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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have recently had discussions about producing a line of amplifiers. The idea was/is to provide a quality amplifier at a decent price. in an under-served niche in the market.

One suggestion that I have been investigating: something like a hand-wired (P2P) Princeton Reverb (no trem) at a price point of $900-$999 (under $1k).

Question: Does anyone else see a niche market that is being under-served? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
 

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The way I see it, those are the people (e.g. me) who would buy a used head (can get a good used head, sometimes a vintage one, for 500-1k+, less if you like old Traynors and live in Toronto). Maybe not many of their options are Fendery enough, which might leave you that niche.

If you really want to serve the budget market you gotta have a pricepoint of, like, 700 (maybe a bit more - new with warranty is worth something.... then again so is vintage mojo). Maybe P2P is not the way to go for that; that's a high end feature. More cost in labour AND the parts (e.g. axial vs radial caps) also cost more.

Basically if your head costs <1k, and I can get a Garnet with trem and reverb for 6-800, the choice is clear.
 

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What was that company, the guy's name was Randy iirc and he used torroidal transformers, who was doing all different flavours of generally smallish amps for low $$
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My #2 amp is actually a cheap Pepco made p2p Princeton Reverb clone from 1973.
Maybe someone should hunt down the original and buy out the name/brand!

(although there were many names used by the company for their amps)
 

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Maybe someone should hunt down the original and buy out the name/brand!

(although there were many names used by the company for their amps)
I'm the only one on the internet with a documented schematic for their take on the PR. There's a few values hidden by those pesky Ampeg style PEC "chips".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All Vintage Canadian P2P amps are still affordable...

Might want to hold off till the market dries out or aim for the US market...
I would consider it a great courtesy if you could relieve me of my ignorance by citing some of the vintage Canadian P2P amps that are still available. I am also ineresed in what you mean by affordable. Would this be under $1k?
 

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I would consider it a great courtesy if you could relieve me of my ignorance by citing some of the vintage Canadian P2P amps that are still available. I am also ineresed in what you mean by affordable. Would this be under $1k?
Traynor: $3-600
Garnet: $2-500
Pepco: $1-300
 

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would consider it a great courtesy if you could relieve me of my ignorance by citing some of the vintage Canadian P2P amps that are still available. I am also ineresed in what you mean by affordable. Would this be under $
!?!?

Like cboutillier mentioned above. You have Traynor since 1963. You have Garnet since 1964. Pepco from about 1958. Lifco short lived but in the 60's. .. and I'm missing several other brand name that disappeared in the 70s due to solid state amps...

All of these in the 50 watts category are below $500.00
 

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As a current Phaez owner and previous owner of about 4 other Phaez amps I'd say Randy would be very hard to compete with. His options are endless, he will customize the amp in any way you request for very little charge and they all sound incredible. Now that being said, more choice is never a bad thing for us players. Also I'm assuming this would be a side project and not a main source of income which would be tough in some ways but would have other benefits like being able to keep overhead lower if you're working our if your garage or something.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys.

@sj250 : You are exactly correct. My interest here would be exclusively as a secondary source of income...particularly as I contemplate retirement in 10 years or so.

I am also thinking about offering to build kits from around North America. I dont have any of this figured out yet....just thinking on it.
 

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I had given this some thought too, building a cottage amp company. I gave up on the idea. The market is a tough one to break into without street cred. That will take considerable time. Sure you can build amps, but it feels like you are in a race to the lowest price. If you build your own cabs you have a better chance of making a little money over parts costs. If you actually pay yourself for your time invested you'll likely be priced out of the market in many instances. If you can build a combo amp, all parts and supply costs all-in for $900 CAD, and you can sell it for $1200 CAD you appear to be doing ok. Except that it takes many hours to hand build your own cabs. Let alone a well equipped shop with several pricey power tools. Then there is all the time to wire up and hand build the tube amp. Again, hours. If you look at the $300 profit over parts costs, and divide it by 30 hours of your time that's less than minimum wage. You still have a shop and tools to pay for. Your time and gas running to the hardware store for pine boards and baltic birch. The electrical bill. The solder. The boxes and shipping supplies. The time to pack it up. Take it to the post office. You've yet to pay the tax man too. What about liability insurance? Then possible warranty costs?

