Author Topic: Weber amp kits.  (Read 5312 times)

dwstanford

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Weber amp kits.
« on: September 06, 2011, 06:52:48 PM »
Has anyone built any of the weber amp kits?  Im thinking about building a 5e3, but since i know jack crap about building amps, i may want to start with a champ or a reverb unit.  Ive used weber speakers and they are top knotch.  I have heard great things about the amp kits, but i dont want to invest the money if i'm gonna be in over my head.

shawnee

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 07:26:18 PM »
The 5E3 is really a simple circuit and would fine for a first timer. The dual channel reverb amps are more extensive and can be a little tougher. The weber kits are decent but not top of the line. For the price they really can't be beat and they do sound great. They used to send really cheap jacks and switches but they have upgraded to carling and Neutrik so that helps. They are 10% off for another week. I would go for it!

mgwhit

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 07:58:33 PM »
I have built a Weber 5f2a that I really like.  I don't think I did any parts substitutions, other than maybe some caps.  Most people suggest subbing at least the pots and the pilot lights (at least the ones they use on their tweed models).

Like their site says, these are not Lego kits.  There are no instructions besides the schematic and the layout diagram.  They just give you the parts and you have to make an amp out of them.  Sometimes the parts don't quite fit together.  I had to drill new holes in the chassis for my output transformer, and the screws they included to hold my circuit board in place were just ridiculous.  But they have a great board over there with some very helpful people, and if you're not afraid to DIY it, the kits are great value for money.

I only had a BYOC Fuzz Face and some mods to my telecaster under my built before I dove into my 5F2A kit.  I read like mad, hit the forums whenever I had questions and worked by the rule "Don't solder it until you understand it".  I took a couple of weeks to finish it, but I learned a ton.  And when it fired right up first time you couldn't have wiped the smile off my face with a brillo pad.

You definitely need a Digital Multimeter (among other tools), and please build a light bulb limiter before you do your first power up.  Be aware that high voltage is an altogether different beast than 9VDC.  Learn the high voltage safety rules.  Learn how to discharge the filter capacitors -- they can store deadly voltage even after the amp has been turned off and unplugged -- and build or purchase a discharge probe.

Read Dave Hunter's "Guitar Amp Handbook".  Weber actually makes kit similar to the Two Stroke amp he outlines in the book now -- it's called the "Maggie".

Lots of guys start with the small tweeds (like the 5F2A and the 5E3) because they're easy -- just make sure you'll be happy with a small tweed amp when you're finished.  A 5E3 is not a multi-purpose amp, but if you dig what it is, go for it.  Good luck!

dwstanford

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 08:31:07 PM »
Thanks for the help guys.  I appreciate the help.  Ive wanted a 5e3 for a long time but have not been willing to spend the money.  I would just assume build one if it doesnt involve electrocuting myself.  Id like to build a reverb unit also, so im not sure.

BarryW

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 08:47:09 PM »
I've built a few - the 5e3 is a great circuit.  I built the 5f4 a long time ago, it is still one of my favorite amps.  You might want to swap out a few pieces here and there (like pots), but it's a great kit for the money.

timbo_93631

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 12:16:51 AM »
+1 on everything mentioned here so far. 
Here are important things I would add concerning tube amp construction:

Don't smoke weed, drink, or otherwise get loaded and try to build an amp.  I used to party.  A lot.  Then I started building amps.  Make a clear distinction between work time and recreation time if you are not going to give up partying.

Make sure you understand the schematic vs. the layout.  It is important to try and see how everything relates so when you go to build it the underboard wires make sense (there are a dozen on Weber's 5E3 layout) and you get clean lead dress inside the amp. 

It doesn't get dangerous until you fire it up and have the open chassis in front of you.  Remember to keep your left hand in your jeans pocket at all times when you are probing around inside the amp and checking voltages.  If the worst happens you don't want to get 300+VDC across your ticker.

Use a plain wood chopstick for probing around an amp, you are probably going to have to shift wires around a bit to get the least amount of noise/hum.  Don't use a pencil, your finger, or any other protruding fleshy body part, ever.

