for the lumber. This was from his private stash. These boards were 13 inches wide. This lumber is at least 100 years old.

I really like using reclaimed lumber in my guitar builds. A guitar should have a story. But it is not often you can actually prove how old your lumber is. When I was spraying my cabinet I notice a speck of aluminum foil that had stuck to the inside of my cabinet. A closer look and this was actually a piece of nail. When I was planing this lumber to size it cut into a piece of an old square nail. Square nails began being replaced by round nails in 1890 and were 70 percent replaced by 1900. By 1920 almost no square nails were in use. So for sure this lumber was in a building at or before 1920.

I used the ¾ inch reclaimed American Chestnut everywhere except the speaker baffle. The grill cloth is from StewMac. Oxblood with gold stripes. I put a bit of red in the cabinet finish to match the grill. The finish is nitro, ColorTone Liquid Stains tobacco brown and cherry red mixed with the nitro for the color. Used Solarez filler and sealer, cures in sunlight in 10 minutes or less.
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by Daviedawg »

That's a lovely job. I hope you get a great deal of pleasure using it.

Dd
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by JMPGuitars »

That looks great! I recently started using ponoko.com for faceplates. They seem pretty good. You could design a faceplate to cover that panel up and really complete the fantastic look. Their .5mm adhesive backed panels should fit in there fine.

Thanks,
Josh
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

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JMPGuitars wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 8:41 am
That looks great! I recently started using ponoko.com for faceplates. They seem pretty good. You could design a faceplate to cover that panel up and really complete the fantastic look. Their .5mm adhesive backed panels should fit in there fine.

Thanks,
Josh
Speaking of faceplates... my 1st trial case is lazered. I'm pickingit up this weekend.i only have to spray the back in black paint. I spraypainted 2mm plexi sheets in gold.
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geoff 1965
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by geoff 1965 »

That cabinet look’s awesome,no comparison between the natural beauty of wood and tolex!
well done
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wade
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by wade »

I am not satisfied with the grill cloth installation. I need to make the grill mounting board a bit smaller. The way it is now it deforms slightly make the grill cloth loosen when installed. This my first cabinet. I don’t like amp chassis mounting holes through the top of the cabinet. I need an adjustable chassis mounting “cage” to accept any size chassis and have this cage slide into the cabinet. Then you can make the cabinet without having to know what amp will go into it. Also need an easy way to adjust the chassis up from the bottom to get it snug with the top of the cabinet. Anyway this was really just a test to see if I could make one that looked ok and was functionable.
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by Bieworm »

The grill cloth thing is a PITA. It's a learning process. It's also next to impossible to tighten it enough by hands only.
I have learned ways to tighten it with some tools and techniques
I also make the baffle 3mm smaller on each side for the grill cloth and the piping flange.
Oh, and I learned it's a bad idea to attach the grill cloth on the back side of the baffle, just on the sides and cut the rest off. One less fold that can turn against you
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wade
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by wade »

Bieworm wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 1:26 pm
The grill cloth thing is a PITA. It's a learning process. It's also next to impossible to tighten it enough by hands only.
I have learned ways to tighten it with some tools and techniques
I also make the baffle 3mm smaller on each side for the grill cloth and the piping flange.
Oh, and I learned it's a bad idea to attach the grill cloth on the back side of the baffle, just on the sides and cut the rest off. One less fold that can turn against you
I don't know anything about piping or how it is attached. Must research.. Thanks
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wade
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by wade »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 8:41 am
That looks great! I recently started using ponoko.com for faceplates. They seem pretty good. You could design a faceplate to cover that panel up and really complete the fantastic look. Their .5mm adhesive backed panels should fit in there fine.

Thanks,
Josh
Thanks for the info. A new amp will go in this cabinet and I will need to figure out about faceplates.
Now I can get back to learning how to build amps. The last time I played in a band was 1966. It’s not a typo. I have only owned Fender amps.

Let me ask you this.
If you could only have 4 valve amps to cover the Rock/Southern Rock,Blues, and 60s-70s R&B, which would choose. I am thinking of amps that could be reduced to 40 watts or so and still keep their character. I am not really after a specific model….just trying to get my feet on the ground in my new hobby. I would love to build 4 amps that could do a good job covering the 60s through 80s.
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by JMPGuitars »

wade wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 1:56 pm
Let me ask you this.
If you could only have 4 valve amps to cover the Rock/Southern Rock,Blues, and 60s-70s R&B, which would choose. I am thinking of amps that could be reduced to 40 watts or so and still keep their character. I am not really after a specific model….just trying to get my feet on the ground in my new hobby. I would love to build 4 amps that could do a good job covering the 60s through 80s.
Well, personally I only would need 1 or 2. My main amp is a circuit I designed called the "Xtra TMB" - it's a 36 watt (36W amp biased to 40W) 18W style circuit with TMB tone stack, and a parallel cascade switchable 1st stage in the preamp. It covers all the ranges of dirt that I personally would ever need...and yes, that covers the genres you mentioned. I also use the reverb method I put in my reverb equipped amp docs in the downloads section. This amp circuit is not currently public, I haven't decided if I will share it or not. It's similar in theory to the EF86 Xtra that I did share, which is a similar build, and a great amp if you like the idea of combining Vox and Marshall style dirt.

