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Discussion Starter #1
I didn't want to post this thread IN the Canadian builders sticky because it would take the thread off topic a little.

I am curious if anyone makes a really simple 1 channel, 15-20 watt, 2 EL84 combo. I'd want it basically void of features except a volume knob, a tone knob, and a single input. The only other possible features I'd be interested in is an ext. speaker out and possibly a 'low power' mode (don't know the technical term but some Mesa and Carvin amps have it). But the other specs are more key. Most amps I find on builders pages have way more features than I need.

My other option is to build a kit (Weber offers one with the exact specs listed), but I just don't know if it's something I have time for (I'd have to learn a whole lot as I went along).

I'm curious as to what I'd be looking at price wise for what I am looking for. If anyone knows of any builders who build something similar let me know. Or if any builders are reading the thread, please contact me.

Thanks
 

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I'm sure there is someone here that could make that in the Builder's sticky.

I like that there's someone else out there who likes simple. I'd like someone to build me a simple tube pre-amp / DI with treble, bass, mid. There's a guy in the US selling somehting like that, but $800US:eek:
 

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james on bass said:
I'm sure there is someone here that could make that in the Builder's sticky.

I like that there's someone else out there who likes simple. I'd like someone to build me a simple tube pre-amp / DI with treble, bass, mid. There's a guy in the US selling somehting like that, but $800US:eek:
James, have you checked out the Stephenson Bass Hog...might fit your needs.

www.stephensonamps.com
 

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Discussion Starter #4
james on bass said:
I'm sure there is someone here that could make that in the Builder's sticky.

I like that there's someone else out there who likes simple. I'd like someone to build me a simple tube pre-amp / DI with treble, bass, mid. There's a guy in the US selling somehting like that, but $800US:eek:
Ya I mean, I know for a hand built amp it's obviously going to cost more. But still, what I want is pretty simple. I'd likely not even want a speaker in the combo because I would just track down my own.
 

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The problem with wanting something "simple" is that there's a certain price threshold below which a guy can't really earn fair money when he sells a handmade amp. If you're expecting something "simple" because it's supposed to be cheap, you're heading down the road of "wanting a very well made tube amp for cheap". In that case you'll either find someone willing to undercut everyone because he can't get any business otherwise (which isn't good for him), or you'll find someone who cheaps out when building amps. I'm not saying you should expect to pay insanely high prices for anything handmade/custom-made but the saying "you get what you pay for" still applies. Before solely judging something (like that $800 bass preamp) on its price, keep that in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
My handmade Lil Dawg Champster Special ( see thread in the forums) was about $425 US. Which I will admit is low even for a Champ clone though it's a pretty 'simple' amp. But, the amp is as high quality as you can get. I won't knock anyone for the prices they charge, but I will admit I don't think the same amp is worth 3 times that price which I have seen some builders charge. I personally feel that is where pricing gets into 'unreasonable'. I would compare that I am looking for to the Champster. I don't want reverb, I don't want EQ, I don't want channels...I don't even want numbers silk screened for the dials!. Just a bare bones amp.

I am just looking for a builder who first of all even builds what I am looking for, and second for a rough idea of pricing. I am not talking about anyone undercutting, or ridiculously low pricing.

I visited a lot of sites in the Builders sticky thread, but no one makes a model like I described. The amps they have, have way more features than I need and I am sure are well worth the price. But I am looking for something different.

I own a handmade amp, and I own a 1968 Princeton Reverb. So it's not like I am ignorant to what's involved with these types of amps.
 

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JamesPeters said:
The problem with wanting something "simple" is that there's a certain price threshold below which a guy can't really earn fair money when he sells a handmade amp. If you're expecting something "simple" because it's supposed to be cheap, you're heading down the road of "wanting a very well made tube amp for cheap". In that case you'll either find someone willing to undercut everyone because he can't get any business otherwise (which isn't good for him), or you'll find someone who cheaps out when building amps. I'm not saying you should expect to pay insanely high prices for anything handmade/custom-made but the saying "you get what you pay for" still applies. Before solely judging something (like that $800 bass preamp) on its price, keep that in mind.
I'm in no way saying it isn't worth the price. The Pre-amp I'd love to have is all hand wired point to point by a bass player for bass players. But $800US and then get it over the border to me is a lot more $ than I can spend.
 

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Some things cost more than others...

If you don't build amps yourself you may not realise that no matter what options you're talking every amp needs power/output transformers, chassis/cabinetry, tube sockets and so on. The "iron" is by far the most expensive stuff.

Saving a pot or two and a few resistors/caps by having a simple tone stack or even none at all saves only a few dollars. It's like buying a hot car and declining the racing decals - you still have a lot of dollars to pay and only a modest saving.

Not to mention that you only save a fraction of the labour.

I get a chuckle over some of these chinese-made cheap amps now on the market. They may cost less than a few hundred dollars but in a few months the techie boards are full of mods to replace poor quality parts like output transformers and how to add more to make the unit sound as good as it should!

Doesn't seem like a true saving to me but I do appreciate how the extra work and expense helps beginners learn more about working on amps. The extra expense is offset with education, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am not saying I expect the amp to be cheap. I mean it's not like I expect it to be in the price range of a Pro Jr. or a Epi Valve or something. So I think you guys are really misunderstanding the post.

You guys are dwelling so much on the price points in my original post but you don't even know how much I am willing to pay. I get the impression people think I want something for Epi Valve Jr. prices or something. That is not the case. The ONLY similarity I'd want to the Epi Valve Jr is it's basic layout. But with quality components and wiring, which again I would pay for if it would fit my budget.

Each builder in the builder's thread has certain models they make. And none of them fit what I am looking for. The KEY question is does anyone know of a builder who will make what I am looking for, or makes a model close to what I want?

This thread has been twisted around so it looks like it's bashing builders for their prices. That is not the case in the slightest. I just had a couple of questions and the thread has veered WAY off from that.
 

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torndownunit said:
I am not saying I expect the amp to be cheap. I mean it's not like I expect it to be in the price range of a Pro Jr. or a Epi Valve or something. So I think you guys are really misunderstanding the post.

You guys are dwelling so much on the price points in my original post but you don't even know how much I am willing to pay. I get the impression people think I want something for Epi Valve Jr. prices or something. That is not the case. The ONLY similarity I'd want to the Epi Valve Jr is it's basic layout. But with quality components and wiring, which again I would pay for if it would fit my budget.

Each builder in the builder's thread has certain models they make. And none of them fit what I am looking for. The KEY question is does anyone know of a builder who will make what I am looking for, or makes a model close to what I want?

This thread has been twisted around so it looks like it's bashing builders for their prices. That is not the case in the slightest. I just had a couple of questions and the thread has veered WAY off from that.

I for one certainly did not mean to stear the thread off. I have boutique tastes, but unfortunately on an SX budget:wink: . What I meant in my original post was that some of the builders that have posted here, regardless of what they show on their websites could surely put something together for you to your specs.
 

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As much as you're saying this thread isn't about price, what you said here really drives home that it still is.

torndownunit said:
My handmade Lil Dawg Champster Special ( see thread in the forums) was about $425 US. ... I won't knock anyone for the prices they charge, but I will admit I don't think the same amp is worth 3 times that price which I have seen some builders charge.
Just for example, I can't make any handmade amp for under $1000, especially a combo, and actually make money on it. Now when it comes to one-offs of any kind--simple or not--that means custom parts like one-off faceplates, one-off chassis, a one-off enclosure to fit it, and finding suitable packing material (because I'm sure not going to pay one-off pricing from my shipping materials supplier). :) That's what I was getting at. Anything custom costs more, because I have to pay the one-off prices from my suppliers rather than the parts I buy in multiples. Then there's the extra time spent building something "custom", because it's a different circuit and it's like any new circuit I come up with--it takes a lot of time to test it and make sure it's right.

james on bass said:
I'm in no way saying it isn't worth the price. The Pre-amp I'd love to have is all hand wired point to point by a bass player for bass players. But $800US and then get it over the border to me is a lot more $ than I can spend.
It's more about your "surprise" that it cost $800, really. You can't expect it to be lower in price because that's the way the cookie crumbles. I can respect that you can't afford to be (or even justify) paying $800 USD for that item, but since when were things like this much cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
It looks like I will just have to get a kit and try to figure it out myself. Weber offers a kit with the cab and speaker for $450. Looking at those prices, I was hoping to find someone locally who could build something similar in the $700 price range ($700 without speaker).

What do you guys think I would be looking at price wise to get an amp converted to PTP wiring? There are a lot of nice small tubes amps out there I like size wise, but I know they are cheaply priced for a reason. However something like the Epi Valve would be a good deal even if you just used it for the cab, faceplate and other parts at $168.
 

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torndownunit said:
It looks like I will just have to get a kit and try to figure it out myself. Weber offers a kit with the cab and speaker for $450. Looking at those prices, I was hoping to find someone locally who could build something similar in the $700 price range ($700 without speaker).

What do you guys think I would be looking at price wise to get an amp converted to PTP wiring? There are a lot of nice small tubes amps out there I like size wise, but I know they are cheaply priced for a reason. However something like the Epi Valve would be a good deal even if you just used it for the cab, faceplate and other parts at $168.
How about getting something like a Traynor Bassmate, putting in a better speaker, and having it re-voiced for guitar. It would probably be cheaper than buying the kit when you consider shipping, taxes, and brokerage fees. Would certainly be less than having a modern circuit board amp converted to PTP.

Just my 2 cents...
 

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torndownunit said:
What do you guys think I would be looking at price wise to get an amp converted to PTP wiring? There are a lot of nice small tubes amps out there I like size wise, but I know they are cheaply priced for a reason. However something like the Epi Valve would be a good deal even if you just used it for the cab, faceplate and other parts at $168.
Why bother. If you like the sound of the circuit, the transformers and speaker, why convert the guts to PTP? Modifying the circuit, changing the transformers, or using a different speaker (or using a different cab altogether) will make a significant change in the sound; changing the circuit from PCB to PTP will not.

I also wouldn't buy those particular parts (most notably the transformers) to build anything "boutique worthy". They're ok, but if you want something more impressive, start right.
 

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JamesPeters said:
Why bother. If you like the sound of the circuit, the transformers and speaker, why convert the guts to PTP? Modifying the circuit, changing the transformers, or using a different speaker (or using a different cab altogether) will make a significant change in the sound; changing the circuit from PCB to PTP will not.

I also wouldn't buy those particular parts (most notably the transformers) to build anything "boutique worthy". They're ok, but if you want something more impressive, start right.
well said...I could never understand why folks would spend hundreds of dollars to put upgrade boards into Pro Juniors and the like.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I have owned a few vintage Traynors and love them. The problem is their size. I had a YGM3 that I loved the sound of, and while I know the cab size contributed to the sound, it was way too heavy and large for me to carry around. It was a 22 watt combo that weighed close to 50 lbs, and was over twice the size of my Princeton Reverb.

So that is why I like the design of amps like the Pro Jr. and the Epi Valve. But I have read plenty of posts about Epi Valves crapping out on people on other forums I use. Everyone has reasons for why they choose to do stuff, and you shouldn't be so quick to critisize.

This thread might as well be deleted. I am not trying to be rude, but only one person has given me any type of answer about what they would charge for an amp design like what I am looking for. A lot of the other posts seem to imply that I am ignorant or something.
 

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torndownunit said:
Everyone has reasons for why they choose to do stuff, and you shouldn't be so quick to critisize.

This thread might as well be deleted. I am not trying to be rude, but only one person has given me any type of answer about what they would charge for an amp design like what I am looking for. A lot of the other posts seem to imply that I am ignorant or something.
I wasn't critisizing, but just wondering out loud why someone would sink $300.00 - $400.00 into modifying an inexpensive amp. IMO the Pro Jr. is a nice little amp for the money as is.

I suggest that you approach a few builders directly to discuss your needs since no one is going to give you a quote on this board without discussing your specifications in detail.
 

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Check Out Dr. Z

Hey Dude,

Sorry you are getting frustrated. If you are not stuck on Canadian builders, you should check out Dr. Z. In particular, the Carmen Ghia model seems to be EXACTLY what you want. They are priced very fairly at retail and can be had used for a screaming deal from time to time.

If you go with the good Dr., it is less likely you'll need to replace/upgrade anything.

Cheers,
B.
 
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