NAD: Ceriatone OTS Mini ("I Made This!")

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Randy, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

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    So, I finally finished the project from here: http://sevenstring.org/threads/nuad-ceriatone-ots-mini-lunchbox-build.296913/ I still have to post up the time-lapse video (it's sitting on of my computers lying around?).

    This one was a while in the making. I got it done probably a year ago or more, but hadn't made a headshell for it yet. I started work on the shell, went to do a shakedown run and started having trouble with the 'overdrive' channel, got pissed off and put it away up until a couple weeks ago. Turns out all that was wrong was a single cold solder joint, so I corrected that and got it up and running.

    The shell is black walnut, which I joined using box joints (dado stack in my table saw). The facing is flamed maple. It got a few coats of Danish Oil, then a coating of 'triple thick' polyurethane. I'm kinda 'eh' about that poly, because it leaves a lot of brush strokes but I got them knocked out with a few passes of steel wool.

    The biggest part of the project was working around the way it's mounted. I wanted it to replicate the layout of the original Dumble ODS, which is 'top mounted' but the faceplate that came with the amp was 'bottom mounted'. Hanging the chassis wasn't so bad, but I needed a new faceplate, plus the original was really bland, so I designed a new one that copies the vibe of the Dumble much more accurately. I'm really happy with the way that turned out!

    Oh, also, all the hardware came from Mesa Boogie (screws, washers, handle, chickenhead knobs). I've got a set of leather corners for it too, but I didn't have a enough (I ordered 4 instead of 8 :wallbash:)

    I'm really digging this amp. I wanted something versatile that takes pedals well, something 'lunchbox' for size and wattage (wanted to be able to crank it), something that stays clean at high volumes but has some gain on tap so you can plug directly into it. I'll be doing the majority of my recording with this for a while.

    [​IMG]

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    I recorded a quick clip. It's not anything special, but for fun, I have everything at '12 o clock' except the 'Volume' 'Master' and 'Overdrive', which are all on maxed. Recorded with an SM57 dead center on a Celestion G12M-70. You can briefly hear some of the squealing feedback, since it was INSANELY loud.

    https://soundcloud.com/randysnonsense/ceriatone-ots-cranked
     
  2. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    That looks awesome!

    Sounds pretty heavy too, a lot more drive than I was expecting.
     
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  3. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    Solid X-Files reference :lol:
     
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  4. Vostre Roy

    Vostre Roy Disciple of Djod

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    Nice job Randy, always love to see some amp built by members of this forum!

    I've also jumped the ship and built myself a Ceriatone Overtone amp but since I wanted something loud as all hell for my doom project, I went with the 100w HRM100 MKII. Man those amp sounds good, its really similar to Weber's Halle but I kept the circuit original beside having added an intra-phase inverter master volume and depth control (other mods where just to relocate the Trim pot in the back to the front and the HRM tone stack accessible from the outside, like Weber did with the Halle). I plan to build a better looking headshell and having a faceplate made for it, yours is really putting mine to shame ahah

    You are totally right about them taking pedals nicely, I'm doing a complete overhaul of my pedal board and intend to use it at its maximum, using the effect loop and also I made a custom cable to connect the 5 pins of the amp to two singles 1/4 mono jacks, that way I'll be able to switch both the PAB and the channels using my Joyo PXL Live.

    Here's a pic of mine and the build thread

    [​IMG]
    http://sevenstring.org/threads/ceriatone-overtone-hrm100-mkiir-build-thread.323206

    Cheers man and congrats on the build!
     
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  5. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

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    Thanks for all the comments! There's another little clip I added to my SC channel, incase anybody's interested.

    I also got around to uploading that timelapse clip:

     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  6. jonT

    jonT SS.org Regular

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    I just joined to say "thanks" for that video and your tips. I built one of these and it's without a doubt the best amp I've ever owned in forty years of playing music and a steady stream of amps of all makes.

    There were a few points in the build that were unclear to me, but your video solved it : use of a particular brown resistor, the wiring of the impedance switch, and connecting the yellow wires from the PT to the bias points on the board. Mine started right up and has been 100% since. Couldn't have done it without your video!


    By the way, I really like that upside-down mounting -- the faceplate is awesome! Can you please tell more about how you did that? I would like to do the exact same thing.
     
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  7. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the kind words and glad my build could be a help. The materials that go with the OTS are pretty good but there are definitely little gaps in the info, some of which was filled with the 'build tips' PDF and the rest with trial and error.

    Glad you're digging the amp. They're definitely exactly as advertised and 'then some'. I'm still regularly impressed by how clean it stays with the volume cranked when you have the two gain stages turned off, and then how well it breaks up once you start adding them on. Super underrated amp.

    As far as the faceplate, yeah, I was less than enthused with the stocker. I noticed the knobs are in exactly reverse order of the real ODS and the chassis on the bottom rather than the top, so it seemed to me they originally intended it to be mounted the way I did it.

    As far as the 'how', most of it was just scanning the original one to get the dimensions right, then overlaying a new graphic in Adobe Illustrator. I forget what font I used but I got a good resolution copy of a Dumble faceplate and used 'What The Font' to get as good a match as possible.

    The faceplate itself I had made by a local sign maker. He makes those foamcore political lawn signs and assorted vinyl cut decals, etc. Anyway, I gave him a PDF and he printed it into a glossy 'indoor/outdoor' adhesive backed vinyl sheet. He also threw in a think plastic backing as reinforcement and thin clear plastic to put infront of the faceplate to hide the texture of the vinyl. That ran me less than $30 and he threw in a few extra printings (which unfortunately were ruined because I left then outside).

    The only other 'thing' I needed to do was cutting out the holes for the pots/Jack's/switches. I stuck the adhesive vinyl to the plastic backing to keep the vinyl from twisting when I took a drill bit to it. I took the original face plate and put it over the vinyl, then filled in the circles with dry erase markers to get the diameters right then drilled them out slowly with a Brad point bit. I went super slow to give the edge of the bit time to cut and prevent twisting.

    Took some digging but I was able to find the PDF of the faceplate, so feel free to use it. Good luck!

    Ceriatone OTS Mini Faceplate
     
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  8. jonT

    jonT SS.org Regular

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    Wow, that's just perfect -- really pro work you've done.
    Thank you for sharing the overlay graphic and just as importantly -- the "how" and details of its construction.
    --Jon
     
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