Do It Yourself Amplifiers
I build my first amplifier in 1994. It was a small one transistor amp for my FM pocket radio. After that I build several small amplifiers mainly with different TDA-chips. But it took over ten years before I would build my first proper guitar amplifier. In 2005 I got the bright idea to build myself a 5F1 champ into an old tube radio cabinet. So I did. I even managed to fit a 10” Jensen C10Q speaker into that radio cabinet. That was fifteen years ago, and I'm still building champs. Among others, but still.
Over the years I have build way too many amps, most with very short life. If I don't like something I have buld, I will recycle it. My current main amp is 5E1 champ, and it has a parts first used in 2006. Amps are way too expensive to build and then throw out. For example I have my version of Champion 600 waiting to be disassembled and rebuild. It needs a new and improved chassis.
I don't build either exact clones nor vintage accurate amps. That would be very boring, since it's possible to buy a real vintage amp from reverb.com. I try to mix things up a bit, like using old Russian tubes and capacitors along with modern components and design improvements. Or how about EL90 or 6BW6 instead of 6V6GT?
So my favourite amps are 50s Fender Tweed amps, and I have build the whole line over the years. Apparently I have developed some strong and not so popular or accepted opinions on amplifiers, so I have to warn you in advance: there might be some rants. For example: I'll never use +100€ on preamp tubes. Or I would never pretend to be an amp ”designer” if my amps still has a traditional HT standby switch... Quote from one Finnish "boutique" manufacturer:
Fucking morons. Not necessity at all. Never!
That's so stupid and ignorant. Read some books.
There you go. Onions.
PS. Amps can be dangerous. Don't blame the guy on internet for your stupid mistakes and/or death.