Building your own amp - tips? - Jemsite
Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic Gear, Equipment, and Recording discussed here. Amps, pedals, whatever.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,155
Building your own amp - tips?

Well, I've decided I can't afford the Bogner or Soldano of my dreams this week, so I'm looking around on the net for info on building my own amp. Anybody have any luck with this, or know of any websites that may be of help? I'd like to build a two-channel beast, master volume, one channel with a sparkly clean sound (think "Alive in an Ultra World") and the other a sort of modern high-gain affair.
I may not end up doing it, it may get half finished be abandoned to be used as a footstoll, but I'd just like to see how difficult it may be and pick up a few new skills along the way.

EDIT: Actually, come to think about it, with my current amp I never use the clean channels anyway (it has two), I just use my guitar's volume control, so maybe that's the way to go. Yeah!
Petie is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Somerville, MA
Posts: 6,200
try microdmitry. He's done a few of his own. I'm actually curious to try this myself- I've always wanted a good, three channel high gain amplifier with less than 10 watts of output power, and it seems no one else makes one, so I thought the home project route might be the way to go.

Drew is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,155
Hmm, well here's something I've uncovered in my digging....
Petie is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,687
Yep, you've come to the right place there. Just remember three things:
1. There are LETHAL voltages in there. One touch to a 500V wire may send you directly to the morgue.
2. Building amps by hand ain't cheap
3. While they may sould close to the originals (as my Mesa Mark IIC+ does), they'll never sound exactly the same unless you have original output transformer (expensive). On the other hand, they may sound BETTER than the originals as well.

As a rule, if you're going to build more than one (and you ARE, even if you think otherwise), build a separate power amp, preferably with Baxandall (two knob) EQ in the input stage. Initial cash outlay is a bit larger (need two power transformers instead of one) but you'll reap the benefits later on. Plug in another preamp (or POD, or PODxt) and you're ready to rock.

For the first prototype use a deep cake pan. If you REALLY want to know how stuff works and how to improve it (without getting Ph.D. in EE first), buy "The Ultimate Tone" book from

One more advice - don't get into this if you're trying to save a buck or two. This is an EXPENSIVE hobby (of my hobbies only photography is more expensive), costs add up like you wouldn't believe.

Sure, you end up with "one of a kind" piece of equipment, but the end result depends on how good you are at this, so for a beginner the result can be quite frustrating, especially with high gain amps. My first amp was quite playable right from the first power up, but I got tired of it pretty quickly and re-built it into 2nd channel of Soldano X88R which I still have. And I did have a lot of experience in semiconductor electronics prior to building my first amp.

Ask yer questions, I can answer whatever you want to know.
microdmitry is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3,155
Thanks for the advice! This is much more of a skill-building exercise than a cash-saving one so I think I'll be alright. Hehe.

I should stress that while I can work a solder iron with the best of them, I'm pretty much unschooled on the finer points of electrical...ness. I plan to do a LOT of reading and research before I do anything because I like my life and don't wanna cut it short in a shower of sparks and flames.
Petie is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,559
That sounds like a lot of fun!
Good luck Petie

wilch is offline  

high gain amp , mark iic , mesa mark , power amp

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tips For Soldering. eyebahnez Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 12 06-28-2011 01:45 AM
Tips on building your own custom Jackson stoned yoda All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 8 06-06-2008 04:00 PM
Eaby tips? kool98769 Vendors, Auction & Reseller Talk 27 04-22-2008 10:31 PM
Bigsby tips Jemwielder Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 1 05-24-2007 02:27 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome