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  • DIY Vintage Guitar Amplifier Build and Discussion

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    January 1, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    Recently I built my first DIY Guitar Amplifier.  Thought I would make a section if anyone had any questions about it. 

     

    🛠️Parts Used in Building a Vintage Guitar Amplifier:

    Eminence Speaker:

    https://amzn.to/3sPEUtm or https://bit.ly/3pKH23G

    Vintage Grill Cloth: https://bit.ly/3pItdT8

    Footnote Amplifier: https://bit.ly/3zglnTW

    12V Power Supply: https://amzn.to/3HvmGkH

    Step Down: https://amzn.to/3sPzfDl

    Finish Stain: https://amzn.to/3zp1RVy

    Top Coat: https://amzn.to/3qEYp53

    Vintage Handle: https://amzn.to/3eEH9r9

    Sound Demo

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 1, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    That old Gretsch style always was a great look. Really nice job on the build.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    January 1, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    @tvor-ceasar 

    Thank you! And you are absolutely correct! That’s the exact one that I modeled the face after. But I wanted to add the hardwood look to it as well. You have an unbelievable eye. I can’t get anything by you 😜 

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 1, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    That basic model is one that I was looking at when I was trying to find an old style combo to design for my son and his intended. I’m not at home, but I’ve got that one downloaded for reference. Have you ever seen the ones with the twin oval speakers on a slant? I always wondered what they’d sounded like. Terry over at D-Lab recently fixed a combo cab with an oval speaker and it sounded great. 

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    January 2, 2022 at 4:42 am

    @tvor-ceasar 

    I have they look really cool.  I am really intrigued with what some guitar speaker designers choose and why.

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 4:57 am

    Home.

    Here’s a 1960 Gretsch 6156 Playboy:

    (looks to be your inspiration)

     

    and this is a 1960(‘s) Gretsch 6161 Electromatic Twin Tube Combo:

    This has one been on my mind for a while. I just like the twin ovals.

    If you look, most combo amps are open back. If I had some factory 6×9’s, they’d be perfect for an open back combo. You could run a full automotive amp, even a small one, with a computer power supply, and do all the tone shaping and overdrive in the preamp stages.

    Nope, never, ever thought of any of this before…. 😉 🙄 🤣 

     

    I think the only thing I would have done differently would have been to back mount the speaker with some T-nuts or even some carriage bolts, just to facilitate easy repair or replacement of the driver.

  • ImCoKeMaN

    Member
    January 2, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    @tvor-ceasar Is there anything with a driver in it that you haven’t thought through every step of making?  

    Nice amp, and 6x9s outside of car audio sounds intriguing, outside of that Gretsch amp not sure I can think of other examples.

     

     

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 3, 2022 at 12:06 am

    @imcokeman 

    I’ve seen some old suitcase style and hard guitar case styles that have used oval speakers, some of really oddball sizes. Apparently the English were into oval speakers back in the day, and even quite a few home sets were built with them.

    I’m always in the lookout for the unique things in life, no matter what it may be. Keeps my mind, eyes, ears, nose and mouth sharp. 

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 4, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    @imcokeman Here’s that video of Terry (D-Lab) fixing a Valco Amplifier with twin oval speakers from a couple of weeks ago ago. Also, Brad The Guitologist has done a few of those as well. If you want to hear them, skip ahead to the 9:00 mark.

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    January 4, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    I’m going to try to get an audio clip out of the amplifier later today. It might not be till late tonight though

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 5, 2022 at 2:09 am

    @123toid Wish we could see you dropping it off. I can only imagine it to go something like this:

    And sounding as good. 😀

  • 123Toid

    Administrator
    January 5, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Sound Demo is updated in the first post. 

  • Elliott

    Member
    January 5, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    @imcokeman as long as dispersion is controlled between drivers, efficiency is high enough (or power capability high enough), distortion is low enough, and the speaker suites the enclosure. Any driver (car or otherwise) can be suitable for any application with those rules applied, meaning there’s no reason 6x9s shouldn’t work. In fact, because they are designed to fit in large leaky door enclosures, I imagine they would be well suited to an open baffle arrangement as found with many guitar amplifiers.

  • TVOR-Ceasar

    Member
    January 6, 2022 at 3:24 am

    @elliottdesigns Happy New Year! Hope you had a good celebration.

    I want to give a recap of what I left on YT:

    …”What you have to remember about what the difference is between reproduction of music in the Stereo/AV situation and music creation is that they have two distinctly different roles, and their functions reflect that. As you know all too well, the function of the HiFi speakers is to attempt to recreate the total soundstage of the recorded music/soundtrack so as to make you believe you are “there”, a part of that audio experience.

    With instrument combo amps and speaker cabinets, their functions is to create the sound which will be picked up by the microphone(s) to be recorded or to be passed on to the PA system to then be reproduced for the venue being played. In this case, the speaker/driver will usually be very close mic’d, anywhere from 6-8″ to as close as just outside maximum excursion. This gets rid of many of the concerns taken into account with HiFi because they simply don’t matter. You get the actual color of the drivers and the different parts of the driver from the center of the dust cap all the way out to the edge of the cone. Plus the driver has to be able to handle the transients and distortion introduced into the signal to create that masterpiece being played.

    So, as you can see, what you are worrying about is not a big consideration in this instance, unless you intend to have them pull double duty as just plain powered speakers.

     

    In the case of a guitar amp combo, it is essential that you can push the driver through heavy distortion and it holds up over time. The best drivers I’ve seen for this usually have accordion paper surrounds. And with the mic’ing situation, it usually gets placed close enough to the cone that even limited range drivers (the Eminence is only rated up to 4.6 kHz) sound more like full range drivers because the mic is placed well within the wavelength of the upper frequencies. Actually, there’s a 8″ Dayton Woofer that seems like it would do just as good as the Eminence driver, especially in an open back situation. A little wall boundary reinforcement and the matching bass unit I posited on the video could be a real thing. 

     

  • Elliott

    Member
    January 6, 2022 at 9:55 am

    @tvor-ceasar Happy New year to you too… ah, true, however I thought distortion with guitars is best created in the signal chain because that way it’s controlled distortion, I suppose what you are saying is that it isn’t critical. In which case, car audio drivers along with PA drivers are probably the best aren’t they? Car audio are mostly designed for handling being overdriven because this is what typically happens to those speakers in a typical build (at least I imagine so). I also imagine most people doing these builds won’t be using this amplifier on stage (MICed up), so the properties I discussed may be more important than they otherwise would. Overall though, I agree with your statement 🙂👍

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