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  #16  
Old 01-10-2017, 06:00 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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Last night's work. Rectifier socket is wired in now.



The filter caps are glued to the board with a thin bead of silicone adhesive. This protects them against vibration cracking a solder joint over time. I'll wire up this board later today when I dig in again.



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  #17  
Old 01-10-2017, 06:47 AM
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Looks like nice, clean build, clint!

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  #18  
Old 01-10-2017, 08:51 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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What, no circuit boards and chips?

Looking good, Clint.
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  #19  
Old 01-10-2017, 10:16 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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Thank you.

I wired the input jacks this morning. I use the chassis to hold the jacks still, so I can work freely. The method I use uses the leads of the 1M resistors to connect everything here. Learned that one during my tweed Deluxe build. Just have to make sure the resistor will be clear of the cable when inserted.







I also built a ground bus for the preamp section of the board this morning. It's a more modern system than the old school brass plate Fender used, and is far easier to install. Soldering to the plate or even the chassis takes a really powerful iron.



The part that will pass under the jacks has a piece of heat shrink insulation, just in case.

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  #20  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:40 PM
gfsark gfsark is offline
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Takes me back to high school when my friend and I built a 40 watt stereo amp from scratch...without a kit, just some schematics and enthusiasm. It worked but sounded awful. My father owned little electronics company, and I grew up with the smell of solder. But its been many decades since I tried actually building/assembling something electronic.

I suppose you other baby boomers recall Heathkit? So maybe the old ways are better? Tell me that this kit will save substantial $$, because it seems a lot of work.
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  #21  
Old 01-10-2017, 03:32 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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The closest commercial offering is the Fender 57 Custom Twin-Amp. 40W, hand built, and a street price of $2999. An original Bassman of this era will set you back $7k easily, depending on condition. The Mojotone kit is at the high end of kit price ranges, and will set you back around $1100 or so with shipping. There's cheaper kits out there, though. My time and labor don't cost me anything out of pocket, either.

On a cost comparison against the reissue PCB amps, the kits fare poorly. That's an apples to oranges comparison, though since there's a lot of skilled labor in a hand built amp. However, the kit will be easily serviceable and should last for decades with proper care.

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  #22  
Old 01-10-2017, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfsark View Post
I suppose you other baby boomers recall Heathkit?
My father built our entire HiFi system from KnightKit and HeathKit kits, as well as a Ham receiver. I experimented with his Heath mono reel-to-reel and ended up so smitten with recording that I eventually made it my career. One of the first Christmas gifts I recall is a Knight electronic experiment station that allowed me to breadboard together probably fifty different devices such as radios. When it came time for me to have my first guitar amp we modified his little 30 watt Knight HiFi amp.

So yes, I remember kits.
Quote:
So maybe the old ways are better? Tell me that this kit will save substantial $$, because it seems a lot of work.
If you like the sound of the old amp designs you can have them again, right down to component reproductions. If you understand what components affect tone, you can reproduce the tones remarkably well. Truth be told, some of those tones are only available in component-level reproductions. Not only that, by building a kit you become remarkably intimate with the theory and operation of your amp.

Are they worth it financially? I commissioned a hand-built 5E3 Tweed Deluxe repro with meticulous component selection and a high-quality cabinet and repro speaker that priced out at just a little more that half the cost of the modern Fender PCB repro. To jump on the vintage 5E3 Deluxe acquisition merry-go-round would have involved an entry price at least three times my investment and would have put me in possession of what might easily have been a fragile or marginally operational amp or a museum piece that couldn't be gigged for fear of damage. At the very least you'd have to remove and store the vintage speaker to protect the amp's value and the worst you could expect to replace every capacitor to bring it back to health.

So, anyway, I'm wanting to dive into the kit market myself. I know I will have to start at the bottom with something like a Tweed Champ or something similar to get my trouble shooting skills back up to snuff.

Bob
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2017, 07:53 AM
gfsark gfsark is offline
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KnightKit, another name from the past. The idea of hand-wiring a 'new' vintage amp is a new one to me...seems like a lot of fun... As I recall the quality of the old amplifiers was directly related to the mass of the transformers; and it looks like this kit has pretty heavy ones. Also, you could stand a chance of understanding the electronic circuits with this old school design. I'm unable to decipher the simplest circuit board.
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2017, 05:34 PM
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clint: very cool build!!

i'd love to build a princeton reverb clone since i can't afford a real one. i have been impressed with the 68 custom deluxe reverb that my friend has tho.

the thing with clones is to love them and play thru them. resale is never the thought as it is your love that went into it, and, you probably can't get back what you put in. with the modern cap cans, caps, resistors, and trannys, you can build something that will basically last forever.

good luck with this build. enjoy it.

play music!
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  #25  
Old 01-12-2017, 06:02 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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Still moving along. Finished the bias circuit, including the trimpot for adjustments. Installed the filter cap board and main board into the chassis today, and wired up the jacks and controls.







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  #26  
Old 01-13-2017, 11:38 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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Well, my real job steps in today. I'll pick this back up next week. I had another repair come in too, so that'll bump this off the bench til that's done.

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  #27  
Old 01-13-2017, 07:49 PM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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Looking good, Clint. Is all the wire cloth insulated? Is this how the kit comes? Or are you just doing this for originality?
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  #28  
Old 01-13-2017, 08:02 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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The kit comes with several feet each of yellow and green wire. Green is 18ga for heaters, yellow is 22ga for everything else. I'm going for a pure vintage sound and look in this amp, so traditional colors it is.

For my other amp work, I've got several colors of wire, all with the push back cloth. It's my favorite because of how easy to use it is. Here's the other big project on my bench, a customer's tweed Deluxe kit that he bought pre-assembled, but very poorly built. I did a complete gut and rewire on this one, and am working on getting it dialed in before it goes back home.





Multicolor is much easier to follow.

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  #29  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:58 AM
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Is that a MojoTone diagram? My builder wired my amp from a Mojo diagram that had the bright wire going to the normal pot. After finding the fault and talking about it with him I shifted the wire to the right pot and all was well. I think they've updated the diagram.

Bob
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  #30  
Old 01-14-2017, 08:40 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
Is that a MojoTone diagram? My builder wired my amp from a Mojo diagram that had the bright wire going to the normal pot. After finding the fault and talking about it with him I shifted the wire to the right pot and all was well. I think they've updated the diagram.

Bob
It is. I was using it for a reference for the input jack wiring on this amp. The general wiring in this one I did partly from memory and partly from the schematic, with a little bit of the layout for some minor details. Interesting that it was incorrect on yours; the one I'm using is about 3 years old and was right for my build.

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