Amp Build: The Old One (Cameron Aldrich inspired)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by technomancer, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    I've wanted one of these for quite some time, and since I don't have another spare $3k+ to buy a Cameron one-off I decided to build myself one.

    This is my first build, and I'm open to constructive criticism, but please be gentle :rofl:

    I REALLY hate the small turrets I had to use on this, but since Watts Tube Audio screwed me on my order I had to use what I could get quickly (ordered 6/12, still hasn't shipped and ignores all emails etc). I think going forward I'll be using the large turrets from Amplified Parts on future builds as I grabbed a pack of them and they seem nice.

    I'm almost done with the board so thought I'd throw some pics of that up. I still need to solder in the tone stack, get some glue on to help hold the large filter caps, and wire up the underside before it's done.

    Resistors are PRP 1w, caps are mostly CDE 715 Orange Drops. The big 1uF caps in the preamp are CDE 225s since there aren't any 715s of that value. Ceramic caps are Muratas. This will use DC heaters which I'm putting on a separate board. I was going to just tack them on the end of the main board but it would have gotten hung up on the power/standy switches and power indicator.

    I'm using a Classic Tone transformers: 40-18069 power transformer, NOS17482 output transformer, and 40-18058 3H choke.

    Thanks to the guys at the SLOclone forum for sharing so much information on amp building.

    Also, thanks to Mark Cameron for creating the design, and being a hell of a nice guy in my interactions with him. He helped me on a number of questions I had with this build.

     
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  2. FourT6and2

    FourT6and2 SS.org Regular

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    Reported.
    First builds aren't supposed to be this good. ;)
     
  3. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Coming from the guy with the cleanest builds ever I will definitely take that as a compliment :lol:

    This has been a comedy of errors, but I think it will all come together.
     
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  4. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, for a first build I’m impressed...pretty sano
     
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  5. DiezelMonster

    DiezelMonster Complainasaurus Rex

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    Dude! Looks killer!
    Did Mark help you decide on components? I know he tunes the heck out of his amps while they are being completed.

    Also what aesthetic are you going for? Purple?
     
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  6. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Holy God that's beautiful.

    Let us know how those classic tone trannys are. I've been eyeing those for a iic+ build lately.
     
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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Very nice, I hope it works and sounds awesome.

    I really love how clean turret board layouts tend to look.
     
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  8. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

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    Very nice work.

    My boards were 'okayish' during the OTS build, it was the wiring to the pots and outputs/loop that got very ugly, very fast :lol:
     
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  9. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    I just know the Aldrich amps usually use Orange Drops so went with those. The PRPs I chose because they are low-noise metal films with a tight tolerance.

    Mark's tuning is more from talking to customers to get a feel for what they want then tweaking the amp to that from the base design. He basically answered a couple quick questions I had about a few component values but mostly his advice was try stuff and see what you like and what sounds good to you :yesway:

    I think this one is going to be black headshell with gold piping and a black faceplate with white or gold text depending on what I can get a hold of. That assumes I order from stuff from Valvestorm to go with the chassis I am using. If I order from somewhere else or build my own headshell not sure what I will go with...

    Light is blue and the knobs are the big black ones mark has used on a bunch of amps, like these


    I've heard a bunch of builds using their stuff and they have all sounded great, so figured I'd give them a try. I haven't heard the output I picked, but figured since it was 1/3 the cost of a heyboar plexi I would give it a try and see how it is. Worst case if I REALLY hate it I can swap it out, but I am expecting it will be fine.

    Yeah I am not looking forward to the wiring... I've got everything in the chassis but have been stalling since it is WAY easier to fix something on the board if I screw it up :lol: I've also designed a couple switching options for the cathode and NFB that will be interesting to do.
     
  10. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Dude NOICE. Can’t wait to hear this.

    I’ve never been a Marshall guy but the Camerons are something else.

    Grabbed a couple of their Kemper profiles and just blown away that I’m having this much fun with a Marshall lol.

    Watching this!
     
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  11. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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  12. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Dat power transformer.

    Making me want to try building an amp. All these pedals look so insignificant in front of heavy iron and high voltages.
     
  13. DiezelMonster

    DiezelMonster Complainasaurus Rex

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    That looks awesome! And thanks for the above info. Not factoring what your time is worth but, how much in total do you have invested? And what do you think it will cost when complete? I hope you have the setup to make a few clips or even a video when its complete. I'd love to build something like this!
     
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  14. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    I have honestly lost track and don't want to add up what I have into this so far :lol: Really what has killed me is forgetting stuff and having to do additional orders. I'd bet I've racked up $100 in shipping fees to Mouser alone since I started. I would ballpark depending on what headshell and faceplates I go with etc around $1200 or $1500 total.

    It's hard to tell as some of the orders I have gotten extra parts since I figure I'll be building amps after this one, so some of the caps, switches, resistors, pots etc I got extras. I also bought a bunch of tools in the process: drill press, turret pressing tools, stepped drill bits, etc. On top of that I replaced my cheap $10 meter with a ~$200 Fluke. I figured the cheap one was fine for the occasional tube bias and pedal building, but since I had a boatload of components to test and will be poking around at ~500v on a regular basis while I work on this something better quality was a REALLY good idea.

    Unfortunately the best I can do from a recording standpoint is an iphone clip. That and I have a LOT of work left to do on this yet, so it will be a while. The components are all on the board but the board still needs wired, the DC heater board needs populated and wired, the transformers need wired, and all of the controls need wired. I also still need to check continuity and component values on the board and validate all the wiring as it gets done. I'm enjoying the build but it is definitely not a speedy process.
     
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  15. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    This is looking freaking killer!

    Stoked to see the progress.
     
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  16. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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  17. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Fuck. Hurry up!!!
     
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  18. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  19. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Forgot I subscribed to the thread, and got an alert. I thought maybe it was done lol

    Sorry I'm an impatient guy and wanna hear this
     
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  20. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Fuck, another alert and IT'S NOT DONE
     
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