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Allen Chihuahua Build Started...

MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
I received my Allen Chihuahua kit this week. Earlier this month, David Allen made some changes to the amp, adding a 2nd input jack, a master volume, and upgrading the power transformer to a TP24 since the TP18 is being phased out.

The first night I got the kit, I just verified I had all the parts, then the next night I attached all the hardware to the chassis, and tonight I populated the eyelet board with the components & leads then soldered everything. Tomorrow I hope to solder anything in the chassis that doesn't connect to the board, then I'll drop in the board and get started on that. At this point in the project is where things will probably get a little more difficult.

Overall I'm impressed with the kit. The only thing that is a letdown is that there is no schematic available at this time, only the layout diagrams. Since I was looking forward to this as an educational exercise as much as building an amp, I really wanted a schematic. I guess I'll try drawing up my own when I get some time.

Here are some pics from the build so far.











 

littlejohn

Member
Messages
1,000
Looks great, didn't know they added those new features, looking forward to a tone report. Like the brushed chassis too.
 

vibrostrat43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,265
Looks like some heavy duty filtering in that amp...should have a tight sound. Looking really good so far, I've been wanting to get a 2x6 version to take around as a little jam amp when I go on trips and in hotels and stuff.
 

MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
According to David, "I added an extra filter stage to get rid of that annoying "single ended hum" most little single power tube practice amps have."

The only other single ended amp I've owned was a Swart STR and it was a little noisy, so I'm glad the Chihuahua has extra filtering.
 

arcey

Member
Messages
420
No schematic included? I just don't get that. It would be educational to map it out, but it seems odd that it would not be included to help you know what you're doing.
That is the coolest little amp though. It would be great to hear your impressions when you're done.
 

cminor7b5

Member
Messages
150
Thanks for posting. Is there a chance you could photo whatever instructions were included, including close-ups to give an idea of the level of instruction?

cheers
 

Clockwork Dog

Member
Messages
39
Looks great. I like the clips on the Allen site. I built an Accomplice a few years ago and it's my go to amp. Great designs and fantastic amps. Fun to build. This amp looks like a good one for a first time build.
 

MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
Looks great. I like the clips on the Allen site. I built an Accomplice a few years ago and it's my go to amp. Great designs and fantastic amps. Fun to build. This amp looks like a good one for a first time build.
I currently have a Sweet Spot (built by David Allen) and LOVE it. Before I had it, I tried many amps and was never satisfied, then I bought the Sweet Spot and felt no need to buy any more amps. Over time I did buy a Swart STR to try for a different sound, but it wasn't my cup of tea.

The Chihuahua should be interesting when it's done. The tone stack is the same as the Sweet Spot (I compared the Sweet Spot schematic to the Chihuahua layout), but with the single-ended output, the smaller 10" speaker, and the smaller reverb tank, it should sound somewhat different. Probably they'd work well together in a dual-amp setup.
 

MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
Thanks for posting. Is there a chance you could photo whatever instructions were included, including close-ups to give an idea of the level of instruction?

cheers
All that is included is two detailed layouts - one for just the eyelet board and fly leads (with the recommended lengths), and one including both the eyelet board and chassis. For full build instructions, you'd have to go with a different model that includes them.

It might look a little daunting with just the layout, but with my previous experience in electronics and building pedals, it's not actually that hard when I pay close attention and double-check everything. Also, having the Allen Sweet Spot helps since they are similarly constructed and I can examine the Sweet Spot for clarification. For example, I'm going to wire the input jacks soon, and the layout isn't entirely clear to me, so I'll look at how it's done on my Sweet Spot.

Sorry, but I don't want to share the layout diagrams without David's permission. I'll say they are very detailed though.

Kind regards,

Mark
 

Mattbedrock

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,756
Nice job on the build so far. Take your time and enjoy it and please keep us posted.

I love a good build thread!
 

otaypanky

Play it like you mean it ~
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,019
I love my Chihuahua, it's one of 3 Allen kits I assembled.
Enjoy the build :aok
 

Clockwork Dog

Member
Messages
39
Triple check at each step. Insure good solidly flowed shiny solder joints and it should fire right up the first time. I'm getting gas for one!
 

MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
I pulled a marathon today and completed the amps. I took some pics and will upload them tomorrow.

I plugged it into my Sweet Spot cab & reverb and everything works well. I don't trust my ears after a long stretch of concentration, so I'll wait for later to comment on the sound.

And yes, I triple-checked everything several times during the build, and I did a good job with the wire dressing (IMHO) - I'll leave it to others to decide when I upload pics.
 
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MarkF786

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,780
After relaxing a little, I've been giving it a spin with my Strat. So far it sounds very nice, doing the blackface sound in spades. Though the tone stack is the same as the Sweet Spot, I do find that I need to turn the bass up a little more than on the Sweet Spot; I don't know if the difference is due to the 6L6 (I have 6V6s in my Sweet Spot) or the single-ended design, or what. It's certainly not a problem though, because on my Sweet Spot I keep the bass around 2, while on the Chihuahua, it sounds similar around 4.

I'm looking forward to getting the cab so I can really hear what it sounds like with it's own cab, speaker, and reverb. Until then, and until the tubes and speaker break in a little, it'll be hard to full give a review.

So far, so good.
 




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