AArdvark's amplifier project

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AArdvark
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AArdvark's amplifier project

Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 4:11 pm

So, as everyone has seen, I like to modify my stuff to make it better. Better for me anyway. I've been scheming on my guitar amp for a little while now. It's old and looks like crap. wait I'll post all kinds of pix....

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AArdvark
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Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 4:41 pm

So this is my old amp. Originally it was a Kay bass and organ amplifier. It worked and I didn't have to buy it, someone gave it to me, I forget who.

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I have better amps, just not at my house. When my buddy and I infrequently get together and jam (at his house, more space) I need something better. This thing is strictly make-do. I finally killed the original electronics and installed a Peavey Decade in the opening and painted it all cool looking.

Image
Last edited by AArdvark on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 4:49 pm

I get a couple bucks at Christmas and go shopping. I see nothing I like in my price range.
So I get to thinking, maybe I should just build a new cabinet. Hmmmmm, what would a new cabinet look like if I were to design it. Thanks to the miracle of CAD-CAM software I can visualize this at work.

This is my original design (it's a bitmap snapshot of a 3d wireframe model that I converted to jpg just for this post)

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And the whole thing:

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I wanted the art-deco look from the Thirties so I looked around the internet for ideas and came up with a design for the front.

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Last edited by AArdvark on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 5:01 pm

The whole thing was 'sposed to be about 18 by 12. Nice and cozy. Then one day at work I was admiring a wooden table jig that was set up for the table saw. Very nice work, for plywood.
I find out that it was made by one of the guys, not store bought. Well, says I, if he can do that he can surely build me a plywood cabinet that I can cover with that yellow tweed stuff. So I show him my design and he says no problem.

Three days later he says he was looking around the internet and he never knew custom amps websites were there. So he says he can do better than my little tweed covered noisebox.

Today he shows up with my new cabinet.....


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'HOLY SHIT!' I exclaim 'THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!'

He used walnut and black maple. The whole thing is immaculate. Everyone in the shop is stopping to admire it. Just a fantastic piece.

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Now I need to install the electronics and buy all new knobs, switches and lamps to match. I also have to engrave myself a VARK badge to go on the front circle (almost done)

THE
HAPPY DAZE
AARDVARK
Last edited by AArdvark on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Flack
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Post by Flack » Mon May 09, 2011 5:42 pm

I knew there was something I liked about that design!

Image

All kidding aside, the project looks great! That is some really stellar woodworking skills!!

I have a couple of smaller practice amps, but got rid of my big one a few years ago. I used it to record a band and for some jamming but it was really just too big for the house. Nowadays I do all of my guitar recording direct in, using amp simulators. I get 95% of the sound using 0% of the space.

I was working on a punk/metal cover of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" (never finished it up) but you can get an idea of the guitar sound I was getting at the time.

http://www.robohara.com/temp/hungry.mp3

I can't wait to see your finished amp!
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon May 09, 2011 5:53 pm

Holy fuck, Vark. I clicked on this thread for the first time today, and that shit looks incredible. That's pretty inspiring.

You certainly do know how to rock!
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 6:41 pm

Thank you , all. Now here's the best part.......

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Post by AArdvark » Mon May 09, 2011 6:43 pm

Total price.... {edited for modesty}


He wont take any more for it, and I've offered three times today. He told me he had to go out and buy two new woodworking machines to make this. Man, I feel guilty sometimes. I do have to finish the guts and bring it to work for an impromptu concert, tho.



THE
AARDVARK
COMES ALIVE
Last edited by AArdvark on Fri May 13, 2011 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by AArdvark » Fri May 13, 2011 3:02 pm

Installed the electronics today. Went a little harder than I expected but I persevered. Amp used to have a normal input and a saturation input. I wanted to make it a single input with a toggle switch between them. Didn't work out that way. S'ok because I never use the saturation input anyway. Just thought it would be a nice touch. Also has a pre-amp out that I will probably never use. I'll just leave that alone as it's not in the way or anything.

The RP350 I have has direct USB input (with headphone jack) so I could (and have) record that way. Sometimes you just gotta turn it up to 11* and blast away though. It's nice to put on an album and just jam away to it.