Always, always, always treat the filter caps and other electrolytic caps as if they were are charged, even if the amp is unplugged and has been sitting for months, and discharge them properly always!  Always!  Weber sells a snuffer stick for $15 that does the job well.  I use a Mac technician discharge tool for discharging CRT's the can have 20k volts stored in them.  It doesn't have an internal resistor so it makes a great whip-crack sound when you discharge that much! 

If something isn't working right unplug the amp and observe the suggestion above after walking away for 10 minutes to think about what might be going on.

Watch the way this guy Gabi wires up the power supply on this 18watt clone.  He has alot of great common sense tips if you can sit through the lengthy and talkative videos, in part 3 he shows how to do the heaters cleanly.  He is a super great guy too. 
&feature=relmfu

Read as much as possible.  PPwatt.com is a great resource for 5E3 builds.

Keep in mind that amps are actually alot simpler than many stompboxes and easier to build because of the ample room inside your average chassis.

Once you get everything up and running play the thing for 20-30 hours to get the speaker broken in and the coupling caps burned in.  Then fall in love with it.  I run my ipod through every amp I build for the first 10 hours or so after I am satisfied that the construction has gone well. 

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sgmezei

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 12:19:11 AM »
Dude, you are stepping into a treat and alot of debt. I have built three Weber kits and they are great to get going. Then you can learn to mod and upgrade what you want in them. The 5e3 deluxe was my first build and it was great. When I was finished, I was blowing fuses so I took it to an amp tech who was happy to check it out. Missed a ground connection and one other. It is just as fun as pedal building but 10x the price for parts hahaha.

The 5e3 is not THAT complex. The same as the reverb unit or champ I would say.

The weber stuff is great and all their kits are 10% off right now (which is what I get as a dealer) so it is a good time.

Build it stock, then start swapping stuff out. The ampsnmore/weber forum is great too. I received lots of support from them. I could try my best to help you out too.

Scott

andersom

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2011, 01:51:01 AM »
Depending where you are. if you live in europe you can get really nice kits from http://ampmaker.com (he has a couple of ampkits)
i myself build a really nice kit from http://www.valvepower.co.uk

I really liked building the 18 watt amp. a it havs some really sweet sounds.

I hope this helps

raulduke

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 03:03:16 AM »
+1 On Ampmaker in the EU.

I bought the Champ clone and love it.

I will build another when I have some time (maybe treat myself for Christmas).

Their kits also come with full, step-by-step instructions, including a test sheet to run through before plugging in.

keysandguitars

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 09:52:07 AM »
I was going to buy a 5E3 kit and decided I wanted to build a blackface. I bought an Encore kit from www.allenamps.com. That circuit is far more complicated than a 5E3 and I was able to assemble it just fine...but only because the instructions were top notch which is why I decided to go forward.

If you need instructions, build a 5E3 from Mission Amps. From my research, his components are top notch and his cab and chassis are superior to Weber's, but you pay for it. If you don't need instructions, go with Weber or Mojotone.
I should still be a "diode destroyer"!

bigmufffuzzwizz

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 09:52:45 AM »
I'm right with you Danny. I've been itchin to build a tube amp, and the same one as you. It seems like Weber is a great deal right now, especially with the 10% off and the fact that they have a cabinet builder again! Now to force myself to shell of the loot...
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dwstanford

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 10:55:39 AM »
Thanks for the help everyone.  I really appreciate it.  I noticed tubedepot.com sells 5e3 kits also.  They are based out of memphis, which is where i live, so i could take it to them if i have a problem.  Ill look into the quality of their kits a bit more.  I like that they have a pdf manual online to look at before you buy the kit.  Ive been looking over it and theres nothing in there that seems too difficult.  I really like the mission amp kits.  They cost a bit more, but they are high quality and the support seems to be really good. They even offer to fix it for you if you fuck everything up, provided theres no irreversible dammage. 

TNblueshawk

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Re: Weber amp kits.
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 02:08:00 PM »
Has anyone built any of the weber amp kits?  Im thinking about building a 5e3, but since i know jack crap about building amps, i may want to start with a champ or a reverb unit.  Ive used weber speakers and they are top knotch.  I have heard great things about the amp kits, but i dont want to invest the money if i'm gonna be in over my head.

For what it is worth, BYOC is coming out with a 5w'ish Champ kit before the year is out and later a few others. The inof is on their main page not in the forum (although there is a pretty good thread in there about it) but in their store.
John