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Why buy and build amp kid which is very expensive?

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  • Why buy and build amp kid which is very expensive?

    I have been thinking about getting a Fender vintage amp as a platform. Then I look at the kids from Mojo, Circa? etc. They are not cheap!!!! Why spend so much money to build an amp that I don't think the resale value can compare to the true vintage amp later when you want to sell it.

    So the question, is a good amp kid better sounding than the vintage amp it emulates? From one member Twin here, he said it sound better and it sure looked pretty.

    Also, I saw a lot of Fender VM amp on ebay, what's the deal with that?
    Last edited by Alan0354; 02-16-2012, 05:55 PM.

  • #2
    Probably not. But the desirable vintage amps (5E3, Twin, Plexi, Bassman, AC30) are far more expensive than the kits. You'll pay a few thousand bucks for even a ratty example of any of the above.

    Of course one solution is to get an undesirable vintage amp like a later silverface Fender, Traynor, Silvertone, Selmer etc. and modify it to your taste. That has always worked well for me.

    The cork sniffers will of course tell you that it'll never sound the same because the transformers are wrong, to which I say shut up and play yer guitar!
    "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

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    • #3
      I have to agree with everything Steve conner said, but to me the most important thing about building kit amps or scratch builds, which can be even more expensive, is that it's fun.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Conner View Post
        Probably not. But the desirable vintage amps (5E3, Twin, Plexi, Bassman, AC30) are far more expensive than the kits. You'll pay a few thousand bucks for even a ratty example of any of the above.

        Of course one solution is to get an undesirable vintage amp like a later silverface Fender, Traynor, Silvertone, Selmer etc. and modify it to your taste. That has always worked well for me.

        The cork sniffers will of course tell you that it'll never sound the same because the transformers are wrong, to which I say shut up and play yer guitar!
        When I talked about vintage amp, I literally implies the Fender silver face of the late 60s and 70s. In fact, that's about the only one I am familiar with.

        I particularly am looking for one with sweet clean sound, which to me rule out Marshall in my book. Fender seems to fit the bill. I have a Bassman 100 head, I got it because it was cheap. I did modification and it is not sounding that great. I think the transformers are too big and the OT is not designed for over driven guitar. You think it might be more worthy to just buy the transformers of say a Vibrolux to replace those and build on it?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Alan0354 View Post
          When I talked about vintage amp, I literally implies the Fender silver face of the late 60s and 70s. In fact, that's about the only one I am familiar with.

          I particularly am looking for one with sweet clean sound, which to me rule out Marshall in my book. Fender seems to fit the bill. I have a Bassman 100 head, I got it because it was cheap. I did modification and it is not sounding that great. I think the transformers are too big and the OT is not designed for over driven guitar. You think it might be more worthy to just buy the transformers of say a Vibrolux to replace those and build on it?
          hmmm, I think a Bassman 100 even with the stock OT and PT should make a great guitar amp. It's not going to be like a Tweed Deluxe, but for clean guitar should work fine, something more akin to a Twin Reverb or Showman. Your statement 'looking for one with sweet clean sound' and 'the OT is not designed for over driven guitar' seem somewhat contradictory. Which do you want?
          "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
          - Yogi Berra

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          • #6
            Fender Deluxe should suit your needs.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JoeM View Post
              hmmm, I think a Bassman 100 even with the stock OT and PT should make a great guitar amp. It's not going to be like a Tweed Deluxe, but for clean guitar should work fine, something more akin to a Twin Reverb or Showman. Your statement 'looking for one with sweet clean sound' and 'the OT is not designed for over driven guitar' seem somewhat contradictory. Which do you want?
              I want a sweet clean sounding amp to start with, but I am interested in doing a distortion amp. I don't want to start with like a Marshall platform as the clean sound is not as good. Actually the clean sound of plexi is not good at all. It's there distortion that's second to nobody.

              My guess is very linear amp with a lot of headroom like the Bassman 100 don't sound particular good clean. My baseman sound's ok, nothing to write home clean, that's what I am referring. I actually got the front end of the cascade channel sounded very good under low volume, but the sound don't get better when crank up, it just missing something. I don't know how to better put it, it's just didn't jump out. You know how power amp usually sound better when cranked? The power amp section had not been modified, just stock. So I tend to think the power amp is not very suitable for crank guitar. Maybe the OT is would from base frequency.

              I don't want Twin or Showman either because the transformer is too big and you can't get the best until you crank it very loud. My Ideal is like a Vibrolux or Tremolux.

              lastly, have you ever pick up a Bassman 100 head? It is HEAVY!!!! man that thing is so heavy. I don't think it's much lighter than my JCM900 with the huge speak magnet and all.

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              • #8
                I dont get it. I've played through Twins and Showmans and they sound great. (I like clean.) But if you want an amp to crank up and have a nice overdrive sound, it's not the best way unless you can stand ridiculous volume. If you want something that breaks up, sell the Bassman and get something else, you've already mentioned a Vibrolux or Tremolux.

