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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:04 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4813
Location: Virginia
I've had the itch to build up a Marshall Plexi clone type amp for a while. Then I came across this little amp kit called the Mojotone Studio One and it's really peaked my interest. I cannot read schematics for jack though. So I'm wondering if it's over my head. Of course I know a local amp repair guy who would help me out when I get stuck. It looks like it comes with an actual wiring diagram too but even that could be tricky.

https://www.mojotone.com/kits/MojotoneA ... udio-1-Kit

If you have ever built any kit amps I'd love to know of your experience.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 9:53 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:10 pm
Posts: 292
First name: Bob
Last Name: Gramann
City: Fredericksburg
State: VA
Zip/Postal Code: 22408
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
I’ve not built any amps from a kit, but I used to build amps and other electronic devices many decades ago. I can’t imagine how you could build an amp and troubleshoot it without being able to read a schematic. You risk making a mess that will be very difficult for anyone to untangle. There are several on-line guides (Google “how to read a schematic”) that should make schematic reading simple for you. Conquer that and get your buddy to teach you to solder and you ought to be ready for a great project. Enjoy.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:12 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4813
Location: Virginia
bobgramann wrote:
I’ve not built any amps from a kit, but I used to build amps and other electronic devices many decades ago. I can’t imagine how you could build an amp and troubleshoot it without being able to read a schematic. You risk making a mess that will be very difficult for anyone to untangle. There are several on-line guides (Google “how to read a schematic”) that should make schematic reading simple for you. Conquer that and get your buddy to teach you to solder and you ought to be ready for a great project. Enjoy.

Yeah they claim that anyone can do it but I have my doubts. I've built pedals from kits before that just had diagrams (basically a drawing of where everything goes) and that worked out well but it's much simpler too. Having that experience and years of repairing electronics in guitars I do have the soldering skills though. I might give my amp repair guy a call and see what he thinks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 10:48 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1893
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
My go to amp is a kit from a British company but at this time I don't know what their status it

http://www.ampmaker.com/store/home.php?cat=

The one I built is their "Double Six" - it is switchable between 1, 6 and 12 watts, which means you can drive it at different gains for more or less distortion. I almost always play it as a clean tube amp, but thats just the way I play my electric guitars

The construction was straightforward and reminded me a bit of building Heathkit amps and tuners back in the 1960's. You could assemble it without knowing how to read a schematic, I happen to know how but the instructions were very good and complete. There were several different tube ("valve") options, I chose to source them locally. With Ampmaker you specify the power supply parameters when you order it - both Euro and US versions are available. I did build an oak cabinet for it (which was an interesting exercise in box joints).

Here is the main circuit board next to the wiring diagram (its not a schematic, it actually shows the position of each component on the board which a schematic does not)

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Some other pics

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:11 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
Posts: 2405
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
I built this two tube, 8 watt amp and they not only provided a wiring diagram, but very detailed instructions that made it really easy for electronic challenged people like myself. The amp is really nice. I installed it in an old Peavy Decade cabinet and it sounds so much better than the old solid state crap.

https://www.modkitsdiy.com/pedals/mod-102-guitar-amp-kit-0


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Last edited by Barry Daniels on Fri May 01, 2020 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: jfmckenna (Fri May 01, 2020 11:12 am)
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:12 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4813
Location: Virginia
Wow! That's a fantastic looking amp Freeman! Thanks for the link I had not come across that one.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:20 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1893
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
jfmckenna wrote:
Wow! That's a fantastic looking amp Freeman! Thanks for the link I had not come across that one.


The good news is the he does have the instructions for a couple of his amps (not the one I built) at the lower left of the main page, the bad news is he seems to be currently out of business or on hold.

Here was the construction manual for a different amp so you can see what you are getting into

http://www.ampmaker.com/wf-55-construct ... 842-0.html

There is also a DIY amp forum at TDPRI that may help you decide if you want to jump in

https://www.tdpri.com/forums/shock-brot ... y-amps.49/

Edit to add - I just took a quick look at the instructions for one of the StewMac amp kits - it looks very straight forward for someone with no schematic reading experience. The kits seem pretty expensive for what you are getting and part of the fun of mine was making the box

https://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/i-1073 ... ctions.pdf



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: jfmckenna (Fri May 01, 2020 1:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2020 1:56 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 4813
Location: Virginia
YEs it seems that part of the deal with the SM kits is they provide good manuals and customer support so it costs a bit more but might be worth it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 10:17 am 
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Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:46 pm
Posts: 445
Location: Napa Valley
First name: David
Last Name: Foster
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94558
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
One of the first Amp kit makers is Allen Amps. The first "kit" amp I built in the 1995 was from Allen amps it was the Old Flame Model. Kind of a Deluxe Reverb On steroids. I've had good experience with Marsh Amps. I built a Fender tweed 5E3 thats a 59 Deluxe for you non tweed types lol. Marsh is great, another place to go to is Weber VST just upgrade some of the parts as they keep the prices down by using some cheap parts. Lots of good forums for amp builders out there. This forum isn' really the best place to get info as its more focused on instruments.

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These users thanked the author dofthesea for the post: jfmckenna (Sat May 02, 2020 2:53 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:46 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:26 am
Posts: 26
First name: McLovin
Last Name: Anderson
City: Moss Beach
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94038
Country: United States of America
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
TDPRI has a nice section on amp building. People post pictures of their boards in progress for feedback and catching errors. Good way to get feedback. Lots of smart electrical engineers there. Here’s one example thread (I am not endorsing the build in any way) which may give you a sense of some of the work and sharing.

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/champ-mic ... p.1051260/

I have built two small fender amp heads and both turned out well. I would probably start with a simpler design than the plexi as my first. If you are good with soldering and willing to take some time to learn to read the diagrams you can build one. The caveat is the work with potentially lethal voltages. If you aren’t following proper safety protocols, you could indeed die. So just be aware what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not easy, it’s a labor of love and intellectual pursuit.

Another kit maker is here:

http://www.boothillamps.com/site/mobile ... .html#2563

The owner checks the TDPRI thread and gives feedback on your progress if you post photos.

Good luck!!


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