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DIY tube bass amp kits?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Discharge, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
    I was wondering if there where any companies selling kits like this: www.ceriatone.com

    But specifically for bass, I know you can use a JCM800 but I would like to know if there are any other options?
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    If you're new to amp building, I get the feeling that a high powered complex amp might be a bad idea. I'd like to tackle this myself, but plan on starting with something small and basic first.
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I love that Ceria also says those kits are "fully unsuppported"...
  5. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
  6. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    There was a thread on TB discussing the Mojo kit and build lessons learnt.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    You could look at a tube preamp kit like the London Power one and mate it to the power section of your choice.
  9. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
    Could you help me find it please, i've had a good rummage using the search function with 'mojo' and 'mojotone'?

    Are there any companies which sell just the tube power section?
  10. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    I've been looking for a bass tube amp kit since early December (previously built a Brown Note D'lite for my brother's 30th birthday). I found the 2 already listed, but I immediately disregarded the mojotone's 50 watts.

    There's also the Ceriatone Hey Watt DR103 kit.

    Weber used to do the AB200, which was more like 300 watts from 6 KT88s with an EL34 driver tube and interstage transformer arrangement rather than a conventional phase inverter, but it's no longer available unfortunately. They have the 100 watt Fender style kits but some folk don't think too highly of weber kits.

    The market is kind of lean if you want to go above 100 watts - the TAD kit is the only one I've found, but it's expensive and I'm not really sure what it's based on (obviously Marshall-esque, but not entirely sure that's what I want in a bass amp! The schematic is available on the kit page at TAD).

    You'd think a 200 watt kit using 4 KT88s would be more readily available - it's no more complicated than a 100 watt guitar amp, just different tubes and heavier duty transformers... Higher voltages of course!

    I'm currently thinking a scratch build of the Custom Special 160w from Kevin O'Connors TUT3 on a 2 unit rackmount chassis might be the way to go...
  11. bb5000


    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    One option is to buy parts of a kit that fits your need, like the Weber 6S100 or 6H100, select "no transformers" etc. Then get 200W transformers, modify the chassis, beef up the power supply etc.

    Building everything from scratch is also an option, it's not too hard to manufacture a chassis from sheet metal and build a wooden cab & put tolex on that. Get a schematic/layout for an existing amp, source all parts and build it.

    DIY tube amps should not be considered as a economic alternative to get a tube amp...if you're not prepared to invest in the tools needed and take the time to understand the circuits, safety measures, troubleshooting, to build from a schematic without step-by-step instructions, create a layout from a schematic etc..then let it be.

    For me, it's become an interesting hobby, I've built one amp/year since 2010.
  12. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    +1 to all of that... except the woodwork and tolex bit. Had my brother's mini-Dumble up and running in half the time it took to build and cover the combo cab. What a horrible job...
  13. gumtown

    gumtown Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    Buy a used tube amp and refurbish it.
    Cheeper than buying parts to make one new.
  14. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
    Why did you discount the mojo 50 watt head, do you feel it is too underpowered?

    Yeah the DR103 would be my second choice as the mojo seems a more simple kit.

    Price isn't the reason for this, I want to build an amp :)
  15. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Yes, I don't believe 50 tube watts is enough for my purposes (view based on having owned/loved/parted with an Ashdown LB30). I want to get the max volume I can while keeping the build relatively simple so I'm aiming for 150 watts minimum - my previous band played VERY loud so 150 might not be enough, but my cab is a Tech Soundsystems 4x12 so it's pretty efficient.

    As mentioned earlier, the desire to build a kit is the only reason to do it FOR MOST PEOPLE, especially if you're in the states, but not all. Being in Northern Ireland used valve/tube amps are MUCH harder to come by so a second hand or refurb job, especially of the wattage I'm talking about, is pretty much out of the question. Anything that does turn up is classed as 'antique'/'collectable' (even if it is just old and cr*p!) so resulting prices are usually extortionate.

    The more I look at the TAD 150w plexi, the more I like it... Still pricey though...
  16. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
    I live in the UAE, i'd be lucky to come accross a used fender jazz.

    Have you got a link to the TAD plexi?
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Lots and lots, especially if a moderate power hi-fi oriented one will work for you. Hopeful your motivation isn't to save money though, that's not likely to happen IME.