                Heavy? Of course, try lifting a Twin with 2 JBLs. Or even my SFSR.
                "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
                - Yogi Berra

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeM View Post
                  I dont get it. I've played through Twins and Showmans and they sound great. (I like clean.) But if you want an amp to crank up and have a nice overdrive sound, it's not the best way unless you can stand ridiculous volume. If you want something that breaks up, sell the Bassman and get something else, you've already mentioned a Vibrolux or Tremolux.

                  Heavy? Of course, try lifting a Twin with 2 JBLs. Or even my SFSR.
                  As I said, want to start with good clean and then work on the distortion. I want to be able to back off and get good clean two. Yes Twin and Showman is very good clean.

                  Yes, that's why you never see me mention about Super Reverb!!!! It is real big also on top. If you are married, you'll know wife and big amp don't get along!!!! Mine make me hide even my little JCM900 behind the closet!!!

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                  • #10
                    I have an amp I built that is a 5F6A clone, but I used a Weber 5E7M chassis (mid pot but no presence), and the 5E7 cab. This has 3X10s instead of 4, and I used the stock iron, and use a 5U4 for slightly less B+ (compared to a Bassman OT and a GZ34). There were guys that would unplug one of the speakers on their Bassmans, I guess to drive the remaining 3 10s a bit harder. The amp gets a nice clean, and I can get a decent 'just barely' broken up sound at louder levels, but still not crazy like you would have to do with a Twin (forget about it!). Also, with the smaller cab and 3X10s, not quite as big iron, the amp is not real heavy either.

                    Yeah, I don't play the SFSR hardly at all, it lives mainly in the closet, but I do get it out every so often just to keep the caps working. But my wife doesn't seem to mind too much!

                    As mentioned above by Jazz P Bass, a Deluxe (reverb, I presume?) is nice, still a great clean, but at 20 watts or so, you can crank it up too. I have a DRRI which is nice, but still in the tweaking stage for me. (Upgrading stuff mainly, not too fun on a PCB board amp)
                    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
                    - Yogi Berra

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                    • #11
                      Another reason to build a kit is that you are starting out with all new components. If you buy a vintage amp, some of the components may have already reached their end of life, and others may have drifted way out of tolerance. I built myself a collection of amps for a lot less money than the originals would have cost. There are a lot of classic designs out there worth building.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoeM View Post
                        I have an amp I built that is a 5F6A clone, but I used a Weber 5E7M chassis (mid pot but no presence), and the 5E7 cab. This has 3X10s instead of 4, and I used the stock iron, and use a 5U4 for slightly less B+ (compared to a Bassman OT and a GZ34). There were guys that would unplug one of the speakers on their Bassmans, I guess to drive the remaining 3 10s a bit harder. The amp gets a nice clean, and I can get a decent 'just barely' broken up sound at louder levels, but still not crazy like you would have to do with a Twin (forget about it!). Also, with the smaller cab and 3X10s, not quite as big iron, the amp is not real heavy either.

                        Yeah, I don't play the SFSR hardly at all, it lives mainly in the closet, but I do get it out every so often just to keep the caps working. But my wife doesn't seem to mind too much!

                        As mentioned above by Jazz P Bass, a Deluxe (reverb, I presume?) is nice, still a great clean, but at 20 watts or so, you can crank it up too. I have a DRRI which is nice, but still in the tweaking stage for me. (Upgrading stuff mainly, not too fun on a PCB board amp)
                        What do you mean by iron? Is 5F6A the schematic number of the amp of Fender? I don't know what is 5E7M chassis and 5E7 cabinet, are those after market stuff, Weber brand? 5U4 is rectify tube? I am not familiar with these!!!

                        DRRI is Deluxe reissue? Yes I avoid buying one with pcb. It would be hard to modify.

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                        • #13
                          Iron= transformers and choke. 5F6A= Fender Tweed Bassman (model #). 5U4(GB) = tube rectifier.

                          5E7M is a kit available from Weber VST. Based on the Fender Tweed Bandmaster.

                          DRRI= Deluxe Reverb ReIssue
                          "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
                          - Yogi Berra

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoeM View Post
                            Iron= transformers and choke. 5F6A= Fender Tweed Bassman (model #). 5U4(GB) = tube rectifier.

                            5E7M is a kit available from Weber VST. Based on the Fender Tweed Bandmaster.

                            DRRI= Deluxe Reverb ReIssue
                            Thanks

                            BTW, I was just on the amp kids section and look at the old Marshall boards, can I buy those little posts and crimp onto a fiber board with pre-drilled holes. Also like the Fender boards, is there a tool to crimp that ring on. I remember I had seen people crimp a metal ring onto fabric so they can thread thin ropes, something like the holes on shoes where you tie shoe lace.

                            If so, what do they called and any site I can buy those?

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                            • #15
                              Try here for the eyelets, staking tools, boards etc:

                              Watts Tube Audio ~ Everything Tube Amps!

                              (oh it's Kits not Kids)
                              "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
                              - Yogi Berra

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