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Custom built tube head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dirk, May 13, 2004.

  1. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    Through a connection with a studio engineer, me and my bandmates might have a chance to get some amps and pedals custom made from a local builder, at cost. So the wheels in my head have been turning, and this is my idea specs. It would basically be a 2 channel tube amp with one channel mimicking an SVT, and the second channel imitating a Fender Showman. I would want 300 tube watts, and a footswitch to switch to change/combine channels. What do you guys think about this idea. I think this would cover the tones I need in my band. Any comments and helpful advice would be appreciated.

  2. Making it footswitchable would be the hard part. 300 tube watt designs are common, but the preamp you're wanting will be tricky. There is a HUGE potential for hum, noise, and all other sorts of crap. Also, even at "cost" expect to pay $2500-$3000 minimum.
  3. TheAmpNerd


    Apr 25, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Actually I was thinking this would be very cool. The preamp
    wouldn't be hard to do at all...SVT, plus one tube, possibly
    optially isolated.

    Channel switching...heck, one of Randall's Patents should have run out by now, so it is in the public domain. : )

    One offs like this are expensive. Just the set up fees
    for the circuit board would be costly...and you probably don't
    want to do it point to point...it would be even larger (thinking)than the SVT.

    I just finished rebuilding my first Alembic F2-b, These are awesome after the rebuild! WOW!

    Now I know how to do the Fender Showman pre amp. I've done a few the of the SVTs, lots of tubes, the critical part
    is the power supply/High voltage stuff down below...

    Man, I can make these things really sing too. : )


  4. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    Aren't there preamps that can sound like (or are based upon) both the Ampeg and Fender preamp designs? Ampeg's own SVP and Alembic's F-1X come to mind right off the bat.

    Why not shop around for the particular two preamps that really give you what you want... get a nice signal routing pedal to switch between the two... and just have that guy build you a (rackmountable) super-duper tube power section!

    Then load all the components in a rack and *voila*... the amp of your dreams!
  5. I think gettin a custom built head is a great idea. Personally, I might be starting a project with my uncle on building a new tube head soon.
  6. IMHO there is a pretty huge difference between a Fender power amp and the Ampeg power amp - and just changing / foot switching the preamp won't get you there. It'll do something, but not go from Fender to Ampeg.

    My humble advice would be buy one of each used, and have your guy (or someone else) rebuild them. There are lots of guys that do Fender work, and Jess Oliver is still around if you wanna ship the Ampeg to NYC. Also, there are So Many tweeks available in a simple tube amp (which the Ampeg is Not) ...
  7. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    True enough... but if the custom-built power section was possesed of it's own unique, advantageous and (hopefully) bass-friendly qualities, wouldn't the resultant rig be worth more than the "sum of it's parts", so to speak?
  8. ejsagun


    Jan 20, 2003
    why not get a ultra cool pre amp insteadf then mate it to a solid state amps for flexibility

    the preamp could be a multichannel combination of SVT, Fender style preamps and one ultra clean channel with only simple features. and dont forget effects loops and tuner outs plus a balanced output for the PA
  9. TheAmpNerd


    Apr 25, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    We all want to know,
    What will be build? What will the cost be?
  10. This is "easy" to do - but IMHO, this "ultra cool pre amp" could not, by itself, duplicate these two icons of tone; they are two discrete packages.

    There certainly are "ultra cool pre amps" that provide awesome tone, and can be readily mated to a solid state amps, buy they do not truly duplicate these two icons of tone.