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The Percolator - 2W Guitar / Harp amp

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  • The Percolator - 2W Guitar / Harp amp

    We just wanted to let everyone know that the Percolator is now available as a DIY kit.
    2 watts delivered via one NOS Compactron tube...check out Zeppelin Design Labs for more info.
    $259 for the kit, $349 assembled and finished.
    -Zeppelin Design Labs

    Demo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=atm6KBP5PfY
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Which compactron are you using and is it in current production?
    "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

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    • #3
      G-one,

      As I believe Compactrons were primarily designed for radio & TV, I'm pretty sure there are NO new production Compactrons... that said, except for 6BK11, 6U10 (Ampeg) & 6C10 (Fender) they're still in decent supply. But eventually, anything new made using with them will be a "limited edition," unless XDL is firing up a tube factory... I've got a slew of Compactrons I'd like to get rid of, actually... they can be used, but they'll definitely make a unique amp. I kept what I thought I might use someday.

      Compactron Tubes: A Junkbox Guide
      Audio Amplifiers From TV Compactrons

      I personally lke to see unwanted tubes and other "miscellaneous" parts being put to use...

      Justin
      "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
      "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
      "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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      • #4
        After I saw this thread I did my own search about it. You can build a Champ style amp with one using a diode recto...but keeping the gain down is super important or they oscillate like crazy.

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        • #5
          g-one...we are using the 6AF11...dual triode with one sharp cut-off pentode. they stopped making them back in the early 1990's, but they are still easy to find. I agree with Justin, I love using obscure tubes in amp designs. It's fun to explore the unique tone you can get with unusual tubes. Not to mention the satisfaction of using a part that will probably not get used in anything else...how many TV's can there still be out there that use compactron's?
          You're right ron. Layout with these things can be pretty tricky. We're using a PCB in the kit because point to point would be a nightmare for rookie builders. Even with the PCB it's still rather important closely mind your bandwidth.
          Last edited by ZDL; 02-18-2015, 07:00 PM.

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          • #6
            Paul in Arizona made some stunning mods to his Percolator 2W tube amp kit build. Good job!
            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Another cool finish: antique pickling white with high-gloss poly clear coat, and a different handle to suit.
              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ZDL View Post
                g-one...we are using the 6AF11...dual triode with one sharp cut-off pentode. they stopped making them back in the early 1990's, but they are still easy to find. I agree with Justin, I love using obscure tubes in amp designs. It's fun to explore the unique tone you can get with unusual tubes. Not to mention the satisfaction of using a part that will probably not get used in anything else...how many TV's can there still be out there that use compactron's?
                You're right ron. Layout with these things can be pretty tricky. We're using a PCB in the kit because point to point would be a nightmare for rookie builders. Even with the PCB it's still rather important closely mind your bandwidth.
                Here is our favorite article about the Compactron: not a retrospective, but an early product announcement from GE, circa 1960.
                Compactrons: Advance in Tube Design, October 1960 Electronics World - RF Cafe

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                • #9
                  Cool two-tone finish to match the guitar strap.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Percolator demo videos

                    Glenn Kaiser demonstrates the Percolator with harmonica and a variety of guitars. More demo videos on our YouTube channel.

                    https://youtu.be/atm6KBP5PfY

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