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Any DIY amp builders here?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Natman, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Natman


    Oct 22, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I have played guitar for many years and built a number of tube amps. When I look at the price of bass amplification, I start to consider DIY pretty quick! I know folks build their own cabinets a lot, but I don't see much about amps.

    Do any of you roll your own amps?

    Are there good forums online for this kind of thing? (there are tons of online resources for guitar amp building)

    Seems like solid state power sections should be fairly straightforward and tube pre's should be about the same complexity as guitar (but tuned for bass)?

  2. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    Welcome! There's a few of us here that do a fair amount of DIY'ing. I play guitar as well, and started in that realm with the DIY thing years ago. Playing on both sides, I can tell you that the bass side of things requires a whole different set of chops if you really want to make something outstanding. It requires a deeper understanding of textbook and HiFi pricinciples, same goes for cab design.

    The guitar side is pretty stagnant and incestuous, so doing bass stuff is a good way to separate the men from the boys so to speak. You see a ton of builders on the guitar side of things who eventually do something for bass, and many of the designs seem to suffer from the same types of issues - limited EQ, issues with sub lows, insufficient output, etc...
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Hi, welcome to TB. You'll see a lot more DIY preamp builds here than complete heads. Power amps are basically commodity items these days and rolling your own will almost certainly cost you more. ;)

    A couple of forums with at least occasional relevant threads:



    There are also a lot of useful links in the Amps Forum FAQ stickied at the top of this forum. The tube amp books link here is especially sweet. Some of my DIY preamp builds are here, here, and here. There are many sound clips in the link in my sig too.

    If you post some more details about your specific build ideas I'm sure you'll get some informed feedback here. I'm currently doing a 500 watt head in two rack spaces, using my own solid state preamp design and a Class D power amp module. This definitely won't save me any money compared to just buying something in the classifieds here though...:cool:
  4. Might not save you money but most likely will be of higher quality than just about anything you can buy since you can select which components you use and not worry about bean counters cutting corners to make a larger profit. Plus the satisfaction of knowing that it sounds good and you built it yourself. There are plenty of good resources out there and people willing to answer any questions you may have. I say go for it! Here's my latest build:

  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I figured you'd show up on this thread. ;)

    That power amp section is most definitely not just a commodity item! It was big fun playing through that thing Nate.

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