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  #31  
Old 11-24-2020, 05:12 PM
acoustigoat acoustigoat is offline
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StewMac does make the instructions available in PDF format on their website.
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  #32  
Old 11-25-2020, 06:29 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is online now
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StewMac does make the instructions available in PDF format on their website.
For those looking for the best value, a Weber kit combined with a downloaded set of instructions from StewMac would be a good combination.
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  #33  
Old 11-25-2020, 07:53 AM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley View Post
The thing with the StewMac kit, and what I needed the most, are the directions. I am proof that any fool can do it. The directions are simple and easy to follow. Step by step. And I think all of the components are just fine. It's my best sounding amp. Sounds better than the Fender Bassman 59 LTD that I just got rid of.
Thanks. I ordered the Champ kit from StewMac yesterday. Even though the Mojotone was a bit cheaper, I didn't think it was right to get the Mojotone one and then use the StewMac instructions as others have mentioned.

This will be my first build and I want to know I have great customer service behind me. Maybe my next build I'll buy from somewhere else.
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  #34  
Old 12-28-2020, 01:46 PM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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I just finished building the Champ today. To my amazement, it actually works.

I would not say it was an easy build (for me). That chassis get real small and some of the connections were hard to make. I made a few mistakes along the way and had to redo a couple of solder joints. I spent 3 days putting it together.

I don't know if I would want to do it again, but it was a good learning experience.
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  #35  
Old 12-31-2020, 08:53 PM
redir redir is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluside View Post
I just finished building the Champ today. To my amazement, it actually works.

I would not say it was an easy build (for me). That chassis get real small and some of the connections were hard to make. I made a few mistakes along the way and had to redo a couple of solder joints. I spent 3 days putting it together.

I don't know if I would want to do it again, but it was a good learning experience.
Sweet! I just started a new thread about my 18 watt build. I could not be more pleased. Same here, made many mistakes some not my fault as the turret board in my kit was missing a turret so I had built it up left to right only to realize that I had a systematic error.

That's when I learned that you don't solder everything together till it's laid out!

So I did that, I laid everything out made sure it was good and then soldered it only to find that two of the spots I totally overlooked and didn't solder. Hence the importance of good mechanical connection. It still worked but I noticed I skipped those points when soldering.

I also soldered one electrolytic cap in backwards and had to order a new one

I'd love to see pics of your Champ.
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  #36  
Old 01-01-2021, 06:15 AM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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Sweet!

I'd love to see pics of your Champ.
I'm a bit embarrassed about how sloppy it is. Hey, it was my first attempt and at least it works. I'm 65 and my old eyes aren't what they used to be. I had a hard time reading some of the resistors.

I'm glad I built the Champ. I learned a lot and if there will be another one, I'm sure I will do a better job.








Last edited by Bluside; 01-01-2021 at 06:23 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-01-2021, 08:40 AM
sam.spoons sam.spoons is offline
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Some great posts on here, especially WRT safety advice. I'm in the UK and built an 18 Watt from an https://www.ampmaker.com PP-18 kit a few years ago. I'm still using the amp as my main electric amp both in the home studio and live, absolutely love it to bits. I was a novice amp builder but electrically competent and it took me around 10-12 hours.

I would reenforce the safety aspects, valve amps have 350VDC+ floating around inside, even after they are switched off, so make, and use a capacitor discharge device. I used an Autotransformer to bring up voltages slowly but the light bulb limiter will do a similar job.

The smaller Ampmaker kits, up to the 18 Watt (currently the slightly enhanced P-1800) come with well written documentation and step by step instructions, including safely testing everything stage by stage, my build worked first time. Prices across the range are good and the owner is a good guy and very willing to help if you have issues.

One last thing, if you embark on an amp build, treat yourself to a temperature controlled soldering station/iron before you start, it'll make your life much easier.

Oh and one more last thing, I used lead/tin solder, I've heard that lead free is harder to work with but as I'm still using my stock of the old stuff I haven't had to find out yet.

#Blueside, you Champ looks great...

#redir, Looking forward to your build thread
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Last edited by sam.spoons; 01-01-2021 at 08:58 AM.
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  #38  
Old 01-01-2021, 12:00 PM
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Looks good to me Bluside and hey if it works then you did a good job.
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  #39  
Old 01-01-2021, 12:52 PM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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Looks good to me Bluside and hey if it works then you did a good job.
Thanks for the kind words.
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  #40  
Old 01-01-2021, 02:25 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is online now
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Originally Posted by Bluside View Post
I'm a bit embarrassed about how sloppy it is. Hey, it was my first attempt and at least it works. I'm 65 and my old eyes aren't what they used to be. I had a hard time reading some of the resistors.

I'm glad I built the Champ. I learned a lot and if there will be another one, I'm sure I will do a better job.
Speaking as a 63 YO EE that has repaired more than his share of Fender amps of the old eyelet board days, your work is at least as neat as the old factory.
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  #41  
Old 01-01-2021, 04:14 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
Speaking as a 63 YO EE that has repaired more than his share of Fender amps of the old eyelet board days, your work is at least as neat as the old factory.
That's what I was going to say. Your work is fine. Don't worry about the Internet: you did really well. Now dial it up to four and play "Rocky Mountain Way!"

That's the amp I want to start with.


Bob
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  #42  
Old 01-01-2021, 07:27 PM
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Friendly historical note: original Champs have a 25uf/25V cap in parallel with the resistor at the far right edge of the board. Fender's documentation from the fifties is missing it, as is Mojotone's by extension. The amp will function just fine without it, but will not achieve the same levels of overdrive and gain as an original.
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  #43  
Old 01-01-2021, 08:08 PM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
That's what I was going to say. Your work is fine. Don't worry about the Internet: you did really well. Now dial it up to four and play "Rocky Mountain Way!"

That's the amp I want to start with.


Bob
Thank you, Bob.
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  #44  
Old 01-01-2021, 08:09 PM
Bluside Bluside is offline
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Originally Posted by clintj View Post
Friendly historical note: original Champs have a 25uf/25V cap in parallel with the resistor at the far right edge of the board. Fender's documentation from the fifties is missing it, as is Mojotone's by extension. The amp will function just fine without it, but will not achieve the same levels of overdrive and gain as an original.
Interesting. Thanks for the info.

Last edited by Bluside; 01-01-2021 at 08:15 PM.
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  #45  
Old 01-01-2021, 08:19 PM
clintj clintj is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluside View Post
Interesting. Do you have a picture showing this cap?
Sure do. The vintage one is via the internet (I lost a whole lot of pictures during a phone upgrade a few years back where I had gotten firsthand pics) and the modern board is where I picked up a build someone else started and got frustrated and had me finish it for him. On the vintage amp, it's the huge cap on the far right end.
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