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Old 01-10-2017, 05:51 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
Guitar Gourmet
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Between Clever and Stupid
Posts: 20,593

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.
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.

"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

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