I think the only thing beyond that would be to consider effects, and whether or not you would want tube tremolo, or be cool with an effect pedal. If you want tube tremolo, the Tremolo TMB Reverb would cover most of what you specified above, but it's not a simple build. You have to take special care with your solder technique, layout, etc... I do have a very high quality PCB of this circuit, and a matching chassis if you're interested. I will have faceplates to go along with it in a few weeks as well.

On the other hand, if you want a simpler, but very versatile build that can take pedals really well, I would look at the latest version of the Superlite TMB in the downloads section. It's an excellent amp, and it works really well with my reverb also.

If you want to build more than a couple amps, go for it. Try a bunch of circuits out and see what you like the most. You've clearly got the amp building bug. Welcome to the club. ;)

Thanks,
Josh
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wade
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by wade »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 4:27 pm
wade wrote:
Fri 08/20/21 1:56 pm
Let me ask you this.
If you could only have 4 valve amps to cover the Rock/Southern Rock,Blues, and 60s-70s R&B, which would choose. I am thinking of amps that could be reduced to 40 watts or so and still keep their character. I am not really after a specific model….just trying to get my feet on the ground in my new hobby. I would love to build 4 amps that could do a good job covering the 60s through 80s.
Well, personally I only would need 1 or 2. My main amp is a circuit I designed called the "Xtra TMB" - it's a 36 watt (36W amp biased to 40W) 18W style circuit with TMB tone stack, and a parallel cascade switchable 1st stage in the preamp. It covers all the ranges of dirt that I personally would ever need...and yes, that covers the genres you mentioned. I also use the reverb method I put in my reverb equipped amp docs in the downloads section. This amp circuit is not currently public, I haven't decided if I will share it or not. It's similar in theory to the EF86 Xtra that I did share, which is a similar build, and a great amp if you like the idea of combining Vox and Marshall style dirt.

I think the only thing beyond that would be to consider effects, and whether or not you would want tube tremolo, or be cool with an effect pedal. If you want tube tremolo, the Tremolo TMB Reverb would cover most of what you specified above, but it's not a simple build. You have to take special care with your solder technique, layout, etc... I do have a very high quality PCB of this circuit, and a matching chassis if you're interested. I will have faceplates to go along with it in a few weeks as well.

On the other hand, if you want a simpler, but very versatile build that can take pedals really well, I would look at the latest version of the Superlite TMB in the downloads section. It's an excellent amp, and it works really well with my reverb also.

If you want to build more than a couple amps, go for it. Try a bunch of circuits out and see what you like the most. You've clearly got the amp building bug. Welcome to the club. ;)

Thanks,
Josh
Thanks, Josh
Thanks for taking the time for your thoughtful answers. It is a big help. I need to spend some time studying now. Once I understand these circuits completely I can compare schematics and have a better idea of what is possible.
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by Bieworm »

FWIW.. 18 watt is plenty. You don't need 40 watt IMHO.
I have 2 types of tremolo TMB reverb amps. An 18W and a 36W.
And personally I think the 18W sounds superior. Same parts, same cab construction, same speaker. Well different PT and OT, different output tubes. Other brand of caps.

But I do recommend you buying Josh's PCB. It's quieter than the turretboard version. Especially the reverb .. which is a PITA circuit for noise
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by JMPGuitars »

It's true, 18 watts is plenty. The only reason I have 36 watts for my personal amp is because I prefer EL34s to EL84s, though both do sound great. If I only had EL84s to build with, I wouldn't make it more than 18W or 20W.
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by Bieworm »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Sat 08/21/21 7:26 am
It's true, 18 watts is plenty. The only reason I have 36 watts for my personal amp is because I prefer EL34s to EL84s, though both do sound great. If I only had EL84s to build with, I wouldn't make it more than 18W or 20W.
I keep trying to like the EL34 more than the 84. But there is something magical about the 84 I can't describe... somewhat darker and mysterious. The saturated sound of an EL84 is hard to beat IMHO
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Re: Valve Standard to 18 Watt conversion Cabinet

Post by JMPGuitars »

Bieworm wrote:
Sat 08/21/21 7:53 am
JMPGuitars wrote:
Sat 08/21/21 7:26 am
It's true, 18 watts is plenty. The only reason I have 36 watts for my personal amp is because I prefer EL34s to EL84s, though both do sound great. If I only had EL84s to build with, I wouldn't make it more than 18W or 20W.
I keep trying to like the EL34 more than the 84. But there is something magical about the 84 I can't describe... somewhat darker and mysterious. The saturated sound of an EL84 is hard to beat IMHO
One isn't better than the other. It's just personal taste. I still love the EL84, but EL34 has always been my favorite tube.
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