The parts suppliers keep putting their prices up. Freight costs continue to rise. Clone amp kits and builds are being made by the thousands every year buy folks who want to try their hand at it. I see an amp that I hand built last year for a member here, for sale. It's been listed a few times. I put a lot of time and skill into that amp. Hand made the pine cab. It's art. It sits while the seller asks for a fair price for it. It sounds great. I A/B'd it against my original 1959 5E3. Hard to hear a difference. Yet, no street cred. Just another 5E3 clone right? Y'all can get a crappy clone kit that's a mess for like $500, right? The internet, as great as it is, has also driven some markets into the dirt.

That's my little rant. I'm not bitter. I hand made 20 or so amps. I rebuilt and repaired a whole lot more. It was a ton of fun and I learned a lot. The small home built amp business model does not work for me. Maybe you can make a go of it. It won't hurt to try.

Some ideas on a niche amp to build? I don't think anyone is offering a 6G11 1x12 Brown Vibrolux type amp. One of my favourites. How about various forms of Princeton amps in head formats? 5F2A, 6G2, BF Reverb all in heads. I did build a 6G2 head for myself, it's wonderful. Good luck whatever you decide. - K

One of my builds, that I still enjoy today:

 

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Discussion Starter #19
@keithb7

Thank you for such a thoughtful, extensive response. You have really hit on some core issues and given me a great deal to consider.
 

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Kf
I had given this some thought too, building a cottage amp company. I gave up on the idea. The market is a tough one to break into without street cred. That will take considerable time. Sure you can build amps, but it feels like you are in a race to the lowest price. If you build your own cabs you have a better chance of making a little money over parts costs. If you actually pay yourself for your time invested you'll likely be priced out of the market in many instances. If you can build a combo amp, all parts and supply costs all-in for $900 CAD, and you can sell it for $1200 CAD you appear to be doing ok. Except that it takes many hours to hand build your own cabs. Let alone a well equipped shop with several pricey power tools. Then there is all the time to wire up and hand build the tube amp. Again, hours. If you look at the $300 profit over parts costs, and divide it by 30 hours of your time that's less than minimum wage. You still have a shop and tools to pay for. Your time and gas running to the hardware store for pine boards and baltic birch. The electrical bill. The solder. The boxes and shipping supplies. The time to pack it up. Take it to the post office. You've yet to pay the tax man too. What about liability insurance? Then possible warranty costs?

The parts suppliers keep putting their prices up. Freight costs continue to rise. Clone amp kits and builds are being made by the thousands every year buy folks who want to try their hand at it. I see an amp that I hand built last year for a member here, for sale. It's been listed a few times. I put a lot of time and skill into that amp. Hand made the pine cab. It's art. It sits while the seller asks for a fair price for it. It sounds great. I A/B'd it against my original 1959 5E3. Hard to hear a difference. Yet, no street cred. Just another 5E3 clone right? Y'all can get a crappy clone kit that's a mess for like $500, right? The internet, as great as it is, has also driven some markets into the dirt.

That's my little rant. I'm not bitter. I hand made 20 or so amps. I rebuilt and repaired a whole lot more. It was a ton of fun and I learned a lot. The small home built amp business model does not work for me. Maybe you can make a go of it. It won't hurt to try.

Some ideas on a niche amp to build? I don't think anyone is offering a 6G11 1x12 Brown Vibrolux type amp. One of my favourites. How about various forms of Princeton amps in head formats? 5F2A, 6G2, BF Reverb all in heads. I did build a 6G2 head for myself, it's wonderful. Good luck whatever you decide. - K

One of my builds, that I still enjoy today:

If it makes you feel any better, you have street cred in my eyes. I'd be first in line for that amp you made, but amp purchases are currently on the wife's radar.
 
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