THE
DUDE MY EARS RINGING
AARDVARK


*I will have number plates that go to 11 even If I have to make them myself. I -WILL- have an amp that 'goes to eleven'

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Post by Flack » Fri May 13, 2011 3:39 pm

Here's a picture of my old amp and cabinet. It was given to me by a good friend who used to own his own recording studio. I did a bunch of computer, recording and website work for him and he gave me this in return.

Image
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by AArdvark » Fri May 13, 2011 5:57 pm

Damn, that looks loud as fuck! Does it shake the earth?

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Post by Flack » Fri May 13, 2011 7:22 pm

It did, which is part of the reason why I got rid of it. I probably should have just left it out in the garage and let the kid start jamming on it in a few years, although he swears he wants to be a drummer (he decided that about 10 minutes after I bought him a $200 guitar -- pa left-handed one -- from Guitar Center. Kids, man.

I know that tube amps are considered to have a better, warmer sound, but man I loved that Crate. It had that Metallica crunch I grew up wishing my cheap-ass practice amp could emulate.

I'm probably repeating myself, but there was a point in time where I was considering putting together a music studio, if not on a professional level then at least a high-end consumer one. That dream dissipated after having a terrible experience recording my first band. Getting rid of the amp was probably a knee-jerk decision after that. I kept most of the other equipment, including my Mackie 24x4 board and my MOTU 24i box (24 inputs to the PC, firewire).

Now I use a v-Amp for all my recording, which is Behringer's answer to the Line 6 Pod. You can dial in one of 50 pre-configured amp sounds (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, etc.) or make your own. I run mine out and into my PC's soundcard, although the newer ones I think support USB. Either is nice for recording hit licks after the kids go to bed. ;)
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by AArdvark » Wed May 18, 2011 3:05 pm

Took the amp back into work yesterday and cranked it up!. Everyone wanted to hear how it sounded. I sometimes forget how great it is to play in a large area instead of a small 10 X 12 room. Veddy nice. Still need the knobs and the jewel indicator light , but no hurry.


Now, for my next project.....

I found this in the back of my closet. I wonder what I could DO with it...

Image

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Last edited by AArdvark on Sun May 22, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by AArdvark » Sun May 22, 2011 2:19 pm

Here's the first attempt. Not altogether bad. I want to record some of it in stereo and put it on my tindeck page. For the full effect.






THE
GYRO
GEARLOOSE
AARDVARK

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Post by Flack » Sun May 22, 2011 5:14 pm

Wow, cool! What are those toggle switches actually doing?
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Post by AArdvark » Sun May 22, 2011 6:20 pm

Selective shorting out of various contact points on one of the IC chips. There are a zillion combinations of points to choose from. Quite a few sound like shit and some don't do anything. I picked six or seven cool sounding ones and wired them up.

here's a video of a guy that wired up all the contact points across the back of the thing and is using a jumper wire to get teh crazy.


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Post by AArdvark » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:26 pm

Since I don't have an actual guitar project thread I figured I'd just hijack my old amp mod thread instead. Saves space.

This is just a thread bump right now. I'll post pictures and details later. Suffice it to say that I'm working on a guitar mod. I'm finally able to do this because of a reduction in my overall amount of instruments.


THE
STAY TUNED
AARDVARK

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Post by lethargic » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:40 pm

I've been trying to mod the cat puke off mine!

Image

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AArdvark
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Post by AArdvark » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:04 am

Was that a cat-like statement about the music or was the cat being vibrated into nausea? Keep it on there, it looks cool!


THE
ORIGINALITY
AARDVARK

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Post by Flack » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:51 am

I got rid of my half stack almost 10 years ago now. I really had no use for it and sold it way too low, but seeing that picture of Leth's makes me wish I still had it.

I spent at least a decade trying to "sound like Metallica." My first amp was a Gorilla practice amp. Shortly after that I got a Peavey Rage (still have that one down in the garage) with built in distortion. It sounded better, but not 100% right. I had a few pedals here and there but all cheap crap and nothing that sounded decent. Then I got that half stack with a Crate head and was like... ah. That's what I was missing.

To be honest all the recording I do now is direct in through that Behringer V-Amp (their version of the Line 6 / Pod). It came with 25 pre-sets for Van Halen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc. So you just press the button and poof, instant distortion, instant sound. Now if they would just add a button that would play the songs that would be great.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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