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Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-22-2004, 07:15 PM   #1
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Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Continuing the topic of tubes, amps, and homebrewed hifi systems, it's how some of us got started down the technical path a long time ago in a different world.

One thing I have always been frustrated with is the lack of decent metalwork. The innards can be wired as beautifully as a swiss clockwork, but the outside always looks like a bunch of transformers, tubes and capacitors mounted on a Bud box. Or else a vented box with a stock 19 inch rack panel bolted onto the front. Any suggestions or experience with (preferably inexpensive) custom metalwork, or a better line of enclosures for our creations?
Failing that, how about wood cabinets for tube gear?


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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-22-2004, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Very pretty. Gives me an idea to use some brass-plated door kick plates for a chassis, with an oiled cherry frame. It might be nice to chrome plate the transformer bell housings or hide them below deck.

The rectifier is an 80? Driver 6SN7 or 6J5? Or are they some Russian type? Can't tell from the angle.

One project that I saw in Glass Audio a few years back used about 24 or thereabouts 12V6's in push pull (cheaper than 6V6's as I recall) and the glow from that unit must be a feast for the eyes.

The Velleman K4040 that I run now is nice looking as well, but I don't have a picture handy. However, it tends to eat up output tubes, especially when a fuse blows in the maggies, but there are some mods that I heard of that might fix the problem.
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Cut-throat That is a very nice looking amp. You and nearly 50 are advanced beyond me in audio. I have not had time (still working for another year) and also many other interests. I will hopefully have more time later.

Thanks for the link nearly50. It seems that they have an excellent selection. I have some old radio links at work that I will put up when I am there next.

I checked to see if Welborne has a site and they do

http://www.welbornelabs.com/index.html

I will be there fo a long time as it is a good site.

Well the sun is shining and and I am going outside for the day

Bruce
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Coincidence - My father was a radar repair mechanic (as they were called) for the RCAF in WW2.

Bruce
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 06:28 AM   #5
 
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Yup Welborne has great kits or they will build them for you. Outstanding sounding gear.

Here ia another I just built last year. A pair of 45 Mono blocks. Tung Oil Paduak Bases. Solid State rectified. 6N1P Driver.

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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Hi, everyone, sorry I've been busy recaulking my windows before winter and haven't had time to take any good recent photos of my setup, but here's a shot of the media room where the amps are located (not visible though) from last month. *I consider the entire room to be a kit since I spent 3 months building it from scratch.



Trying out an image hosting link above. Hope this works.
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember themI'
Old 10-23-2004, 02:42 PM   #7
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember themI'

You guys shouldnt miss this then...

http://news.com.com/2100-1023-978617.html

I'm a heretic...fiber optic dolby digital out to a completely solid state kenwood amp. I *do* have a nice pair of vintage infinity speakers though...
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 02:50 PM   #8
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

I think nearly50 mentioned that he was also into guitar tube amps. *Have any of you had a look at or built any tube guitar amps? *I've given some thought to one of the ones discussed at this site - http://www.ax84.com/home.html *I've never built anything tube based before though I did do a lot of solid state and some analog stuff about 20-30 years ago.

What sort of difficulty rating would you put on such a project? *How about for the Voxy Lady (Vox-like amp) http://www.ax84.com/voxylady.html

From you tube-heads what are the pros and cons of doing this myself versus just buying a tube amp? I imagine that it will possibly have better construction if I do it myself - point to point versus circuit board. What about the costs?

Thanks
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 03:20 PM   #9
 
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

I know nothing about tube amps, electric guitars, or
any related subjects. However, my son is very well-
versed and is excellent on the guitar (Did a little club
work before he got a "real" job). When I would go with him to shop for equipment I always wanted him to buy a "Pig Nose" amp. I don't know if they are any good,
just liked the name.

John Galt
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

I had a loook at the wbe site for the Voxy Lady and it should be fairly easy and not too expensive to build. The pics on the site give you a good layout although not the only possibility. JUst keep your fingers out of the High Voltage.
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-23-2004, 08:07 PM   #11
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Quote:
What Kind of Infinities do you have?
Uhh...big ones.

Reference standard kappa 7's. Suckers are at least 15 years old, still sound great.
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-24-2004, 08:22 AM   #12
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Now heres a thread worth sewing! Build or buy? Definately build.. at least try it once on a novice project.

My first was a Heathkit guitar amp 35 years ago. Bet that sucker still works unless its been tossed into some mosh pit somewhere.

After that amateur radio got ahold of me. More builds and mods. Then computers.

Quote:
One thing I have always been frustrated with is the lack of decent metalwork
nearly50, dont overlook Lowes and HD for flattened expanded metal sheet. It comes in gold or silver color and sold as "vent or grill sheet". Even without a break to do the large bending; you can cut the rectangles and use plain or exotic woods to frame the sheets and make a nice package for the project. Still lets the glow out and cuts down on the dusting.

BUM
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them
Old 10-25-2004, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Tubes and those old enough to remember them

Hyperborea, the Voxylady schematic looks to be an intermediate-level project, but nothing that a dedicated constructor couldn't build. I would also suggest getting ahold of the Tube Amp Book - the entire back third of the book is full of schematics of vintage tube amps, some very simple (2 tubes plus rectifier) to very complicated Mesa/Boogie designs. Back issues of Audio Amateur and Glass Audio would be helpful as well, but more oriented towards hifi rather than guitar amps. Construction techniques are very well covered, though.

For my next project, I am interested in a single ended low wattage amp that I can use at home to get good overdrive tone without it being so loud that I have to be in the next room while I'm playing.

BUMwannaB, I've looked at and used the perforated metal you suggested. They are too light gauge to be of much use except as decorative touches. I do have a good stock of surplus 14ga perforated steel sheet which I use sparingly since it was a one-time acquisition (lab cleanup at work, salvaged from the dumpster cart in the hallway).

I think I'll keep on using Bud chassis but spend more time making a decent front and side panels to hide the seams, maybe using some exotic hardwood. I usually try to mount as many of the uglier components like capacitors and transformers "below deck" and I like the idea of a sub-chassis to mount all components to, then provide holes just for the tubes to protrude from. That way, no unsightly screw heads are visible from the outside.

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